Letters to the Editor for Jan. 15, 2011

Published: Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 14, 2011 at 4:25 p.m.

Don't sacrifice openness to madness

I know that we are all reeling from the tragedy in Tucson. But this is also a time to appreciate the remarkable accessibility of our elected officials, a hallmark of our democracy.

I have always been impressed by the availability of our leaders: local, state and federal. It would be doubly tragic if that openness would be curtailed by the act of a madman.

I am also concerned that this event, combined with the polarizing rhetoric of recent times, will discourage the best and the brightest from stepping forward to serve, helping guarantee effective, responsive government. We must all show our support for all our elected officials.

Jon Reiskind,

Chair of the Alachua County Democratic Party,


Shooting is no excuse to ban handguns

In the wake of this horrible tragedy, it would be disappointing to use the incident as grounds to ban handguns. I am all for making the steps to acquire them more strict, but am also aware that there are a lot more ways to get a gun than walking in to a store and buying it.

Had this incident ended with a legally armed person exercising his right to defend the lives of others, what would the left wing media (this paper included) do with themselves?

Lee Garner,


‘Murderous rhetoric'

We wholeheartedly agree with Alice Gridley (Voice, Jan. 11), the “unbelievably murderous rhetoric spewed by some of our country's political figures” must stop.

To quote President Barack Hussein Obama (June 14, 2008, at a political fundraiser in Philadelphia, Pa.): “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

Need we say more?

Howard and Sue Leinart,


Minimizing violence

Monday Rep. Stearns tried to minimize the threat of violence being pursued by talk show hosts and bloggers. He cited a 224-year old incident (Shays' Rebellion) to try to justify the current events.

The First Amendment right to free speech does not allow yelling fire in a theater. Telling people, particularly someone who is already unstable, that your opponent is a heartless, fascist, communist subhuman and — Oh, by the way, bring your gun — is no different.

David Mathia,


The impact of taxes

While taxes are an expense to me, they are not an expense to the government which collects them. To the government, taxes are income.

Most business people make decisions on hiring, firing, purchase of equipment, buildings, etc. based on their expectations of the long term effect. Taxes are a part of this. When they cannot predict the future, they make decisions with great conservatism.

When you cannot predict the costs of an employee, why hire? If you judge that the costs of medical care, increases in minimum wage, etc. are not predictable, then you do nothing.

Colin M. Jones,


Why cyclists don't like to use sidewalks

I once had a UF professor ask me why bicyclists don't just use the sidewalks. Two reasons:

1) Almost all drivers look before entering a street, but almost none look before crossing a sidewalk. On a sidewalk I ride in constant terror of drivers coming out of a driveway or side street and hitting me.

2) Riding up and down driveway slopes, cracks, bumps, tree roots and whatever else is on the sidewalks is like driving down a pothole-laden road with my crotch as the shock absorber.

Sidewalk-widening projects don't seem to help because the things that used to be in the grass are now in the sidewalk; telephone poles, sign posts, fire hydrants, etc.

North Main Street is no slower for cars but much safer for cyclists since reconstruction. Resist the car accommodaters and show that Gainesville remains in the forefront in conservation and environmental responsibility.

Kayla Sosnow,


Is law school a losing game, too, Joe?

I wonder if Joe Little (“A dirty business,” Jan. 11) caught the recent New York Times article titled, “Is law school a losing game?”

Paraphrasing Little, one might conclude: “Regrettable, few law students actually reach a job that helps repay the debt accumulated during law school. Hence, this corrupt system induces young men and women — children really — to engage in high risk activity with a statistically small chance of delayed payoff enjoyed by very few.”

Michael Gunderson,


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