Letters to the Editor for April 1, 2012


Published: Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 10:43 p.m.

‘Stand Your Ground’ is for law-abiding people

I am amazed at the startling ignorance displayed by so many people regarding Florida Statute 776.013(3), otherwise known as the “Stand Your Ground” law. The statute as written is intended to protect law-abiding residents in their own homes, their vehicles, or other locations who fall victim to a sudden intrusion or attack at said location. A careful reading of the entire statute reveals that the legislation is not intended to justify vigilantism or give individuals an excuse to provoke an altercation.

If one is in their own home, minding their own business, and suddenly comes under attack or invasion, requiring the law-abiding resident to retreat in the face of such attack (as so many liberals would like) simply provides more power to the invader and places the resident at a distinct disadvantage.

Applying the reach of this statute to the terrible tragedy in Sanford is purely speculative without a thorough finding of fact. However, that is not stopping the anti-gun lobby and its liberal ilk from engaging in high-minded hyperbole to try to strip responsible gun owners of their constitutional rights. Florida Statute 776.013, when properly interpreted, merely allows a law-abiding resident to defend themselves and their loved ones in the face of an unprovoked attack — nothing more and, thankfully, nothing less.

Scott A. Sloan,

Gainesville

Vote ‘no’ on proposed transportation tax

It is needed, but vote “no” on the proposed transportation tax for two reasons.

Reason one: The commission, with the exceptions of Commissioners Lee Pinkoson and Susan Baird, are seeking to “dilute its effectiveness” by supporting other programs such as rapid transit. You may recall that Commissioner Mike Byerly did a similar thing with the last transportation tax initiative (gas tax) by adding caveats such as not allowing capacity enhancement projects.

The second reason: Byerly. His history has been to control and then enhance the scope of road projects “far beyond” a reasonable measure of fiscal restraint or rational need requirement. A good example is the Tower Road project that he championed and moved to have adopted and designed. It became so extravagant and expensive — more than $30 million — that it had to be canceled, but only after $890,000 tax dollars were wasted. Expect more of the same if he is re-elected.

Ernie Taylor,

Gainesville

Supreme Court is just another political body

Most of us grew up with a healthy respect for the United States Supreme Court. We believed, though maybe naively so, that the court was populated with fair-minded individuals who based their pronouncements on the dictates of the Constitution and past precedent of earlier court judgments.

Recent history has proved our earlier belief to be erroneous. The court is a political body, much the same as Congress, the presidential administration, and state, county and local government bodies. Lifetime appointments with no recourse for redress of bad decisions other than impeachment of the offending jurist (or jurists) has done little to shield the public from decisions based on the effects of political bias — bias with no basis of support in the Constitution.

The Roberts Court in its Bush v. Gore and Citizens United decisions has demonstrated a lack of Constitution-directed objectivity. Unnecessarily usurping the Florida Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore and kowtowing to the monied in Citizens United do not bode well for the politically neutral requirement of a legitimate, constitutionally-based Supreme Court adjudication process. I fear that the court will make a political judgment, not a constitutional judgment, on the Affordable Care Act.

Irrespective of political viewpoint, each of us should tremble at the prospects of a court that fails to read, understand and be restricted by the Constitution as the only controlling factor in its decisions.

Bud Byrd,

Alachua

Thanks you to our dog-rescuing heroes

On March 16 our dog, Joe, fell into a 50-foot hole located at the Rotary Park at Jonesville.

Just as Joe cannot express himself with words, I, too, cannot find the words to express my gratitude to everyone that assisted in his rescue. However, I would like to recognize the following individuals.

Sarah, Karen, Saba, Sgt. Strang, Deputy Sheriff White and Deputy Sheriff Nicol and Jeff Harpe with Gainesville Fire Rescue. Harpe assessed the situation and knew exactly who to notify. Along came the UF Large Animal Vet Rescue team: John and Lana Haven, along with a team of seven individuals including Dr. Roger Clemons, put their training and skills into action.

Four and a half hours after Joe disappeared into a 50-foot hole, these heroes put him back into my arms. And for that I am forever grateful.

Carmen Cowart,

Gainesville

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