Letters to the Editor for Dec. 19, 2012
Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 17, 2012 at 10:26 p.m.
GPD stands out in bad arrests series
In response to The Sun's series on local law enforcement and the ramifications of “bad arrests”:
I have no arrests or law enforcement issues, but if I am ever stopped please don't let it be GPD.
I am sure most of our local law enforcement folks are “good guys,” but the few that aren't really need to be stopped. These folks just have too much power over us not to be vetted carefully and their job performance monitored closely.
I find it very telling that Sheriff Darnell is willing to acknowledge the issues of bad arrests and dropped charges while “Gainesville Police Chief Tony Jones declined repeated requests to be interviewed for this story.”
To all the good guys who do a difficult job well, my sincere thanks. To the few who take advantage of their position I hope you get caught and removed.
The Sun should know
An article in Monday's Sun details the severe damage done to a person's life and reputation by an arrest that is later dropped for lack of evidence, specifically mentioning the harm done because the person's name and picture is featured in online mugshots.
The article failed to mention that these online mugshots are published by The Gainesville Sun!
A few years ago an article in The Sun concerned a child who was sexually assaulted by a family member, stating that the family member's name was not being published in order to protect the child's anonymity. I visted The Sun's mugshots site, wondering if the Sun's concern for the child's privacy extended to that feature.
It did not. The family member's name and photo was published there.
I contacted several Sun editors to protest this travesty and none of them even bothered to respond to me.
Back to flintlocks
When the Second Amendment was adopted, firearms consisted of flintlock pistols, muskets, rifles and brass cannon.
There is a school of thought that when interpreting the Constitution, we should apply the thinking of the Founding Fathers. If we follow this approach, why don't we just say that everyone who wants a gun can buy a flintlock weapon?
There are people who say they need guns to hunt. Why not rent them from licensed stores at the beginning of hunting season? There are people who believe they need guns to protect themselves. Well, how many shots do you need to kill a burglar? Maybe you could arm yourself with two single-shot pistols. Better yet, get a large scary dog.
There are any number of ways to protect yourself without a gun. All it takes is imagination and planning.
George L. Barnett,
Taking God out of schools at our peril
There are only two places where you learn love: in the family and in the churches. Schools used to teach love.
I recall saying the Pledge of Allegiance every day at school. The phrase “one Nation under God” was part of the pledge. All important gatherings started with a prayer.
The recital of the pledge and prayers are not allowed. Today, nobody can pray in public schools.
To prohibit prayer in public places is in itself offensive, for prayer is a call to love.
If you take love out of children they lose compassion. To take love out of children is to take God out of their hearts. The collateral damage caused by taking God out is the violence we have experience in Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Rudolph R. Kauffmann,
Gun control only helps the criminals
Everyone agrees that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was and is a great tragedy. Some have suggested that this is an example of the need for more gun control. But I respectfully disagree.
What happened there was an example of the consequences of gun control.
No one but law enforcement is allowed to carry a gun into a school. This is the highest level of gun control possible. And so, the teachers and administrators did what law abiding citizen do, they obeyed the law.
Adam Lanza did what criminals do, he ignored the law. As a result everyone in that school was defenseless.
If we take guns away from law abiding citizens, we give criminals a distinct advantage. How many tragedies like this do we need to endure before we learn that lesson?
Thanks to the NRA
The National Rifle Association bears responsibility for the slaughter in Newtown. It has consistently opposed reasonable regulation of gun ownership, arguing for the right of all but felons and the mentally ill to own assault weapons.
NRA supporters argue that guns don't kill people, people do. No one is trying to take guns away from hunters, target shooters, law enforcement officers and others with legitimate uses.
The time is long past for our elected leaders to stand up to the NRA's fanaticism and paranoia. Our so-called leaders fear they won't be re-elected if they oppose the NRA. They too bear responsibility for the horror in Newtown and elsewhere.
It is time to stop the senseless slaughter of innocents and enact an assault weapons ban and other gun control measures.
Robert H. Hornberger,
Health care costs
Drs. Alfino and Mauceri assert in their Talking Back of Dec. 9 that “Obamacare” is a government takeover of health care that will force patients into and drive up costs in our present system.
Obamacare is going to be provided by the health insurance industry. The same industry that has “cherry-picked” only the healthiest, leaving the sickest and most costly patients for the public to cover. Whether through increased provider charges or Medicaid we already pay for the care of our uninsured.
I would argue that forcing insurers to cover these sickest patients would provide an onus for the health insurance industry toward more preventive care. This approach offers the best hope of truly bringing costs down in a system I agree is anything but a “free market.”
Consider the source
I found the recent article about fourth-graders reading skills very interesting. The most interesting things were what the article did not say.
When and where was this data collected? What was the tested group? Who was doing the testing?
Given Gov. Scott's history as a dissembler of public education one must be concerned. His primary interest in our education system seems to be as a source for money siphoned to his cronies; either in the form of testing companies or textbook companies.
I must wonder if this data is the cutting edge of the knife to find another method of paring funds from the public sector to be fed into the coffers of his corpulent “friends.” Certainly all of the public data from FCATs, on-track, EOC, all suggest mild growth in certain segments but nothing comparable to this expose.
Consider the source before taking the data at face value.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.