Letters to the Editor for March 13, 2013

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 11, 2013 at 8:45 p.m.

Solve real problems

I really hope that Precious Metals wins its lawsuit against Alachua County.

Are the sign holders annoying? Slightly — when I even notice their sign-flipping and dancing. Do they distract drivers? Possibly for a few seconds — certainly no more than an accident, fire or other disaster that produce rubberneckers. Should they be allowed to continue? Absolutely. They are trying to generate business that in turn will benefit the city of Gainesville.

Gary Edinger, the First Amendment attorney who is working with the county on the case, said that whatever the outcome, it shouldn't have an impact on panhandling or the use of political signs. That's good, because signs like “Vote for Joe Shmoe for County Commissioner” or “Need help, former veteran, God bless” are no more or less annoying than the “We Buy Gold” sign holder.

Come on, Alachua County — don't you have real problems to solve?

John Kelly,


Diminishing rights

Any attack on our diminishing rights as citizens must be fought if we hope to survive the state's increasing limits on our right to free speech. The growing power of those supporters of corporate criminality — allowing corporations more power while decreasing ours — is just another dangerous step toward corporate state fascism.

The Occupy Gainesville folks have already been arrested, homeless people have been harassed and now there's this added county encroachment on sign holders. Talk about chilling effects on our basic rights.

Strange how the city and county can support the production of drones in Gainesville, instruments that can spy on and kill people, while they seek to suppress our right to free speech.

People need to start to act up against the state's continued dismantling of the Constitution, before they ship us off to the largest prison system in the world.

Bob Tomashevsky,


Flip-flopping speaker

Despite House Speaker Will Weatherford's flip-flopping about which program helped pay his little brother's medical bills, they were, appropriately, subsidized by taxpayers — a service he now works to deny to others. Sad.

Leveda Brown,


No legal authority

Jeffrey Dissell reminds us that the right to self-defense is a God-given right (Sun, Feb. 8). Gun ownership, however, is a constitutionally given right, and it is, as he says, for protection from tyranny.

The Second Amendment is not, as Dissell says, “to authorize citizens ... to reverse the intentions of an oppressive government.” Individuals do not have the legal authority to change anyone's intentions, and certainly not with a gun. That's why we have an elected Congress.

If a law is oppressive, the courts decide that. Congress and the courts are our bulwarks against presidential tyranny. Peaceful demonstrations draw attention to laws that may be oppressive.

Today, members of our armed forces do not have to follow orders that are illegal. We are in little danger of an incidence of presidential tyranny.

So, the Second Amendment remains for self-defense, a collecting hobby or harmless sport. I think single bullets are sufficient for that.

Constance A. Ray,


What's bugging her

June Girard's Feb. 25 guest column ostensibly bemoans the “kingly” nature of State of the Union speeches. After the first three paragraphs, however, we find out what's really bugging her: the fact that Republicans were given a chance to respond with their own short speech.

Six paragraphs are spent telling the reader that “the president carries the voice of the majority” and that “most of us want to know what the president recommends.”

She writes, “Nowhere in the Constitution does it give Congress the right to air ... its disagreement” with those recommendations.

When I read this kind of column, I can't help but wonder what Girard's opinion on rebuttals would be if President Romney had given the State of the Union address and Barbara Boxer had responded.

Keith Shapiro,


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