Letters to the Editor for April 7, 2013
Published: Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 5, 2013 at 11:50 p.m.
Support for all
I hope that Mayor Craig Lowe, during his very short stay at the Alachua County Jail for his drunk driving arrest, noticed and will remember some of the other inmates. Many are there for alcoholism and substance addiction, which often is the underlying cause of their crimes.
Commissioner Thomas Hawkins was quoted as saying that he supports Lowe "not just as a politician but as a person." I think Hawkins should expand his public declaration of support to all in our community who suffer from this illness, including those still at the jail.
Not pet projects
Biomass power and better infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists save money in the long term.
Gainesville houses numerous students and others whose disposable income would grow if they could forego the expenses of owning a car. Bicycle-friendly roads and better bus transit provide more freedom for residents to spend their money. Also, less automotive traffic means less road construction and maintenance in the long term, which amounts to tax savings.
A biomass power plant burns locally grown fuel, which means Gainesville Regional Utilities can buy less fuel from its suppliers. Utility costs are never going to be low enough to make waste affordable but at least biomass power makes it possible to become locally self-sufficient (or as close as possible) given enough conservation.
Critics of these public projects ought to propose ways to lower their costs instead of rejecting them outright. These are not pet projects but a means to save money and grow prosperity.
A civil union is a legally recognized partnership similar to marriage. Civil unions have been established in several countries to provide legal recognition of relationships formed by same-sex couples and afford them rights, benefits and responsibilities similar (in some countries, identical) to those of married couples.
There is no problem if society wants to create a civil union for people who desire to be in a partnership with someone of the same sex. There is no problem with allowing the same rights to same-sex partners that are afforded to married couples.
There is a problem with changing the definition of marriage for political correctness reasons. If you desire to give equal protection under the law to those interested in a civil union, I'm agreeable to equitable treatment for all.
Yet, I adamantly disagree with changing the definition of marriage. You can give the same rights to same-sex couples without changing the definition of marriage.
The Sun's March 30 editorial, "No place for guns," evidences a gross misunderstanding of why schools are selected as locations to kill innocent people. Only two changes in the way the law addresses mass shootings offer any real chance for reducing such violence.
First, laws must be changed so that people who evidence violent tendencies are identified, and their access to firearms eliminated. Second, the concept of gun-free zones must be totally banished from our political thought, and, more specifically, our laws.
Gun-free zones are now, and always have been, well known to be locations where one will be least likely to encounter armed resistance, and thus, a choice location at which to kill innocent people.
The Sun's objection to having trained and certified persons with firearms in our schools is also misplaced, either because of ignorance or political bent, as it is irrefutable that the only meaningful way to quickly stop a bad person with a gun is a prompt encounter with a good person with a gun.
C. Gary Moody,
Watch for do-gooders
Our Florida Legislature is proposing to criminalize as a misdemeanor for the first time, and a felony for the second, the sale of pipes. That's right: your grandpa's wooden pipe or any smoking device, whether "metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic." Whoops, they left out corncob.
God forbid we should restrict our criminal punishments to actual evil intent and actions. Let's include innocent behavior as well. We wouldn't want some bad person to get around our laws!
Where will our insatiable, ignominious passion to pass another law end? Oh, that's right, we have to fill all those prisons we paid to build.
What would my father (from the World War II generation) think of this? Well I know what my grandfather would think about criminalizing the sale of his pipe, about the same thing he thought about prohibition: "It's the damned do-gooders you have to watch out for."