Letters to the Editor for April 16, 2013

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 4:14 p.m.

Educate drivers

Recently the Gainesville Police Department has been ticketing motorists not yielding the right of way to pedestrians. This has led to confusion. It would be useful for GPD to educate drivers on the Florida law with regard to the right of way.

The official Florida driver's handbook offers this information: "It is the motorist's responsibility to do everything possible to avoid colliding with any pedestrians ... Motorists must yield to pedestrians crossing the street or driveway at any marked mid-block crossing, driveway or intersection without traffic signals."

This clearly states that pedestrians are people in crosswalks or driveways. I was recently informed in a GPD handout that pedestrians are anyone in the roadway. If someone starts walking into the road, are we supposed to rapidly brake (risking a rear-end collision) or should the pedestrian have the responsibility to stay on the sidewalk until the roadway is clear, or to cross at a crosswalk?

Jessica Hurov,


Many misconceptions

Society holds many misconceptions about rape. One of the most hurtful is that rape is about sex. Anytime someone uses their greater size, strength, knowledge or authority to force on another any type of sexual penetration or union of sexual organs, rape is what occurs.

Rape is not about sex or sexual gratification. Sex is just the weapon used to gain power over another. The victim, male or female, cannot "want" rape. The perpetrator is not trying to get their sexual needs met; research shows that perpetrators have legitimate sexual avenues, (spouses, significant others). But they choose to rape anyhow. Their goal is to humiliate, overpower, degrade and dehumanize.

When we mistake rape for sex, by saying, for example, the victim wanted it or the perpetrator misinterpreted the victim's "signals" about sexual availability, we empower rapists to rape again, and we traumatize victims.

Rita Lawrence,


Earned distrust

Sen. Bill Nelson — like other Democrat politicians — says he supports the right to keep and bear arms yet he supports the current gun-control proposals that in fact limit the exercise of that right.

In 2009, he voted against national right-to-carry reciprocity and sent me a letter explaining that he did so "out of respect for states' rights."

Hah! Fact is if Nelson, Obama, and others supported the right, then their actions would match their words. They have done nothing to expand and protect lawful firearms' ownership, and they have earned my distrust.

Henry Gotsch,


Enough is enough

The federal government under our Constitution has the right to regulate with fair, honest and equitable laws to keep citizens safe. Laws have been passed to safeguard citizens against abusers of the First Amendment — yelling "fire" in a crowded room when there is no fire is illegal.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school is a wake-up call. Background checks on gun sales should be required; automatic weapons with a magazine capacity of 30 shots should be illegal. This does not take away people's right to keep and bear arms — it only regulates for the safety of all citizens.

Polls show that a minority of Americans are against gun control laws and the majority favor some kind of gun control. I ask the majority to contact our senators and ask for their vote for gun control laws. Enough is enough; the time is now!

Gail Walker,

Keystone Heights

Difficult problem

The Muslim world's insistence that Israel return all lands obtained after the 1967 war ignores that the war was started by Egypt and Syria with the goal of eliminating the Jewish state. What other country is required to return land it captures in the process of protecting itself from annihilation or constant threat?

There are challenges from both sides of this difficult problem (how to be a non-Muslim, westernized state on land that has been legitimately acquired and not be the scapegoat for over 100 years of Arab indignities from the contact with western, non-Muslim nations). Palestinians want self-determination and so do the Israelis, the Kurds and many other groups. Empathy is in short supply.

Charna Cohn,


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