Las Vegas massacre
Ban ownership of deadliest guns
There are only two solutions that could have saved the shooting victims in Las Vegas: a law banning civilian ownership of automatic and semiautomatic rifles, or a military sharpshooter posted on every building within 2,000 yards of the concert venue. The second option isn't even close to practical (unless the NRA wants to fund it), so we must consider the first. No one uses an automatic weapon, solely designed and intended to quickly kill large numbers of people, for hunting or personal protection.
So here's my pledge to NRA members: Keep your standard rifles, shotguns and pistols. I promise that I'll never ask for you to give them up. (And there's absolutely no way Hillary Clinton could have removed the Second Amendment from our Constitution, despite Donald Trump's ludicrous claims.) Can anyone give me one rational, commonsense reason why we can't make this compromise? I just don't understand how the NRA's 5 or 6 million members — less than 2 percent of the American population — get away with telling us other 98 percent that we don't get to have a say I this. The NRA wants its members to own a deadly weapon that they'll never use for any practical purpose, yet it continues to be used to slaughter large numbers of innocent Americans.
Reasonable people make reasonable compromises, yet our politicians who blindly support the NRA can't seem to understand this. And those same politicians tell us it's too soon to have this discussion, out of respect for the dead. Is it then too soon to discuss Columbine? San Bernardino? Sandy Hook? Charleston? Orlando? When can we discuss those?
Jeff Clark, Safety Harbor
Wasting taxpayers' money
How can we ever have confidence in government officials who blatantly rip off the country? Thank heavens Tom Price is now on the outside looking in after his private and military air travel binges. But this epidemic of jet-setting behavior has apparently spilled over into other departments including Treasury, the VA and Interior. These public servants should serve taxpayers and citizens, not abuse them.
Then there is the ultimate insult of the president regularly making a smart profit by frequenting his own properties and, in the process, filling up the resort with Secret Service, staffers and press. I hope the entourage is all getting big "friends and family" discounts. Whatever happened to a quiet weekend at home reading and understanding proposed legislation and solving important issues?
It would appear that when Walter Shaub, the ethics director, resigned, any pretext of doing the right thing also walked out the door.
Karl Olander, Indian Shores
Las Vegas massacre
Gun rights not unlimited
My wife and I are both gun owners.
Since the mass shooting in Las Vegas, we have heard the usual refrain of "guns don't kill people, people do." And the same tiresome refrain of, "Should we ban cars, knives, hammers and matches? Because they can kill too."
Yes, they can kill, and cars and trucks have been used as weapons of mass murder. But all these products have a peaceful purpose they were initially designed for. What peaceful purpose was an AR-15 designed for except to kill?
We are supporters of the Second Amendment, but these assault-style weapons that someone with $50 can turn into a weapon of mass destruction are to our mind not, and never have been, covered by the Second Amendment.
Someone, somewhere has got to have the spine to say no to the NRA.
Allan A. Love, New Port Richey
Answer is not more guns
The shooting in Nevada is horrific, but sadly not surprising. No doubt many people will go out and purchase a gun as a result, in the mistaken belief that the answer to such an event is more guns. The truth is that if everyone attending the concert was armed it would have made no difference.
Now we wait for the next massacre that will surely come because, sadly, some Americans care more about their guns than they do about our children.
Janet Graber, St. Petersburg
Stronger laws work
Another gun slaughter, another pitiful cascade of "thoughts and prayers" from our weak politicians.
How many people could this nut have killed with a baseball bat or a steak knife? I don't care why he did it. I care that he was able to get his hands on a firearm, in this case a collection of guns, whose only purpose is to hunt humans.
When gun laws are strengthened, gun violence drops. That fact is being demonstrated worldwide. How many more innocent people have to die?
Is it time to push the NRA aside and restore some sanity.
Scott Cochran, Tampa
Tax reform a ray of hope for nation's middle class | Oct. 3, commentary
Plan favors upper incomes
Richard Corcoran's article is filled with fallacies that begin with the headline's "ray of hope."
Unemployment has decreased not because of a dynamic effort from Tallahassee but because many people are underemployed, working only part-time with no benefits, or simply gave up trying to obtain work. Corcoran is seeking a higher office rather than accomplishing things for his constituents.
Very few businesses actually pay the existing tax rates because of the innumerable loopholes in the code that favor, especially, large corporations. And even though it is true that most of these corporations divert their earnings, lowering their tax rate without closing the existing loopholes will not guarantee that those dollars will come to back the country. In fact, it will only exacerbate the situation, resulting in more profits for the upper economic class, the stockholders. There is no realignment there. It is pure favoritism.
Carlos E. Mateus, Lutz