I am a retired firefighter from New York who answered many a 911 call for house fires, medical emergencies and serious auto accidents. For Jill Kelley to tie up the 911 operators four times for reporters being on her sidewalk is criminal and an abuse of the emergency 911 system.
She should be charged accordingly.
Buildings don't talk
I have always found it very amazing why reporters and politicians always quote the "Pentagon" or the "White House" as having said something.
I spent 30 years in the military and another 16 years in civil service, of which four years were at a desk in the Pentagon. And many tours in and around the White House. At no time when I went to work in the Pentagon and said "Hello, Pentagon" did that building ever answer me back, and neither did the White House.
Why don't our elected people in power admit they said this or that instead of referring to a building? And why do media report that a building "said" this or that?
President Obama said that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was following "White House" guidance when they sent her on major network TV to explain the atrocity in Libya. Why did he not say who in the White House gave her this guidance?
We need people in elected positions and other leaders to stand up and take responsibility for what they say and do. Buildings cannot talk or explain things, so don't use them as a source of information. Somewhere, someplace a person is responsible.
Land O' Lakes
Not a guilty Republican
It was a wonderful feeling reading the "Your Views" section of Mother Trib on Wednesday. I no longer feel guilty voting for a Democratic president for the first time since I began voting in 1978.
As with the other writers who voted for President Obama, I, too, feel the tea party has taken us too far to the right. They (Republicans) had better wake up and dump some of the radical views the tea party has taken and come back to the center before it's too late.
This election cycle should be an eye-opener for the ones who have not lost their true beliefs. I have faith it can happen, but this time it just wasn't meant to be. Wake up, Republicans! We are paying attention, and you truly should have ours now.
I felt guilty for a while after walking out of that booth, but not now.
Greg W. Davis
A recent letter gave thanks for the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which limits presidential terms to two. I would prefer any proposed amendment limiting members of Congress to a specific number of terms rather than the existing situation, where length of membership is unlimited and, it appears, interminable. I would gladly sign such a proposed amendment, thereby giving hope for a do-something Congress rather than the current do-nothing Congress.
Jerry B. Crittenden
Sun City Center
With the "Stand Your Ground" task force crammed with Republican supporters, including Rep. Dennis Baxley, the House sponsor of the law, and Sen. David Simmons, who also helped write it, the outcome was obvious before the committee had its first hearing. It was clear this task force's only purpose was to validate the law, not address its fundamental problem — that the law was intended to expand the legal use of firearms by gun owners, which has made us all less safe.
Our efforts to present the many stories of relatives of victims of the law to the task force were met with silence. This task force was a task "farce" that had no intention of recommending that the law be repealed or even seriously modified. Our Legislature had the nerve to present a task force that was loaded with supporters of this law as a serious vehicle to explain to the people of Florida how this horrible law could be corrected.
It has been said this law needs more study, beyond the 100 cases my organization studied and the more than 200 cases examined by newspapers. More studies would just mean more cover for the people who created this law. The existing studies all found the same thing: These shootings were all disputes between two people — one was armed while the other was not. Not a single shooting involved an armed person defending themselves from an armed assailant. More study would just confirm what we already know.
Heads up, folks. This is clear evidence that Stand Your Ground, which was passed in 2005, is a complete fraud. The problems that Republicans and task force members had were with the terms "stand your ground" and "no duty to retreat." The NRA made sure that Stand Your Ground protected gun owners, not from armed assailants but from prosecutors who had prosecuted gun owners for using deadly force outside the parameters of our old self-defense law. This was the reason the NRA pushed so hard for this law and the reason Republicans could justify an attack on public safety to keep the NRA happy.
We will be very lucky if this task force recommends even cosmetic changes. No Republican will mess with the NRA's definition of legal self-defense.
Arthur C. Hayhoe
Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence