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Friday, Aug 01, 2014
Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: Buckhorn ‘gets it’

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Buckhorn ‘gets it’ Although not a supporter of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn because of his lack of non-political job experience when he ran for mayor, I have to take my hat off to him. His heart and vision are in the right place; he is doing a great job.

He is trying to address the issues that have dogged our community for decades. He gets it.

If only some of those on the city council, Hillsborough County Commission and Hillsborough County School Board who have been there forever would get it, imagine how great our community could be.

Dick Powers

Tampa

The culprit: mental illness Everyone’s heart goes out to all the Sandy Hook mothers and families who lost kids in that tragedy. The president turning his weekly address over to one of the mothers who lost a child has brought sympathy to those who are pushing for stronger gun control.

Although I personally have no problem with the requirement for background checks when purchasing a gun, I see very little effect that this requirement has in keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

Criminals don’t buy guns at stores, and mentally unstable people will find ways like the Sandy Hook shooter who stole his mother’s legally owned guns, or use other means to get a weapon. So what good would a background check do?

If the Sandy Hook killer was driving an SUV and decided to run over a group of children exiting a school, would we want to put restrictions on SUVs, or would we want to see why someone that mentally unstable was driving a car? Guns didn’t kill those kids; they were an instrument used.

Just recently we had a group of kids slashed by a mentally disturbed person. Should we now have restrictions on knife ownership?

We all live in an open society. We only can do so much to protect our safety. Mental illness is the culprit here.

If we need anything, it’s a better understanding of what pushes people over the edge, and the need to get them help before that demon inside them takes over their lives.

James Woods

Brooksville

Slippery slopes Regarding gun control: To get the right answers, you need to ask the right questions.

Much has recently been made of the “fact” that the public in the United States is overwhelmingly in favor of tougher background checks and controls on gun sales. What the liberal press fails to note is the results of the same inquiry when combined with the next logical question: Are you in favor of more restrictions on legal gun sales if they also result in infringement on your privacy and liberty?

The results are dramatically different.

We should also ask our elected representatives if they took an oath to uphold our Constitution, and if they understood the word “infringement.”

Most will say that gun control is just a little infringement — a little infringement every couple of years in response to events that the infringements would have had no effect on.

Talk about slippery slopes.

Robert Arnold

Treasure Island

Sharing the sea One large looming question in the impending bay-area aquarium development battle is can all three attractions financially survive sitting across the water just miles from each other.

Perhaps this perplexing problem could be answered by looking around the Tampa Bay region, or even the country, by comparing the megamillion-dollar big-box stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart and Target.

They fundamentally sell many of the same products and literally spend wads of money to become business neighbors. They are often strategically parked within a stone’s throw of each other and have found the marketing magic to co-exist and still be wildly successful.

Despite the obvious differences between your everyday retail operation and the tourism industry, they compete for essentially the same thing, which is customers, and hopefully enough of them to turn a profit.

As Clearwater and the John’s Pass Secrets of the Sea Aquarium prepare to throw in their big-money line and build supersized fish tanks, along with The Florida Aquarium constantly improving its on-going Channelside undersea attraction, it’s no doubt they will be competing feverishly for those all-so-precious tourist dollars.

If they compete individually, ultimately not only will they lose, our area will suffer greatly as a result.

Therefore, the logical solution is for them to join creative forces by offering incentives such as a discount combo ticket, always displaying unique and ever-changing attractions, as well as collectively marketing our region by masterfully painting a positive fish tale of the Tampa Bay area.

In the big picture, having three unique world-class aquarium facilities will send a statement everywhere that’s loud and clear: The Tampa Bay area has certainly arrived and is ready to welcome you!

Mike Merino

Tampa

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