No trust I watched in amusement President Obama’s news conference in the Rose Garden where he pouted like a 6-year-old about the defeat of the universal background check amendment to the gun control legislation. I don’t think I have seen him so petulant. I was expecting him to stomp his feet any moment. He lamented that people had misspoken that the additional background checks would be the basis of a gun registry, although specifically outlawed by the legislation. Although there are background checks done by gun dealers and supposedly those records are destroyed, how do we know for certain? How do we know those records aren’t kept somewhere?
I don’t trust my government or any politician for one second when it comes to our freedoms, and this is my basis for not supporting any further background checks. I just don’t trust them with any information they may get about me. It’s sad to say, but it’s the truth.
I pledge allegiance The cruelty of the most debased and evil among us and the grace of the most brave, sacrificial and charitable among us were juxtaposed in the carnage that abruptly ended the Boston Marathon. The day following the unforgettable horror in Boston, the U.S. Senate voted to dismiss the pleas of victims of violence associated with guns and the overwhelming majority of American citizens in voting against any consideration of the control of guns.
Guns were not used in Boston, and bombs were not used in Newtown, but the devastating reality of destructive violence has the same effect: dead or wounded bodies, broken hearts, and families and communities that will never recover from the loss.
This is a spiritual war of radical ideologies, as well as some mental illnesses, in a world that has lost or distorted the stories that earlier united us in shared values, including respect for the person and property of others. A diverse America does not have to be a divided America. Hope is alive as evident in men and women of different races, ethnicities and systems of belief who joined together in one force to rescue those who were perishing.
Unfortunately, the next day, Gabby Gifford, the citizens of Newtown and others whose lives have been forever changed by gun violence left Washington summarily dismissed by the Senate. The Senate’s failure to act in the interest of gun control leaves some Americans wondering if there is any proof in the deadlocked, self-interested, lobby-maimed Congress that our flag is still there.
There still are brave Americans in Congress with the courage to vote on principle and are not threatened by the NRA and big PAC resources being deployed to prevent their re-election. However, this was not true of the majority in the gun vote. Liberty means much more than the freedom of almost anyone to purchase any weapon he or she pleases.
The Senate’s vote on guns lays bare this subtext, which can be read: “I pledge allegiance to the NRA of the United States of America and to the audacity with which it stands, any gun for any one, with limits placed on none.”
They should be ashamed The good news is that the background check bill got 54 votes in favor and 46 opposed. Doesn’t that mean that 54 percent supported this? Isn’t that a majority? I think so. But not so fast. Because of a group of “good old boys,” you need 60 votes to pass a bill. Amazing math!
The 46 who voted against this bill should be ashamed of themselves. We do reference/background checks if you apply for a job. You have to take a test to get a driver’s license. You have to fill out paperwork to get a loan. So what’s the problem? The 46 should be ashamed of themselves for not supporting their NRA-supporting colleagues, Sens. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and Pat Toomey, a Republican. The 46 are more concerned about holding on to their seats, etc., than doing the right thing.
I am very disappointed with the 46, but I am very proud of Manchin and Toomey. Thank you, gentlemen, for you professional and ethical leadership.
Ross P. Alander
Levy’s foundation I thoroughly enjoyed the letter by Dick Powers on March 29 (“If the walls could talk,” Letter of the Day) about the closing of Levy Awards’ longtime location on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa. I do want to point out, however, the company has not closed. The location has just changed and is only two miles away at 2415 N. Albany Ave., housed with our production facility.
Everyone here at Levy has been truly inspired by George Levy. The legacy he has left is one of a magnificent man that we hope to carry on by continuing the growth of the successful company he built. The employees here continue to treat the creation of every award through the words of Mr. Levy: “The award you are now making may be the only award this person will ever win. Would you be proud to win it?”
We strongly believe in this quote and treat the growth of this company the same. George Levy has built an amazing foundation to be proud of, and we are here to ensure it lives on. We have received amazing feedback from our customers, and we are truly thrilled. We invite all to visit us and experience the progressive enhancements here.