Middle class needs help
I am writing to express my concern regarding additional taxes on the middle class.
I was once a middle-class, employed single parent who managed to work, take care of my daughter and pay my fair share of taxes. I am now on disability due to cancer, which I have survived twice — stage four cervical and stage three lung. I receive food from local churches and share that with other struggling single moms.
These working moms are struggling each day to provide for their children. They cannot endure any additional money taken out of their paycheck.
Florida voted to elect President Obama, and all we need is American citizens to support him — Republicans, Democrats and independents, such as myself.
I do pray my voice and efforts help the middle class, which desperately needs it.
Peace of mind
We gave our handgun to the police department in the summer of 1999, shortly after the Columbine tragedy. It was time to choose sides, and we chose against senseless violence. Where we went wrong is we turned in our gun quietly. It is past time to make some noise.
It is time to stop kidding ourselves. One million concealed weapon permits in Florida, and most people couldn't get out their cellphone and dial 911 in an emergency, much less whip a gun out of their purse or pocket and hold off an attacker.
And for those of you with an arsenal at home, are you ready to vouch for the mental well-being of every person in the circle of your life? Because in tragedy after tragedy, unstable people are using legally acquired guns to kill.
In every case, the families can't believe the violence originated in their home. Your guns are locked up, but how many people know where they are, know where you keep the key or the combination, or are unstable enough to threaten the information out of you or a loved one? Are you really that certain of all those you know?
If you have to have a gun, do you need two? Three? More? How many guns do you need to shoot an intruder? Do you need to shoot him 30 times?
So we'll be making noise — for universal background checks, national gun registration, an assault weapon ban, a ban on high-capacity magazines, and for better mental health screening and care.
We know the arguments, and we have chosen sides. No fix is a cure-all. All steps will help.
You can act now. Don't wait for a gun buyback. The police department is more than happy to dispose of your guns now. We know you spent a lot of money on them. Peace of mind is your payback. You may find it is more than enough. We have.
Pepper and Ann Leavine
Regarding "England's gun control example" (Letter of the Day, Jan. 10):
While not agreeing or disagreeing with Kenneth R. Lowe's letter, it is important, when stating facts to support a position, that the facts are accurate and the argument credible.
In 1999 Tony Martin did shoot and kill a burglar, and wound a second burglar. He was found guilty of murder in April 2000 and sentenced to life. In August 2001, on appeal, his conviction was reduced to manslaughter, and on July 28, 2003, Martin was released from prison a free man.