No reason to fear
A recent Letter of the Day, "Cuts would leave us vulnerable" (Your Views, Jan. 26), tries to make the case that the United States needs a missile defense system to protect us from North Korea and Iran. I would ask: Why should the United States be remotely afraid of one of these counties attacking us?
So far neither North Korea nor Iran has shown they are even close to having this ability. North Korea's missiles rarely make it as far as Japan. Their nuclear weapons program has produced a bomb that was more like a firecracker than an atomic bomb, much less being able to weaponize it by putting the bomb in the nose of a rocket. Iran is in much the same boat in their efforts to build a bomb and being able to deliver it on a missile.
The hallow part of this letter writer's argument is the simple fact that the United States could wipe either of these countries off the map if they even attempted to attack us in this manor.
I'm for reigning in the military industrial complex. What we spent on the Pentagon last year would have put every graduating high school senior through four years of college. Does anyone remember the so-called threat of WMDs that led us into the Iraq war? Four thousand five hundred lives later and over a trillion dollars wasted and not a sign of WMDs.
F. M. Younglove
Fight fire with fire
Regarding gun laws:
After reading articles and letters in my Tampa Tribune, I have come to the conclusion there are many whose brains cast a dark shadow on the reality of society. Any law is only good if the people abide by said law. How many laws are there for illegal drugs? How long have we been fighting the drug wars? I would be willing to bet if I desired, which I don't, and knew the right people, I could go into the neighborhood of anyone reading this paper and buy or sell illegal drugs.
I hear: "I don't want my child to see a gun in school." How many times have you flown since 9/11? How many times have you seen an armed sky marshal on your flight? If a school desired, put the qualified armed guard in plain clothes with the weapon concealed.
I hear: "We don't have the money. It will wreck our budget." I ask you: What price do you put on your child's life? Your grandchild's life?
You had better act now and not wait for a consultant. There are evil people and copycats who won't wait, and we can't take the chance. No gun laws will stop this problem. It will be the same as the drug problem. This is not the way to go about the problem. Sorry, but you have to fight fire with fire.
Edward C. Schaffter
Long fight with city
Regarding "Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain" (Steve Otto, Metro, Jan. 27):
Otto should have had his readers in South Tampa cue "The Wizard of Oz" theme before we read his column. Otto, the wizard-witty newsman of South Tampa, wistfully handed out shiny new medals to former Mayor Pam Iorio and current Mayor Bob Buckhorn for saving us all from the great floods in South Tampa. Our neighbors all had a big laugh reading this. We have been fighting the City of Tampa to clean up and dredge the city-owned stormwater drains for more than 10 years.
When Buckhorn was our city councilman we never even got a phone call returned concerning our flooding problems that we took to him (he was one very busy councilman, I suppose). We also fondly remember when Iorio passed a stormwater tax on every house in the city to clean up the stormwater drains, and then one month later the stormwater department told our neighborhood they had no funds to clean up or dredge the city's stormwater drains that were causing our issues.
We also fondly remember when Iorio's office sent two burglary detectives when they thought we were calling the mayor's office too much after we had in-house flooding and still got zero assistance from the stormwater department.
We now see drains that are completely blocked and are the direct cause of massive flooding in our area that never flooded before. We all had the biggest laugh when Iorio would tell you to be sure to prepare for storms, when it was her bad decision-making along with the bad management and lack of leadership at the stormwater department that caused most of the flooding in our area and many others.
Last year, when a gentle rain caused three-and-a-half feet of water in our street, we called the stormwater department and were told, "When it gets to four feet, call us back. It's a lot of work to remove this water." Your tax dollars at work.
To Otto, I leave the following quote from the great Mark Twain: "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."
In response to "Rejection of registry seen as step backward for area" (Metro, Jan. 27): As a former business owner I welcomed all business, but change sides and look at it from a consumer point of view: Straight people avoid places such as gay bars, and the people who enjoy gay pride the most are gays. I and my family avoid "Gay Day" at Disney and other attractions at all cost. As far as a tourist magnet, families bring the most tourist dollars, and I can speak for my Christian family in saying I do not patronize areas where I know there is a gay element.