Letters: Legislature all about deep-pocketed special interests

March 01, 2018
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Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
Police walk past memorials on the fence in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday morning. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

How come everything that Tallahassee does is in the interest of the special interest groups, and not the people of Florida?

Don’t ban assault weapons, that would offend the NRA. Don’t get rid of PIP, that will offend the insurance lobby. Don’t pass texting and driving, God knows who that will offend.

FULL COVERAGE: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting

What did they pass to help us lower our insurance, protect the kids in school, punish drivers who put our lives at risk? Nothing.

All Tallahassee cares about is their special interest groups and not the people of Florida.


Ban all civilian access to war weapons

I wish to join the voices advocating the outlawing of purchasing and ownership of automatic rapid-fire rifles and handguns. These weapons belong only in the hands of our uniformed military and police to enforce our safety. They have no purpose for civilians.

Given the large number of other available rifles and handguns, the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment are more than adequately supported for our citizens. What about the support of our children and innocent bystanders, thousands of whom have been killed in recent decades?

The debate is not about mental instability, for without access to such weapons, we’d be talking about far fewer fatalities.

We should have a right to protect ourselves by using restrictive laws to prevent all access to such weapons. Those owning or selling them must be required by law to turn them in and we should compensate them for doing so. Those who don’t submit these weapons should be severely punished once such a return policy is enacted.

We must decide if our society should leave this responsibility to individual state legislatures or to our Congress and president.

The logic is straightforward: KISS — keep it simple, stupid. I no longer want to be stupid.


Editor’s note: David Papermaster is a retired physician, medical educator, scientist, and Solomon Professor of Neuroscience, University of Connecticut Health Science Center.

Gun issue is about security, not rights

The NRA, in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has responded with the usual statement that banning assault rifles would “infringe upon the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

Based on this logic, should we remove all speed limits on public roads so “law-abiding” citizens can drive as fast as they want? Of course not.

The only “law-abiding” use for assault rifles is for target practice at a gun range. So, do communities throughout the United States need to spend millions of dollars to harden our soft targets (schools, malls, churches, movie theaters, gyms, etc.) with metal detectors, armed teachers and armed guards just so “law-abiding” citizens can get their thrill of shooting an assault rifle?

The NRA’s logic is preposterous. The banning of assault rifles is a public security issue, not a gun rights issue.

Should we, as a society, be forced to accept mass shootings as the norm? Or should we follow what the Australians did in 1994: Ban all assault rifle sales and institute gun buybacks to get these weapons off the streets? To date, there has not been one mass shooting in Australia since then.


How many must die before NRA wakes up?

How many kids need to be shot before our Congress wakes up? How many tears must parents shed before their pain is heard?

Is the NRA deaf? Or do they have no heart?