Letters Sheriffs should monitor school dismissals

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12:00 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 Opinion
Dr. Salomon Melgen, sentenced to 17 years in prison on Thursday for bilking Medicare and other insurers out of as much as $73 million.

Sheriffs should be

at school dismissals

There are 180 public schools in Palm Beach County. At the time of dismissal, at any school, hundreds of pupils are dismissed and run to the front of the school to get on buses or to meet their parents. At that point, they are vulnerable to a mass shooting.

Let me suggest that the county sheriff use a small portion of his $600 million budget and his 4,000 employees to have deputies at all schools for this 30-minute period.

That would be a much-better use of his massive resources than having deputies sitting on I-95 or the turnpike waiting for the speeder.


Threats shouldn’t be

dismissed as jokes

The mother of the Port St. Lucie 14-year-old who said that her son’s comment about “shooting up the school” was just a joke, is just as ignorant, uninformed and careless as her son, and should be thankful that he is in a detention center for 21 days instead of lying in a morgue somewhere. (“Threat to ‘shoot up’ school leads to St. Lucie teen’s arrest,” Feb. 16)

Perhaps it will be a hard lesson about the real meaning of “freedom of speech.”

A parent, as difficult as it would be, must support the legal ramifications of her son’s thoughtless and insensitive comments, and not condone them as simply “a joke.” The next time, heaven forbid, it might be her son who is killed because someone said it “was just a joke.”


Safety still trumps

Second Amendment

So by the logic of the NRA, if every upright American — and by that, I mean standing and not necessarily ethical or sentient — carried a gun we would all be safer? Maybe not.

Is there a reason why the military, when not in actual combat activity, locks all the guns and ammo in a safe place? In light of the Parkland massacre, maybe we should consider locking automatic guns safely away from everyone, not in combat activity.

The Second Amendment is a wonderful thing. Keeping innocent kids and adults alive is an even more wonderful thing.

We need to keep tighter control on automatic weapons, bump stocks, and all guns in general. We need to let teachers be teachers and students be students without fear.


Our right to choose

remains imperative

The Parkland school shooting has elicited the largest outcry I’ve ever seen centering on gun control, aimed primarily (for now) at “assault rifles.” There’s been a lot of angry claims from both sides, often not based on facts.

Personally, I have no problems with restrictions on assault-type weapons and large magazines, and the banning of bump stocks, but the fact is, this tragedy would have been prevented under current laws had the FBI not seriously dropped the ball.

Unfortunately, the reality is, outlawing AR-15s will be no more effective than outlawing illegal opioids, which, by the way, took 65,000 lives last year. Virtually all those poor souls died using drugs they were not legally allowed to possess. Similarly, gun-law restrictions will only keep them from the hands of law-abiding citizens, not the bad actors.

One of the surviving victims of the Parkland tragedy said people “don’t need to own an AR-15,” but she’s conflating “need” with “choice.” No one “needs” to own a Mercedes or Lexus when a simple Chevy will get them where they are going.

One of the beauties of living in our great nation is that we have the right to make choices.


Age to bear arms

shouldn’t be altered

I was not able to vote in elections until I was 21 years old. That made sense to me because many people younger than 21 have limited real-life experiences, such as supporting themselves, paying taxes, etc.

The argument for lowering the voting age was compelling. How can we allow 18-year-olds to enlist in our armed forces and fight (and die) in combat, but not trust them enough to vote?

I think that argument also applies to the current effort to increase the age to purchase guns. How can we allow 18-year-olds to join the army, issue them guns and other weapons and then claim they aren’t old enough to own a gun themselves?


Practice what you

preach, Mr. Trump

If President Trump truly believes that personal protection is the appropriate defense against yet another mass shooting, why doesn’t he prove his commitment to the NRA by dismissing his Secret Service detail, buying some 9mm handguns for himself and his family, and then testing their effectiveness against a shooter armed with a perfectly legal AR-15, bump stock and a dozen 100-round magazines?

Hard to believe that our leaders prefer a shootout in the classroom over any other action to reduce gun violence.


Billing fraud should

result in stiff penalty

In the paper, I read about two doctors sentenced for a combined $91 million in Medicare/Medicaid fraud. Their sentences: a mere combined 20 years, with one doctor being sentenced to only three years.

We’re talking about spending billions of bucks on a wall to keep out immigrants who supposedly want to steal our welfare dollars, yet when we actually catch someone committing massive fraud, the judges let them off with slaps on the wrist.

One judge says, “Billing fraud is a serious crime that deserves correspondingly serious punishment.” Agreed, so why did you give this massive thief a full year less than the minimum sentence?

How about a year in jail for every million dollars they stole? Forget the immigrants, let’s get serious about the real crooks.


Baseball remains

true field of dreams

A recent letter to the editor bemoaned the end of the football season for “red-blooded Americans.” For me, it signals the arrival of our national pastime … America’s great constant … baseball, and the true field of dreams.