Letters to the editor

Showing compassion

The old cliché "a picture is worth 1,000 words" would not apply to the recent photograph in this paper of Highlands County Sheriff Susan Benton hugging the distraught wife of a mentally ill man killed by a sheriff's deputy.

The man had sprayed houses in Sebring with one of his assault rifles and seemed intent on mass murder of his neighborhood.

The cliché might apply if it read "one million words." There is so much more to read into this story.

First, the photograph shows how lucky we are to have Sheriff Benton who can train professionals to protect the public and then show compassion to the innocent surviving spouse of a would-be mass killer.

This case will not make the national news because mass killings were prevented, but it is the same old story of the lack of political will to prevent the mentally ill from easy access to guns. The shooter is reported to have a long history of mental illness and thanks to the NRA lobby, we still lack the laws about gun show sales and tougher background checks. The NRA will claim that the police need to enforce existing laws.

What laws are not enforced? The Florida laws where the discharge of a firearm in a residential backyard is legal?

If anyone is to blame here, it is Florida voters. This voter is going to send a message to people I helped elect and let them know that they will not have my future support if they take money from the NRA.

James Upchurch


Oppose bill

"Whiskey and milk to share an aisle," read the headline.

A bill before the Legislature would allow supermarkets to sell hard liquor.

I was stunned. If you are disgusted at this proposed law, contact your legislators and let them know your feelings.

Let them know you oppose House Bill 877.

Robert Hummel


Presidential library

With six years into his term, the president is probably thinking of where he wants his presidential library located. Now, the custom has been of late that the retired president's library be located in his home state. Reagan's and Nixon's in California, both the Bushes' in Texas, Truman's in Missouri and Clinton's in Arkansas.

Now the president claims to be from Hawaii, though, as of date, I have not heard or seen anyone come forward who knew him in Hawaii, and it took Donald Trump 2 1/2 years for Obama to produce a birth certificate saying he was born in Hawaii.

But I digress. Moving on to the problem at hand, where to build the library?

Presidents by their very nature are an outgoing type and want their constituents to visit their libraries.

Now, according to Obama, the only people in the country with money are Republicans. He, apparently, has not heard of Bill Gates or George Soros and half of Hollywood - all die-hard Democrats and very wealthy - so it is assumed Republicans would be the only ones wealthy enough to make the trip first to the West Coast and then the 2,500-mile flight to Hawaii.

Now, considering the present atmosphere in this country, how many Republicans do you think are going to make the trip? Zilch, zero and nada.

My suggestion for some better locations would be Chicago, Detroit, southeast Washington D.C., and other areas where the supposed poor and destitute constituents, that is Democrats, live.

If he did that, the people would probably have enough bus fare to get to the library, or if not, I'm sure another subsidy could be arranged along with another free phone so they could call each other and make it a group outing.

No matter where the library is built, I'm sure it will cost an absolute fortune and possibly equal the amount of tax money spent so far for Michelle Obama's vacations.

Hal Graves