Guns, border control and your American civics IQ: Letters, July 10, 2022

Gun Rights

What’s your American civics IQ?

This is a good time to catch up on basic American civics.

Do you vote? Can you name your representatives? Do you know what district you are in? 

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Do you know how laws are created? Can you name the Supreme Court justices? Can you name the three branches of  government? 

This a good time to learn the terms perjury and precedence, among others. 

Do you know your rights and do you know how you can lose those rights?  Do you really know what our Founding Fathers wanted (no Jesus was not one of them)? Who are you leaving decisions up to?

This is a good time to educate yourself and create an intelligent, well-thought-out opinion. Not someone else’s opinion from Facebook, Instagram or TV — but your opinion ,from objective research. 

This is important, folks. We are Americans — I love America and I want to see it survive in all its democratic forms, all its liberties and all its intricacies.  Let freedom ring — get educated.

Laura Petruska, Melbourne

Indoctrination and hypocrisy

In regard to the new “civics plan” initiated by Gov. DeSantis, as reported in FLORIDA TODAY, the teachers who undertook the training are complaining that it is “ideologically driven.”

Considering all the oft-reported, ideologically driven, progressive indoctrination occurring from elementary schools to colleges, it’s obvious that the teachers also need to be trained to understand the definition of the word “hypocrite.”

William Alford, Melbourne Beach

Burkes’ message on guns is spot-on

I am writing to compliment columnist Norris Burkes’ message in the July 2 edition, titled, “Who is truly innocent in Texas attack?” He expressed his thoughts about the horrendous Uvalde tragedy. Although I am not a religious person I thought his questions were indeed “big boy questions — spiritual questions,” to use his words.

One question that he posed was this: “Am I part of the problem if I vote for the candidate who’s posing with her guns?” Excellent question. My response to this question is a resounding yes.

We should examine our own hearts, and then, as he suggested, write to our senators and representatives with our ideas and comments. How can we bring an end to the gun violence that is sweeping our nation?

I was touched that that he “confessed his sin of being silent to gun violence.” Mr. Burkes does indeed practice what he preaches, an admirable trait. Not only did he share the contents of the letter he wrote, but he also shared with his readers where they in turn could write.

We must all use our voices just as Mr. Burkes did.

Linda Lopardo, Titusville

More: Norris Burkes: Consider the rights of others before demanding your own | On Spirituality

Florida and Brevard ‘are doing great’

As we approach the midterm elections, political parties are ramping up their campaigns to attract voters during a massive blue to red shift. 

Most of the problems in our urban areas are the result of the failed Democratic policies which lead to poverty, misery, crime, violence and, ultimately hopelessness. 

Florida and Brevard County are premier destinations and are doing great. Brevard’s political move from blue to red years ago wasn’t due to slick promotions, it was due to superior policies. Any salesman will tell you that millions of promotional dollars won’t help you sell a dessert if it tastes like cow pies. Democrats need to change their recipe if they hope to win future elections.

The far left policies embraced by the AOC/Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party doesn’t fit with Florida or Brevard.

We need two viable political parties to engage in intellectual debate to obtain the best for the country. Unfortunately the current Democratic Party doesn’t cut it. 

 Jack Ward, Melbourne

We shouldn’t have to live this way

Excuse my language, but here’s what really sucks.

It’s a beautiful holiday in a small beach town’s riverside park. It’s semi-cloudy, the onshore breeze is cooling. The local volunteer fire department, with whom I used to work, is sponsoring a BBQ fundraiser. It’s nice to see people we haven’t seen in a few years. Local residents gather under shade trees, in chairs, at picnic tables, on blankets on the ground. Children are everywhere.

My wife and I claim a spot under a tree.

You know what sucks? Our first conversation: If an active shooter comes, what is our plan? Where should we run to, where is a safe place to hide, where do we meet if we are separated? Not what a nice day it is; how nice it is to be out and about.

As I’m a cancer survivor with immune issues, we don’t get out as much as we used to. What really sucks is this isn’t the only time we have this conversation. It’s at grocery stores, restaurants, almost everywhere we go.

What really sucks is why this is so hard to change.

What really sucks is why can’t we get rid of the implement that causes this: the assault-style rifle, nothing but a human killing machine.

You can keep your deer rifle, shotguns and pistols. No one is coming for the hallowed Second Amendment. That will never happen. You know that.

That’s what really sucks. You know that, but you just won’t get rid of those assault-style weapons.

It’s a weapon of war. If you aren’t in the military, you do not need one.

Jay Post, Indialantic

More: March for Our Lives in West Melbourne

Time for stricter gun laws is now

Another mass shooting, this time ironically at a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing 7 and wounding dozens of others.

This has got to stop.

I’m tired of the NRA mantra, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” Absurd and irrational. When has a gun ever started shooting people on its own, not in someone’s hands?

Enough if enough, gun laws in the U.S. are incredibly one-sided in favor of the NRA, big business designed to sell firearms. As long as Republican politicians are indebted to the National Republican Advocacy, aka the NRA, these mass killings will continue and more innocent lives will be taken.

DeSantis wants to arm every citizen, returning to the old west, perhaps with six-shooters on peoples’ hips and gunfights at high noon. Republicans cite the 2nd Amendment as carte blanche for the right to bear arms, but unless gun purchasers are forming a militia it’s a misinterpretation of our forefathers’ intentions. When the Constitution was written, the authors couldn’t have imagined the weaponry of today.

No other nation suffers the frequent indiscriminate mass shooting taking place in this country. Time for legislators to stand up against the NRA and enact common sense laws.

Gregory W. Hewitt, Melbourne

Border status causes concern

After visiting with friends living in Texas near the southern border, I want to ask you to call on elected officials to control our border. 

Please call or write the White House at 202-456-1414 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Thursday; Sen. Marco Rubio, 202-224-3041; Sen. Rick Scott, 202-224-5274; Rep. Bill Posey, 202-225-3671; and Gov. Ron DeSantis, 850-717-9337. We should expect them to guarantee that our borders are guarded and closed to anyone crossing illegally. We pay ICE, the FBI and Border Patrol to deal with this. When you call, insist that they tell you what they are doing to stop people from entering illegally.

Open borders could destroy our country. Title 42 is supposed to stop people from entering illegally. It doesn’t. We need armed guards: American military protect other countries’ borders.

Alice Kreitz, Melbourne 

College grads could erase their debt

While we seem to have a generation of people who think that they should be able to get what they want but make someone else pay for it, here are some statistics I found online:

Average student debt: $38,000.

2021 median income of high school graduate: $30,000. 

2021 median income of college graduate with bachelor’s degree: $52,000.  

While there can be a lot of difference between high and low for both debt and income difference, what this suggests is that there is probably a $22,000 per year difference in what a college graduate makes over a high school graduate.

So if the college graduate would take that “extra” income for just two years, they would have paid off their college debt, and be making $22,000 or more, each year, more than the high school graduate.

The problem isn’t lack of money for the college grad, but lack of personal responsibility and respect for others.

Do we really want to encourage that?   

Ilene Davis, Cocoa

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