League supports gun safety measures

The gun-related massacres in El Paso and Dayton are cries for immediate action. The League of Women Voters Sarasota County strongly agrees with recent Herald-Tribune editorials on gun-safety measures that must be made law. The League:

1. Supports a ban on all semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines. We support Ban Assault Weapons Now, a proposed amendment to Florida’s Constitution.

2. Supports comprehensive universal background checks.

3. Opposes any legislation that would expand the right to carry a concealed weapon.

4. Supports retrieval of firearms from anyone with restraining or protective orders and/or convictions regarding stalking or domestic violence.

The League also agrees that none of these proposals will solve all gun-safety related issues. But, as the Herald-Tribune has written, when you’re in a hole that’s already too deep, you should stop digging.

Common-sense legislation that protects the lives of innocent citizens must be passed at the federal and state levels.

We the voters must loudly demand that our legislators keep us safe. If they don’t listen, we the voters must use the power of the ballot box to tell them for us.

Carol Hartz, League of Women Voters Sarasota County president and gun safety chair

Take war weapons out of civilians’ hands

I say to my fellow Republicans, it is time for the rhetoric to stop and action to be taken regarding our gun laws. There is no place in our society for military-style weapons, capable of being altered for large capacity magazines, to be in the hands of the civilian population.

Their only purpose is to kill more efficiently.

I was sent to Korea in 1951 with an M1 rifle that had an eight-round clip that required you to pull the trigger after each firing.

When the war took on a similarity to World War I, with each side in set positions, those weapons were replaced with M2 carbines that had a 30-round magazine and could be fired like a machine gun.

Why? Because when massive attacks came, the M2 had the ability to kill more people more quickly.

The ability to kill more people, more quickly, will remain so long as those weapons stay in our society.

Robert Kruse, Sarasota

Call gunmen what they are: hate-mongers

The horrible series of mass shootings in El Paso and elsewhere has resulted in the media describing some shooters as "white nationalists” or "white supremacists."

The problem with those labels is that they are also being spun by their followers as being legitimate organizations, instead of domestic terrorists.

I suggest calling them "white hate-mongers” — which more accurately describes them.

Another advantage to that designation would be that some unsuspecting supporters, who now follow the nationalists and supremacists, would probably be reluctant to admit to being a hate-monger.

Incidentally, that suggested title is more likely to be shunned by President Donald Trump. The country could easily keep referring to him that way and could possibly affect people's opinion of him.

Elliot L. Aronin, Sarasota

For guilty party, look in the mirror

What happened? How did we arrive at this place in time with such little respect and so much hate for one another?

Have you ever in your life seen such vitriol and distrust strewn about by so many? Who’s doing this to us? If your answer starts with “he” or “she,” you could be part of the problem.

Contrary to popular belief there is no one person to blame. It’s not Don or Chuck, nor is it Nancy or Mitch. It is you and me.

We seem to have become numb with ready acceptance for this dark cloud hovering over our country. And it will only get darker as the 2020 election nears.

If we don’t demand civility from those who attempt to divide us and wreak their hostile rhetoric upon us, then that cloud will engulf us.

We can overcome this and, yes, it will take more than one village. Civil and intelligent citizens need to come together, or pick a terrible ending.

Robert Hillier, Sarasota

Calling Steube, getting runaround

On Aug. 8, I called U.S. Rep. Greg Steube’s Venice office to ask two simple questions: When is his next town hall scheduled and how did he vote on House Resolution 8, requiring a background check on every firearm sale?

His staff wouldn’t answer either question and referred me to his Washington office. I had to talk to three different people before someone told me that Steube voted no on H.R. 8.

As far as where his next event would be, the staffer said he couldn’t tell me because of security concerns. It seems Steube is more concerned about his safety than ours.

As one of Steube’s constituents, I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops for simple answers to simple questions.

Joseph Popp, Venice