Why pay to redistrict when county has real needs?

Redistricting is a serious, complicated process. Drawing new boundaries — taking into account a myriad of geographical, demographic and, yes, political considerations — requires much longer than one to two months! And, Sarasota County's population numbers have not changed that much.

Entrenched incumbents on the County Commission (Nancy Detert, Charles Hines, Alan Maio and Mike Moran) and their financial backers are attempting to stack the deck and rig the 2020 election by gerrymandering commission districts.

There is a census in 2020, funded by the federal government and not coming out of county coffers (to the tune of $50,000 so far).

Wouldn't you rather be able to swim in our Gulf every day instead of having to check to see which beaches are closed to swimming because of algae and sewage runoff from antiquated infrastructure? I know I would. Thirty-eight percent of our population struggles to make ends meet.

And our taxes are going to this fiasco?

Susette Bryan, Venice

Only action, not prayers, can stop mass shootings

Once again, we open the paper to read about a young man killing multiple people and wounding many more. This time it was in Odessa, Texas.

No motive is given and we may never know what it was, since the gunman, as in many of these cases, was stopped by being killed himself.

But once again, we hear “thoughts and prayers.” The mayor of Odessa even said, “In a situation like this, prayer is the most important thing.”

No. Action is the only thing that will prevent this from happening again.

After the two mass shootings in early August, many hoped there would be action. There were even calls for Congress to return from its summer break to enact sensible legislation to prevent further carnage: universal background checks, banning high-capacity magazines, and maybe beginning to talk about reinstating the assault weapons ban. No such luck.

So, my message to every member of Congress now is this: Until such time as you act, the blood of every victim of gun violence is on your hands. You know what needs to be done. Have the courage to do it.

Jenni Casale, Palmetto

Assault-weapons ban won't stop most killings

Regarding the proposed state constitutional amendment proposed to ban assault weapons in Florida:

The wording of the bill includes many more weapons than just “assault rifles.” Plus, AR-type weapons can be very expensive. Will people be reimbursed for their loss?

What you would be doing is passing a law making a large segment of the population criminals if they don't comply. Prohibition was a good example of how well that works.

On top of that, the FBI crime statistics for 2017, which include the horrible shooting in Las Vegas, show 407 people were known to be killed with rifles of all kinds, including assault rifles. Seven thousand were killed with handguns and 4,000 by other weapons.

Americans expect to be able to protect themselves. While the police do a great job, if someone is breaking into your house, calling 911 might not save you.

Two years ago, we went a week without power, and phone and cell service was spotty. What do you do to protect yourself in a situation like that?

Disarming the public is not the answer in my view.

John H. Lester, Sarasota

Don't impeach Trump: Defeat him in election

A recent letter writer wrote a scathing, highly fired-up letter demanding that President Trump be impeached.

The contents of the letter were politically motivated and totally ignored the reality of any attempts at impeachment.

First, impeachment requires that “high crimes and misdemeanors” have been committed. Where are the facts, the actual evidence, that show either of these apply to President Trump?

Sure, there are 10 possible cases of obstruction. But the special counsel, under Department of Justice rules, cannot charge a sitting president, nor could he reach a conclusion of guilt.

The letter writer went on to question the president's mental ability and his words and actions that are often conflicted.

But the American people do not by any majority want an impeachment, nor does the majority of House Democrats. Nor will the Senate majority leader allow a case to even be heard before the Senate.

If you want to remove President Trump from office, do it on Election Day, 2020.

Rich Unger, Sarasota

After the hurricanes, donate excess food

A lady learned from a Publix employee that people return food they didn't use (including bottled water) following hurricanes.

Please understand that perishable items have to be tossed out!

Donate that food and water to local shelters and food banks. It is immoral to let that food go to waste.

Do not return unused food to the grocery stores!

Jane Pettit, Osprey