Sad to lose Vindman, hero, impeachment witness


It is with anger and sadness that I call attention to President Donald Trump's reported attempt at revenge against Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified at an impeachment hearing against the president.


Vindman was on the current list to be promoted to full colonel. Trump tried to deny him the promotion, according to reports.


Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, a severely wounded military helicopter pilot, tried to fight Trump's revenge tactic.


As of this writing I understand Vindman is retiring from the military. He is a loyal, brave, honorable man. He has served his country heroically and is too valuable to lose to a petty tyrant.


Mary Bauer, Sarasota


In death of young boy, gun owner responsible


A brief in the Herald-Tribune on July 6 reported the sad death of a 7-year-old boy who was shot in the head in his home in Fort Lauderdale last week. Two other children were in the room at the time the gun went off.


The police are still investigating who pulled the trigger, according to the story. What difference does it make who pulled the trigger?


The gun owner is responsible for having a loaded gun easily available to anybody. This tragic death was preventable if the gun had been locked and/or stored properly.


The gun owner may have kept the gun available and loaded for protection, all within his or her rights. However, loaded, easily accessible guns are indiscriminate. They kill children as well as dangerous enemies.


Child car safety seats are required to protect children from accidental deaths in vehicles. Why don’t we have gun laws to protect children from accidental deaths by gunfire?


I’m a grandfather of four kids under age 8. Reading about the gun deaths of children makes me cringe and ache for the parents and grandparents of the kids killed.


Please ask our elected officials to pass gun safety laws.


Bob Volpe, Sarasota


County fails to recognize emergency, take action


There are several shameful aspects about the Sarasota County Commission’s abdication of leadership on protecting the public from the coronavirus.


First, of course, is the eagerness to come to a position in line with national and state political party leaders about requiring mask wear.


There is such a thing as making a stand and sending a message that protecting the health of citizens is everyone's responsibility and is expected.


The second is the lack of will toward enforcement. You do not have to throw people in jail to tell them to do what is right. Having an ordinance gives support to businesses and takes them out of the middle. It also increases the shame effect, if needed.


We are in an emergency. Commissioner Christian Ziegler can cruise the city streets to his heart's content. What he sees and what should be done are two different things.


Commissioner Charles Hines can find comparisons with noncomparable jurisdictions. All kinds of ways can be found not to do what is correct.


This is a terrible dereliction of responsibility. I am tremendously disappointed in several of the commissioners I have worked with, liked and respected.


Commissioners, you have chosen not to cross the Rubicon.


Terry Gans, Longboat Key


The deadly consequences of Manatee mask stance


Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh is just one example of an elected official who acts as if her opposition to mask wearing is a matter of personal privilege. She and others like her are dead wrong.


By now it is well documented by public health researchers and clinicians that face covering is an effective tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


After all, every epidemic begins with a single disease carrier who inadvertently infects numerous others: a passenger on a flight, a cheering activist at a political rally, a business owner serving customers. Without masks, those they infect pass it to countless others.


COVID-19 is especially insidious because it is infectious even when there are no symptoms.


To every elected official who proclaims opposition to face masks, I encourage you to reconsider. Yours is not merely a personal choice; it is self-serving defiance that can have serious and even deadly consequences.


Kathy Gurvey, Lakewood Ranch


Unstable president holds our lives in his hands


Doesn't it scare you that the man who tweeted a video of the Villages’ resident yelling "White Power" — and then deleted it, saying he didn't notice what the man said, it was all a mistake — has access to all the nuclear launch codes and could start a war that could destroy the entire world?


It does me.


Felton Marans, Lakewood Ranch


Uplifting news about volunteers, ventilators


Too bad the article "Czech volunteers develop ventilator" did not appear on the front page of the July 7 edition.


We could use some uplifting news in today's headlines.


Toni Yahres, Venice