Letters to the editor, April 5
TBO.comA rush to judgment?
Published: April 5, 2012
Published: April 5, 2012
There's all this animosity in the Trayvon Martin case and who's to blame? The black community is up in arms looking for justice pointing fingers at the police. Everyone from the President to members of congress seems to have already made there mind up about the guilt or innocence of everyone involved before there has even been a trial.
I'm not taking sides here but before we have something stupid happen we should get all the facts. The media has a large part in the way this incident was reported and the clamor and discord it has caused.
The use of 6-year-old photos to make the victim look like a child and the old police photo to suggest the shooter was a criminal added fuel to the fire.
The bias way the early reporting portrayed one side of the story and set all the racial wheels turning and most of the black community has made judgment with a deaf ear to any other facts reported by witnesses at the scene.
I'm sure the truth in this tragedy lies somewhere in between rhetoric and the overtones but with the sides being formed due to the hype elevated by media sources and national attention, truth and resolution may be hard to sell to satisfy the masses.
Two things we know for sure a young man is dead and know one has been held accountable this is the travesty Mr. Zimmerman should be in protected custody until this matter is resolved or he is charged with a crime.
The time is running out and some innocent bystander could be harmed before a just end to this is found.
James T. Woods
It wasn't too long ago that my wife and I were in our favorite Chinese restaurant.
We became very friendly with the owners and we are certain that we overheard them say to their children who were eating there, "Now eat all your food and remember, there are starving children in the United States."
Fact or fiction?
When I first read the commentary by Kevin Carson on March 28 from the Center for a Stateless Society my first thought was this was published early since it wasn't April 1 yet. But checking does reveal such an organization and it amazes me that they are advocating what is essentially anarchy.
I can only wonder if Mr. Carson has ever lived in a "stateless society?" I have, for short periods of time been able to view first had the results of a society which has no central government, or any government for that matter, specifically my trip to the "stateless paradise" known as Somalia.
In 1992 I had the opportunity to see first hand what a country is like with no police force, no telephones, no water, no sewage, no mail, and groups of armed thugs running rampant deciding who eats and who doesn't.
That was in 1992 and people then could actually remember the last government they had in 1989, I suspect today that even those memories are dimmed. Is that what Mr. Carson wants?
I hope not, for it isn't a pleasant sight having to pass bodies on the street of those who weren't deemed worthy of food by the local warlord. Variations on the stateless society have been tried and all have failed.
The late, missed by few, Soviet Union is but one example. Conceived as a "workers paradise," everyone addressed as comrade to assure equality in status.
"From each according to his ability to each according to his needs." Sounds good and pretty much describes Mr. Carson's idea of how the world should look and act.
But somewhere along the way it went off the tracks, the party elite became the oppressors of the workers, and the workers paradise joined other failed experiments on the ash heap of history in the 90's.
I don't believe for one minute that our current system is without faults, but on the whole it has worked pretty well, and the faith I have in the American people has always been well placed. It is easy for people to condemn the present leaders and government officials, but when pressed they can't offer workable alternatives.
So Mr. Carson in your search for your perfect stateless society look no further than our ancestors the cave men and women, there was your perfect stateless society.
Harry E. Chamberlain
Preventing overdose deaths
One of the most sensible bills passed by the Florida Legislature during the 2012 session is awaiting Gov. Scott's signature. The 911 Good Samaritan Act protects people who seek or obtain medical assistance during a drug-related overdose from prosecution for simple drug possession. Research shows that when someone in America overdoses, a call for help occurs less than 50 percent of the time and fear of police involvement is the most common reason for not calling 911. This legislation will help prevent unnecessary deaths by making sure that people — even those who possess a controlled substance — call 911 without hesitation during an emergency.
Research shows that students who are aware that a Good Samaritan policy is in effect are 2.5 times more likely than students who expect to face punishment to call for help when witnessing an overdose. Furthermore, a study of over 350 opiate users found that 88 percent were more likely to call 911 during future overdoses after they became aware of the Good Samaritan law in Washington State.
The 911 Good Samaritan Act earned unanimous, bipartisan support in all committees and on the floor of the Senate and near unanimous support in the House. It has the support of the Police Benevolent Association, the Florida Sheriffs Association, and the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association.
Please visit ssdp.org/florida to send an email to Gov. Scott or call him at (850) 488-7146 urging him to sign the 911 Good Samaritan Act (SB 278).
President of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at Florida State University