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Letters to the editor

Highlands Today Highlands Today
Published:   |   Updated: March 12, 2013 at 05:18 PM

Gun safety

Mr. Alviano's letter in Highlands Today on Feb. 7 contains a wealth of misinformation, innuendos, assumptions and plain untrue statements.

Let me begin at the end of his letter. In regard to not always having to lock a loaded firearm in a box/safe or else have a trigger lock, Jim Vokes, of Avon Park, is absolutely correct.

I invite all readers to read Chapter 709 of the Florida Statute regarding weapons and firearms, especially 790.174(1), which states in part: "A person who stores or leaves, on premises under his or her control, a loaded firearm … and who knows or reasonably should know that a minor is likely to gain access to the firearm without the lawful permission of the minor's parents or the person having charge of the minor, or without the supervision required by law, shall keep the firearm in a securely locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure or shall secure it with a trigger lock, except when the person is carrying the firearm on his or her body or within such close proximity thereto (like on a nightstand by the bed) that he or she can retrieve and use it as easily and quickly as if he or she carried it on his or her body."

Thus, it is apparent that a loaded firearm does not always have to be locked or secured with a trigger guard.

Chapter 790(2) provides that failure to follows 790(1) is a misdemeanor of the second degree (not a felony) and then, only if the minor possesses or exhibits it (a) in a public place; or (b) in a rude, careless or threatening manner in violation of s. 790.10.

Therefore, one could violate 790(1) and still legally own a gun.

As I write this on Feb. 7, all law enforcement in California, Nevada and other western states are searching for an ex-LAPD police officer who I'm certain was pronounced "mentally sound" as he "served and protected" the people of Los Angeles before murdering his victims.

It has been estimated that 52 million households own 260 million guns in the U.S. Therefore, Mr. Alviano would have somewhere between 52 and 260 million psychiatric evaluations per year, and then? Who would pay for these? Who would decide if a person's gun would be taken away?

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Some may suffer from PTSD, child abuse, abuse of prescribed drugs, street drugs or other disorders and some people are just evil.

One thing a burglar will not be pleased to see is the barrel of dad's loaded gun pointed at his face.

Jerry O. Stephens


Boy Scouts

Regarding the Feb. 12 San Francisco Chronicles editorial on Boy Scout Policy, our country needs to stay with high standards that promote proper behavior!

Yesterday, I happened to read Leviticus, chapter 18. God gave Moses commandments for behavior. Verse 22 is very clear on improper homosexual behavior. Our own head of our country, the president, stuck his nose in to encourage the lowering of proper standards of the Boy Scouts. That is the man who canceled National Day of Prayer and in a few days thereafter, invited the Muslims into the White House for their purpose.

America needs to remember the standards upon which we were founded successfully.

Those persons my age remember that the junior history books quoted General Washington saying, "America should not have been able to defeat England. God helped us."

God promises to care for a country that follows His commandments. We have made him illegal as we take those good rules for behavior out of the schools and society. Look at the shootings and theft we have daily!

This is written by a 10-year coach and 29-year public school principal, not a preacher. I am surprised how many persons have encouraged me to write this letter. Boy Scouts, hold up your standards.

Maury Strycker