Letters from Ocala to the editor for May 2, 2021

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An epidemic of gun violence

In the first 106 days of 2021, 147 mass shootings took place in the United States. These innocent people were kidnapped while they were going about their normal daily lives.

There have been shootings in Orange County, California; Atlanta; Boulder, Colorado .; and Indianapolis. It could happen tomorrow, anywhere in the United States

Every time there is a mass shooting the Liberals propose gun control, the moment passes and the proposal goes nowhere. Everyone agrees to deny access to guns to the mentally ill. Let’s start with the universal background check and the requirement that all police firearms records be shared nationally. This would have arrested the FedEx shooter had he been reported to a national database.

I support the renewal of the ban on assault weapons. No civilian needs to own a weapon with a magazine containing several cartridges. These guns are not used for hunting, are not necessary for personal protection, and are not essential to a gun collection. The government should offer to “buy back” assault weapons.

I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s as a “cowgirl” of the John Wayne era. I had a holster and two toy handguns. I played “cowboys and indians” with my younger brother and the neighborhood kids. It was the time I was living. In the early 1960s, my favorite uncle was killed in a heist in his store and the issue of real guns became a very personal one for me.

We are experiencing an epidemic of gun violence in this country that is out of control. We have to do something, and we have to do it now!

Elizabeth Brody, Ocala

Attack on Democracy

Recruiting or running as a third party (“ghost” or “ghost”) candidate to deliberately influence the election is not illegal in Florida, but paying someone to run is. These bogus candidates are recruited by black money groups, shady campaign managers / consultants, other political operatives and wealthy individuals.

These fictitious candidates run as NPAs, hijacking the votes of legitimate candidates in order to control election results. And they do! It happens more frequently. One of the main drivers is dark money funded by secret donors.

Thanks to Citizens United, groups and the wealthy can spend hundreds of millions without disclosing their funding sources. It is almost impossible to know who pays candidates to run and who funds their election expenses.

We need to have strong campaign finance laws to stop this atrocious attack on our democracy and to combat the influence of big money in politics. These laws should include full disclosure of election money, the limits and sources of political contributions, and public campaign funding for all candidates for local and state office.

Public funding is as much about racial justice as it is economic. This would empower communities of color by increasing the strength of small contributions and diverting influence from large donors. It would also provide essential financial support for those who often feel they cannot afford to show up.

Strict state reporting requirements and strict enforcement have been shown to reduce black money. Please contact your Florida congressmen and tell them to strengthen our campaign finance laws!

K. Heid, Ocala

Social distancing

Being an old white man, I remember the original social distancing and it was not 6 feet or 3 feet. It was out of sight and out of mind and was called “segregation”. It was bad back then. So why is it still advisable to be separated, even after my billion dollar COVID vaccine and wearing a mask? Where’s the science?

Jerry Rodehaver, Dunnellon



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