Letters for July 27, 2003

Who do you trust?

The last example is so glaringly inaccurate that it borders on ridiculous. "Federal law has long protected gun dealers, so much so that ATF agents are forbidden from inspecting gun shops more than once a year." The law gives ATF agents the mechanism to, at any time during business hours, enter and search the premises of any gun dealer who is believed to have violated laws related to the sale of firearms.The one-year regulation refers only to the visits that the ATF makes to verify that dealers are filling in transfer and inventory paperwork properly.

Nick Davitian, Esq.

Attorney and federally licensed law enforcement firearms dealer

Fort Lauderdale

Eric Barton responds: If only we could all be so naive as to believe that gun-show dealers all follow the rules. As for the federal laws on gun store searches, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in Miami tells a story slightly different from Mr. Davitian's, saying the law forbids more than one search a year without evidence that a crime has been committed. We'd take on the rest of the points, but, really, who can argue with the lawyerly ability to stretch the truth to support mass-gun ownership by terrorists?

The Bible tells us so: I really enjoyed reading Bob Norman's column on Margaret Hostetter ("Hangin' with the Church Lady," July 10). Those who cast the first stone! If homosexuality is a sin, so is divorce! A great book on this subject is The Good Book, written by Peter Gomes, a gay black pastor at Harvard University. Homosexuals were not mentioned in the Bible 'til the 1940s. Keep up the good work!

Craig Shireman

Miami Beach

About that vast right-wing conspiracy... : I'd like to thank Bob Norman for writing such a prolific column on Margaret Hostetter. The idea of someone like that existing in this day and age is to me like trying to accept that Neanderthals still walk among us. You were very fair in your representation of her, and I'm glad, because to anyone with any common sense, she appears to be exactly as these people are -- mindless repressed fanatics with no original thoughts of their own or any characteristics that might even make her seem human. I've always thought politicians were just ugly celebrities in polyester.

It's sad when a scorned woman like that can't wake up from her sleep. She's brainwashed to the point of dangerous behavior, and she's being used as a tool by the right in exchange for some small recognition by a group of elite "white" people (if they even exist in this day and age, since everyone I know is mixed with something). The Bushes are the most demonic and backward people to come to power since the discovery of fire, and to me, they're a dictatorship die-nasty -- keeping America ignorant and selling them flags and religion in the country of religious freedom and the First Amendment. Something that I think needs investigation is the notion of Bush Sr. and the CIA. Can you ever "retire" from the CIA and live as a civilian? I highly doubt you can live outside the CIA at all, so what's really going on? You know what they say: If it looks like sh*t and it smells like sh*t, chances are it's sh*t. Thanks for letting me vent.

Mike Bitar

Miami

A conflict in her head: I belong to the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association here in Florida. I just want to congratulate Bob Norman for his article on Margaret Hostetter ("Hangin' with the Church Lady," July 10). It really shows how conflicted a religious person like this "Church Lady" can be with her own beliefs.

Alex Galindo

Miami Beach

Those mysteriously absent condo-buyers: I would not spend much time worrying about 10,000 people moving into the downtown area ("Where the Condos Are," May 8). Fort Lauderdale may be living proof that money, manners, and intelligence don't come in the same package. However, there are not enough of them to fill all of the current development. Seventy percent pre-sold? My guess is its "resellers" who purchase the units at a discount early enough for the developer to get financing. When the condo nears completion, these units are on the market at or near the developer's asking price.

Why would the wealthy want to live here? To listen to Harley-Davidsons roar down Las Olas? To watch people race through red lights as though it's their birth right? To walk by that awful fountain at Andrews and Las Olas with the lights and kitsch music? To wonder if the porn shops have the moxie to create a mall in the likely-to-be-available museum? To have one's ears blown away by the cacophony of competing "music" blared throughout Riverwalk? Or to be amazed always at the infinite number of liquor licenses the city can issue to crappy bars along A1A?

An interesting observation my wife and I have made is the number of new condo units along A1A with absolutely no evidence of life in them. Time and again, we have noticed that there are very few lighted units. Expanding the criteria, we noticed that very few balconies have furniture on them. Then we noticed that they all have the same blinds and no draperies. Being ever so curious, we went down there with binoculars and took a closer look. Nope, no furniture either. Somehow, I don't see people who have sufficient funds to purchase these units being overly energy-conscious or unable to buy porch furniture, unique window treatments, or interior furnishings. It would be interesting to walk through the parking lots under these condos at night -- but I've already reached my conclusion.

I've lived here ten years now and time and time again have seen the first buyer of new homes on the isles take a loss when they sell them. There are fools, but not enough of them to fill the whole place.

Name Withheld by Request

Fort Lauderdale

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