Letters for August 14, 2003

Guns Again

The past few years, the dark underground scene has been hard to keep afloat. We hope it flourishes once again.



Via the Internet

Bellows: Bravo to New Times for doing such a good job on the story about the film Florida Fights Back that we've been pushing now for months ("Still Steaming," Wyatt Olson, July 24). Investigation is the operative word, if any candidate is going to defeat George Bush -- who is, by the way, most vulnerable. I ran for governor as an independent Democrat last year in Florida against Jeb Bush. With only a $17,000 budget, I got more than 42,000 votes to demand a federal investigation of the stolen election. It's a great starting point for any candidate wanting to defeat Bush in 2004.

Bush, the liar and thief, needs to be exposed. Is there one Democrat running for president who will trust the people and state our case and demand these investigations? This is our effort for the New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina primaries and others as well in confronting the candidates to persuade them to take a stand and make this part of their platforms.

Bob Kunst

Miami Beach

Fly free. Fly away: Eric Barton's July 10 article "Gunning for Profit" suggests that international markets obtain semiautomatic rifles from Florida. This suggestion does not square with the facts.

Fully automatic firearms -- such as the AKM 47 and the PK hand-held light machine gun -- are used all over the world. These fully automatic rifles have a worldwide market presence and are of Soviet design. American arms, on the other hand, have no such worldwide presence. Moreover, other countries besides the United States manufacture and sell semiautomatic versions of rifles. For example, Finland, Russia, and Israel manufacture semi-automatic rifles. These rifles look like fully automatic rifles, but they can fire only in the semiautomatic mode, one shot at a time.

For several years, a United Nations committee has been trying to formulate an international agreement imposing strict controls on the illegal international traffic in firearms and other arms, including the stinger missiles featured in your article. The U.N. knows full well that this illegal traffic exists on a grand scale and that Florida is not and could not possibly be its main source. For all these reasons, international smugglers have no need to purchase stinger missiles or rifles of any kind in Florida -- or anywhere else in the United States, for that matter. They can go to many, many other countries where these weapons are freely available on the black and white markets.

David I. Caplan

Delray Beach

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