Letters for July 27, 2003 | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Letters for July 27, 2003

Can you stay clean in Hollywood? I read Bob Norman's column "Mayor Mintz" (July 17) and would be remiss if I did not respond. First of all, kudos to the writer. I myself have said almost everything that was written in the article.

In 1990, I was Sal Oliveri's campaign manager and treasurer. With the help of hundreds of dissidents, we unseated Mara Giulianti by educating residents on exactly how she imposed her will on every decision in Hollywood. Unfortunately, Oliveri sold out to lobbyists Alan Koslow and Bernie Friedman.

I do hope Mintz can overturn the corruption that exists in Hollywood. However, if you recall, Mara was the one who enticed Mintz to move here and spend money developing downtown. Hollywood incumbents are notorious for placing shills on ballots to dilute the votes and guarantee their re-election. Mintz has very sound ideas regarding Hollywood's infrastructure, and all one has to do is visit the west side of town to see the need for development. Mara and her lackeys have spent millions to improve a downtown area that is like a morgue during both day and night.

I will follow Mintz and his promises, and I hope you do also. If Mintz holds true to his beliefs, I will work like a beaver to see him elected, and I know many others will join in. Keep up the good work, and I hope to see continuing articles.

Jim Stoodley


'Fess up, Eric: I'm writing to lament the vein in which the article "Gunning for Profit" (July 10) was written by Eric Alan Barton. Mr. Barton could have considered a holistic approach to solving the problem of gunrunning but instead elected through subtle and sometimes less-than-subtle jabs to build a case for gun control. Clearly, the writer of this article is for gun control because he makes a point of belittling the NRA and its approach to solving such problems. What Barton labels as "among the nation's most lenient" gun laws others would call "among the nation's least draconian." I reveal here and now that I am pro-gun. I wish this author would do his readers the courtesy of openly doing the same about his political beliefs. Some other points:

1) Terrorists do not, in fact, need the U.S. as a supply of firearms. AK assault rifles (the fully auto ones) are readily available for less than $100 (I've seen figures as low as $10) in the Horn of Africa (which is a hotbed of al Qaeda activity). Why would these terrorists go through the trouble of purchasing guns they would have to convert to full auto and then circuitously ship to the Middle East?

2) I happen to hold a Concealed Weapon or Firearm License from the State of Florida. Taking a gun safety class was a sensible prerequisite for my license. I waited about a month to receive my license. It may be that Mr. Barton misunderstood what he was being told (some really good investigative reporting would have been to sit through the class and see what happened). Or perhaps something illegal or at least irregular is going on. Unless Miami-Dade County is issuing permits or there is an alternate process at work, something fishy is going on. In short, I would like to see a follow-up investigation. As an NRA member, I want that to stop and I want it to stop now. Not five minutes from now.

3) The simplest solution to dealing with the minority of lawbreakers who slink into gun shows is to better fund the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. If people are abusing laws, then they need to go to prison for such abuse, and they ought to stay there for a long time.

Bryant Wade Capley

Miami Springs

The law is the law, right? Deceit and incompetence are ugly words that rarely describe content seen in mass media. It is unfortunate that these same words now describe Eric Alan Barton's article. It was filled with inaccuracies that were either intentional or display an utter failure to verify data. For example, Mr. Barton quotes Doug Thurmond as saying that anyone can "just go take the class," referring to a two-hour concealed-weapons permit class offered at gun shows. "Then you can take home anything you want -- today." This statement is completely false. First of all, the Florida concealed-weapons permit application takes a minimum of one month for the state to complete. It would be illegal for anyone to purchase a weapon and leave with it that same day. Even if the permit were valid at the moment it was applied for, which it is not, a buyer of a handgun would still need to wait till the mandatory federal three-day waiting period lapsed. As Mr. Barton pointed out elsewhere in the article, Broward has a five-day waiting period on all weapon purchases that would also apply.