The shooting death of Trayvon Martin has drawn national attention to reckless "stand your ground" laws, the next steps in an expanding gun culture that began with concealed-carry laws ("Time for answers," editorial, March 22). This was a tragedy waiting to happen.
These laws, aggressively supported by the National Rifle Association, not only encourage gun-toting vigilantism by police wannabes, they also allow people to use deadly force simply by claiming they feel threatened. These shoot-first laws give private citizens more leeway in the use of deadly force than we allow on-duty police officers.
Interpretation of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms is increasingly extreme and irrational. It's time to demand the repeal of dangerous "license to kill" laws that have spread across America.
This isn't the Wild West, and frontier justice isn't the law of the land.
Blame people, not items, for troubles
People are too quick to blame inanimate objects for the actions of individuals. Mothers Against Drunk Driving places the blame where it belongs: on drunken drivers, not on the automobile. Gun incidents should be blamed on the person, not the gun.
Many of these incidents are related to stress. Much of the solution rests on the teaching of morality and how to relieve stress. Schools no longer teach Christian morality and patriotism. This has opened a Pandora's box of asocial chaos.
Editor's Note: The letter writer is a retired clergyman from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Abortion column called revolting
I found Nicholas Kristof's March 8 op-ed column, "States lead assault on women's reproductive rights," revolting.
A doctor should be ashamed to use his or her valuable skills to kill unwanted children. To make abortion more palatable, people use euphemisms such as "reproductive health."
A baby is not a disease. A baby is a human being. We all started small.
I believe that many a frightened young woman, if she stopped to realize what abortion is, would prefer to give up her child for adoption.
Care for seniors doesn't need fixed
As a senior caregiver, I am concerned about the plan John McCarthy, Ohio's Medicaid director, put forth in his March 18 op-ed column, "Better care for less money from Ohio's Medicare, Medicaid."
This plan would transform the way most needy and frail seniors receive health care. The concept of better coordination sounds good on the surface, but the plan to take responsibility for in-home care away from organizations that know the best way to administer it -- the Ohio Area Offices on Aging -- is not well thought out.
People should get the best service in the most cost-efficient way. Gov. John Kasich wants to give this responsibility to private insurance companies rather than these tested and proven seniors organizations.
Seniors should tell the governor this move is wrong.
Compensation for Fort Hood killings?
After reading your March 26 article "U.S. pays families of GI's victims; $50,000 given for slain, $11,000 for each injured," about the soldier who was charged in the fatal shootings of 17 Afghan villagers, I wondered how much the relatives of the 13 people massacred in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, by a U.S. Army major were paid.
Smiling photo wrongly used
The case of the 17 alleged shootings by a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan is tragic. It is unconscionable that The Blade would include a smiling photo of the accused with the article that listed the murder charges against him ("U.S. formally charges soldier with murder; 17 counts filed for rampage in Afghanistan," March 24).
Bell applauded for difficult choices
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell was elected because he does not subscribe to the philosophy of "this is the way we have always done it" ("Development initiatives on collision path; community leaders question Bell priorities," March 25).
Mr. Bell has the courage to do what is right even if it is difficult. His ability to balance the budget even though it probably cost him union backing, among other support, is a credit to his honesty and commitment to the city he loves.
Terry Glazer, executive director of United North, seems to relate only to his neighborhood organization and cannot see the big picture.
I applaud Mayor Bell's efforts at development, and wish him luck dealing with all the negative people who don't really want change.
Where's Bell when city needs him?
Where has Mayor Bell been? Does the violence in our city have to affect someone close to him before he steps up to do something ("Shootings soared over 70% in 2011; Trend in Toledo up again for 2012," March 28)?
It seems we only hear from him when it's convenient. Toledo has become a cesspool and is getting worse.
Why should law-abiding, hard-working taxpayers suffer because of his apparent lack of responsibility and pride in keeping Toledo on the right path?
What kind of message are we sending to our new neighbors who purchased The Docks?
Deputy mayor fails to impress
Toledo Deputy Mayor Tom Crothers says: "We're all busy here. We have a lot on our plates" ("City of Toledo owes $700,000 in back tax incentives," March 22).
Mr. Crothers says Mayor Bell's administration is waiting for the state to approve its portion of a municipal job creation tax credit before the city can act. The state Department of Development's spokesman said Mr. Crothers' assertion didn't make sense.
Keep an eye on potential investors
Kudos to The Blade for your update on the Chinese investors who have acquired The Docks and the Marina District ("Soil work starts at Marina District; Federal grant used for private site," March 19). The more taxpayers know about out-of-town investors, the better.
I suggest you take a hard look at any developers who are interested in the Fiberglass Tower and the Spitzer and Berdan buildings. Such deals could leave taxpayers on the hook, as in the case of other past partnerships such as the former Commodore Perry, Hillcrest, and Secor hotels.
Because city officials obviously do insufficient due diligence, I hope The Blade will step in and protect taxpayers.
Solutions offered to feline problems
In response to the writer of the March 20 Readers' Forum letter about cats running loose in Toledo, several things can rectify the problem ("Cats need to be herded").
If the problem is stray cats, the easiest solution is for neighborhoods to institute a trap, neuter, and release program. This program has been successful in humanely dealing with stray populations all over the country.
If the problem is neighbors allowing their cats to wander outdoors, the writer could let his neighbors know what their pets are up to when they're outside. Cats live substantially longer lives when they're kept indoors.
If the problem is merely that the letter writer doesn't like cats, he could try spreading mothballs around his garden. Cats don't like the smell.