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Palm Coast Thursday, Apr. 19, 2018 1 year ago

Readers speak on Second Amendment, school safety, dress code, bikers

Here's what your neighbors are talking about.

The Second Amendment is outmoded

Dear Editor:

I, like everybody else, am in favor of increased security for children especially after the all too often carnage that has played out in American schools across this country.  However, the solution to gun violence has never been and never will be, more guns. 

In these United States, we have the dubious distinction of having by far the most gun violence of any developed country and will continue to do so as long as the Second Amendment remains law. Recently, the outrage over the killing of our children in schools has resulted in new initiatives where schools are now required to have armed security, but it won't stop there. 

Violence occurs all over America, in schools, places of worship, places of employment, in our homes, our streets, etc., etc. Does it end with armed security everywhere or when every person carries a firearm? Guess who pays for all the added layers of security to fight guns with more guns? We do! 

There is a direct link between the right and availability of guns and gun violence: The two go hand in hand. The Second Amendment is an outmoded right which currently gives every citizen the right to acquire and own guns, and if they want an arsenal, including military style assault weapons designed to kill and maim a maximum number of persons in as short a time as possible. 

I know that Americans want their guns, but does it really make us safe? Or does it simply set us up for continued gun violence in a never ending cycle? In a civil society, gun violence should be the exception, not the norm. We have tried gun ownership, and the consequences have been lethal. It's time for another approach.  

Jose Vasquez

Palm Coast

Dress code doesn't make school safer

Dear Editor:

As you know, the Parkland shooting revived longstanding concerns over school safety and other measures. I am writing in an attempt to end the false debate that a dress code is a viable security measure.

Attire and school security are in no way related. At best, it is a well-intentioned provision to mandate a minimum degree of professionalism. At worst, it bars students from wearing whatever attire (within reason) that he or she feels best in while learning.

Detractors of a looser dress code are so quick to repeat ad nauseum that a dress code allows suspicious individuals to be conspicuous and thus apprehended — but this is a romantic idealization. Instead, a better policy would be to encourage everybody in and out of the school to report suspicious behavior. If that was the case in Parkland, perhaps the attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School would have been averted.

School safety truly lies with the security staff, school resource officers, surveillance and communication, the vigilance of students and faculty alike, and last resort procedures (i.e. the code system).

So, what I propose is a modest tweaking of the current rules of the dress code to allow no-collared shirts, athletic attire (e.g. Dri-FIT shirts), and sweatpants on all school days. Current rules restricting shorts length, body exposure, gang references, and drugs or alcohol paraphernalia will remain.

In essence, the dress code would be streamlined, entrusting more discretion with the students. As for those who would attempt to exploit the code, there would be disciplinary measures. And now since the dress code would encompass the overwhelming majority of one’s typical wardrobe, it becomes much less of an issue that school officials would encounter.

This would be a win for students, and a win for faculty who have became de facto policemen of the dress code, which diverts their time away from higher priorities such as teaching. It is well overdue for this paradigm to be shifted.

Nicholas A. Conforti

Palm Coast

Tariffs will harm America, not help us

Dear Editor:

When I read Mr. Matt Walsh’s piece on tariffs, I thought he did an excellent job of breaking down, in easy-to-understand terms, why tariffs are never good for the economy. However, it seems that the current fever pitch or rising nationalism has blinded many to the obvious facts.

Fact: We buy more from China than they buy from us, lots more. Thus we have a trade imbalance. That is not likely to change, so imposing tariffs will mean higher prices for most Americans.

Fact: China has retaliated with threats of their own tariffs. Did anybody really think they wouldn’t? Thus we end up with a zero sum game.

Fact: China can now source some of the things they bought from us, at lower prices, from other countries. Not good news for American farmers.

And then there is the unintended effect of increasing China’s sphere of influence as they increase their trade with other countries.

Another exercise in futility from our wasteful government.

Edith Campins

Palm Coast

Palm Coast should try to attract more bikers

Dear Editor:

Bike Week generates millions of dollars to the economy. What could be a draw? Palm Coast could present new activities to draw the Bikers’ taste buds.

Create a welcome center for bikers during the week. Motorcycle safety would be the top priority. A menu board of the attractions would be displayed.

Have a show and shine at Washington Gardens State Park on A1A. Food trucks, an art exhibit of local tattoo artists, and soft country music could be a draw.

Show biker movies at the Flagler Auditorium such as “Easy Rider,” “Marlboro Man,” and “Five Easy Pieces.”

Palm Coast can provide hospitable activities to draw in the bikers.

Glenwrick Elliott

Palm Coas

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