Richard Martinez, the father of murdered UC Santa Barbara student Christopher Martinez, has asked all of us a question: “Why are you asking me what the solution is? My son was just killed.” Mr. Martinez went on to question where the leadership has been.
Here in Pasco, leadership has been hiding. Years ago the voters of Florida voted to approve a ballot initiative to close the loophole for background checks, implementation being left to individual counties. Pasco chose not to implement.
Pasco residents asked the County Commission for a hearing to implement background checks for all gun sales. Denied. Pasco residents then showed up at a commission meeting to speak in favor of a hearing. The commissioners listened and moved on without comment.
There is no leadership in silence. There is no leadership when elected officials are busy gathering money for their campaigns or shoring up donors for pet projects. There is no leadership when elected officials host dinners for donors while families make funeral arrangements for murdered children.
There is no leadership when there are no leaders who are willing to have the conversation.
It would be interesting and informative to find out how Bowe Bergdahl was carried on his Unit Morning Report. Normally an individual who is missing from his unit would be classified as AWOL — absent without leave — for 30 days and then carried on the rolls as a deserter.
The writer is a former U.S. Army colonel.
As a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, I know it’s urgent to roll back climate change, the greatest threat to human health in our century. Coal-fired plants are the largest source of carbon pollution and cause myriad other problems. Shut them down now.
Also, after the still-unresolved Fukishima disaster, the nuclear option is also looking like a disaster. We need to ban fossil fuels and rely on wind and sun. Now would not be too soon. If we wait it may be too late.