Guns are good
Read your Sept. 30 article "Shoot first, ask questions later."
So, with more than a million concealed- carry permits issued in the state of Florida since the program started, and less than one tenth of one percent suspended or revoked, you think concealed carry should be done away with?
Every state that has passed concealed carry has had a drop in crime. Why? Because criminals are more concerned with being shot by private citizens than police, which has been proven by surveys done in prisons. Why are police officers seldom assaulted or robbed? Because they carry. Having a gun with you will not solve every problem, but it gives you an option, just like having a spare tire in your vehicle.
Many groups in this country who are against private citizens having guns, and allowing just the police and military to carry, haven't thought that through very far.
Thank you very much for your recent article about the DREAM Act and the plight of undocumented youth in the U.S. today ("Dare to dream," Sept. 9). It is truly a tragedy that so many talented, gifted and intelligent young people are denied a bright future through no fault of their own, except that they were born on the wrong side of an invisible line. Passing the DREAM Act should be a no-brainer for any caring, thinking members of Congress. Educated young people contributing to our society and to the economy can only be a win-win situation. The sooner the bill is passed, the sooner these young people can start studying and begin to hope and dream again.
There is a companion piece of legislation, however, that your article failed to mention. And it is directly connected to the food that we eat every day. AgJOBS, the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act, is a unique piece of legislation that enjoys broad support from businesses (farmers, ranchers and growers in the agricultural industry), immigrants' rights supporters, many labor and civil rights group, religious leaders and farm-worker organizations.
Even after decades of the hard-fought struggle begun by Cesar Chavez in the 1950s and '60s, farm workers are still not on the public's radar screen. But without them, most of us would not be able to find fresh, affordable food at our local grocery stores.
It is amazing to me that people still are not making the connection between what they eat and the hands, backs and bodies of the people that are growing, harvesting, picking and packing our food. Our agricultural industry in the U.S. would collapse without them. Yet, we, as a nation, barely even see them. Partly it is because they, especially now with the current anti-immigrant climate, are forced to hide in the shadows.
On May 14, 2009, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Reps. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) introduced AgJOBS in the 111th Congress. It lays out steps that farm workers can take to earn their immigration status in this country. Some would call it a pathway to citizenship. Others might call it necessary for our future food security. Before the current irrational immigrant hatemongering began, AgJOBS nearly passed in Congress because it enjoyed broad support in both houses and with many in the industry. Now, members of Congress are backstepping, afraid of appearing soft on immigrants. The result is that both immigrant youth full of potential and hardworking farm-worker families are left in a kind of limbo.
AgJOBS would provide a legal, stable labor supply that our food system needs and it would help to ensure that farm workers are treated fairly.
Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project Coordinator
Farmworker Association of Florida
Clarification: In a recent Food & Drink review ("On the Side," Sept. 30), we wrote that Theo's Kitchen no longer operates at its old location on E. Michigan Street. The restaurant did not go out of business, however. It relocated to a new space on Curry Ford Road.firstname.lastname@example.org