That’s a scary thought.


Crime statistics are like unemployment statistics. The numbers might look better, but that doesn’t mean everyone is doing better. Statistics (like polls) can sometimes be bent to prove almost any point. However, 50 homicides in less than six months can hardly be bent at all [Cover Story, “Murder in the River City,” Derek Kinner, June 18]. The big question is, why do people kill other people at all? Is our society becoming so amoral that this has become “normal” behavior? That’s a scary thought.

Should I now worry about throwing a big party and not allowing a guest to take home all the food out of fear of being killed? Can I move my car without getting shot over a parking space? Should I let my roommate dictate living arrangements because I’d rather have a place to sleep than be killed for wanting to sleep somewhere else? The closest homicide to my home was a case of mistaken identity, but one look at page 9’s map causes me to wonder if there is any safe place to go in Jacksonville. I won’t stay home, but I will be more cautious any place I go. I don’t own a gun, likely never will, but I can certainly see why many people would buy one.

I picked most of the examples at random. Anger and hatred are usually the driving forces behind homicides involving passion. I’d like to believe few people ever plan to kill another human or even themselves. Anger and hatred may lead to hasty decisions, yet homicide isn’t something most people consider even then. For some, something just clicks in their heads and it happens. Is there rhyme or reason?

Personally, I believe we live in a society that is becoming increasingly amoral. Why do I think that? Some people will break rules and laws when they realize there’s little or no enforcement. They’ll get away with it. These people lack the morality to do the right things. More enforcement isn’t the answer. The horse is already out of the barn.

James Couch

Despise That Loser
The “Win the War on Coal” editorial [Editor’s Note, Jeffrey C. Billman, June 11] was outstanding. I loved every word. I did not know Rick Scott repealed a greenhouse gas law. That gives me another reason to despise that loser. I agree there is no leadership in Tallahassee, but there’s even less concern and interest among Floridians. Most of the people in my apartment complex refuse to recycle, and the energy waste at my place of employment is off the charts. They are Rush Limbaugh ditto-heads.

Tom Louderback

More, Please
First, let me express my compliments for your exposure of this story and the apparent length to which you went to report it [Cover Story, “Trial by Fire,” Susan Cooper Eastman, May 28]. I just read your article and had no idea that the apparent environment is as reported. To classify the status with the Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department as disgusting would be an understatement.

My purpose in my email is to encourage you to stay on this story and to also see what can be done to try to improve the bias that exists.

One question I hope you’ll ask if you get a chance with any of the self-righteous chosen is: If a member of your family were ever in an emergency situation and needed to be rescued, do you think the person in need is looking for a white or black lifesaver or just anyone who could save them?

Marshall Haas

Due to our misinterpretation of documents provided by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, last week’s cover story [“Murder in the River City,” Derek Kinner] misstated the dispositions of four homicide cases. The cases involving William Laird, whom we said was listed as a suspect in the death of Ronald Gregory; Antwann Hogan, whom we said was charged with the killing of Ronald Morris; Danielle Mystkowski, whom we said was arrested for killing Garrette McCoy; and Jodey Vining, whom we said was charged with murder in the death of Cecil Scalf, have all been ruled justifiable homicides. We regret the errors.

Also, in Khristoper J. Brooks’ news story “Skewed Priorities?” last week, we described the public meeting in which Florida State College at Jacksonville awarded raises to two dozen administrators as “little-noticed.” This referred to the amount of attention the meeting had received, and was not meant to insinuate that FSCJ had conducted the meeting in secret. Also, spokeswoman Jill Johnson says she did not comment on faculty salaries only because they are part of ongoing contract negotiations.

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