In Royal Palm Beach, four contenders are competing for two seats. I went to the debate of these four candidates to learn why the challengers think they should replace the incumbents. After one hour of answering questions posed by three local journalists, I was leaning for the incumbents because they showed their knowledge of all village affairs and promised to continue the previously successful course. The challengers couldn’t convince me that they would do a better job.
After a short intermission, everything turned out to be different. Now the candidates had to answer questions by the audience, and I had to change my mind. One participant wanted to know what the candidates want to see changed after the massacre at Parkland’s high school.
The two candidates with a military background said they have experience with AR-15s and said more gun control is warranted. The other two just parroted what they have heard from NRA-influenced politicians, thus even contradicting conservatives like Gov. Rick Scott and Congressman Brian Mast, who are now open for some sort of gun control, thus being more in line with public opinion that, according to the latest poll (70 percent), favors stricter rules for being able to purchase guns, in particular the AR-15, a weapon enabling mass murder.
The least we can do is to follow the Parkland kids’ demand to let our officials know what we want, not to elect people who refuse to change course in this matter. Martha Webster and Selena Smith tried to evade a definite answer by referring to mental illnesses of school killers and other such issues that they want to have addressed first. That’s not sufficient to tackle the crises of mass murders in schools, night clubs, outdoor music festivals, churches and other places. I would have liked to see at least one lady in the dais, but after this debate, I will follow our kids’ advice and vote for the two men, Fred Pinto and Sam Roman.
Guenter Langer, Royal Palm Beach