The real story behind the tragic shooting death of the Hofstra student is the failure of government to fulfill its basic function to protect its citizens ["Cop bullet killed student," News, May 19]. Why was a repeat offender allowed to be on the street? How many times do we have to suffer serious injury or death before government wakes up to this epidemic?

The cold, stark politically incorrect reality is some need to be caged to protect the general population. As for Newsday's front page, it should have read, "Home invasion leads to student's death."

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Brian Scott, Amityville

The death of Hofstra student Andrea Rebello is unfortunate. The home invasion was made by a career criminal and thug who apparently had no problem obtaining a gun in a state with tough gun laws. This points to the futility of those laws.

Laws and rules are meant for law-abiding people; criminals will always do what they need to do. Dalton Smith proved from the time of his first arrest at age 16 that he intended to violate the law when it suited him. Why do we as a society always believe that passing more laws will change that type of behavior?

Fred L. Meyer, Shirley