Letters: More or fewer guns needed?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg photographed with City Council Speaker Mayor Michael Bloomberg photographed with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at a news conference. Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

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It's ironic that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the pushing of a man to death on a subway platform an isolated incident, adding, "We do live in a world where our subway platforms are open and that's not going to change. There's always going to be somebody, a deranged person" ["Subway death," News, Dec. 29].

Had there been a gun, Bloomberg would have been the first to yell for gun control. The woman who pushed the man to his death used only her hands. If she had pushed two or more people at the same time, would her hands then be classified as semiautomatic assault hands?

This incident only proves that you don't need a gun if you're bent on killing someone.

Ray Steinberg, East Northport

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To allow guns in schools is absurd ["NY's gun proposals," News, Jan. 7]. Suppose an armed guard goes berserk and kills children? Or shoots at a trespasser, misses, and instead kills a child or teacher?

Another scenario is that a student gains access to the guard's gun and shoots another student. Also, what kind of message does it send to students to see armed guards in their school?

Will a guard be allowed to use a gun to break up a fight among students, or between students and faculty members? Will a guard with a handgun be able to stave off two men with semiautomatic weapons? Will guards be armed with semiautomatic weapons? Should there be armed guards on all school buses, commercial buses, trains, at malls, movie theaters, concert halls, restaurants, catering halls, sports arenas, churches, temples, etc.?

It's like killing a mouse with a cannon. Plain overkill.

Let hunters keep their guns. Let target shooters keep their guns. Let shopkeepers and homeowners keep their guns. But there is no legitimate need for semiautomatic weapons to be in the hands of anyone other than policing agencies and military personnel.

Jeffrey Myles Klein, Centereach
 

In these mass killings, few people will say anything about the role of drugs. I'm not talking about the illegal drugs on the street, but the government-sanctioned drugs used by many people daily.

We have seen a trend that views pharmaceuticals as the only way to treat everything from depression to sex drive, and from weight loss to hyperactivity in children. Bad behavior in school is now seen as a disease. It is too easy to grasp at questionable "disorders," rather than for parents to admit they need to improve their parenting skills.

Guns and drugs have always been around, but years ago, people were different. They were tempered by belief in God, discipline, manners, respect for marriage and family, personal responsibility and viewing life as a gift. They were made of much hardier stuff.

Today, we have a whiny generation that gets depressed because it can't look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. It wants easy answers and quick solutions for everything.

Estelle Edwards, Riverhead
 

Has anyone considered supplying police-grade, long-range Tasers to trained members of the school staff? Had the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School had access to one of these, she could have fired and immobilized the attacker.

These weapons could at least afford the teachers and administrators some degree of self-defense, without the stigma of carrying guns around the schools.

Timothy Consiglio, Hauppauge

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