Analysis, discussion and opinions by members of Newsday's editorial board.


Dolman: Strict gun laws keep everyone safe

The NYPD provided a photo of a .22

The NYPD provided a photo of a .22 caliber semiautomatic handgun, top, and a flare gun which, police said, a 7-year-old Queens boy brought to school in his backpack. (Jan. 17, 2013) (Credit: AP)

How gun-saturated is this country today?

Let’s start with the story of the 7-year-old boy who police say brought a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol into Wave Preparatory School in Far Rockaway, Queens, on Thursday. Along with the gun, the second-grader had a separate magazine loaded with 10 bullets in his backpack and 7 to 10 additional rounds in a plastic bag, according to police.

There may or may not have been a bullet in the gun’s chamber. The New York Police Department is trying to find out.

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The encouraging news is that the child’s mother, Deborah Farley, 53, has been arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, unlawful possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. 

If you think strict gun laws only punish law-abiding owners, I think this case says otherwise. It is New York’s way of saying gun ownership is a life-and-death matter that comes with serious responsibilities. It says carelessness will be dealt with sternly.

But here’s the discouraging news: This sort of thing happens all the time.

It happened on Wednesday in Texarkana, Ark., when an 11-year old boy brought a handgun into College Hill Middle School to show a friend. 

It happened last week in Allentown, Pa. when a 16-year-old took a loaded handgun into Allen High School.

It happened in Utah last month when an 11-year-old brought a .22 caliber pistol and ammunition to class at West Kearns Elementary School. 

An Associated Press poll this week said three-quarters of Americans are angrier about the December shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School than they were about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

But wait—at least 9/11 was inflicted on us by an external enemy. We’re doing this to ourselves. We have to stop.

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