The Doomsday Clock's minute hand has been moved to 90 seconds...

The Doomsday Clock's minute hand has been moved to 90 seconds before midnight. Credit: AP/Patrick Semansky

Believe it or not: An AR-15 for kids

We might as well give up on gun control in this country — we are growing a new generation of gun owners.

An Illinois weapons manufacturer, Wee 1 Tactics, is manufacturing a “scaled-down” copy of the semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle for kids for purchase later this year.

The new weapon, JR-15, is reduced in size 20% and weighs only 2.3 pounds just so a child can handle it. The firm says it is “safe and instructive” for children, with this marketing line: “It operates just like Mom and Dad’s gun.”

This new rifle fires .22-caliber rounds. These bullets can be more dangerous than a larger-caliber weapon because they don’t exit the body and will spin, damaging organs and bones, and can be fatal.

The JR-15, introduced about a year ago at the Shot Show in Las Vegas, originally was decorated with a skull and crossbones with a pacifier. California banned all its advertising in July, and attempts to overturn the ban were unsuccessful in court. New York should follow suit.

In almost all of the most recent 12 mass shootings of young people, the weapon of choice was an AR-15. I just hope it doesn’t become the JR-15 fired by children.

— Gene Reynolds, Ridge

Our Doomsday Clock is ticking closer

On Tuesday, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that the hands of its Doomsday Clock were moved to 90 seconds to midnight, the closest it has ever been to Doomsday, the extinction of life on earth. As a subscriber to the bulletin, I am alarmed.

Our only home now faces the two most severe threats to all life on it, both created by humans: nuclear weapons and climate catastrophe. And both threats are increasing every day due to both human actions and inaction.

Considering the amount of attention given to these two existential threats by most political leaders and media, one would never know that all life on Earth is now in jeopardy.

This double threat should be front-page news, updated daily. Such deliberate, willful ignorance is not bliss; it is suicide.

— Edward Ciaccio, Little Neck

Beach bathhouse needs renovation

Are there plans to renovate some of the old bathrooms at Jones Beach?

The West Bathhouse under the Gatsby on the Ocean restaurant is awful. Stall doors don’t line up, creating a gap where a person can look into the stall. The changed locks have toilet tissue stuffed into the holes so one can’t peer in. The sinks are old and stained, and an upgrade is overdue.

With the bathrooms at Field 6 already renovated, it’s time for some others be upgraded, too.

— Kathryn Fay, Levittown

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