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Letter: Control guns and identify ill people

I cannot imagine why any responsible gun owner would object to strict legislation governing the registration, licensing and method of sale of all firearms, and an outright ban on assault weapons ["Deadly spree in California," News, May 25]. Those most familiar with firearms are acutely aware of their destructive power and should be leading the effort to keep them out of the wrong hands. It is common sense, and a small sacrifice by the few to preserve the safety and well-being of the many.

Unfortunately, the common sense and logic of gun control is not an absolute solution to the slaughter so recently visited upon our nation. The Elliot Rodgers among us are unique and defy common sense and logic. They demonstrate aberrant behavior from time to time; however, they lack criminal records and carry the shield of medical nondisclosure. All of this prevents the scrutiny necessary to uncover the evidence of their cunning and deadly agendas. If guns became unavailable, they would navigate a different, possibly more heinous path.

Focusing on gun control is very good; identifying and securing the would-be perpetrator first is much better.

Ed Weinert, Melville

DWI task force is worthwhile

A letter writer objected to restoring Nassau County's police enforcement team against drunken driving, saying that a decline in arrests doesn't justify the need for the unit ["Not enough proof of drunken driving," May 28]. This is a cockeyed view of the whole situation.

All one has to do is look at the number of arrests over the May 31 weekend to see that, if the number of arrests has dropped, it's not because fewer people are driving drunk. It's that not as many are being caught.

One drunken driving-related fatality is too many.

Martin Siegmann, Bethpage

VA problems are a matter of funding

Talk is cheap. It's easy to be outraged at the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal, but if we want to give the VA the resources it needs to treat our veterans as they deserve, it's going to cost money -- tax money. Are people willing to pay it?

Wayne Karol, Levittown

Where were the senators, congressional representatives and state and local politicians in the districts where VA hospitals are located?

Veterans were pleading for help, and politicians did nothing, and they cut money from the budget. These are the real culprits.

Richard Perkins, Mount Sinai

Suffolk doesn't need expansion of new jail

Newsday's editorial calling for an end to mandatory sentences for drug crimes is the right approach to manage crime and high levels of costly incarceration ["Mandatory for too long," June 1].

Unfortunately, in Suffolk County we are out of step with the rest of the country. While New York State and other municipalities have scaled back jail beds, we have been building more jail space. The county and state are arguing about whether to go forward with a second-phase expansion of the new Yaphank jail that opened last year.

It appears to me that the police and correction unions have hijacked our government to maintain high levels of incarceration, which translate into overtime and more jobs. As Newsday has reported, the highest overtime earners in Suffolk County work for the sheriff in the corrections unit.

Ironically, also as reported by Newsday, some of these staff may not actually have been at work when they were supposed to be on duty. It's a disgrace.

Jerry Bilinski, Riverhead

Editor's note: The writer works for a nonprofit agency helping the incarcerated mentally ill.

NIMBY arguments abound in Merrick

I must disagree with the leaders of the South Merrick Community Civic Association about the proposed 7-Eleven in Merrick ["Protest over planned 7-Eleven," News, May 29].

Do they really prefer a boarded-up, derelict gas station behind a chain-link fence to a new landscaped building whose owner pays taxes and contributes to the community? What exactly is the problem?

Was there a traffic issue when the gas station was open? I'm sure it generated as much traffic as the proposed 7-Eleven.

Gratefully, this group wasn't around 100 years ago, or we would still be driving horses and buggies.

Richard Stallone, Franklin Square

How much more traffic does a 24-hour convenience store generate than a former busy gas station?

Our Merrick neighbors are using time-tested, standard complaints against a new convenience store in their neighborhood. These are the same arguments every organization on Long Island makes when a neighborhood property is slated to become either a housing development, office building, house of worship or big-box store. Heaven forbid, it doesn't fit the status quo.

The larger question we face on Long Island is, what shall we do with all the abandoned gas stations? Their locations make them ideal to be convenience stores or chain doughnut shops. If they were larger sites, I'm sure they would all become CVS or Walgreens stores.

David Cepler, Baldwin