New York has long been a place where the right to defend oneself with firearms is disparaged, but the affirmation of most aspects of the SAFE Act has disparaged gun ownership like no other act ["Court upholds most of gun act," News, Jan. 1].
After the tragic mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, the New York State Legislature pushed through a gun control bill titled the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act. This legislation is arguably one of the most restrictive laws in the country.
Provisions included limiting the number of rounds in high-capacity magazines to seven, which Chief U.S. District Judge William Sketny said was an arbitrary infringement of Second Amendment rights. Other provisions, which he upheld, are a ban on the new sale or transfer of assault weapons and creation of a registry of any assault weapons already owned in the state.
One weapon this law sought to ban, the AR-15, is a common rifle owned by Americans. I have used this rifle, and assure you I felt no desire to start a mass shooting.
This law takes away our rights to self-defense with firearms. An aristocratic class has come to rule New York. The only way this unconstitutional act will be repealed is by heading to the ballot box and ousting those who stole our constitutional rights.
Seth Connell, Selden
I read your article "Jump in gun violence" [News, Dec. 30] with great interest, since I've been active in the fight to reduce gun violence in our country.
One thing the article does not point out is that most of the guns used in crimes in New York State come from out of state. This is not news to New York law enforcement. While New York has enacted laws to reduce gun violence, unfortunately many other states have not.
Several nearby states, especially to the south and west, have little regulation, making it easy for anyone to obtain just about any type of firearm. Regulations are lax at gun shows in neighboring states. This is where many criminals get their guns and deal in straw purchases using someone else's ID.
If we want less gun violence, these are the things that need changing. We cannot fight the battle on gun violence until every state in this nation has enacted commonsense gun laws and stops making it easy to carry guns across state borders.
Marion Sierra, North Bellmore
Editor's note: The writer was the Long Island coordinator for the Million Mom March, which converged on Washington in 2000 to promote tighter gun control.
Cartoon about Jesus was offensive
Although I am not a Christian, I found one of the Dec. 22 cartoons most offensive ["Cartoon roundup," Opinion]. It shows what appear to be two Roman soldiers looking up at Jesus on the cross, and saying, "I hear he professed politically unpopular Christian beliefs in public."
I have many relatives and friends who are Christian, and some of them were offended too. The cartoon should never have been published, especially during the week leading up to Christmas. The cartoon seems sarcastic, and I believe you don't get sarcastic when you have a foot nailed to a cross.
Gerri Klein, Long Beach
Daughter's confession and campaigning
When New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio decided to feature the wholesomeness and intimacy of his family as a cornerstone of his campaign, it is unlikely that the posting of what appears to be a professionally produced video on a social network, chronicling the travails of his daughter, was part of the plan ["Family stories, revealed," News, Dec. 27].
The stated purpose of the disclosure was to help others so afflicted. Surely the educational value would have been just as great before the election.
Of all the candidates in the mayoral race, de Blasio was the most lacking in the skill set necessary to manage the $70-billion enterprise that is the budget of the City of New York. We now know that he lacks the courage to tell the whole truth and the respect that is earned by not fearing its consequences.
Edward Weinert, Melville
Pointing fingers at wealthy people
It seems the writer of "A proposal for sharing the wealth" [Letters, Dec. 29] has drunk the Kool-Aid. Regardless of what the government says, there is nothing fair about the redistribution of wealth.
It always ends up that those redistributing the money find themselves with it instead. Take a look at Congress and how many millionaires make up that body.
Who is this writer to judge whether a private person makes too much money? Unlike politicians, corporate executives actually have to answer to someone: the shareholders. How would it be a "win-win" to take 10 percent of a chief executive's earnings?
Here's an idea. The writer should give 10 percent of his salary to someone less fortunate.
By the way, the writer failed to mention how much in taxes those corporate executives pay. Our government will take far more than 10 percent for the benefit of all.
It's not moral to take money from someone and give it to another, unless you're a socialist or Robin Hood.
Kathy Whelan, Bellmore