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Letters: Enforce existing gun-control laws

In January, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott invited

In January, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott invited New York gun owners to move to Texas. (Jan. 15, 2013) Credit: Getty Images


In “Church should get loud about guns” [Opinion, Jan. 8], writer Michael Bayer shamelessly distorts and cherry-picks statistics to satisfy a political agenda.

Of the 1.5 million people he says have “lost their lives to guns” in the United States over the last 50 years, more than 63 percent of the deaths were self-inflicted. Research tells us that, sadly, those bent on suicide will ultimately resort to another means besides a gun in the home. Another 1 percent were accidental shootings.

Another fact Bayer doesn’t mention is that, unlike his faux analogy to five other, much-less-populated countries, a U.S. citizen’s right to have guns for self protection, hunting and target sports is uniquely protected by our Constitution.

Instead of distorting and exaggerating statistics, we should be talking about common-ground solutions such as mandatory minimum 10-year sentences for the sale, distribution and use of an unlicensed or illegally acquired firearm. We should more strongly enforce existing laws and gun restrictions.

John F. Picciano, Westbury


So Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) pushed back on President Barack Obama’s executive actions on gun control by stating that these rules would not have stopped any of the recent mass shootings [“Gun control orders,” News, Jan. 6].

What he misses is that the 30,000 annual gun deaths are not from mass shootings, which are a very small part of total gun deaths, as are terrorist acts. Zeldin should read Newsday every day. Rarely does the newspaper not have news of gun deaths.

There are more than 300 million guns in the United States, and 40 percent of gun sales are made without a background check. It will be years, if not generations, before we bring gun violence down. That is not a good reason to stop gun-control efforts.

Bill Kapelas, Patchogue