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LETTERS: Gun rights vs. local laws

Gun rights & local law

Asking the Brady campaign for facts about legal gun ownership is like asking the Communist Party about the merits of owning stock, and both their agendas are un-American ["Sneaky Senate gun law," Editorial, July 21].

Illegal trafficking in guns is already a crime in all 50 states and under federal law. The Senate shouldn't have punished the overwhelming number of law-abiding gun owners for the crimes of a tiny minority.

Whether Newsday likes it or not, Americans have the right to arm themselves. Just because we live in a state that abrogates that right for all but the elite does not mean gun ownership is bad or wrong. As an entity whose very existence depends on the 1st Amendment, one wonders what Newsday has against the Second Amendment.

Jon Deitch



Your editorial regarding the Thune amendment was, as usual, off base. There have been well over 40 states that have given their citizens the right to carry, and these states have not turned into 1860 Tombstone. In fact, the opposite is true. Statistics from the FBI - not the NRA - show that crime has gone down in these states. Why would New York be any different?

A right-to-carry permit in New York is practically nonexistent. Those persons lucky enough to get a permit usually have one that is so restricted that it is in effect useless.

This bill was for people duly licensed in their home states - not unlicensed felons. If they are not a threat in their home states, why would they be a threat here?

Steven Gordon



For those of us who remember Colin Ferguson, the shooter on the Long Island Rail Road who got off at the wrong station, and failed in his mission to kill people at Adelphi University - but who did kill Rep. Carolyn McCarthy's husband and seriously wound her son - I wish Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) had been kidding.

The legislation he proposed would have allowed no recognition of local concerns regarding population density and the availability of hunting, or local requirements such as safety training, police record checks or court record checks. Those of us who believe that owning and using a gun, like owning or renting a car, should require proof of competence, are glad that the Senate defeated the Thune Amendment to the Defense Department Authorization Bill. I don't want students from around the country coming to Long Island authorized to go around New York State law.

Robert A. Scott

Garden CityEditor's note: The writer is president of Adelphi University.

Forget it, Saltaire

Public funds for Saltaire? Absolutely not ["An urban fix for a tiny village?," News, July 20]. I have been traveling Fire Island my entire adult life, and if there is one place that is not "public-friendly" it is Saltaire. Let their elite owners take up a collection.

Kenneth P. Lebeck



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