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OpinionLetters

Letters: U.S. has ceded global high ground to China and Russia

Reader letters to Newsday for Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces the U.S.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces the U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty at the State Department in Washington on Feb. 1. Photo Credit: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

President Donald Trump’s plan to scrap the nuclear disarmament treaty is a favor he is giving to Vladimir Putin and Russia [“U.S. quits nuke arms pact,” News, Feb. 2].

It is very possible that Russia is violating the treaty, but scrapping it will be a disaster for the entire world. Did Putin ask Trump to scrap the treaty? If the United States cancels the treaty, we will be the bad guy who escalates the building of larger and more powerful nuclear weapons.

So many of Trump’s decisions put Russia and China on the high ground and the United States on the low ground. Under Trump’s leadership, we have become the pariah nation of the world.

Roger Kaufmann, East Northport

Law on mental illness and guns makes sense

I have been a licensed handgun owner in Nassau County since 1981. I am 100 percent behind the latest state legislation to take away guns from legal owners who judges determine are mentally ill [“Gun owners face tougher laws,” News, Jan. 30]. The legislation acknowledges the serious threat we face. If so determined by a doctor, people with mental illness should not have guns. Bump stocks serve no lawful purpose. Regular background checks are essential. No sane, law-abiding gun owner should feel otherwise.

Ted D. Gluckman, Rockville Centre

I applaud not only the action taken by the State Legislature regarding tougher gun laws, but Newsday’s coverage to let the world know that New York finally has taken concrete action to reduce the number of deaths in schools from gun violence.

Since 2013, state law has required mental health professionals to report to their local director of community services or a designated authority when they judge that a patient is “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others.” This law was our first step in making schools safer and protecting the public.

Thanks to bill sponsors State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) and Assemb. Judy Griffin (D-Rockville Centre), we reclaim some of our dignity in the name of our children, grandchildren, educators, and all who have some common sense.

To all law-abiding gun owners, I respect you tremendously and know that you have your story, too. Let due process do its work and ensure that all who want or need guns have lawful access. Let us celebrate, however, that kids who have yet to reach puberty or the voting age will have that chance without having their lives ended in the halls of their schools.

Anthony Pantaleno, Lynbrook

Editor’s note: The writer is a school psychologist and coordinator of the Long Island School Practitioner Action Network, a consortium that shares best practices in crisis prevention.

Wife had to go out of state for a kidney

The letter from Dr. Lionel U. Mailloux regarding the lack of organs available for transplant spoke volumes [“NY can do better on organ donation,” Jan. 27].

My wife, Neila Farber, suffered from kidney disease for many years, including five years of dialysis, and passed away recently from other health issues. She did, however, receive a kidney transplant 11 years ago that enabled her to enjoy life again without being tethered to a machine. She was active, traveled freely and enjoyed her children and grandchildren. However, the transplant did not take place in New York.

Dr. Mailloux, her nephrologist, made us aware that it might be wise to try another state. We were fortunate enough to have the means to opt for Florida, where she was interviewed and, six months later, received a transplant. Without it, those 11 years of healthy life would not have been possible.

Shame on New Yorkers that we are not as generous about signing up for organ donation.

Martin J. Farber, Port Washington

We need role models with honest statistics

Alleged steroid users Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens don’t deserve membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame because kids like my five Little League grandsons deserve role models who push health, not the use of dangerous drugs [“Moving up, but the answer is still no,” Sports, Jan. 23].

Steroids can lop off decades of athletes’ lives. We can rationalize performance-destroying drugs, like Babe Ruth’s booze binges, because every kid knows booze or cigarettes can hurt or kill you.

Major League Baseball’s tardy testing for steroids began in 2003. I do sympathize with alleged substance abusers Bonds, Clemens and Alex Rodriguez, who faced peer pressure from others who were doing it — and getting away with it. But shouldn’t Hall of Famers have unbloated numbers?

The real villain? It’s me, the fan. Maybe you, too. Were we too slow, and not resolute enough, in demanding that baseball fairly police America’s pastime? Everybody loves home runs, but let’s be fair to Ruth, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle’s honest numbers. Keep out those proved by significant evidence to have crossed the steroid line.

Maury Dean, Patchogue

Editor’s note: The writer, an author of books on sports, has taught sports literature and other subjects at Suffolk County Community College.

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