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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, June 23, 2017

Graduates enter the ceremony during the 81st commencement

Graduates enter the ceremony during the 81st commencement exercises at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, Saturday, June 17, 2017. Credit: Steve Pfost

The shooting at a ballfield in Alexandria, Virginia, made for big headlines because some of those attacked were members of Congress [“Let’s all root for the home team,” Editorial, June 18].

Yet, generally, gun deaths are so common that they are not always reported by the media. While our politicians might now receive greater personal security, the rest of us pray that we and our loved ones will be safe in a society plagued by the availability of guns.

Our politicians cower in the face of the powerful influence of the National Rifle Association, an organization that has perverted the meaning of the Second Amendment for the benefit of the gun industry.

Jack Pepitone, West Hempstead

Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, was at the ballfield in Alexandria. He said, “There was not a whole lot we could do . . . It’s not easy when you see people around you being shot and you don’t have a weapon yourself. You feel helpless.”

These words solidify the necessity for all law-abiding civilians throughout the United States to be able to carry concealed firearms.

Laurence C. Dittmer, Levittown

Editor’s note: The writer is a certified firearms instructor and a member of the National Rifle Association.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the baseball field attack in Virginia. However, I do believe it’s a likely consequence of divisive hate speech gone wild.

I’m not condoning this horrific act — it’s disgraceful! But let’s just say I’m not surprised.

The high level of dissension within our government and between our citizens, which is constantly creating an “us versus them” mentality, is boiling over into violence — and it needs to stop.

People on both sides need to start acting like adults, stop obfuscating facts and stop entertaining alternative facts. It’s time to come together as a nation, as we did after 9/11. We need to listen to and respect each other at every level.

We are one nation that is strongest together.

Carolyn Mandelino, Massapequa

Why is Kings Point probe taking so long?

As a former player and soccer coach at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, I’m in disbelief that the school administration would wait nine months to announce an investigation into an alleged incident, days before graduation, the proudest moment of a midshipman’s life [“Probe shadows graduation,” News, June 18].

Graduation is earned by four years of hard work, and to have it taken away so close to completion is cruel. If this alleged incident happened in September, why wasn’t the investigation completed before nine months had passed?

Joseph Assante, Hicksville

If Tesla succeeds, car dealers will suffer

Thank you for your editorial about Tesla [“Put pedal to the metal: NY shouldn’t shun Tesla,” June 19]. It’s really not so much about Tesla as it is about free markets, which is the American way.

Traditionally, automobiles have been sold through dealerships. In some cases, manufacturers also retailed directly to the public. Dealers used their political power to, rightly, bring legislation that would not allow the manufacturer to unfairly compete with its own franchised dealers.

Dealers now use this argument to force Tesla to create a dealer network. The franchise method is not the only sales method, and Tesla has no dealers who would be harmed by its direct sales.

Surely nobody would object if I decided to sell hamburgers nationwide, directly, without franchisees.

If the market finds the manufacturer-direct method satisfactory, and Tesla succeeds, then we can expect more manufacturer-direct sales, and the franchise system will weaken or disappear.

Instead, dealers hope to use legislation to restrict choice and fair competition.

Robert Bialer, Glen Cove

Editor’s note: The writer is a former franchise automobile dealer.

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