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Good Morning

Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, March 2, 2018

Guns on display at Dick's Sporting Goods Inc.

Guns on display at Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. in Paramus, N.J., on March 6, 2012. Credit: Victor J. Blue

I’m a gun owner and I believe there are two common sense changes that could and should be made to the country’s gun laws [“Clash over guns,” News, March 1]. These would solve the carnage the nation has experienced without threatening the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

First: Ban all assault weapons.

Second: Enact universal background checks without loopholes and require a 10-day waiting period to ensure sufficient time for a thorough check.

If these two items were implemented, much of the talk about less essential reforms would be moot.

Ed Patterson, Holbrook

Even though the unfortunate legacy of our country predicts that even after the Parkland, Florida, school tragedy no sensible gun control legislation will be enacted, all gun owners should be held to account to subsidize public safety initiatives.

For each new firearm sale and every registration renewal, which should take place yearly, a $25 federal surcharge should be applied. In a country with an estimated 300 million guns, this could raise about $7.5 billion yearly.

This money could be made available for the installation and manning of metal detectors for all public schools.

Clifford D. Glass, East Rockaway

If President Donald Trump believes our children would be safer if teachers packed heat, I then have to wonder how he feels about the security of his family and himself. Would he feel safer if the Secret Service were disbanded and instead his entire staff, he and his wife were all armed to the teeth with weapons?

I suspect he would draw the line at arming himself and his wife.

Thomas W. Smith, Riverhead

There is no doubt that there is too much gun violence in the United States. These violent executioners don’t seem to care about the value of life.

There are many factors involved, such as the breakdown of traditional family and violent video games. Social media lead to solitude, isolation, possibly altered mental states, and the lack of face-to-face communications.

Lionel Mailloux, Manhasset

Editor’s note: The writer is a physician.

Newsday’s editorial board is right to advocate for tighter regulation of firearms [“We can stop the massacres,” Editorial, Feb. 16].

Some people, including the president, suggest arming teachers in schools. That would only increase the number of guns and increase the risk of accidental shootings. Churches and movie theaters also have been the scenes of mass shootings. Will it be suggested that theater ushers and clergy be armed? Are we to become a police state?

Lyn Mendelsohn, Oceanside

As pointed out in Newsday’s Feb. 25 editorial, “America is failing its students,” since 1999, 150,000 students at least 170 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus. This is unacceptable and must not continue.

Arming teachers is not the answer. Appropriate security and preventive measures are needed now to protect our schoolchildren.

Appropriate gun control regulation is a must. While our politicians argue over that legislation, we must install security systems such as metal detectors and surveillance cameras at critical locations. A control center monitored by security professionals, with communication to law enforcement, can be achieved at a very reasonable cost.

The state Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 provides funding for upgrades in schools, such as entry-control systems, electronic and video surveillance, and hardening of entryways. Local school systems decide whether to install such features.

I urge Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the State Legislature to pass a law that requires security systems in all New York schools as an example to the rest of the country. I urge parents and grandparents to insist that their schools install security equipment, even if they have to pay for it themselves, to protect those we hold dearest.

Robert B. Catell, Garden City

Editor’s note: The writer is the former chairman of KeySpan Energy.

I’m so pleased to see the high energy and great ability to articulate coming from the teenagers in Parkland, Florida, and elsewhere, about the need for safe schools and better gun control [“Historic moment for high schoolers,” Opinion, Feb. 27].

While politicians may be beholden to the National Rifle Association, these teens are not and seem quite capable of making their points. The most important thing they can do, once the media attention diminishes, is to follow through and vote.

Most current high school seniors all across the country will be eligible to vote in November. That’s where they can turn the tables on the NRA and politicians. Great to see teens leading the way.

Peter White, Centerport

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired Northport High School teacher.