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Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, Oct. 13, 2017

Veronica Hartfield, wife of policeman Charleston Hartfield, and

Veronica Hartfield, wife of policeman Charleston Hartfield, and son Ayzayah Hartfield attend a memorial for the officer on Oct. 5, 2017, in Las Vegas. The policeman was killed in the shooting massacre near the Mandalay Bay resort. Credit: AP / John Locher

Support for legal aid-in-dying in NY

After reading a letter against assisted suicide, I felt I needed to respond [“Assisted suicide isn’t the way to go,” Oct. 6].

While I’m sure the letter writer’s heart is in the right place, shaming others who choose to end their lives certainly isn’t appropriate. Who is she to tell someone else to be brave if he or she has a painful terminal illness and no longer wishes to suffer?

There are times when there really is no hope and the individual is in tremendous pain. Ending that suffering should be the patient’s choice alone.

Unless you are in someone else’s shoes, please don’t assume you understand what he or she is going through.

Lisa DeFeis, Bay Shore

This letter missed the point of the aid-in-dying initiative, which is legal in several states and Washington, D.C.

It’s not for people who simply wish to bow out of life because they are suffering. It’s a choice for people who are terminally ill, and in excruciating pain with no chance of recovery. When Brittany Maynard, who made headlines a couple of years ago, decided to end her life, the nation was shocked. But I understood.

I have an incurable cancer, but my doctors have beat it into remission six times in 17 years. I’m 70. There is a slim chance that it could come back and treatment will no longer work.

Since this cancer is slow-growing, it would probably be a slow, agonizing death. I would like to think that I could ride it out, numbed and unconscious from morphine, but I would also like to be given the choice to have death with dignity by assisted suicide if I decide it is the best option for me.

It would give me a great deal of peace just knowing I could have that choice. For that reason, I support the efforts of the nonprofit advocacy group Compassion & Choices and hope that New York will pass the initiative.

Susan Berner, Centereach

After Las Vegas, where to go on guns?

In the 1920s, we prohibited alcohol, which encouraged the growth of gangs, corruption and speak-easies [“New Vegas timeline,” News, Oct. 10].

In the 1970s, we started a “war on drugs,” which hasn’t reduced the problem.

I hope that we will not now think that gun control legislation is the answer to the act of a deranged person that no form of legislation would have stopped.

William Adams Littell, Moriches

We need to change the rhetoric in this country. Any American who is a mass shooter regardless of race, sex or creed is a domestic terrorist.

All semi-automatic and automatic-type weapons are guns of mass destruction. Neither should be tolerated in a civilized society.

Howard W. Schneider, Huntington

The National Rifle Association says guns don’t kill people, people kill people. But people couldn’t kill so many people so easily if they didn’t have access to such powerful guns.

Marie Brown, Baldwin

We hear a great deal these days about the rights of gun owners, but almost nothing about their obligations.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of the state . . .” I believe this means that gun owners are obligated to belong to a well-regulated militia — for example, the National Guard — for the precise purpose of defending the state, not for fighting against the government, as some seem to believe.

So how many members of the National Rifle Association are members of the National Guard? They all should be!

Phyllis S. Schmutz, Nesconset

I have a simple proposal: Sell all ammunition only at police precincts, and require bullet manufacturers to ship only to precincts.

Much as we do with the narcotics registry in New York, ammunition sales could be tracked, and repeat or unusually large buys could be questioned. Also, buying bullets from a cop in a precinct might deter criminals.

If I were a licensed gun owner or sportsman or target shooter or competitive-event shooter, I would have no issue whatsoever heading to my local precinct to buy ammunition.

James J. La Rosa, Glen Cove

In the wake of the tragedy in Las Vegas, I understand new security measures are being considered, including examining bags and luggage upon check-in at hotels.

Do hotels need to do more? Some Jerusalem hotels use infrared cameras to check for bombs.

Why does it take a horrendous tragedy to rethink practices?

Beth Rose Macht, Long Beach

What is the problem with banning “bump stocks” and semi-automatic weapons? Even if Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock were the most malevolent and meticulously organized person in the world, how many people could he have killed with just a pistol or hunting rifle?

Gene M. Bernstein, Southampton