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Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, Oct. 27, 2017

Workers install a banner Oct. 16, 2017, on

Workers install a banner Oct. 16, 2017, on the Las Vegas building used by a gunman to kill 58 people and wound 489. Credit: AP / John Locher

Looking for sense in nation’s gun laws

During my 30 years as a police officer, most recently with the Village of Hempstead, I was required to qualify on every weapon, including shotguns, before being allowed to carry that weapon [“Consolation for Las Vegas,” News, Oct. 5]. I also was required to attend annual in-service classes on the laws relating to the use of deadly physical force.

Now as a retired civilian, I’m not required to attend any classes or qualify on any weapon I possess. In fact, I don’t even have to see the broadside of a barn, never mind hit it.

Could someone please explain to me why civilians need only pass a background check?

Jim Kiernan, Holbrook

In comments about the shooting in Las Vegas, President Donald Trump diagnosed the killer, Stephen Paddock, as “a very sick man” and said he was “demented.”

On Feb. 28, just weeks into his presidency, Trump signed a bill into law that made it easier for mentally ill people to buy guns. The effect was that that Social Security Administration was no longer required to submit names of some mentally disabled beneficiaries to a federal agency that conducts gun background checks.

Would Trump please explain what this particular law has done to help make America great again?

Naomi Berman, Commack

The text of the Second Amendment says that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Nowhere do I see the word guns. Arms is a collective term for weapons. So, if the National Rifle Association and its supporters believe that there should be no infringement on our right to keep and bear arms, logically, anyone with sufficient funds should be able to purchase tanks, fighter and bomber aircraft and nuclear weapons.

Yet, we wisely infringe upon the right of any individual or other entity outside of our military to own these weapons.

So it seems that the point where our right to keep and bear arms is infringed is determined by the size and destructive power of some weapons.

Perhaps our lawmakers can be persuaded to relocate that point to a much lower destructive capability.

Leonard Cohen, Wantagh

So much has been said about our nation’s latest mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Sadly, it’s the usual argument from both sides, for and against increased gun control. If one were to follow the money, it would become obvious why nothing ever seems to change.

The only effective method that would have a real impact would be, once and for all, to repeal the antiquated Second Amendment. The average citizen is no longer needed to bear arms against tyranny from within or abroad. That is why we have military and police forces today.

Michael Filaseta, Hauppauge

A recipe to stabilize Nassau’s budget

If we want a fair evaluation of property taxes, why not just charge per square foot of the home [“Nassau legislators play bait-and-switch in fall,” Editorial, Oct. 5]? That would seem to be fair. Why should you have to pay more if you beautify your home?

The main problem with property taxes is all the money that has been promised to police, civil servants, teachers, etc. If you could freeze compensation for all high-paying public jobs for at least three years, you might be able to stabilize the Nassau County budget. There you have it — hopefully.

Edward Tardibuono, Levittown

Where is the creativity in buying a costume?

After reading about new costumes available this year, I can’t help wishing for the good old days when the challenge was to make your own costume [“Look who’s knocking,” exploreLI, Oct. 4]!

Long ago, in a galaxy far away known as the Bronx, we used to wrack our brains to come up with homemade, cheap costumes.

My friends and I who did not have extra money would become pirates, aliens, gypsies, bag ladies, poor folks, etc. We scrounged around in our houses and used scarves, mom’s eyebrow pencil and lipstick, costume jewelry and good old-fashioned ingenuity to come up with something original.

No one had enough money (or nerve) to send our parents out to the store to buy a costume.

I should have known that it was all beginning to go down the tubes when one year at my son’s Boy Scout Halloween party, the winner of the best costume contest was not the boy who cleverly made himself into an alien with the use of a draped rug, but the boy dressed as a clown; his mother had made the outfit from a commercial pattern.

Geraldine Ossana, Holbrook