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Newsday letters to the editor for Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Supporters of gun rights stage a counterprotest to

Supporters of gun rights stage a counterprotest to March for Our Lives on March 24, 2018, in Port Jefferson Station. Credit: Randee Daddona

President should pay for weekend travel

I have just completed my 2017 tax return and am prepared to write a significant check to the U.S. Treasury, as I do each year. As I write this check, I will deduct $25.

My reason is that I don’t believe the Constitution considered it reasonable for a taxpayer to pay all the expenses involved with a president who feels the need to fly to Florida several times a month to play golf and promote his private properties.

The weekend of March 24, in particular, the president could have met with students outside the White House to discuss gun slaughter in schools. Instead, he decided to once again go to Florida [“Students march ‘for our lives’ on D.C.,” News, March 25].

I’m estimating $25 as my share of the president’s travel costs, and hence the deduction.

Frank Antioco, Stewart Manor

Teens, guns and the Second Amendment

On March 31, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson shocked the nation by announcing, “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president.”

One of the main reasons was that students were beginning to rally around Robert F. Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy, given those candidates’ anti-war views and the growing anti-war movement.

Is history repeating itself? We saw massive marches and rallies around the country concerning gun control following the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida [“Students march ‘for our lives’ on D.C.,” News, March 25].

Where was President Donald Trump during these rallies? At his “winter White House,” Mar-a-Lago.

Trump’s base is pro-Second Amendment. Will the students of today repeat what their parents and grandparents did, and manage to unseat a president even before many of them are of age to vote?

Jared Goerke, Plainview

Newsday did an excellent job in covering March for Our Lives events, but I would characterize the counterprotesters as assault-weapons advocates [“LI students protest gun violence,” News, March 25].

I was across the street with the group demanding more sensible gun-control laws. The couple of dozen participants in the counterprotest are not the only Second Amendment supporters.

Most far-right activists are trying to frame their argument by saying that opposition to private ownership of an assault rifle and better screening of gun buyers equate to taking away their guns. But this is not the case.

I’m licensed to own a handgun in Suffolk County, and I regularly target-shoot at a pistol range. I use a shotgun for trap and skeet shooting at a club in Yaphank. I don’t hunt, but many of my friends do. None of them owns an assault rifle or has any desire to possess one.

True sportsmen recognize that the AR-15 and similar weapons are nothing more than people killers and have no place in sporting activity that involves firearms.

During the March 24 demonstration, I spoke with many other participants and did not find one person who advocates the complete confiscation of firearms.

Ralph Brady, Mount Sinai

Beware of costs of congestion pricing

Can we be honest and accept that congestion pricing would be just another tax [“Nixon talks congestion price plan,” News, March 29]?

Most people do not ride into Manhattan for the fun of it. Most vehicles are there because somebody is at work or attending to other business.

The convenience of tolls without tollbooths, which I welcomed, might come back to haunt us as the government imposes charges wherever it seeks to tax our access. The proposed toll might be modest today, but this is the camel’s nose under the tent. These costs could go up year after year.

The result will be a higher cost to live and work in one of the most expensive metropolitan areas in America.

Stephen Martin, Wading River

How far to go with slaveholder protests?

If Hofstra University student organizers succeed in getting the statue of Thomas Jefferson removed from the university grounds, I have to wonder whether they will have a march next on Washington [“Latest Hofstra debate,” News, March 29].

Will they demand that the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument be removed? If they succeed, will they demand to change the name of Washington, D.C., to something less racist, such as Abraham Lincoln, D.C., or maybe Martin Luther King Jr., D.C.?

Thomas Smith, Riverhead

Plastic bags are worth the nickel each

Plastic bags are a bargain at 5 cents each in Suffolk County retail stores [“Give 5-cent refunds for bags returned,” Letters, March 28].

I have so many uses for them that I buy a few extra every now and then.

Rick Vitelli, Farmingdale