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Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Left to Right - Vivian Viloria Fisher, candidate

Left to Right - Vivian Viloria Fisher, candidate for congress, Jeff Keister of Moms Demand Action, Marcey Wagner, Cantor-Education Director at Temple Isaiah in Stony Brook and Burt Benowitz, owner of Benson's Guns in Coram sit on a panel during an Inter-religious dialogue on Guns in America at the North Shore Jewish Center in Port Jefferson Station on the afternoon of March 4, 2018 Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

I’m a registered nurse with more than 30 years of experience, and I had a second career as a high school teacher. I proudly carry licenses for both of those professions. I do not have a gun license [“Funding for gun training,” News, March 12].

As a nurse, I can tell you that pretty much any gun can kill; I’ve seen it. It’s just not as easy to inflict a fatal injury with handguns or conventional rifles. It’s certainly not easy to inflict fatal injuries on large numbers of people with them.

Weapons such as the AR-15 fire rapidly at high velocity. They inflict devastating injuries. Dr. Heather Sher, a Broward County radiologist who treated victims of the Feb. 14 shooting in Florida, described horrific injuries, such as organs torn apart. That is because of the extreme velocity of bullets fired by these rifles.

Sher spoke of a colleague who went to the school to wait for his child. He was an experienced trauma physician but was unable to help the victims because of the severity of their injuries. A surgeon who operated on one of the kids found an internal organ in shreds. The child couldn’t be saved.

No one needs to own a weapon that causes that type of damage.

Barbara Wasilausky, Southold

Arming teachers and placing police officers in schools is a knee-jerk reaction to a deeper problem [“Kaminsky bill bans arming of teachers,” News, March 4]. The heart of the problem is a societal deterioration of the most basic human values, which are love and respect of others. We have stood by for two generations and watched Hollywood and the video-game world glorify ruthless killing. This has desensitized many young people to the savagery of such actions.

Our schools, law enforcement and citizens need to sit down with our youth and explain that they have the power to head off a massacre before it happens.

These children spend endless hours on social media, monitoring each other’s thoughts, movements and patterns. They see the nuances in chats, they sense when one of their own is not acting properly. Now is the time to ask young people for their help in reporting anything that appears odd to them.

Timothy S. Dahlen Sr., Speonk

Once again, President Donald Trump has confirmed his ignorance and incompetence by supporting teachers having guns in school to prevent school shootings.

There have been shootings in churches with assault weapons. Should we arm priests and ministers? Likewise, there have been shootings in hospitals. Should we have guns beneath gurneys?

This is an insane approach to a problem that can be solved only by eliminating military-style assault weapons.

I can only imagine what a teacher would face if he or she accidentally killed a student while trying to protect others from a shooter. Would the parents of the deceased child sue the teacher? Would there be a trial with a costly prosecution? Would the teacher be bankrupted or lose his or her certification or pension?

Linda Donato, Smithtown

In regard to school shootings, I would like students to stop bullying. Students should be made aware that a student who’s being bullied might come to school the next day and shoot the bully — and other students and teachers.

Carol Treptow, East Patchogue

I’m an elderly widow who feeds birds. The squirrels sometimes tear my feeders apart, so I have an air rifle to keep them at bay.

To get a gun that shoots tiny pellets, I feel as if I signed my life away on forms for New York State gun ownership, background check and all.

I wish other states were as diligent. We have to control our shooters.

Nancy Hussey, Oyster Bay Cove

National Rifle Association chief executive Wayne LaPierre often says, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Is the NRA’s proposal for arming just about everybody with a gun a microcosm of a world arming itself with nuclear weapons? Is it in our DNA to fight each other?

Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is based on the survival of the fittest. Maybe the human species evolved with this basic instinct. Although we fought initially as individuals, then as tribes and finally as nations, the weapons were fists, clubs and spears, then guns.

With nuclear weapons, we can fight a war in which there are no victors, only losers.

Bill Domjan, Melville

When they say the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, I hear, the only thing that stops a violent bad guy is a violent good guy. Is that really the best we 21st century humans can do?

Zachary Murdock, Cold Spring Harbor