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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017

From left, Nicky Eagle Eye Banks, Autumn Rose

From left, Nicky Eagle Eye Banks, Autumn Rose Williams and Shane Weeks of the Shinnecock Nation of Long Island perform a welcome song Sept. 25, 2017, at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. They accompanied the announcement of a major renovation of the Northwest Coast Hall. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Hire an engineer to study red-light cams

The Suffolk County Legislature approved a $250,000 study of its red-light cameras [“Red-light cam study gets OK,” News, Sept. 26].

This study will be flawed if it repeats the mistake of the counties’ annual reports on this program. They use statistics and assume all drivers are guilty. However, the traffic engineer plays a role at every driver’s entrance into the intersection. A misapplication of physics is the greatest contributing factor to the studies’ flaw. I believe the study will find that the misuse of the yellow-light change interval for traffic signals is the problem.

The person conducting the study should be a traffic engineer with a professional engineer’s license, and should be chosen after open bidding. He or she should have an expertise in physics and software to study traffic-signal timing of red-light cameras and their data.

I have used this type of expert in my investigation as a lawyer of a fatality at a red-light intersection.

David J. Raimondo, Lake Grove

Prison might be right for data breach execs

Former chief executive Richard Smith issued an apology on behalf of Equifax for the data breach that compromised the personal information of almost 150 million people [“2nd hearing set on Equifax breach,” News, Oct. 9]. These days, an apology is not good enough.

Those responsible need to be held accountable, and by that I mean, some people may need to be sent to prison, just as they would if they compromised classified military secrets. This whole incident could have been prevented by encrypting the data more adequately.

We can no longer stand by and accept apologies when so many large corporations are entrusted with so much of our personal information.

John Prete, Dix Hills

Tribes in U.S. suffer multiple problems

It’s well and good that the American Museum of Natural History is updating its First Nations exhibit [“Restoring a proud legacy,” News, Sept. 26]. I frequently took my American Indian studies classes to the museum for an excellent field trip that enabled students to see how the environment determined tribal lifestyles.

Today, many tribes endure poverty, resulting in very serious problems comparable to those of Third World countries: unemployment, limited economic opportunity, discrimination, geographic isolation, educational failure, overcrowded and unsafe homes, and health-related issues such as infant mortality, suicide, alcoholism and drug abuse.

In an interview in 2016, former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe, stated, “Nearly everything that is bad about America — whether drug abuse or high school dropout rates or violence — is much worse on reservations than it is in the outside community.”

Chet Lukaszewski, Huntington

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired social studies teacher.

The effects of guns on our society

I support a person’s right to own a gun for personal protection and hunting [“Pence lauds resolve,” News, Oct. 8]. However, a weapon capable of firing a magazine of many, many rounds is not needed for either.

I was sure after the Sandy Hook school shootings we would have stricter gun laws, and then came the nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. Once again, we were horrified by the senseless loss of life, yet our representatives didn’t pass stricter federal gun laws. Having state-by-state laws will not solve the problem because weapons used in crimes can come from states with looser gun control.

If you are horrified by the rate of mass killings, call and write your representatives now.

Lynne Maher, Brookhaven

Preserving the Second Amendment as it is written, and which has allowed mass shootings, is unequivocally wrong.

Many Americans use this amendment to justify tolerating high rates of crime, death and destruction of families, all so that adults (and often, children) have access to firearms. It’s past time we elevated our discourse.

We have done this before. Under the law, women and blacks became equal to white men. It was a difficult transition for this country, but it was necessary.

With America holding on to more guns than there are people in our 50 states, I ask myself why. I’ve never found an answer that fit into any reasonable argument that could justify the carnage in this country.

If we remain silent while the National Rifle Association aids domestic terrorism, and Washington accepts those funds, each day will bring the same song, just different funerals.

Bob Bascelli, Seaford

I can foresee the time when we have airport-style check-ins at U.S. hotels and motels. Bags will be X-rayed and guests will be patted down or X-rayed as well. If some sort of gun control isn’t enacted soon, every place we go — stores, schools, churches, buses, subways — will have airport-style inspections.

Thomas W. Smith Jamesport

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