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Newsday letters to the editor Monday, May 8, 2017

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) speaks at a news

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) speaks at a news conference at Southold Town Hall in Southold, Sunday, March 8, 2015. Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

Public needs more on Zeldin gun views

The photo caption with “Zeldin takes heat at LI public forums” [News, April 24] said that I yelled at Rep. Lee Zeldin. In fact, at the Riverhead forum, I grew frustrated with the moderator, who didn’t read my question in its entirety.

It’s critical that New Yorkers understand the full potential impact of concealed carry reciprocity, and find out whether Zeldin would be willing to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

His proposed Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would let people carry concealed guns in New York based on the standards of other states, including those with scant background checks or training requirements. Is he in favor of guns for anyone anywhere, or is there something he is willing to do to keep guns out of dangerous hands?

I suspect that most New Yorkers don’t want people carrying concealed firearms in our neighborhoods based on these terms. We need to continue to inform the public about gun laws and inquire further about Zeldin’s strong beliefs.

Jeff Keister, Brookhaven

Editor’s note: The writer is a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Guv’s immigration stand part of problem

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo talks tough about gangs and MS-13, but he’s part of the bigger problem with his stance on immigration and refugees coming here to Long Island [“Cuomo takes on MS-13,” News, April 27]. He was also quick to sign new legislation to “raise the age” of young adults we charge as adults.

To stop gangs, go into schools and talk to students while they’re young. Then enforce our immigration laws, and hold gang members responsible. If that means deporting them, then do so.

Alan Zederbaum, Holbrook

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired lieutenant for the SUNY Old Westbury police.

Interlock devices for all is a bad idea

Newsday advocated for an alcohol-interlock device in all new vehicles [“Yes, we can stop DWI tragedies,” Editorial, April 25]. This is an unreasonable approach.

As a criminal defense attorney for 43 years, I’ve received phone calls from people with breath-test devices in their cars who had to blow into them to prevent their vehicles from shutting down while driving. This distraction should never be imposed. It also stops drivers with any amount of alcohol on their breath from even starting the vehicle.

You now want to impose those restrictions on every driver. That is outrageous — especially in emergency situations.

There is a better way: Impose a law on places that serve alcohol. When someone walks in the door, he or she must or indicate a designated driver or deposit enough money for a cab ride home together with the keys to his or her car. At the end of the night, the person must blow into a breath-testing machine, and if there is more than a 0.05 blood-alcohol reading, the person would be given his or her money and told to return in the morning for the keys. Or the person could designate a driver who could pass the same test.

Ted Robinson, Hempstead

Trips must be tied to educational goals

I agree with the Newsday April 20 editorial “A school trip that went too far.”

The Shoreham-Wading River district went too far in picking up most of the tab for 181 students to visit Disney World.

School-sponsored trips are important so long as they are proper and valid extensions of the curriculum. Funding so many students, Epcot notwithstanding, to visit an amusement park while apparently tied to no curriculum, doesn’t make the grade.

Perhaps worse than wasting enough district money to have hired three teachers, the district showed residents and all Long Islanders a skewed view of the importance of well-planned educational experiences outside the classroom.

In 1990, when I taught at Northport High School, students and I launched the Nicaragua Project. Eighty to 100 students travel annually to the poorest regions of our hemisphere to help build houses, schools, water systems and nutrition projects. Students work for months to fund their projects, airfare and modest trip costs. The only cost to the district is the bus ride to and from the airport.

The students learn valuable, life-long lessons in a real-world setting.

Peter White,Centerport