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Paralympics, Capitol Police, Brit mass shooting and more

Garden City's Anastasia Pagonis after winning the gold

Garden City's Anastasia Pagonis after winning the gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle S11 at the Tokyo Paralympics. Credit: Getty Images/Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Tokyo Paralympics deserves coverage

Newsday gave a lot of coverage to the Tokyo Olympic Games, so why not cover the Tokyo Paralympics, which started Aug. 24? On Thursday, Anastasia Pagonis of Garden City won America’s first gold medal in swimming, in the 400-meter freestyle S11, breaking the world record ["Pagonis sets world mark," Sports, Aug. 27]. There’s more happening there than just that feat.

It’s important that Newsday cover the Paralympics. As a former coach of the Victory Challenge, Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged, I believe these athletes also deserve some attention.

— Carol Tokosh, Smithtown

Why are Brit mass shootings rare?

A story about five people killed in England, including a 3-year-old girl, included these noteworthy words: "It was Britain’s first mass shooting in over a decade. Firearm crimes are rare in Britain" ["U.K. gunman got weapon back in July," World, Aug. 15].

Here in America, the greatest country in the world, we endure mass shootings seemingly at a weekly rate, not by decades. Why? Could it have anything to do with the incredible number of guns we own? No way, say conservative politicians; it’s because some people are mentally unstable and because many believe in liberal ideals. Really?

Did you hear about the toddler who accidentally shot and killed that toddler’s mother with a loaded gun in Florida earlier this month? So sad. Those darn liberal toddlers.

— Steven Blasko, Ridge

End the filibuster to save voting rights

The Republican Party is controlled by a powerful individual whose agenda apparently includes destroying American democracy. Republicans are enacting voter suppression laws across the land, making it more difficult for ordinary Americans to vote.

Gerrymandered districts allow politicians to choose their voters rather than voters choosing their leaders.

We need to strengthen our democracy rather than stand by and watch it be torn down. The only way to do that against the intentions of more than 40 Republican senators is to end the filibuster. 

— Barry Nobel, Oyster Bay

Capitol Police need crowd management

One question still to be answered about the Jan. 6 riot is why crowd management principles, established by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, were not applied in planning for and during the event ["Capitol riot probe should out truth," Editorial, Aug. 2]. Proper crowd management could have possibly avoided the invasion of the Capitol, threats to police and the shooting death of an unarmed participant.

The debate over whether calls for the National Guard to supplement the police were rebuffed should also be clarified. Washington has been the scene, and will be in the future, of many demonstrations. The Capitol Police should become better schooled in crowd management. By the way, the Federal Emergency Management Agency offers a course on the subject.

— John Fruin, Amityville

We need a Mr. Brown to find missing bull

So Barney the bull is still missing since July 20 ["Runaway bull being steered in right direction," News, Aug. 26]. When I was a youngster in Hampton, Virginia, Mr. Brown had a brown bull. A couple of times a year for about a couple of years, I remember hearing, "Mr. Brown’s bull is out!" That bull would come loping down the railroad track that ran beside our home, from his street to ours, which was the first big cross street. He would turn and visit wherever he wished .

We knew the bull could be dangerous, but I don’t remember any kind of panic. It was just, "Mr. Brown’s bull is out!" Everyone knew to stay inside until Brown came to save the day. There was no easy way to notify him about his bull’s whereabouts — no social media, no computers, no cellphones, few telephones .  

After a while, along came Brown, and he would locate his bull, put a rope around his neck, and the two would saunter on down the tracks back to their street. These exciting experiences would last close to an hour, usually less. So, here it is, 80 years later, and I keep wondering: Where is Long Island’s "Mr. Brown"?

— Jeanette T. Johns, Farmingdale

It will be six weeks since Barney the bull escaped. Has anyone considered the possibility that he strolled into Mor-iches Bay or Great South Bay and was consumed by a group of hungry, wayward sharks?

— Art Romita, South Setauket