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'Rust' fatality, work opportunities and Shatner's trip to space

Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., where

Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., where actor Alec Baldwin fatally fired a prop gun on the set of the movie "Rust."  Credit: AP/Jae C. Hong

Training could have averted ‘Rust’ death

The fatal shooting on the set of "Rust" is a  result of the popular vilification and alienation of the National Rifle Association by most Democratic politicians and Hollywood’s celebrity elite ["Baldwin on shooting, his ‘friend’ "] .

The NRA and its affiliates offer all kinds of firearms safety training and consultation, including training that can be customized to assure safety in the entertainment industry.

NRA training forbids pointing a working firearm, loaded or empty, at anyone. It is likely the NRA would have recommended use of non-workable replica guns instead of real guns capable of firing a projectile, even an erroneously assumed inert one.

All lawful firearm owners agree that all firearms should always be treated as loaded, hence we will never use a firearm as Hollywood does.

This incident should be a wake-up call to Democratic politicians and the celebrity elite who divisively use the NRA as a scapegoat for their own failures.

— Vincent Cristiano, Ronkonkoma

The writer is an NRA life member.

Alec Baldwin has to live the rest of his life remembering his involvement in the death of a co-worker. I have sympathy for him, but it was he who discharged the weapon.

Call it what you want: accident, carelessness, misinformation, someone else’s fault. Reality has imposed its ugly face on Hollywood’s fantasy.

All involved  should have known better. Who taught them why and when to point a weapon, loaded or unloaded, at another human? Did they receive instruction? My drill sergeant taught me.

I suggest our country reinstitute universal training in the use of arms.  

— John Condon, Huntington Station

The writer is a Vietnam War veteran.   

Am I the only one wondering how different the reaction would have been had the horrible accident that occurred on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film occurred on the set of a Clint Eastwood film or that of any actor whose political views lean to the right?

And while I believe that Baldwin is not the guilty one here, I doubt the media would have been as kind to those I mentioned above.

— Rich Corso, Oceanside

Pay those who work in sheltered centers

The article "What labor shortage?" [LI Business, Oct. 24] gets the point across that those in the intellectual and developmental disability community certainly can work in many cases and that companies are willing to invest in this population.

Kudos to them for giving IDD individuals a chance to prove that they can work, be successful and contribute.

What the article doesn’t speak to is what about those who cannot function outside of a sheltered work center? The federal government has mandated that all sheltered work centers be closed. Not an easy ask.

The philosophy is that everyone should work in the outside world. Previously, a federally funded program, 14(c), allowed individuals to work in a sheltered work center and be paid subminimum wages based upon their productivity.

My brother has Down syndrome, and I can emphatically state one size does not fit all.

Let’s protect 14(c) and allow those in sheltered work centers to take home a paycheck, no matter how small, with smiles on their faces and that important paycheck in their hands that says I worked and had a good week.

— Paul A. Giordano, Westbury

The writer is board president of AHRC Nassau.

It’s ironic. An article reports that employers hire people with a disability and get good, hardworking, loyal employees. And other numerous stories report how Long Island employers can’t get workers they need ["LI job market seems stuck," News, Oct. 22].

Well, there are  several reasons for that, including poor pay and working conditions, but employers who don’t know who to hire and how to hire are a part of the problem, too.

Maybe some employers could learn from the firms who hire the disabled and are finding enough employees,

— Ron Troy, East Northport

To boldly go where no senior has gone before

It is just remarkable that William Shatner blasted off into space ["At 90, Shatner makes real trek into space," News, Oct. 14]. As a senior citizen myself, at 72, I am proud of his achievement.

There is much trouble in our world, including our own government. I would think if Shatner’s character Capt. James T. Kirk came to revisit Earth from, perhaps, the 24th century, he might say, "Scotty, beam me up. There’s no intelligent life here."

— Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Bellerose

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