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Rittenhouse verdict, immigration policy, Paul Gosar and more

Kyle Rittenhouse collapses into his chair after Friday's

Kyle Rittenhouse collapses into his chair after Friday's acquittal. Credit: AP/SEAN KRAJACIC

Shock after verdict in Rittenhouse trial

Having retired as a deputy inspector after 31 years in the Suffolk County Police Department, with a fundamental belief in the American system of justice, my faith has just been shattered ["Full acquittal for Rittenhouse," News, Nov. 20].

The Kyle Rittenhouse jurors chose to ignore the fact that an unstable teenage vigilante, armed with a semiautomatic rifle, killed two people and injured a third who posed no threat to anybody.

The greater question is why did the Wisconsin police agencies and "civic leaders" do nothing to intervene? Standing in a distant street-blocking line obviously was not a deterrent.

Shame on all of them. They need new leadership.

— Howard Mandell, East Northport

Is anyone else as shocked as I am about the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse? A teenager, carrying an AR-style semiautomatic rifle, kills two people and injures a third, who were not allowed by the judge to be called victims but instead had to be referred to as protesters. And the teen faces no consequences?

What message does this send to other vigilantes out there? Self-defense? Please.

He would have done the victims a favor by staying home and minding his own business.  

— Jo-Tina DiGennaro, Bayville

Now that we’ve seen white justice at work (again and again), just imagine what would have happened if Kyle Rittenhouse had been a Black kid brought up on the same charges.

— Gus Franza, Setauket

U.S. immigration policy a disgrace

The Afghan refugee situation illustrates the disgrace that the U.S. immigration policy has become ["Afghans’ kin fearful over entry bottleneck," Nation & World, Nov. 20].

The Afghan refugees who are attempting to enter the United States legally are exactly the future Americans that we want. They have experienced firsthand the terrorism of extremism and the evils of radical Muslim fanaticism. America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. People come here for freedom and a better life for their families.

The solution is simple, as our courts have done in other cases: allow Zoom-type meetings to count as face-to-face meetings. Many immigrants are our hardest-working and best future citizens.

— Alan Cohn, Nesconset

GOP inaction on Gosar is frightening

I served in the military for eight years. I have lived through the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. I lived through the Cuban missile crisis, Gulf and Iraq wars, and 9/11.  

However, I have never been so frightened for our country or democracy as I am now.

The Republican Party has brought me to this dark place. Except for two members, the Republican Party refused to censure Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who thought it OK to depict himself killing another member of Congress and threatening the president of the United States with swords ["Rep censured by House for violent video," News, Nov. 18].   He also spread  the lie that the presidential election was stolen.

 Republicans ignore those in their party who incite violence. Now they are trying to fix elections by making it more difficult for people to vote. We have one party upholding our democracyand the other trying to destroy it.

We have seen the damage and corruption that the prior four years  brought us. One more Republican administration like that and we will lose our democracy.

Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) speaks the truth. I pray that more in her party listen to her before it’s too late.

— Richard T. DeVito, Long Beach

Own up to voting for ‘the other guy’

 A reader took exception to what he called the misleading characterization of Republicans by Lane Filler ["Don’t mischaracterize who Republicans are," Letters, Nov. 17].

In an election between two people, you don’t get to "vote for the other guy" in a vacuum. A vote against one candidate becomes a vote for the other — a "lesser of two evils" vote. At election time, former President Donald Trump carried four years of documented baggage . That’s what you voted for.

If you still support Trump today, you can add attempting to overturn an election  to a laundry list of misdeeds. If that’s what you voted for when you "voted for the other guy," you should at least have the courage to own it.   Filler was absolutely right in his characterization.

— Robert Emproto, Huntington

CORRECTIONS: Trial evidence showed that Kyle Rittenhouse drove himself from his home in Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse got the rifle used in the Aug. 25, 2020, shootings at the Kenosha home of a friend’s stepfather. Information in a previous version was incorrect.