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Let's get rid of assault weapons

A Bushmaster AR-15 rifle is displayed by a

A Bushmaster AR-15 rifle is displayed by a Connecticut State Police firearms training unit detective in 2013. Credit: AP/Jessica Hill

Just another daily mass shooting ["Police: One dead, five hurt in Texas shooting," News, April 9]. "Thoughts and prayers" — that’s all we ever hear from our feckless politicians. We need to stop this once and for all. In 1791, when the Second Amendment was passed, single-shot muskets were the firearm of the day, so why don’t we limit weapons available to American citizens outside of law enforcement and the military to only muskets?

A well-trained infantryman in the 18th century could load and fire four or five rounds a minute using this weapon. Compare this with assault weapons such as an AR-15, which can shoot upwards of 400 to 600 rounds per minute.

Our forefathers never dreamed that we would have such formidable weapons, not to mention having them available to the untrained person and, sadly, sometimes to unstable individuals as well. Let’s use common sense.

I call on all Republicans, Democrats and independents to pass meaningful nonpartisan legislation with teeth to protect our fellow citizens from the American tragedy of assault weapons.

Joel Reiter, Woodbury

Why the GOP likes the Electoral College

A reader stated that if the Electoral College were eliminated, six or seven states with large Democratic populations would decide presidential elections ["Why Dems want to end Electoral College," Letters, April 9].

To me, this is how Republicans like to muddy the conversation, that liberal states would control future elections. But it’s the national popular vote that would matter. Every state’s popular vote would be a totaled, with the winner having the most votes nationwide. The majority wins. It’s the will of the people, not a political body. This is truly one person, one vote, and each candidate would fight for every vote.

A good candidate would campaign in virtually every state, even those where they have little support, because votes from these states would be important. But I understand why Republicans don’t like this idea. Since George H.W. Bush’s win in 1988, Republicans have won only one national popular vote (George W. Bush in 2004).

That’s eight presidential elections yielding one popular-vote win. The GOP doesn’t like government interference in their lives, yet they support government interference with the Electoral College. Because it benefits them. If the Electoral College benefited Democrats, Republicans would scream to get rid of it. It’s hypocrisy.

David Veltri, Oakland Gardens

A reader wrote, "One person, one vote would disenfranchise millions of voters across the nation." I disagree. One person, one vote is the only democratic (small "d") way to vote.

Today, a candidate can win all the electoral votes in a state with a plurality of only one vote, essentially rendering votes for the losing candidate meaningless. One person, one vote gives everyone in every state an equal voice. The votes should not be counted by state, but by the total number of votes nationally. Many people, knowing that their state is always either "red" or "blue," feel that the state will go that way without their vote and thus may not vote. The Electoral College was established long ago when there was slavery. I believe it is outdated and should be eliminated.

Lyn Mendelsohn, Oceanside

Getting vaccinated is a personal decision

A reader was "shocked" at Mets player J.D. Davis’ unsure response on whether he would get a COVID-19 vaccination and started by insulting the player ["Vaccine response by Met is shocking," Letters, April 7]. Calling Davis "spoiled, out of touch" and "living in an alternate universe" is as if Davis was responsible for the pandemic fallout. Whether he is vaccinated is a personal decision.

Hundreds of thousands of people across the country already have indicated they are not comfortable getting the vaccination. To single out a Mets player is wrong. Davis’ response was, "I haven’t really thought about it," not indicating whether he would get the shot.

I believe Newsday should not have published this attack on an innocent person.

George H. Taggart, Hicksville

I don’t understand how so many "anti-vaxxers" think it is their personal choice not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. A personal choice — to me, at least — involves a choice in a personal activity or preference that does not impact other people. For example, deciding to become a vegetarian, or to ride with all your car windows open on a cold winter day. But becoming vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine is important because it protects others against this terrible disease.

Tom Focone, Stony Brook

Hope can appear in unusual ways

As a college teacher on Long Island, I was pleased to read that Kim Kardashian is a billionaire ["Forbes: Kardashian now billionaire," flash!, April 7].

This gives reassurance to those of my students who have no hope of making a living based on their academic achievements. Now they can take heart that by getting plastic surgery and working on their bodies instead of their minds, they too can become wealthy and worthy of favorable press.

Jay Roberts, Jericho

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