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Newsday readers react to Florida school shooting

Email letters@newsday.com to share your thoughts.

Students grieve outside Pines Trail Center where counselors

Students grieve outside Pines Trail Center where counselors are present, after Wednesday's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Photo Credit: AP / Joel Auerbach

Newsday readers were quick to respond to a gunman’s rampage at a school in Parkland, Florida. Here are letters received.

The Newsday editorial board asks the question, “When will we end the carnage?” [Editorial, Feb. 15]. The carnage will end when we stop with the politics from the left and the right.

More gun controls and laws alone are not an answer. It’s everyone’s responsibility, including the schools, to solve this problem. The schools need to encourage free speech and teach lessons about failure and that you can’t have it all.

They need to open their minds to trade and vocational training, not just college. With troubled kids, the schools need to stop throwing them out, and into our neighborhoods, without counseling or help.

Having retired trained and armed police officers in our schools could help with this problem and with illegal drugs. We also need to spend more for behavioral therapists for troubled children.

We know the answers; the question is, will we stop the politics and just take the necessary steps?

Patrick Nicolosi, Elmont

Another school shooting tragedy. I’m so glad President Donald Trump’s response was to call Florida Gov. Rick Scott. I’m sure he and his National Rifle Association friends offered a simple solution: Arm the teachers, administrators and support staff!

Seriously, as a former public school educator, I would have expected that in light of all the recent school shootings, administrators would have prioritized the security of their schools.

Having taught in many schools, I am impressed by the elementary school in rural New Jersey where my daughter lives. After classes begin, all doors are locked from the inside. To gain admittance to the building, you have to go to the main door, ring the bell and state your business to a staff member inside.

After a visual check, the staff member unlocks the door to let you enter.

My heart goes out to those innocents who have been sacrificed, and I cry with those left behind.

Curtis Field, Melville

Editor’s note: The writer, now retired, was a teacher and administrator in Northport schools from 1968 to 1996.

The headline on your front page should have read “National horror” rather than “Florida horror.”

The students who were massacred were American high school kids hoping to go home and receive hugs and kisses for Valentine’s Day. Now their parents have to make funeral arrangements.

Newsday’s editorial page listed acts of carnage from many states, yet Congress has not passed enough legislation to prevent similar tragedies. No other civilized society allows the legal purchase of military-grade killing machines.

And the situation can get even worse. The House recently passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) voted for it. This would allow people from states where gun laws are looser or nonexistent to bring their weapons to New York and Long Island.

Hopefully, the Senate will vote the bill down.

Peter Hanson, Nesconset

What will it take for America to collectively declare that the bewilderingly popular AR-15 assault rifle is just that — an effective tool for murder, nothing else?

The president, despite the weight of evidence for serious gun control, appears determined to support the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would allow for unchecked interstate transport of even more concealed weapons, much to the delight of one of his most ardent lobbies, the National Rifle Association.

He will likely issue further scripted “thoughts and prayers” edicts for the cameras after each shooting, intended to comfort the families of those targeted while providing lip service to an already horrified and numb society.

We may also count on Congress to continue to work hard at doing as little as possible in the fashion in which it seems to excel, and gun lovers from sea to shining sea will dig in for the fight they feel they must win by spouting their now-tiresome Second Amendment mantra.

Until we look upon others as ourselves, the deadly status quo will not change; it’s a matter of time until everyone will either know a victim or be one. To date, prayers have done little if anything to stop this hail of bullets.

Harry Waldman, Westbury

School districts across America must assign teams to conduct background checks on every student. These teams must look at social media, given the number of times we find warning signs after the damage is done. Should any red flags appear, appropriate follow-up measures must be implemented to prevent these tragedies.

States need to pass appropriate laws to allow these changes, and parents should be put on notice that their kids might not be allowed to attend school.

School districts should then petition Congress for federal relief to cover the costs, which would make the midterm elections interesting.

This is certainly not the full answer, but it would be a move in the right direction.

Michael Halderman, Holbrook

ABC News reports that there have been more than 300 mass shootings in this country in the past three years.

Does anyone think that this is what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment?

Want to make America great again? Get real!

Mike Ferguson, Malverne

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