Today’s news:

Let’s not be gun-shy, says one reader

Brooklyn Daily

To the editor,

If the writer of “Gun laws” (“Letters to the editor,” Jan. 11) had dug a little deeper, he would discover our Founding Fathers understood the Second Amendment had to be there.

They realized that when they created the separation of powers, simply stating “the powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people” was ambiguous and could be misunderstood, so they specifically added the Second Amendment because they intended that the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms must be memorialized in the Constitution.

At that time there was no army, only state militias, but they included the phrase, “the right of the people (not the state militias) to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The type of arms is irrelevant. The authors knew that arms are needed for self-defense, hunting, sport, and as a last resort to resist an oppressive government. In all their private writings, they wanted an armed citizenry.

Just to get the facts out, a real assault rifle is capable of fully automatic fire. It is a machine gun. The private ownership of these weapons was severely restricted in 1934, so “assault rifles” are already banned for all practical purposes, but even if you could buy one it would cost about $15K for a M16 rifle. The drivel the politicians spew make any semi-automatic rifle an “assault rifle.” This is simply not true. So what if they have military features? They function completely differently and the basic design is more than 100 years old.

Air travel is one of the safest modes of travel, but on the rare occasion it crashes, people die. Crimes committed with so-called assault rifles are statistically very low. It’s in single digits, but like plane crashes, when someone actually uses one criminally, the same thing happens — many people die. That isn’t the fault of the gun, but of the dangerous mental cases who use them. Around 58,000 people die in car crashes — many by drunk drivers — but nobody wants to ban cars.

The letter writer said “many” states have no gun control laws. Wrong. One state has no gun control laws: Vermont. Guess what? There has not been a firearm of any kind used in a homicide since the 1700s! There are however more than 20,000 gun control laws in effect right now. According to Sen. Chuck Schumer, they are all “reasonable restrictions” on a right that “shall not be infringed.” Are you saying 20,000 laws are not enough to protect people?

There are literally millions of law-abiding gun owners of so-called “assault rifles” who haven’t killed anything more than a paper target, yet people like you demonize us. You are the one who is wrong. We do have the right to keep and bear arms.

Gun owners are also saddened by what happened in Newtown, CT, not only because of the children and teachers who were killed, but because we know that it’s us being demonized, as well as an inanimate chunk of metal, when the focus should be on stopping the wrong people from gaining access to any kind of weapons.

We obey the law, criminals don’t. Vice President Biden asked the National Rifle Association to help him, and its members went to Washington, only to be subjected to his ridicule. We have a form of government that was created by geniuses, but is now being run by idiots.

Don’t be in such a hurry to surrender our rights. Today it’s the Second Amendment, tomorrow what?

David F. Podesta

Marine Park

...

To the editor,

Automated guns are not the only items that are being sold to the wrong kinds of people.

There are quite a few medical supply businesses in our area, and I am concerned if the supplies are actually being purchased by law-abiding citizens, and if they are being used by illegal and legal medical professionals for illegal purposes. These supplies can be used by dangerous people.

On another note, evildoers have settled in the most unlikely places in our neighborhoods, so why vote for a district attorney when none of them actually have the willingness to take these most dangerous criminals off the streets?

I feel like I’m inside one of those Spike Lee movies. To be honest, I’ve seen only one of his movies because they’re unbearable to watch. They’re likely to make many more innocent lives sick in all sorts of conniving ways.

My good character has been jeopardized not once or twice, but three times by people whose cruelty sabotages normal people from living their lives in a righteous manner.

Law officials must make more of an impact on our public security. I’m referring to making a lot more arrests on the sale of illegal substances — however small the amount.A. Kaye

Sheepshead Bay

Coney ‘vice-land’

To the editor,

Apparently a Jewish community group is opposed to putting a casino in Coney Island because “it would bring debauchery, sin, and seedy characters to the People’s Playground” (“Jewish group leads fight against Coney Island casino,” online Jan. 7).

Are they kidding? Have any of them ever been to Coney Island? It’s already filled with debauchery, sin, and seedy characters! That’s part of what makes it Coney Island!Matt Cofrancesco

Bay Ridge

Stairway to hell

To the editor,

I have noticed that the steps at the F train station on 18th Avenue are becoming rather weak. Somebody is bound to get hurt sooner or later. I would suggest that Mayor Bloomberg and his buildings commissioner reconstruct the staircase to avoid somebody needlessly having an accident.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach

Council rehab

To the editor,

Constituents have their own New Year’s wish list for members of the City Council.

The average salary for a New Yorker is $41,000 per year. A councilmember’s base salary is $112,500, plus bonuses, for what is officially designated as a part-time job. Virtually every member receives an additional lulu, ranging from $4,000 to $28,000 for chairing council committees.

In exchange, all should show up for work full time. Those holding down a second outside job should either give up their bonus or outside work, and donate one day’s salary to their favorite private charity for each day they fail to show up for work.

They should include in their district mailings their personal attendance records for all full council and committee meetings, legislation they have sponsored, and their voting record on all council bills.

Also, stop passing frivolous legislation that infringes on constituents’ civil and economic liberties, along with naming streets after dead people. Leave the private car at home instead of using free parking at City Hall. Buy a MetroCard and use public transportation to and from work, like millions of New Yorkers do daily.

If running for borough president or other public office, they shouldn’t use their current elected position as a stepping stone to run, and should resign their council seat today to avoid any conflicts of interest. This will free them to run for another office full-time on their own time and dime.

List campaign contributions from recipients who receive annual member item funding. Do not accept any “pay for play” or other special interest campaign contributions from those doing business with the city to avoid the appearance of any conflicts of interest. Taxpayer-funded staff should not be driving them around, or ghost-writing any letters to the press, or guest op-ed articles for them — they should write their own material.

Ordinary New Yorkers can only dream of such plums. We are hard-working, especially municipal employees. We never see such financial rewards, work hours, or other perks of office that are readily available to councilmembers.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Unions matter

To the editor,

There is no doubt that over the years some unions have gotten too powerful. They try to get the most for their members, but at times end up hurting them.

Yet imagine negotiating with “little general” Mayor Bloomberg without a union. It would be his way or the highway.

I bet when he was a kid, if he didn’t like the way the game was going, he would take his bat and ball and go home. He would do the same with the teachers union today.

Unions are a necessary evil because of people like him.Kelly James

Newburg N.Y.

Class rules

To the editor,

Mayor Bloomberg conveniently forgets that students make a school.

Schools with low ratings probably have the most difficult students to contend with. These are the same schools with high teacher turnover each year.

Until you straighten out the discipline in many of our schools, and stop blaming teachers for everything going wrong, you are destined to have a school system that shall continue to fail as the years go on.

If you were to take the teachers from the Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Technical High School, and transfer them to these low-rated schools, you would see these teachers being rated as being ineffective within a short time. Why? They could never exist with the disciplinary outrages that go on these schools.

It’s much easier for supervisors to blame teachers. Inwardly, they praise the Lord for either having never taught themselves, or if they did, they were able to get out the classroom as quickly as possible.

Longer school days and year? Cooperative learning? Alternate assessments? Smart boards? Supervisors telling teachers that they’re not motivating the youngsters? All nonsense. Start with zero tolerance for any disciplinary infraction. Bring back the 600 schools and get Absent Teacher Reserve teachers back to regular classrooms, so as to lower burgeoning class sizes.

Let the mayor, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, and all his spokespeople, start teaching in our schools. Let them see what it’s like. Let the United Federation of Teachers start advocating for its members, and not concern itself with other events outside education.

Let the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators make sure their members taught first before they flee to the world of supervision.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at sabruzzo@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2529. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/BritShavana

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