Letters to the Editor for Feb. 4
NRA’s arguments motivated by profits; others’ are just illogical
I support the Obama administration’s plan to address all facets of the problem caused by the improper use of guns.
The National Rifle Association, being a lobbying organization whose primary objective is promoting the sale of guns, advocates solutions in which the populace becomes more heavily armed and supports the view that Second Amendment gun rights cannot be limited. Do we want to live in a society that requires us to be armed to be secure? Do gun rights trump all other human rights?
The murder of 20 law-abiding young children in their Newtown, Conn. school, has brought the gun control issue to the forefront because there is nothing more important to parents than the safety of their children. As a parent who has had a child pass on, I can attest to the fact that there is no worse experience in life than such a loss. The pain never goes away.
The discussion of sensible and realistic gun control measures is not well served by bringing up issues that are not in contention. For example, no one is talking about taking away guns used for hunting or limiting the right to self-defense.
Furthermore, the notion that the ultimate objective of gun control laws is the disarming of the public, followed by the establishment of a tyrannical regime, is bizarre. While it is true that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were uneasy regarding the awesome powers they were investing in the president, and concerned that he might become a king, President Washington, by his behavior in office, iced that concern long ago.
There are people who argue that the Second Amendment is approved by God, and others who believe the problem can be solved by prayer. If I were to introduce God into this discussion, I would cite the Declaration of Independence, where it is stated that we “are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights,” and that among these are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Weren’t those law-abiding children in Newtown endowed with such rights?
Human beings are not perfect, as we all recognize. There will always be murderers, crooks, drunks, gamblers, adulterers, perverts, hypocrites, etc., regardless of the laws passed to forbid such behavior. The issue at hand is what can we do to effectively minimize gun violence.
Why can’t we discuss this issue intelligently?
Don’t dismiss efficacy of anti-tobacco programs
In a Jan. 27 AP article, “Care for obese, smokers raise ethical issues,” one critic calls tobacco control measures “weak tea.” The facts speak otherwise.
The New York State Tobacco Control Program has effectively reduced the number of women and men who smoke, and the number of children taking up this deadly habit. By educating decision makers and community members about the benefits of clean indoor air, tobacco control programs have given New Yorkers smoke-free restaurants and bars an added incentive to quit.
By encouraging landlords to adopt no-smoking policies in their multi-unit dwellings, the same programs have helped tenants breathe smoke-free air in their homes. These are not insignificant policy changes. Recent studies have shown that banning indoor smoking swiftly lowers the number of heart attacks, stroke and lung diseases, like asthma and COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease].
Whether from secondhand smoke exposure or from direct use, tobacco is still the No. 1 cause of death and disease in New York. It would be foolish to dismiss these proven tobacco control programs that promote prevention, saving lives and saving money. They are the “strong coffee” we need.
The writer is project coordinator of the Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition.
What happened to those falling gas prices?
I read a story on the Internet two or three weeks ago about how gas prices will continue to decrease in 2013.
So what happened? Did they not really print the truth, or is there no other excuse to raise the price?
The holidays are over, Obama got reelected — or the oil companies just want bigger bonuses. This means the economy will suffer again.