Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Sunday, July 4


Sch’dy schools must invest in new leader

If one message is clear, Schenectady residents have little respect for the school board’s lack of decisiveness in identifying a new leader.
Our Schenectady school system has a very low rating. Certainly, change is required, and it must be soon.
Our study tells us it is the number one negative in Schenectady’s renewal.
Selecting a senior executive is not an easy job. If this new board continues to use the same old process, it is likely to fail again.
Might we suggest hiring a top-notch and respected national recruiting firm with a proven track record. Let them identify candidates that meet our requirements and specifications.
Maybe the board might also consider using the skills of a local senior human resource executive to help the process.
Over a year ago and assuming the board would do its job, I offered the president of the board that if a great candidate came along that I could find the funds from the business community to underwrite a lucrative signing bonus for the right candidate.
We see the need as that desperate. Unfortunately, nothing was resolved.
Short of that, the commissioner of state Education Department has some authority to step in and take positive action to get this project moving in the right direction.
Neil Golub
The writer is chairman of Golub Corp.

Treat gun violence as national emergency

The FBI recently announced that their background checks blocked more than 300,000 gun sales in 2020.
Regardless, more than 100 Americans are killed by guns daily and hundreds more are wounded. We’re too familiar with weekly mass shootings, but what is being done to stop or prevent them?
Not much, in my opinion.
The fact is there are too many guns on the streets. There should be a moratorium on gun purchases until Congress can agree on a proposal to screen who can purchase a gun, how many guns people can own and the types of guns, offer a massive federal and state buyback campaign, limit states’ ability to liberalize gun availability, and publicize gun violence daily in the media like the COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Long-term, there should be a serious debate about the Second Amendment, which was written at a time that in no way resembles today.
The entire amendment is only 26 words and is so disjointed that it is left to too many interpretations.
“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
In colonial times, it meant if the people needed a citizen army, they could possess guns.
I doubt it means that such citizens can possess their own arsenal of weapons, including those as powerful as our military and in some cases untraceable.
Gun violence is a public health issue and should be treated as an emergency.
Raymond Harris


You never forget your first Concorde

Hallelujah! The 1,300 mph Concorde is returning to Schenectady (“In place” photo in the June 19 Gazette). At the first visit, I held a prize-winning flight ticket.
Stories of national plane crashes, Concorde plane parts dropping during flight and my fear of air crashes never destroyed my dream.
The glorious adventure only enhanced my appreciation of the elegant, good looking staff, and a personal cockpit visit with the aviators.
The gifts included a portfolio and a model replica Concorde.
My face blazes with memories of the cheering, applauding crowds.
Rob Curtiss



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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Joseph Vendetti July 4, 2021
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If the 48000 that die by firearm-34000 die before by suicide according to FBI stats.

People will take their lives with guns, knives, ropes, jumping etc since statistics started in 1920s – so not going to change ppl really intent on killing themselves.

[email protected] July 4, 2021
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Ray mentioned suicide by gun in passing, but it deserves more focus. Roughly 50,000 suicides each year in the US, about 60% by gun. When a gun is readily available, people in distress often make a rash decision. Remove the gun and that same person must get creative allowing more time for rational thought, intervention, etc.

Joseph Vendetti July 4, 2021
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Don’t get me wrong – i want stronger gun control!!! Include a mental evaluation, delve into medical charts, speak with teachers, former teachers, everyone they can, do polygraphs- but the police and law enforcement can’t be everywhere so you need the 2nd amendment to allow gun ownership.

I agree, ppl caught with illegal guns do the max

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Tone deaf and totally insensitive Trump held a rally in Sarasota Florida yesterday while brave rescue workers search for bodies in the condo collapse and families of those killed and are still missing grieve. As we have said many times before, Trump only cares about himself and making money for his legal defense. He also acted dumb (not really acting) that he didn’t know fringe benefits are taxable to the employee and the employer (him). Even Gov. DeSantis, who is a notch below Trump on the slug level, knew enough not to hold a political rally at this time.

Florida2015 July 4, 2021
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Participation in a Citizens Law Enforcement information seminar when we first moved here sponsored by the County Sheriff Department opened my mind and eyes to a few statistics. Main one being 90 % of the illegal guns on the street are STOLEN from legal gun owners.
I know a legal gun owner (friend of my sister) who has 30 long guns and pistols in total and somewhere north of 10,00 rounds of ammunition. Why, because he can. Lives in remote area by himself, now what happens if bad guys knew this. Another source of illegal guns on the street. Kinda begs the question about the 2nd amendment that ONE person can have all the guns needed by themselves to have a well armed militia and it’s legal. Is this responsible gun ownership?

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Joseph and William – All good NRA talking points. Scare the public in believing you need more guns to protect yourself. Others feed off this and think they need to protect themselves from government, too. What has it gotten us, but more deaths.

States and cities sited as having tough guns laws, but more gun deaths can be explained by the source of such guns, namely neighboring states that have lax gun laws.

When Australia and New Zealand experienced mass gun violence, they did something about it immediately by outlawing certain guns and having stiffer laws. When gun violence in the U.S. happens, gun sales explode (pun intended). We are not a rationale country. We make excuses like mental health (a universal problem not just here), instead of looking at the primary instrument of death, the gun.

One final comment is the use of the term “criminals”. What is implied is that these law breakers are already murderers. This ignores the vast majority of legal gun owners who decide to settle arguments, etc. by shooting someone else. The other major category is suicide which is made much easier by buying a gun and killing ones self.

William Aiken July 4, 2021
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I’m generally not a proponent of gun control legislation. But I would support this proactive measure that targets the problem of criminals using illegal guns; a mandatory minimum of five years for anyone caught with an illegal gun. Such a law would serve as a deterrent, that currently doesn’t exist for the criminal.

Criminals aren’t stupid. They have a determinate meter where they weigh their chances of getting caught as well as what the consequences are once they get caught. The recent criminal reforms legislation in NYS has emboldened criminals. This relaxing of our laws have created a cavalier attitude among criminals that’s fueled the spike in crime, especially crimes involving hand guns.

As a society, we would benefit by supporting effective gun control legislation that actually addresses the problem. Cities, (Chicago, Philly, DC, etc.) with the strictest gun control have proven time and again to be ineffective and have failed in keeping its citizens safe. A five year mandatory minimum goes after those criminals, who are the source of this uptick in gun violence.

Legal gun owners who follow the law aren’t the cause of guns violence. The 2nd amendment affords them the right to self-protection. Criminals don’t follow the law, which makes the current approach to gun control, a futile exercise in insanity; doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result. Common sense is passing laws that target the vast majority. responsible for committing gun crimes.

Joseph Vendetti July 4, 2021
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I appreciate your zest to eliminate senseless mass murders, but roughly 24,000 ppl are murdered in the US by guns every year, 515 by mass shootings (about 2%). 98% of the remainder are in acts like robbery, rape, drug sales, gang violence, etc.

I surmise if some how we were able to remove all guns from society that this violence would still occur, just with a different weapon (knives, bats, propane tanks, pressure cookers, vehicles). Then what? Do we go and start to regulate those items?

Some of the highest gun violence occurs in the US States (IL, CA, MI, NY & OR) with toughest gun laws.

Guns don’t hurt people unless there is a person involved pulling the trigger. We do have a mental health crisis in the US, we have a gang & drug crisis in the US – I would suggest we can cut this senseless violence in 1/2 if we focus on the real problems not the millions of legal gun owners.