Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Sunday, June 26


America sacrificing its children to gun lobby

In the 1985 movie “Brazil,” a dark comedy set in a dystopian society, a bomb goes off in a restaurant. Accustomed to terrorist attacks, survivors continue eating as if nothing happened.
A CBS News poll conducted a week after the Uvalde massacre found that 15% of Democrats, 27% of independents and 42% of Republicans agreed that school shootings are, “unfortunately, something we have to accept as part of a free society.”
Much like the Brazil diners, for these individuals school massacres are the unfortunate yet tolerable price to pay for the right to own AR-15s, weapons of mass destruction.
After every school slaughter we casually recite the now-perfunctory “thoughts and prayers,” gun sales spike, then it’s back to business as usual.
The Inca civilization (13th century to the 1532 Spanish conquest) sacrificed children to its gods.
According to Spanish chroniclers, these ceremonies were performed at important events such as the death of an emperor.
Some anthropologists suggest children were offered to deities in the hope of mitigating natural disasters: epidemics, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and droughts.
We sacrifice our children to the NRA, the gun industry (via politicians who accept their blood money) and a Second Amendment interpretation that permits civilians to possess military-style firearms for no rational purpose and horrific results.
The Incas strangled, smashed in the skulls, asphyxiated and buried alive their child sacrifices.
We commit these barbaric offerings shredding children’s bodies into unrecognizable pieces with weapons of war.
George Bryjak

Know Nothing Party alive and well in GOP

I thought the Know Nothing Party died before the Civil War, but I must have been wrong.
A number of them seem to be writing letters to The Gazette all the time.
They know nothing about former President’s Trump’s lies about the 2020 election or his involvement in the Jan. 6 riot to overturn it — an election in which he lost the popular vote by more than 7 million votes and the electoral vote by 64.
They know nothing about any good that President Biden has done or that inflation and rises in the price of gas or food is an international problem and has very little to do with him.
They know nothing about the threats and suffering around the world caused by climate change and that the crises and immigration challenges coming from it are going to get much worse.
There’s a lot more that they know nothing about, and they seem to be proud of it.
Jim Murphy

Bring colors together, and stop at red lights

These days the summer sun feels good on my skin, and I remember days of my youth catching the rays to cultivate a nice, healthy looking tan.
Today though, the sun is dangerous to the skin and, matter of fact, so are tanning booths.
However, there is a replacement for the sun by welcoming the assimilation and co-mingling of all colors by which a palate would be created that would rival the tan of the past.
Now that would be a great replacement, and no skin off my nose from sunburned peeling skin.
On a totally unrelated topic referencing Ann Parillo’s June 16 letter (“Stopping at red lights isn’t optional.”) She talked about people not stopping for red lights.
Ann, I hear you.
Red means you must stop; green means you may go.
Stay vigilant and safe.
Sandra J. Natale
Saratoga Springs


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Ignatious P. Reilly

I highly doubt the ‘fact’ that 47% of republicans said anything even remotely close to that. Did you get that ‘fact’ from Rolling Stone Magazine perchance? 


Nearly half of Republican voters think the US just has to live with mass shootings, according to a poll released in the aftermath of the Texas elementary school murders and as politicians in Washington negotiate for gun reform.


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The CBS and YouGov poll returned familiar results, including 62% support for a nationwide ban on semi-automatic rifles, the kind of gun used in Uvalde, Texas.
Nineteen young children and two adults were killed at Robb elementary school on 24 May by an 18-year-old who bought his weapon legally.
But clear national support for a ban on such rifles or changes to purchasing ages and background checks is not mirrored in Congress. Most Republicans, supported financially by the powerful gun lobby, remain opposed to gun reform.
In an effort fueled by horror at events in Uvalde, senators led by Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut elected after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting killed 26 in 2012, and John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, have expressed optimism that some changes may be possible.
On Monday, Murphy told NBC News: “Sometimes when we go away for a week … sensitive negotiations like this fall apart. This week, the opposite is happening because my colleagues went home and heard the same thing I did. Parents are frightened to death.
“They’re frightened to death for their kids and they’re frightened to death that government isn’t going to be able to respond the most fundamental concern the parents have: the safety of their kids. I think senators are coming back to town today with a newfound resolve to get something done.”
Reporting on the Senate talks has largely focused on “red flag” laws designed to stop gun purchases by people deemed a potential danger to others or themselves. In the CBS/YouGov poll, support for such laws ran at 72%.
Murphy was asked: “Is this about incentivising states to pass their own [red flag law] or a federal one?”
He said: “I actually don’t think it’d be a good idea to have a federal red flag law. I think it’d be very inaccessible for local law enforcement to have to go to the federal court system.
“So I support the state laws. I think they need some guidance and some funding in order to implement these laws and make sure that everybody knows how to access them.”
A Senate reform package could also contain efforts to close loopholes in background checks. In the CBS/YouGov poll, support for federal background checks on all gun purchases ran at 81%.
Joe Biden has called for an assault weapons ban, or at least raising the minimum age for purchases. In the new poll, 77% said the minimum age for buying an assault rifle should be higher than 18: 32% said it should be 21 and 45% opted for 25.
Murphy said: “I think there’s certainly Republican support for raising the age. I don’t know whether there are 60 votes yet and right now, my entire focus is on what can get 60 votes.”
But the new poll’s most telling evidence came when respondents were asked if mass shootings were “unfortunately something we have to accept as part of a free society” or “something we can prevent and stop if we really tried”.
Among Democrats, 85% said mass shootings could be stopped if US politicians would only try. Among independents, the figure was 73%. Overall, it was 72%.
But 44% of Republicans said mass shootings should be accepted as part of a free society.
Following strict messaging guidelines, Republican politicians repeatedly say mental health and security issues are to blame for mass shootings, not access to guns.
Poll respondents were also asked: “Regardless of how you feel about the issue, how likely do you think it is that Congress will pass any laws in the next few months that will make significant changes to gun policy?”
Only 7% thought it was “very likely” Congress would act, while a combined 69% thought it was “not very” or “not at all” likely.
Some state governments have passed reforms. In New York City on Monday, the state governor, Kathy Hochul, signed a package of laws including licensing measures for assault rifles and a minimum purchase age of 21, expanded red flag provisions and a ban on sales of body armour.
Hochul told reporters: “It just keeps happening. Shots ring out, flags come down and nothing ever changes – except here in New York.”
The state, however, is home to another politician whose fate starkly shows what can happen to Republicans who express openness to gun reform.
On Friday, the New York congressman Chris Jacobs abandoned his bid for re-election, after stoking fury by expressing support for a federal assault weapons ban.
Jacobs represents suburbs of Buffalo, the city in which 10 people were shot dead at a supermarket on 14 May in what authorities say was a racially motivated attack.


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Mass shootings, widely defined as shootings in which four people excluding the gunman are hurt or killed, have continued since Buffalo and Uvalde.
Last week, at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a gunman killed two doctors, a receptionist and a patient.
According to the non-profit Gun Violence Archive, the following weekend saw mass shootings in Philadelphia, Chattanooga, South Carolina, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, New York and Michigan. Fifteen people were killed and more than 60 wounded.
The archive says there have been 246 mass shootings in the US in 2022, considerably more than one a day.
On Sunday, Murphy told CNN: “The possibility of success is better than ever before. But I think the consequences of failure for our entire democracy are more significant than ever.”


US politics

Texas school shooting
Gun crime


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Ignatious P. Reilly

Again, statistics and polls can easily be manipulated to say whatever the group doing the math wants them to say. Unflinching belief in polls and statistics shows that you see only what you want to see as our friend Lou used to say. Show me a single republican, who isn’t a politician and/or a moron who thinks what you people claim they think. Just one regular person. Republicans have children too, you know. I wonder why no one wants to face the root cause of all this violence, poor parenting, poor schooling and way too much TV, especially “news’ programs glorifying these sick people by plastering their names and faces all over the place ad nauseum. Before you suffer apoplexy, I as a republican fully support laws to reduce or even better end this asinine conduct by certain segments of the population. I may point out that there are already laws and other methods that should keep some of this from happening in the first place and you can see just how good that works. Laws are useless without a sea change in societal behavior. Also how is 246 instances more than one a day in a 365 day calandar year?  

And by “what you people claim they think” you’re referring to the respondents to the CBS and YouGov poll? I’m pretty confident neither CBS nor YouGov combed the possible respondents for any particular point of view. Read more carefully.
If you had bothered to check the links provided you would’ve seen the following headline:
“22 weeks into the year, America has already seen at least 246 mass shootings”
That would be 2022 which we’re only halfway through.
Again, read more carefully.

Ignatious P. Reilly

Nope. Don’t believe it. Polls are utterly worthless and if you don’t know that, you should. I know many hunters, gun nuts and many Trumpists (as libs so-call them) yet I don’t know a single person that thinks “we just have to live with mass shootings”. To intimate such baloney is purely political and yet another reason the US is so divided. Go Government! Yay! 

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