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Letters to the Editor
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Letters to the Editor for May 31

Letters to the Editor for May 31

  • If only today’s parents ‘drugged’ their kids a bit more than they do
  • Ballistic fingerprint
  • If only today’s parents ‘drugged’ their kids a bit more than they do

    As I read the local papers this past week, I have come to realize that there is an ever-growing drug problem in and around our community. It was noted that an estimated 30 children under the age of 18 have been arrested on substance-related charges. As a parent and community member, this is of great concern.

    The following story addresses the issue of who is accountable for the children. The story is as follows:

    The other day someone at a store in our city read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county. He asked me a rhetorical question, “Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?”

    I replied, I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drugged to church on Sunday morning. I was drugged to church for weddings and funerals. I was drugged to family reunions and community socials, no matter the weather. I was drugged by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was drugged to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, didn’t speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.

    I was drugged to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I used profanity. I was drugged out to pull weeds in my mom’s garden and flower beds. I was drugged to the homes of family, friends and neighbors to help some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline or chop some firewood. And if my mother ever knew that I took a single dime as a tip of kindness, she would have drugged me back to the woodshed.

    Those drugs are still in my veins, and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say or think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack or heroin. If today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America and our communities would be a much better place.

    God bless the parents who drugged us. This is in no way a criticism on [today’s] parents. There are a great many parents who do their best and try their hardest to raise children with respect and concern for their neighbors, communities and country.

    There was a message broadcast before the television when I grew up, and I end this letter with it, due to the point it makes: “It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your children are?”

    John Southworth


    The writer is a substance abuse therapist.

    Ballistic fingerprinting proven not to work

    Does any one remember the last attempt for ballistic fingerprinting in New York? It failed [May 21, Gazette]!

    If you are even the slightest bit concerned about the gun rights movement, you will already know about what is happening in New York state. They implemented a database of fired bullets and shell casings from all new handguns sold in the state. This was an attempt to track down the owner if a bullet or shell casing was found at the scene of a crime.

    Gun owners and manufactures told them it wouldn’t work. They did it anyway, adding to the cost of law-abiding New York sportsmen. Now they find out it didn’t work for all the reasons they were told, plus at least one new reason: Different materials take on the markings differently. Some bullets are made primarily of lead, some have copper jackets and some even have steel jackets. There are numerous alloys of lead, too; some even use silver. Shell casings are made of brass, aluminum and steel. If the manufacturer supplied a bullet and shell casing made of one material, and the criminal used another, then the chance of a match is greatly reduced.

    What amuses me the most about this is that the system failed — and now they suggest an alternate scheme of microstamping the firing pin. I’m certain it will also fail, due to the same reasons mentioned above.

    The one thing it will do is add a new cost to gun manufacturers. Of course, the cost will be passed on to the law-abiding gun owners of New York.

    The real reason for all these foolish proposals for new laws concerning guns and gun owners is to eliminate the rights of registered and licensed gun ownership in New York, and eventually the United States. Shame on the state Assembly for passing this bill. Hopefully the Senate will see this bill for what it really is, and not pass it.

    Does anyone think that for all the shootings in Schenectady and Albany over the last few years, [anyone] would benefit from this new proposal? I believe that not one of the suspects was a legal, licensed gun owner!

    My thanks to the National Rifle Association for helping fight the fight and inform its membership of yet another attempt to close down sportsmen’s shops and eliminate gun ownership.

    Rick Splawnik


    No problem with grave site care at St. Agnes

    Re: May 26 article, “A private and a president honored — ceremony keeps memory of Chester Arthur, other unsung heroes, alive”: My intention in highlighting the gravesite of Pvt. Arnold Witbeck was to emphasize the importance of remembering the contributions of all veterans — privates as well as presidents. I didn’t intend to imply that grave sites were not well-cared-for at St. Agnes Cemetery.

    Pvt. Witbeck’s gravestone is quite visible in the St. Teresa Shrine area of St. Agnes Cemetery. A flag was placed on his grave site by the American Legion May 25, in honor of his contributions in World War II.

    The staff at St. Agnes Cemetery takes pride in the appearance of the cemetery and executes great care in maintaining the graves of over 50,000 citizens. American Legion Post 1610, cemetery staff and private citizens spend hours every Memorial Day weekend carefully placing flags on all marked veterans’ graves.

    They should be commended for their efforts in keeping the contributions of our veterans alive.

    Robert Reilly


    The writer is 109th district assemblyman.

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