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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 01/20/2017

Knives more deadly than guns? Who’s kidding whom?

Knives more deadly than guns? Who’s kidding whom?

*Knives more deadly than guns? Who’s kidding whom? *Don’t be too quick to rap Sch’dy snowplow effort

Knives more deadly than guns? Who’s kidding whom?

Letters Dec. 18 and 26 [suggested that we] should stop worrying about firearms and pay attention instead to what one called “stabbing incidents.” I couldn’t agree more: “Guns don’t kill people, knives kill people.” Let’s print that wisdom on some bumper stickers and T-shirts.

U.S. history is rife with instances of mass carnage by knife wielders. It was the 1960s, I believe, when a fellow climbed the University of Texas tower and killed 16 people by hurling jackknives at them. You may have heard that he had a gun, that he shot those individuals, but don’t believe it: That was anti-NRA propaganda. The same is true of the alleged D.C. sniper some years later: Those weren’t bullets he was tossing around, those were blades.

I’ve done some research, and I was shocked to learn that as many as 50 million U.S. households have at least one knife. That’s 50 million unregistered, unregulated knives! This is intolerable. One solution, I think, might be to offer cash or gift certificates to householders who turn in their knives. Such a program would save not only human lives, but other creatures as well. Who’s going to roast a cow’s rump, or a bird, if he has no means of carving it? Thus on future Thanksgivings, our president might pardon not just one turkey, but flocks and flocks of them.

Our Constitution guarantees us the right to bear arms. I first thought that meant we could go sleeveless whenever we chose. I now know that means we may own a gun. The Constitution, however, does not grant us a similar right to own a knife. At least I don’t think so. I’ll have to read the document some time.

In the meantime, I’m doing my part to stop knife violence. I refuse to have such an object in my home. In careless hands, even a butter knife can be deadly. It can go off without warning with tragic results. If I want cream cheese on my bagel, I’ll stick my fingers into the stuff and spread it that way. It will be messy, and probably unsanitary, but I’m willing to make the sacrifice.

Elaine Pastore

Schenectady

Don’t be too quick to rap Sch’dy snowplow effort

Re the Jan. 2 letter, “Where, oh where, were Sch’dy’s snowplows?” I think it’s important for city residents to understand that employees who plow the roads also live in the city and pay high taxes like everyone else.

The fact, is with budget cuts, the city doesn’t have the manpower to keep up with a major storm. Also understand that while many of the residents were home enjoying the holiday season with their family members, these employees were at work doing their best. City employees are currently working under an expired contract and haven’t received any pay increases in the past two years.

I agree that the condition of the streets would improve if Schenectady had alternate-side parking, like Albany. It would also help improve revenue if they instituted a ticket-and-tow snow emergency program. City employees would definitely be able to plow the streets better and would be more likely to keep up during a snowstorm if they weren’t dodging parked vehicles.

Adam Armour

Schenectady

The writer is vice president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1037.

Obama went over a cliff with inappropriate sarcasm

After Obama’s useless, macho, unpresidentially sarcastic performance Monday [Dec. 31] — with, per his style, some American middle-class folks around him as props — I don’t want to hear another peep out of his administration or the left about George W. Bush’s attempted gesture at sea celebrating the nation’s military for a cessation of hostilities that sadly proved premature.

Ironic, isn’t it? Bush was a commander in chief to those devoted folks, who, en route to the ceremony, could still keep an example of that military strength aloft; his successor, after four years, is still trying to get a handle on keeping the “ship of state” afloat.

Harold D. Wessell

Rock City Falls

If cops in schools are OK, why aren’t guns?

Re your Dec. 28 editorial, “Same old sick story at the NRA,” wherein you characterize the NRA’s response to the Sandy Hook school shootings as insanity, and suggest the staunchest defenders of the Second Amendment be ignored as a fringe element.

I don’t recall President Clinton’s announcement of millions of dollars in grants for his “Cops in Schools” program being characterized as sick, insane or fringe-like, although it had the very same purpose.

Your position that law-abiding people don’t need so-called assault rifles is curious, too. It makes me wonder if you regard the First Amendment as casually as you do the Second. But then, who really needs a free press anyway?

Michael D. Reilly II

Niskayuna

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