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Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Jan. 10

Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Jan. 10

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Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Jan. 10
The seven-foot-tall stainless steel statues of soldiers that are part of the Korean War Veterans Memorial, in Washington, Nov. 6
Photographer: ZACH GIBSON/THE NEW YORK TIMES

Fight for reasonable gun control laws

Things are quiet now. The last mass shooting has faded, and people go about their business. Tomorrow? Who knows? Maybe we’ll see a mass shooting that takes a hundred lives.

Each time it occurs, we react with appropriate horror and disgust. And what happens? Bury the dead, treat the wounded, and then nothing. Nothing. When will our elected representatives have the courage to address this threat to us and our children?

I encourage you to view the documentary that was presented on CNN, “Fareed Zakaria GPS: Global Lessons on Guns,” which aired on Nov. 25. It presents lessons to be learned. It shows that other countries allow reasonable gun ownership. It asks why we can’t. It addresses homicides and suicides and shows that other gun-loving countries don’t have nearly the problem that the United States does. And perhaps surprisingly to some, it’s not all because of mental illness (although there is no question that it contributes in a small way).

We really must stand up to the vocal critics who don’t want to accept reasonable rule changes for gun ownership, including removing assault weapons from the public. No one is trying to take all guns away. It just makes sense to know who has them and to make sure no one who shouldn’t have them does.

Don’t just nod in agreement; do something. Let your legislators know that this great country we love doesn’t have to remain one of the more dangerous places on Earth when it comes to guns.
Jerry Boehm
Albany

 

Use facts for truth, not for own biases

What’s become of us as a nation? Have we descended into two tribes sniping at one another with cherry-picked facts that reflect our biases rather than the whole truth? Timothy Gaffney’s Jan. 1, letter for instance, criticized Diane Hombach’s  Dec. 26 letter in which she claimed Obama won over 50 percent of the popular vote, something no president has accomplished since Reagan. That’s not true: While Obama garnered 52.9 percent in 2008, both Bush presidents topped 50 percent in 1988 and 2004. Mr. Gaffney went on to state that the 2018 midterm elections were nowhere near as devastating to Republicans as the 2010 midterms were to Democrats. (Republicans lost a mere 40 House seats in 2018, whereas Democrats lost 64 in 2010, plus Republicans picked up three Senate seats in the latest election.)

On the surface, Mr. Gaffney’s point is correct. But he overlooks the fact that in 2010, Republicans won the popular House vote by a margin of only two-tenths of a percent more than Democrats won in 2018 (7.2 percent vs. 7.0).  

As for the Senate, even though Republicans gained three seats in 2018, they won only 41.5 percent of all votes cast in Senate races, whereas Democrats won 56.9 percent. Those disparities occurred because of Republican gerrymandering and the fact that the Senate, which grants every state two senators regardless of size, favors small (red) states.

Why do folks insist on searching only for evidence to support their pre-existing viewpoints instead of trying to determine the whole truth behind the headlines?
Fred Como
Burnt Hills

 

No legitimate case for pot prohibition 

Regarding Jim Vincent’s Dec. 27 letter, “Consider negatives of legalizing pot,” there is no rational defense of any state law that prohibits marijuana sales to responsible adults. 

The gateway-drug theory isn’t scientific fact. Yet many writers keep citing that archaic bunk in vain attempts to malign the female flowers of cannabis plants.

What is the long-term effect of lawmakers and bureaucrats blocking public access to those truly beneficial plant materials?

Various positive economic impacts will result from legal cannabis commerce in New York. 

For sure, the local property taxes paid by new businesses and lucrative careers in this rapidly growing field both will enjoy wide appeal.    

Unfortunately, stoned drivers do pose serious traffic risks, and teenagers always tend to be rebellious. But those realities do not justify a blanket ban on recreational cannabis products sold to adults. At present, saliva kits that detect recent pot smoking by drivers are available to police agencies. Researchers also continue developing more accurate roadside tests.

A spokesman for the American Medical Association went on record in 1937 strongly opposing the original anti-“marihuana” law passed by Congress. At the time, it was perfectly legal for doctors to prescribe cannabis extracts as medicine. 

Today, New York is among more than 30 states with active medical cannabis programs. 

They clearly conflict with the Schedule I classification in the Controlled Substances Act,  which claims that cannabis has “no currently accepted medical use.” All prohibitive cannabis laws were totally indefensible from the start.
Lawrence Goodwin 
Milton

 

Grateful to Malta vets group for caring

Thank you to the Malta Veterans Appreciation Program, Renee Farley, Dave Wallingford, Craig Warner, Bryan Haas, Paul Mosseau and all the volunteers who support veterans. I’m an 84-year-old female veteran from the Korean Conflict. My children didn’t want me to drive anymore, so I sold my car. The Malta veterans program drives me to appointments. And every Christmas, they come with Santa, bringing gifts, cookies and candy. The best part is that they sing Christmas songs. What a wonderful group of people.
Doris Principe
Malta

 

Give Trump his own walled-in country

Since we have a president with little regard for the truth and based on his own utterances, he appears to be unethical, immoral and probably criminal, I have a solution: We should let Trump have his own country, and he can be king for life. I propose that we draw a line in West Texas down to the Mexican border. This part of West Texas will be called Trumpsylvania. Trump could be king and even have a congress that would do whatever he wanted. He could put the Trump name in gold on all the buildings in the country. He could even go to war for water rights and turn Trumpsylvania into a giant golf course. 

He could also build a 30-foot high concrete wall around his whole country to keep the undesirables out. Tax rates would have to be high to begin with to build up the military and pay for the wall. But rich, overweight, old white males would be exempt from taxes. Public school wouldn’t be necessary because he would teach people how to use their “guts.” They would not need libraries either, so some money could be saved that way. 

He tells us that his “gut” is smarter than most people’s brains. And since the gut is where excrement is made and expelled, I have a better understanding of the things he actually says.
Rudy Nydegger
Ballston Spa

 

Media biased toward Clinton Foundation

This is in response to Bill Denison’s Dec. 31 letter. He’s wrong about the Clinton Foundation somehow being “shady” and not legitimate.

Did they receive some donations from “awkward” sources? Of course. But who hasn’t been in a room with people of questionable character? You have to make do. In the Clintons’ case, this meant not offending the donor(s) by returning the cash.

Some question the large influx of cash that flowed into the foundation while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. I’m sure it was just a coincidence (kind of like when Barry Bonds was hitting all those home runs at an advanced age but wasn’t on steroids). Same thing with Bill Clinton’s huge speaking fees, just like birdwatchers pay a lot of money for exotic bird calls. Who among us wouldn’t pay big bucks to hear the call of the “Raspy-Throated Clinton.” As for the Clintons getting rich off of their foundation, I’m sure it was just a “bookkeeping error.” Someone probably mislabeled a file, which accounts for the discrepancy.  

Finally, The Gazette has to sell newspapers. Which headline do you think they’re going to use: 1) President Trump uses rare tax deduction to save on taxes or 2) Trump uses unfair tax loophole to avoid paying fair share of taxes? Also, unfortunately, most of their national stories are written by two “news” organizations: The New York Times and The Washington Post, which seem to be subsidiaries of the Democratic National Committee. Hopefully, this explanation clarifies any confusion.
Ken Truman
Albany

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