Time to take real aim at gun control

To the editor,

Mr. President, we need action, not tweets, vigils, prayers and flags at half-mast; we need non-political action from The White House. Pay attention to what is going on the ground and put together a plan based on the current reality, and the current reality is that schoolkids are getting killed. If total gun control advocates and a-gun-on-every-hip advocates get bruised, so be it … they will still be alive … and so will our kids.

Since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Feb. 14, where 17 were killed, there has been no federal action toward solving this problem and barely 13 weeks later another under-25-year old loner took his father’s legally-owned, but unsecured, firearms to massacre (at the time of this writing) 10 more schoolkids at the Santa Fe High School in Texas.

Currently, those front and center take extreme positions and with such idiocy at the forefront, a solution remains elusive. Gun control advocates want all guns — legal and illegal — out of the United States, but not one such advocate has provided a plan to rid our country of more than 300 million guns located in every nook and cranny of the Unites States.

Those who advocate a gun on every hip have not provided a plan to insure that owners are qualified and responsible to own firearms.

After the Florida shooting I wrote an opinion letter providing statistics of 21st century school shootings in America: 211 including Parkland — 481 dead, 488 injured. There is no point in providing more statistics. With statistics staring at politicians’ faces, they stick to their guns (no pun intended) and still support their respective absolute and incoherent position.

Here is a synopsis of a sensible solution: Under 25-year-olds (the age of maturity) must not handle firearms; establish a national mentally-ill registry; provide armed security law enforcement personnel at every active school entrance; doors not in use must be locked with an emergency egress bar that will activate both an alarm and a signal to local law enforcement; non-intrusive detectors at every school entrance; training in addition to shooting at a target in the controlled environment of a firing range for gun owners — gun owners need bivouac training.

Additionally, enact a law effective immediately: Legal gun owners who do not secure their firearms, and their legally-owned firearms are used in the commission of a school shooting will be tried as accomplices and will be banned from owning a firearm for life — at least they’ll be able to have a life — kids killed because of gun-owner negligence will not.

So go ahead, have your vigils and prayers; tweet and report the carnage until you are exhausted, but the bottom line is that non-action will result in another school shooting and blood will be on the hands of, not only the shooter, but also do-nothing politicians, irresponsible legal gun owners, total gun control advocates and flood-the-country-with-firearms advocates.

Where is your conscience? Where is your brain?Elio Valenti

Bay Ridge

We gotta have park!

To the editor,

I would like to follow up on my previous letter regarding the Asser Levy Park:

The community I live in is a designated NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) in a concrete jungle of multiple 23 story high rise developments. Tens of thousands of people live in these high rise buildings, mostly seniors. Whatever green this area had on the streets and in the only park in the West Brighton area, the Asser Levy, had been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy five years ago, died or removed by the NYC Parks Department. None had been replaced ever since.

About two years ago, the City Council allocated 5 million dollars to rehabilitate the park. The Parks Department had not consulted the residents before making their plans for it, nor did it have a public hearing, and for some reason that I can only guess, they decided to ‘upgrade’ the existing, functioning, not-well-used playground at a very high cost, instead of replanting all the shade trees, bushes and shrubbery we had lost. According to a recent letter I received from the Parks Department about this, they are planning to spend very little money to replace trees and bushes in the park. Further, they are planning to cut the few, still existing decades-old mature shade trees to even out the ground for the planned playground and to replace them with 2.5-inch-to-3-inch caliber small saplings that will take many decades to offer any shade and shelter from the sun. Our senior citizens will not live long enough to see these trees mature.

The Parks Department plans to build a large new playground in the park when there are already several other public playgrounds in the area, like the Century Playground a block away. What this neighborhood needs is a green park, an oasis to escape the air pollution and noise from the ongoing construction of a huge new shopping center and another high rise development here. We also need street trees adjacent to and around the park and on the streets nearby to provide shade and oxygen, to remove carbon dioxide and other pollution from the air since many trees had been cut needlessly by the Parks Department, leaving huge pits in their place.

It seems that New York City and the local politicians don’t really care for our senior citizens because, despite all the money spent, all the talk by the mayor, and many initiatives since the hurricane about planting thousands of trees to make our city green, nothing was done in this area to remedy the situation here.

My question is: what will most of the $5 million dollars be spent on exactly? Whose pocket will it go to? Who will really benefit from all this spending? The NORC population in our area needs a real green park with many shade trees, flowers, benches and little tables plus trees on the streets that offers fresh air and shade. Trees have the top priority!

Andrea Bobrow

Coney Island

Is plastic better?

To the editor,

This is in response to the letter from Joan Applepie. She suggests that, for spending a certain amount of money, in a store, customers would be given a cloth shopping bag, with the store’s name on it. In this way the store would be given publicity and the customer would not use plastic bags. She makes this idea sound like the best thing since the inventions of the light bulb and sliced bread. Wrong.

First of all, the stores are already getting publicity on the plastic bags. Second, a lot of us live in apartment buildings. Although the incinerators are supposed to be compactors, the incinerator chute still remains. If we buy those large white plastic bags, and fill them up and tie the top, we can’t get them down the chute. If we cut them down we are wasting plastic, which will go in the garbage. A lot of us have waste baskets that accommodate the supermarket bags perfectly. When they are full, we take them out, tie the handles together, in a knot, so nothing falls out, and they go right down the chute.

The plastic bags are not just for one use. I keep a couple in my car for unexpected purchases. They have also come in handy if you are out and a sudden rain comes along, just put one on your head. Not too glamorous but they keep you dry.

There are other uses, but you get the point. What is done with the large plastic bags that people use for the sanitation department? By the way, how do you dispose of your garbage?

Rowena Lachant


Happy 104th, R!

To the editor,

Did you know that 2018 represents the 104th anniversary for R line subway service via the Montague Street Tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn? The original construction of this tunnel by the old private Brooklyn Manhattan Rapid Transit (BMT) company under a franchise agreement with New York City at a cost of $10 million began in October, 1914. Less than 10 years later, there was a proposal to build a tunnel between 69th Street in Bay Ridge and St. George, Staten Island.

The concept was to extend subway service from the Brooklyn BMT line to Staten Island. Ground was broken with entrances at both ends in the 1920’s, but the project quickly ran out of money and was abandoned.

When living on Shore Road in Bay Ridge, friends and I would look to no avail in attempting to find the abandon site filled in decades earlier. Flash forward 94 years and we have the proposed $10 billion “Cross Harbor” rail freight tunnel. This project is also doomed to become a relic of history.

Today 65,000 riders from Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, and other Brooklyn neighborhoods benefit by a direct subway connection with their neighbors in Manhattan along Broadway in downtown and midtown Manhattan along with those from Queens Plaza to Forest Hills and many other communities along Broadway and Queens Blvd. in Queens.Larry Penner

Great Neck

More from Around New York