Letters to the Editor for Dec. 31
Who would want to live in a world with guns, guns and more guns?
Let’s suppose the NRA’s insistence that “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun” justifies having armed guards in every school. Where does such a policy eventually lead? What will you do when some “bad guy” decides that those guards can stop attacks on schools, but not school buses? Will you place an armed guard on every school bus? Or wait until it happens, then add the guards? That’s locking the barn door after the horse has escaped; what good does it do?
Of course, some students ride city buses on their way to school. Will you put an armed guard on all city buses?
And some students walk to school. Will you put an armed guard at every corner?
Some schools are sponsored by churches, synagogues and other private organizations, even pacifist communities. Will you place armed guards in these institutions, despite the constitutional separation of church and state? And if they don’t want armed guards, will you force them?
And why stop there? What about churches? Or government offices? Or trade buildings? Transportation centers? Shopping centers? These have all been attacked.
And what do you mean by “good guy with a gun?” What about the person who has been trained to use a gun in the military or a police force, and maybe even served with distinction. [What if he] turns into a “bad guy with a gun” either before or after retirement? Will you accept them as school guards, even though you may not know who they are?
How many people predicted that someone would attack a school full of defenseless children? How many people predicted that someone would start shooting in a shopping mall, a church or university?
The NRA claims it’s not guns that kill people, but people that kill people — and criminals will always find a way to obtain guns. Is that a reason to make guns so easy to obtain that virtually anyone can have one, or a dozen, complete with mega-round, armor-piercing ammunition clips?
It is much harder to wreak carnage if the most lethal weapon available to you cannot kill dozens of people. And the last time I checked, deer don’t wear armor.
No one has the right to holler “fire!” in a crowded theater, despite our constitutional right to free speech. To do so is a perversion of that right. We have a constitutional right to bear arms, but attacking schoolchildren is a perversion of that right. So what limitations are we willing to accept on the right so such perversions do not happen again?
And if we are willing to spend time and money to place armed guards everywhere, [why not] spend even a fraction of that on prevention, in the form of better mental health services, for instance, so as not to create “bad men with guns”?
Change the culture of violence that children are taught, and adults encourage, through violent movies and games, by banning such movies and games. Give more and better aid to our less fortunate members of society, so they do not resort to becoming “bad men with guns.” Or do you wish to live in an armed camp forever?
Forrest W. Holroyd
Only beef over parking ticket is lack of consistency
Around 3:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, I parked (unaware) on the wrong side of the short block of Central Parkway between Union Street and Eastern Parkway, and received a $35 ticket. I was annoyed, but planned on paying it soon after the holidays since I violated the signage which spelled out alternate days and times.
The very next day, I revisited the same person and noticed that there were five cars parked on the wrong side. I mentioned it to the homeowner, and she suggested I call the police department, which I promptly did. Two police officers arrived in a matter of minutes and I watched them go door-to-door, warning the violators to move their cars. I ran outside and asked why no tickets were being written, and was told they don’t like to write tickets on a holiday.
I explained my situation, having received one on Christmas Eve, and wanted to know the difference. No plausible explanation, other than “it was probably the meter person,” not a police officer who wrote it.
I was not pacified. They were successful in getting all but one of the cars moved. They could not find the owner but still did not write a ticket. It remained overnight, with no ticket written.
I paid my fine promptly, knowing the city of Schenectady is close to bankruptcy, but feel that perhaps our police force and others who write tickets should follow the same rules for all residents, and not make personal judgments. Based on past performance, i.e. a Christmas party at a local bar with strippers, they do not appear to be wise in this area.
Kids more precious than cash, so guard them, too
Are children really our greatest commodity? Our most valued assets? If so, why so much resistance to better security for them, such as police in schools?
Large sums of cash are picked up by armed guards, transported in armored cars, and kept behind bulletproof glass and steel vaults.
Nobody I have asked, regardless of their personal stance on gun control, has suggested that we shouldn’t guard those large sums of cash. Why do people get so angry over guarding children in at least the same manner as our currency?
What do you truly value more — money or children?