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Political correctness has discouraged us from acting against gunmen

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
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Political correctness has discouraged us from acting against gunmen

Another unspeakable act of horror: Fort Hood, Texas; Tucson, Ariz.; Newtown, Conn.

What do these scenes of human carnage have in common? No doubt the use of guns. But the use of guns can’t begin to explain the reasons behind violence. The real story behind these, and many other examples of wanton violence and terror, is political correctness and the failure of our institutions to do what needs to be done.

Most of the time the problem is right in front of our noses, but as David Vincelette points out (“2nd Amendment vital, now more than ever,” Dec. 30 Gazette), “instead of reacting blindly and emotionally to such horrors, let’s look for the roots.”

Political correctness is precisely one of the roots of the problem. We are hampered by an ideology that completely disarms our ability to act on what we see. Ordinary citizens are rendered helpless by fear. We are afraid to speak up, lest someone is offended or we are accused of insensitivity. Meanwhile, silence reigns and people die.

In Fort Hood, Maj. [Nidal Malik] Hassan hated Americans and acted in the name of jihad. His fellow psychiatric colleagues were shocked at his anti-American assertions. He actually gave lectures to his fellow officers about how America was out to destroy Islam and had to be subdued. In the meantime, the FBI was investigating his Internet connections to al-Qaida. The government talks in terms of a random act of violence while he kills in the name of Allah; now, against army regulations, he gets to sport a beard at his trial.

In Tucson, Jared Loughner was a free-roaming, psychotically ill individual — not a harmless street person, but someone who raised the hair on the back of his fellow students’ necks. He was scary and for a good reason. Was he diagnosed by the psychiatrist who interviewed him? Any observant individual could have made the call. No one wanted to speak out.

In Newtown, Adam Lanza was followed by a school psychologist, not for others’ safety but because he was so strange officials were afraid he would be taunted by his fellow students. His mother was trying to have him institutionalized. Why, when everyone who knew him and his obsession with violent video games, was he allowed access to guns?

All these cases have a thread of fear-driven paralysis that results in silence and inactivity. Dr. Charles Konia, author of the “Emotional Plague, The Root of Human Evil” has called political correctness the “disease of the century.”

We have lost our collective voices to political correctness, and psychiatry has abandoned its responsibility for peoples’ emotional lives, even as the victims and architects of evil proliferate before our eyes.

George Hughes

Burnt Hills

Use dogs, not more guns, to guard our schools

Regarding our nationwide interest in making certain facilities more secure (schools, malls, playgrounds): There is a very vocal campaign going on to restrict the ownership of guns. To me, that is drawing a conclusion before evaluating the goal.

There will always be guns available, no matter the laws.

My solution is cheaper, easier and way more effective: dogs. We would have no problem training dogs to sniff out certain scents, like gun power or the oils used in guns. Have a few dogs sitting around the door of the school, and voila! Nobody gets in with a gun without a loud alarm and a first defender. A well-trained dog will give his life for you, providing precious time to take action.

So instead of spending millions on ineffective gun control, just pay for the purchase, training and upkeep of a few dogs per school. Way less money, and far more reliable than hiring people. They don’t need pensions or summers off, and they won’t struggle with a moral decision during a crisis.

Dogs: man’s and kid’s best friends.

Bill Denison

Burnt Hills

Where, oh where, were Schenectady’s snowplows?

As I drove the streets of Schenectady today [Dec. 28], they were in desperate need of adequate plowing.

As a taxpayer who pays an exorbitant amount in taxes, I am extremely angry at the condition of the streets. There are snow piles right in the middle of busy intersections, and entrances to streets are [so] covered in snow that cars just slide when entering a street. This is very dangerous!

I have lived in Albany, and the roads were not like this, so the excuse that Schenectady is a city and it’s difficult to plow is ridiculous.

Albany has alternate-side-of-the-street parking; how come Schenectady doesn’t [except on main streets]? Cars get towed in Albany, how come they don’t get towed in Schenectady? Oh, and where’s the salt?

This is another reason people move out of Schenectady, the inadequate care given to the residents who do pay their high taxes. It makes people disgusted.

Michelle Raetz

Schenectady

 
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comments

January 2, 2013
8:32 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Bill Denison Dogs are a good idea but they too are expensive, they need 6 months of initial training then permanent ongoing training plus they need a handler. Much cheaper to allow administrators a carry conceil gun permit in schools.

January 2, 2013
6:02 p.m.
biwemple says...

Dogs can be called back, unlike a bullet. They are very expensive though, but very useful in finding drugs, people, and explosives, gunpowder, etc. Could occasionally run them through schools to find some student concealing a gun when they have no business having one there.

January 2, 2013
9:08 p.m.
Newsworthy says...

Asking school staff to carry weapons puts them in the role of law enforcement; that's an unfair burden to place on them. A concealed carry permit not suffice. Serious tactical training needs to accompany such a permit, the alternative being wild shoot outs with more innocent people getting hurt or killed. While many would defend children with their lives, not all could deal with carrying guns all day.
I think the idea of dogs is worth consideration, with the realization that they would require a full time handler. Cost shouldn't be a serious problem. School boards find things to p_ss away tax dollars every year, because they can't stand the thought of not raising taxes. It shouldn't be a problem funding dogs and handlers.
By consideration, I mean that it should be one option among many considered for improving school security without turning schools into armed camps. Today's children have been robbed of enough innocence without seeing armed guards around them all day. They would feel imprisoned, themselves.

January 3, 2013
7:14 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Or they would feel safe newsworthy.

January 3, 2013
8:45 p.m.
Newsworthy says...

I hope you watched the TV today, when Sandy Hook Elementary re-opened. Everyone there, including the police chief, wants an environment where kids can be kids, rather than living in the fear of a police state. Giving everyone guns in expectation of a showdown is a knee-jerk fix, not a real long-term solution.

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