CARS HOMES JOBS

Despite protests, Saratoga gun show will go on as scheduled

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
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Despite protests, Saratoga gun show will go on as scheduled

There is a petition circulating in Saratoga Springs that was created by some person who may see herself as a slayer of dragons, we being the fire-breather! I have heard of 1,250 signatories to this instrument to ban our gun show from the city.

To me, it doesn’t matter whether she ends up with 1,250, 2,000 or whatever, because our event is in the right. We have a track record; we also have a contract including three more shows. We are a legitimate company doing legal things and are responsible, sensible, sensitive adults who can stand a challenge, but would rather challenge a problem and correct it. What problem these other people see is not all

that clear to me. We are not canceling our arms show.

These past several weeks, I have been asked for many interviews by the media, because I, along with my wife Cathy, have run a gun shop in Mechanicville for 35 years. They wanted my “expert” opinion

on why things happen, what I intend to do and how I feel — all asked along with other insidious questions posed after the Newtown, Ct., massacre.

Yes, it was an insane person who massacred children. I wept when I heard of it.

I have grandkids of the same age and can feel the horror too, as am sure all of you can. And now, seeing that Cathy and I also run the Saratoga Springs Arms Fair at City Center, we again are fair game.

I have been informed that petitioners and protesters will be at ourdoorsteps when we open our fair on Saturday, Jan. 12. I will be the first to say it is their legal right to be there, as it is ours.

So, to our waiting-in-line public and our exhibitors inside, I implore you to act civilly toward whatever may be thrown — I hope not physically — at you. We are the God-fearing, the flag-bearing, the front-line warriors, the silent majority, veterans of war, police and firefighters. And what you can do is come and support us and our — rather, your — show. Because that is what this is all about — them trying again to steal a little piece of freedom from our grasp.

But, after hundreds of years of American firearm ownership, even with the written document that guarantees our rights and the Supreme Court decisions pronouncing the indisputable fact of an American’s right to own and possess guns, they still try. They still try to take them away, and even if every law-abiding citizen concurred and gave in, it still couldn’t happen.

For all the insane efforts, the good guys would have none and the bad guys would have guns. Where is the sense in this? There are many millions of firearms in America — some say at least one to two for every man, woman and child.

Recently, I received notice that in November, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, NICS, processed over 2 million requests. For December, that number could reach 3 million. Folks, that is a lot of guns going into the hands of the silent majority!

As I always say, more guns, less crime. And as for the gun-owning folks down there in Rockland and Westchester counties, fear not: Their name and address is out there for the robbing criminals to see and ponder. But rather fear for the neighbor who has just had a sign put up on his lawn stating, “No Guns Here”!

As far as Cathy and I are concerned, we are going ahead with business as usual; our Saratoga Springs Arms Fair will go on. After the City Council last week passed a resolution requesting it, we will not allow the sale or display of AR-15s (assault-style semiautomatic rifles) or look-a-likes in this year’s show. But most of us old fogey dealers probably won’t have any of those left from our stores anyway. We sold them all in the feeding frenzy created by the very media that now asks the question, why?

The one final thing I would ask of you all is that you fight fire with fire. The Internet and social media sites are ablaze with articles wanting to ban this, that and even us. Use your skills on the web as well, post your Facebook facts, write your blog or respond to chats and chirps, tweet and twitter. But get it done. Let the left know the right still rules, and contact your friends and colleagues and let them know that our show will go, now and in the future.

David Petronis

Mechanicville

Fracked gas worse than CO2 for global warming

While proponents of shale gas fracking tout its ability to reduce global warming because natural gas generates half the CO2 [carbon dioxide] that coal produces when it is burned, this is deceptive. What is little advertised by the pro-fracking crowd is that compared to CO2, natural gas is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas.

Where this becomes important is that we do not get 100 percent efficiency in extraction and eventual usage; some natural gas is lost at each step in the process.

In a peer-reviewed article in Climate Change Letters, Robert Howarth [professor of ecology and environmental biology at Cornell] and others have assessed the global warming footprint of fracked gas. Their paper indicates when you convert methane to its CO2 equivalent, fracked gas actually increases global warming compared to even burning coal.

An October 2012 website article, “Methane Emissions from Modern Gas Development,” indicated that fracked gas wells — e.g. Marcellus shale — release 40 percent to 60 percent more fugitive gas than conventional wells. The article also states “Wigley (2011) uses climate modeling to assess the impact of transitioning to 50 percent natural gas power generation by 2050. For all emission scenarios, the switch to natural gas increases warming over the next 20 years.”

These 20 years are critical when it comes to climate mitigation.

Richard Moody Jr.

Schoharie

When did ethnicity start to matter so much?

One of the benefits of retirement is the time availed to me for reading the daily paper. I especially enjoy the Sunday Opinion section, with such gifted writers as Steve Keller, Karen Cookson, L.D. Davidson, Ed Reilly Jr. and John Figliozzi. Thanks to the Gazette, everyday people are given the opportunity to share their thoughts with other readers. If I wasn’t aware of their non-writing backgrounds, I could easily be fooled into thinking they were professional journalists.

Last week, I read an article [Jan. 5] about a councilwoman [Marion Porterfield] being elected into office in Schenectady as the first black female to ever be elected to that position. She stated, I’m paraphrasing, this is only the beginning of elected black females.

The article reminded me of some kind of invasion from outer space. What is so unusual about a black female or male being elected to office? Why was it necessary to add the ethnicity of the councilwoman elected to office? I’ve had a Muslim, Mexican, female, Italian and, yes, a black doctor, some of whom performed surgery on me, but I never referred to them as Muslim, Mexican, female, Italian or a black. To me, they were all excellent at their jobs and that was good enough for me.

Dr. [Martin Luther] King said it all in his “I Have a Dream” speech 60 years ago: “I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a nation, where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Those powerful words should have been considered when writing the above article.

How foolish would it be, if I signed this letter “Vince Alescio of Sicilian heritage?” Does it make any difference?

Vince Alescio

Clifton Park

Restoring the American prairie is important work

I read with great interest the Jan. 6 article, “Photos may lead to modification of fencing that impedes antelope routes,” on fencing modifications in Phillips County, Mont., which will facilitate antelope movement.

My grandfather was a homesteader in Phillips County in northeastern Montana in the early years of the last century. The Northern Plains are the vast grasslands that supported large herds of bison and then of cattle. My cousins are ranchers north of Malta, in the northern grasslands of the county that extend to the Canadian border.

South of Malta is a vast, privately owned nature preserve called the American Prairie Reserve (APR). The mission of the Reserve is to restore the short-grass prairie, what is called the American Serengeti, and to restore its wildlife, including the native bison herds that had disappeared in the late 19th century.

On the prairie lands under its control, the Reserve is removing all fencing, including fence posts and barbed wire. Most of this work is done by volunteers.

The APR works with organizations such as the National Geographic Society, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge to acquire and protect prairie lands, and to re-establish native grasses, grassland birds and animals.

The APR goal is to eventually have 3 million acres of prairie restored to its condition prior to human settlement. The Reserve is open to the public as part of its mission.

Readers interested in the American Prairie Reserve can get more information at www.americanprairie.org.

Patricia Rush

Schenectady

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