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Letter: Free Speech And Freedom From Violence

Protesters with crude handmade signs occupied the Jericho Turnpike corners of Willis Avenue and Mineola Boulevard on a recent Saturday.  One of their hand-lettered posters made an insulting anatomical reference to a local elected official.  I asked the protesters what they were protesting, and they responded that they were protesting the “SAFE Act.”   I asked what was wrong with the SAFE act, and they responded “Everything!” claiming that it took away their right to own guns.  One apparent leader of the group asked why I was asking these questions, and I responded that I believed they had been given incorrect information, perhaps some of the half-truths and outright misinformation distributed by gun manufacturers through lobbyists such as the National Rifle Association.  A younger protester began to yell at me that it “they” were taking away his constitutional right to own guns, but fortunately the more mature fellow calmed him and continued the discussion with me.  I asked if they were aware that there was nothing in the SAFE Act that limited the number of guns they could own, as long as they were not convicted felons or adjudicated mentally ill.  At that point, the other protesters started raising their voices, unfortunately interrupting the intelligent discussion I was having with their colleague.  I wished them a nice day and moved on.

 

Misinformation is peddled to gullible people—and I believe this is done intentionally by gun manufacturers through their lobbyists.  For example, one of the protesters told me that the Newtown shooter left his “AR-15” in the trunk of his car and executed children with handguns.  In fact, police records show that 154 bullets in the massacre were fired from a Bushmaster XN-15-ES2 semi-automatic rifle, and one bullet was fired from a Glock handgun, which was apparently the suicide shot.  A shotgun was later found in the shooter’s vehicle.  

 

Sadly, this propaganda creates a situation where people are led to believe that it is patriotic to oppose any efforts to reduce gun violence. 

 

Also sadly, on the day before my conversation with these protestors, it appears that a young man in California, upset about his parents’ divorce, killed his father and brother and went on a shooting rampage, killing three others whose misfortune it was to leave their homes to run errands or attend school.  There is no indication that this disturbed individual would not have become violent even without access to guns, but surely a gun made it much easier for him to kill five people in a short time when he apparently became enraged.

 

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a politically active registered Republican, and after gun violence affected me personally I decided to become educated, and then involved, in preventing gun violence.  I am sending a copy of this letter and a contribution to the campaign of the elected official named by the protesters.  My intent is to offset any negative impact that these uninformed persons may have inflicted.  I am proud to live in a country where people are free to express their views.  I am embarrassed that some people use that right for misinformation, insults and vitriol.  And I am sad that our country leads the civilized world in gun violence.

 

Paul May

 

Mineola resident


News

The Mineola School Board will hold a public hearing on the much-debated New York State veterans exemption on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Willis Avenue School. It is expected the board will either approve or disapprove the tax exemption during its regular meeting at 7 p.m.

When votes go to the polls next week on Tuesday, Nov. 4 to vote on the Town of North Hempstead’s 2nd Council District seat, candidate Bonnie Parente feels her stance on the building department is what voters will remember when casting their choice. The 2nd council district post is currently held by Peter Zuckerman, a former East Hills trustee. He was appointed to the seat in January to replace Thomas Dwyer, who resigned last year.

 

“That’s the major issue I heard about when I knocked on doors,” she said. “No matter where I am, I could be at the Herricks Community Center or the Albertson Pasta Dinner and

predominately what people ask about is how to fix the building department.”


Sports

Samantha Pastore

Samantha Pastore, senior and third-year varsity player, is also co-captain of the currently undefeated (11-0) Mineola Girls Varsity Volleyball team. She is an outside hitter and is often recognized in games by starting rallies with her quick thinking and nimble feet. She earns 20 percent of the team’s points and averages four aces per match.

The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team fell to the Seaford Vikings last week 27-21, missing their chance to tie the top seeds Locust Valley and Roosevelt’s 6-1 Nassau conference IV record.

 

After tying the game in the second half and having the opportunity to capitalize on Seaford’s failed extra-point kick on their final touchdown, the Viking’s senior wide receiver/defensive back Bobby Buell knocked away a pass from Mineola senior quarterback James Gerstner to senior wide receiver Brian Smith in the end-zone with 57 seconds left


Calendar

International Night - October 30

Halloween Parade - October 31

Cultural Arts Series - November 1 


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