Thursday, 27 June 2013 00:00
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.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00
The Mineola School District’s 2014-15 draft budget is $87.5 million, a 1.65 percent increase from the 2013-14 budget, which was $86.1 million when it was certified last May.
The budget also includes a 1.46 percent increase in the tax levy, the maximum allowed by the state. The 2014-15 levy sits at $79 million.
District officials said pensions, salaries and special education costs drove the increases. Superintendent Dr. Michael Nagler estimated salaries and pensions would total $400,000 each; special education, $300,000.
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
After two denials by John and Theresa Muzio, the Village of East Williston finally inspected 8 Sumter Ave. recently, officials confirmed. The property has been the subject of controversy and public criticism, resulting in numerous hearings and court proceedings.
The village tried to inspect the house on Jan. 14 and 31. The Muzios thwarted their entry each time, calling the police.
“They’re persecuting me,” Muzio said. “They’re harassing me and they destroyed my house. My house froze up since it’s had no heat since 2009. They need a court order before [demolishing the house].”
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
This is the year the program has been waiting for. Head Coach Helms Bohringer, now in his 17th season at Mineola High School, is looking forward to having eight returning seniors from the 2013 varsity baseball team. That squad finished with seven wins, an improvement over the previous year.
The Mustangs have a program that is trending upward and Bohringer is excited for the prospects of this squad.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
Children, teens and adults competed in the recent Winter 2014 Martial Arts Tournament at Charles Water Karate & Fitness in Williston Park.
Williston Park: Mario Lombardo-first place
Williston Park: Gavin Boylan - third place
Williston Park: Gavin Lee - Medal Winner
Matthew Gavagan – Medal Winner