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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 debate over New York State Common Core standards continues, with students from the Mineola School District showing a mild resistance to the exams.

 

According to the New York State Allies for Public Education, Mineola had some of the lowest numbers, with eight students opting out of the English Language Arts test. However, not a single Mineola student missed the math test. In East Williston, the opt out rates were 75 students in ELA and 60 in math.

Gitangalie Palombo, an Elmont yoga instructor, will open Fly High Dance and Fitness on the second floor at 111 E. Jericho Tpke. after her plan was approved by the Mineola Village

Board last week. She expects to open by January 2015. Sherwin Williams occupies the main floor.

 

“We want to be a great addition to the community,” she said. “I hope Fly High brings a new flare to the area.”


Sports

The New York Cosmos hosted the Mineola Athletic Association’s Soccer Club recently for its penultimate fall 2014 home game. More than 140 members of the MAA soccer club and their families came out on a chilly October evening to show their love of the game. Twenty-two Mineola boys and girls had the honor of escorting the New York Cosmos and Ottawa Fury players onto the field in the traditional “Walk of Champions.”

 

The Mineola spirit must have inspired the home team, as spectators enjoyed the exciting 2-1 Cosmos victory, with the game-winning goal coming in stoppage time.


As a current member of the Mineola High School Varsity Soccer team, senior, Catherine Cunningham has been dominating the scoring for the Mustangs.  She has 12 goals and two assists in the last seven games. 

 

In her last week of play alone, she amassed six goals in just three games. As a captain for the last two years, Cunningham has been an All-Conference and All-Class player, leading her team to two victories so far this season. 


Calendar

Exercise Class - October 22

International Night - October 23

Village Halloween Party - October 24


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com