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Letters to the Editor 7/12/18

No thought for the common man

Thank you for your concise and informative editorial on the farm bill currently before the House. I think our area has a pretty good jobs training network, though I may be wrong. But that could always decrease, and that is probably not the case for areas further upstate, not to mention that some people just need help.

However, why rural people continuously buy into a guy like Faso’s positions I can’t understand. To paraphrase your quote from him, in which he talks about putting “our most vulnerable on a path to future success and independence” while Congress is cutting the programs designed to help them is an obvious contradiction, and flies in the face of common sense.

This guy, along with conservative Republicans across the country, have this type of line sold on conservative media, which is controlled by the moneyed elite. The money available to help people like small farmers who need it is gone in large corporate deals with legislators with no care for the common man. These guys have been selling these positions with great success for years, while playing on people’s fears on side issues as they fill their pockets, as well as those of corporate America.

It’s always squeeze the regular folk, wholesale theft by the rich as they get richer and richer, while literally poisoning the Earth, without care. This system isn’t working. People, wake up. I’m not a young man, but I worry for my grandchildren.  

Ken Schleife

Cochecton, NY

 

Crossing the line

When, in 2013, then Sen. Jeff Sessions and his aide Steven Miller took it upon themselves to stop the first truly bi-partisan immigration bill—something every Congress since the mid-1980s has failed to work toward constructively—that failure unleashed one of the darkest chapters  in our nation’s history.

Today, Attorney General Sessions and senior councilor to the president Steven Miller are using children as bargaining chips in an effort to get the funding to build a fourth-century tool for immigration, a wall along the entire southern border of the U.S.

America has spilled its dearest blood to stop fascism and genocide; it pitted brother against brother to end slavery; and it took to arms to create a nation “of the people, by the people and for the people,” as Abraham Lincoln said in Gettysburg.

But the final words with which Lincoln closed his address resonate in my mind: “shall not perish from the earth.” Well, my fellow citizens, this great experiment in democracy is in very serious trouble when children are being forcibly removed from their parents because two men have influenced the president to allow such to happen.

When Harry S. Truman said, “The buck stops here,” meaning the person who sits in the Oval Office, he made it clear that accountability for this nation ends with the president.

Children are not bargaining chips; families must not be separated; a multi-billion-dollar wall must not be built and the legislative branch must stop the toxic partisanship now or risk the very republic we hold so dear.

The president can stop this and show by example that this is not how America acts.

When, during the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin famously replied to a woman on the street in Philadelphia who asked him whether the United States of America was to be a monarchy or a republic, his reply was five simple words that resonate still today: “A republic—if we can keep it.”

Ned Sader

Wayne County, PA

 

About the AR-15

I am writing this as the NRA/Pro Hunting Chairman for the Federation of Sportsman Clubs of Sullivan County. I do not own an AR-15, but my father and best friend both do, so I am familiar with the AR-15. The AR-15 rifle is one of the most popular weapons in America (the National Rifle Association calls it “America’s Most Popular Rifle”); horrifyingly, the tactical-style rifle has been used in 11 mass shootings since 2012, according to Stanford Geospatial Center, Stanford Libraries and USA Today research).

Today, one of out of every five firearms purchased in this country is an AR-style rifle. Americans now own an estimated 15 million AR-15s as of 12/2017 according to NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation).

The AR-15 is legal in multiple states for hunting various animals from big game to varmints. New York does not allow a tactical style rifle for hunting, yet the Department of Environmental Conservation hunting regulations website does not define the AR-15 or similar rifles as illegal.

AR-15 rifles and similar tactical-style rifles are special because they are semi-automatic weapons that fire only one bullet each time the trigger is pulled, and they are accurate and are easy to modify—exponentially more so than any standard deer-hunting rifle, with multiple and various accessories such as grips, triggers, sizeable trigger guards, extended magazine release, back-up sights, scopes/optics, ambidextrous charging handle, ambidextrous safety selectors, extended bolt releases, anti-rotational pins, stocks, barrels, hand guards/rail systems, muzzle devices, sling and sling mountings, etc. The AR-15 style rifles are not just used for shooting sports, hunting, protection, collecting/showing but as a hobby by many legal gun owners much like an erector set or fixing up an 1970s hot rod.

John “JP” Pasquale

Livingston Manor, NY

 

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