Letters to the editor April 26

What is the NRA?

The National Rifle Association (NRA) was first chartered in the State of New York on November 16, 1871 by Army and Navy Journal editor William Conant Church and Captain George Wood Wingate. Founded to advance rifle marksmanship, the modern NRA continues to teach firearm safety and competency. The organization also publishes several magazines and sponsors competitive marksmanship events and has a membership of 5 million as of 2013. The organization is led by a board of 76 elected members who are nominated by committee or by petition from the membership. The NRA is one of the top three most influential lobbying groups in Washington, D.C.

Mark Robinson recently joined the NRA. He is a black man, born and raised in Greensboro, NC and is currently going to University of North Carolina Greensboro to become a history professor. He works at a furniture manufacturing plant and went to the city council meeting in Greensboro. His comments have gone viral (Google or YouTube him) after his impassioned plea in favor of Second Amendment gun rights and against the talk of shutting down a local gun show where he intended to do research on the purchase of his first firearm.

Please turn off your fake news/media hype and turn on your brains. Our nation’s removal of God from the public square is the main reason for the exponential increase in violence since the 1960s. Putting God back in His rightful place in the USA as well as improved mental health programs, more gun safety education, added security/surveillance and increased policing can protect us all better than just the removal of gun rights or any specific style rifle.

John “JP” Pasquale

Livingston Manor, NY

Missing the big picture on healthcare costs

After reading the article by Susan Wade on health insurance expenses in the Eldred Central School District in your April 12 issue, I could not help but respond.

This article addresses the Eldred School District problems with health insurance costs, but you are totally missing the bigger story. The issues addressed in this article affect much more than just our Eldred School District, it affects almost everyone.

The article states that Eldred’s healthcare cost went up 7.09%, 17.68% and 6.98% in the three prior years. If only those were the increase figures that I looked at with our own health insurance. Our healthcare insurance rates increased 57% when our policy renewed on December 1, 2017. Years ago, the powers-that-be were selling everyone on “affordable healthcare.” The reality of how very unaffordable that healthcare really is can now be felt by almost every person affected by the legislation that was passed. With an increase of 57% in one year, how can anyone plan for a future when looking even five years down the road?

Year after year our rates have increased, and each time our coverage gets more limited. I have spoken to families with high deductibles to make insurance costs more affordable, but people can’t use or are afraid to use those plans because heathcare costs are so out of control. One woman even told me she had a $10,000 deductible each year for her family. How is this affordable heathcare?

You are missing the big story: the countless families in our area and well beyond that used to have insurance that was so much cheaper for far better plans. What happened to, “if you like your plan, you can keep it”? Because that did not happen. Health insurance and healthcare costs have become such a burden to so many families, along with college loan costs. What is really being done to fix any of it? People shouldn’t be afraid to go to the doctors. They should be able to know upfront costs, and not get bills three months later for things not covered, having no idea at all when they make a simple office visit how it might end up being billed out in its entirety.

Thank you for your paper and your articles. I appreciate your platform.

Patti Martell 

Glen Spey, NY

Illegal immigration and drugs

Almost never discussed in the highly politicized issue of illegal immigration is the role played by illegal drugs and the violence that issues from it. But the fact is that escaping from drug-war zones, in which bullets fly where children play, has been a major motivation for emigration to the U.S., and continues to be. The legalization of drugs would require serious consideration of how it were to be implemented. But a fraction of the billions spent each year on the “war” would pay for treatment centers, education, safe needle centers—which would save lives now lost to overdosing—and take some of the pressure off our borders.

According to a cheatsheet.com report, the U.S. spent $213 trillion between 2008 and 2017 in the “war on drugs.” Plus, for the 95,800 federal prisoners charged with drug-related crimes, the U.S. spends an average of $30,620 per year per prisoner. In addition, the Libertarian Cato Institute estimates, “Taxing and regulating illicit drugs similarly to tobacco and alcohol could raise $46.7 billion in tax revenue each year.” The states that have legalized marijuana are already seeing that revenue.

Perhaps the cost of the war on drugs would be justified if it significantly reduced drug abuse in this country, but it doesn’t. After all, we, the U.S., are the customers for these drugs. But it’s worse: the “war on drugs” not only throws money into a sewer, it creates the sewer. The child migrant crisis from Central America in 2014 was directly related to the crackdown on the cartels in Mexico, which the cartels dealt with by moving operations south to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

We didn’t learn enough from Prohibition.

For more see https://elevationshealth.com/annual-cost-war-on-drugs/; https://tinyurl.com/y8gmczg7; https://cheatsheet.com.

Roy Tedoff

Hortonville, NY

We need Brian Flynn, now more than ever

My name is Tony Cellini. I was honored to have served the Town of Thompson as an elected official for 38 years, and then as a the town supervisor for 20 years until my retirement in 2013

During those years, I had the opportunity to work with volunteer boards, as well as with elected officials from all levels of government. I have worked with conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans, and people of nearly every race, religion and ethnicity. These were hard-working Americans, from laborers to professors, homemakers to homebuilders, rich and poor—with most somewhere in between. They all served with dignity and respect. They all were honorable.

We now have the opportunity to elect a Democrat to Congress in New York’s 19th Congressional District that will represent all this and more. We have the opportunity to elect Brian Flynn.

Not once has Brian ever personally degraded an opponent. Never has he fostered fear or anger. Never has he acted as a demagogue or condoned violence. Never has he demeaned women. And never has he tolerated the impugning of a religious or ethnic group, nor the ridiculing of the handicapped.

I appeal to Democratic friends, voters and leaders: Do not let the disgraceful behavior of Republican President Donald Trump further damage the party of Lincoln and the character of America.

Elect Brian Flynn, who will finally bring dignity and respect back to Congress, something that all Americans want and need now.

Please join me in voting for Brian Flynn in the Democratic Primary on June 26, and he will lead us to victory in November.

Tony Cellini

Monticello, NY 

 

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