Letters to the editor February 21

Danger: Destruction Zone

Some New Yorkers have been fortunate to experience the astounding beauty of the West’s red rock country. To those who haven’t, the unprecedented decision by Donald Trump and Interior Secretary Zinke to cut back the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments by 85% and 50%, respectively, might seem a distant blip on the screen of media storms. Having grown up in Utah, which is blessed with Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion and other natural wonders, I fear our complacency. The administration’s chopping block is consistent with two themes that have guided its other actions: trading our future for a volatile and dubious present, and tossing aside humility in favor of strutting bombast.

One visits Arches or Zion and feels one’s insignificance in the face of nature’s power. We are reminded that our time on earth is limited, and we hope that our children and future generations will share our wonder. Has Trump ever visited the backcountry in these lands? Does the behavior of this real estate developer suggest that he would be awed by what he cannot control?

Our national monuments and parks belong to us, the people. The breathtaking rock formations, the impossible arches and spires, will last far beyond the lifespan of our churning businesses. Imagine visiting our beautiful Adirondacks in a decade and seeing trails of oil drilling machinery or torn forests replaced by mining equipment and sludge piles. Are we willing to say, “Stop!”? Will we demand a change of direction, away from this treacherous path that destroys an irreplaceable gift to our humanity?

Tom Denton

Highland, NY

Mass slaughters and military-style weapons

When the slaughter of children is accepted as the price to be paid for a distorted interpretation of the Second Amendment, the NRA and those who support them in Washington admit they are murderers.

Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando, Newtown, Sutherland Springs, San Bernardino. All have one thing in common: the AR-15. This weapon category must be banned for civilian use. All countries have mentally ill people; only America has mass murders.

On February 24, an AR-15 will be raffled off at a “President Trump Thank You Dinner” at the Best Western in Matamoras, PA. Dinner proceeds will lobby members of Congress to support a Federal concealed-carry law, removing state and local control. The guest speaker: Gun Owners of America’s Executive Director Larry Pratt, who supports gun owners using violence to resist any judicial rulings for gun control. The sponsors: Hyung Jin (Sean) Moon, the leader of The Sanctuary Church, also called the Rod of Iron Ministries (refers to AR-15) in Newfoundland, PA; Hyung’s brother, Kook Jin (Justin) Moon, CEO of Kahr Firearms, Blooming Grove, PA; and The Independent Gazette.

Hyung Jin Moon has called his racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic ideologues to bring their AR-15s to be “blessed” in Newfoundland on February 28. With hate in our backyard, all of us—straight, GLBTQ, white, black, brown, Asian, Latino, Christian, Muslim and Jew—must stand together as Americans against hate and for a ban on military-style weapons. Raise your voice. Attend a vigil. Write/email/phone elected officials and newspapers, post on social media.

Diana Wiener

Milford, PA


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