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Everybody's Column

>Responsibility accompanies one's right to carry a weapon

In the June 19 News, a letter writer ties "unproven," "gimmick" microstamping to "anti-gun cranks." Allow me to remind him that myriad gun control activists are everywhere. We remember the not-too-distant victories of crime gun data collection, analysis and dissemination. And we will forever remember the efforts of the gun lobbyists who undermined the hard work of law enforcement agencies by way of controlling the money spent -- or in this case, not spent -- mining crime gun data.

Both this letter writer and another on June 20 protest the burden placed on the law-abiding gun owners. Let them remember that responsibility must accompany freedom.

In addition, the claim made that every gun control law impacts only the law-abiding citizen is patently false. Perhaps every law has periodically been broken or circumvented, but how many gun sales to ineligible felons have been prevented by mandated background checks? Perhaps other readers will recall the thousands of examples where gun control laws have been enforced to make us all a little safer.

Most crime guns were originally sold legally. If you have one iota of interest in preventing violent crime, then support not only after the fact arrest and prosecution of gun crime, but proactive effort to prevent guns from getting into the hands of criminals or children. Otherwise you're just promoting your self-interests.

Lorenzo Gasbarrini



>Crying about 'shakedown' reveals GOP's true colors

It isn't as though the Republicans in Congress disagreed with Republican Congressman Joe Barton characterizing BP's coughing up $20 billion for the spill as a "shakedown," it is just that they did not want their BP-friendly agenda to be exposed.

Further, if the tea party adherents get their country back, as they like to assert, it will be a country dominated by BP and other major corporations with similar ethical standards and a U.S. government weaker and more beholden to them.

President Obama is not innocent in all of this. What I believe he should have done was to rid the Minerals Management Service of the political hacks appointed by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who, together with industry lobbyists, wrote regulations favorable to the industry, harmful to the environment and, as the Gulf of Mexico demonstrated, to the people who live there.

Andre Toth



>Why not use funds to create a water district in Alden?

Once the stimulus money was announced, I e-mailed all of our representatives asking for help funding a water district for Alden because much of the town has no public water. Many of us get water from wells which, as reported by The News, is a huge health concern because many are contaminated with e. coli bacteria and other contaminants. The water district was voted down because of the huge cost. The average household would have to pay as much as $10,000 up front and an average of $1,500 a year more in taxes for 30 years.

This would have been a great idea for the stimulus monies -- new jobs laying main pipe, more work for local contractors getting each house equipped, income for the Erie County Water Authority, taxes on it and better health for residents.

It makes me mad to drive around seeing towns and villages replacing water lines when we don't have any at all.

A person from Rep. Chris Lee's office was the only one to get back to me, not that he ever tried to help. He actually called the day of the public vote and had no clue it was going on. Hello! This was not a secret; we had three special public town hall meetings on it.

Our representatives think it's a better idea to spend millions on a new gun range in Niagara Falls (not open to the public), or on some roads that are actually in OK shape (a few did need it) or on 200-plus free boat launches on the Erie Canal that nobody goes to anymore.

Brian Moss



>McChrystal simply said what many are thinking

Gen. Stanley McChrystal was trying to keep our troops from getting killed in a God-forsaken place that we shouldn't have been in the first place. It was a mistake to have said the remarks he said, but millions are most likely saying the same thing every day about someone who is driving this country into the ground.

Our president, in my opinion, doesn't have a clue about governing, and he also has put his foot in his mouth a number of times when trying to show the world that he is a competent leader.

It seems some of our so-called leaders want to eliminate God from our lives, but heaven help us if this country survives by the direction in which we're headed.

John B. Guzzi



>Doesn't writer know UB celebrates Jewish holidays?

A letter writer thought it was wrong for the Rev. John B. Mansfield to use the words, "Pray in the name of Jesus," in the closing of the invocation at the UB commencement because it is a public university. Does she not know that the university shuts down at least two times a year to celebrate Jewish holidays?

John J. Manning



>Fathers aren't considered very important anymore

Compared to mothers, dads are not considered very important anymore. Dads and grads, garage sales or any other thing people can think of take away his spotlight. The last workday before Mother's Day, my bosses wrote a loving e-mail going out to all the mothers who work there, which I agreed with wholeheartedly. My mother was my best friend in life. Since her passing, I miss her every day.

That being said, I am a father of two (ages 26 and 25) and they had only me as their father because my wife and I have been happily married for 36 years. My children will attest to the loving way I helped to mold them into the decent adults they have become.

Recently, I went home from work feeling betrayed, left out and a bit angry after there was no such loving e-mail or any acknowledgment to the fathers employed where I work. I know there are those with axes to grind over what their exes haven't done. But is that a good reason to hurt all the great dads who have unselfishly done everything asked of them -- and some extras -- for their children?

Most of these great dads would never let on that this sort of one-sidedness hurts, so I'm letting you know it hurts big time! I love my kids, they love me and my wife agrees that at least in part they are better people for having me to help guide them through this tough life. For those of you who are lucky enough to still be able to hug your dads, please do so. Remind your dad of what he's helped you with and how it made a difference in your life.

Patrick Lynch


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