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Letter: Keep Guns – Like The One I Carried In Vietnam – Off The Streets

After the horrific massacre of 20 innocent children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, a majority of Americans support stricter gun laws regarding assault weapons and background checks. The dysfunctional US Congress, however, is unlikely to make progress due to perceived power of the NRA, which is supported by gun manufactures and survivalists.

It is time for each state to take appropriate action that can best protect our children and other citizens. In his State of the State speech, Governor Cuomo took the first step by proposing to close loopholes in the state’s ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines, as well as universal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Cuomo said this is not taking away people’s guns, noting that he owns a shotgun for hunting. Nor is it taking away people’s handguns to protect their homes. It is an effort to keep military weapons, like the one I carried in Vietnam, out of the hands of the general public. If gun advocates must use military weapons, like the AR-15 or the Bushmaster, I suggest the use be restricted to secure gun clubs where they can be stored and used for target practice.

I also believe that common sense gun control legislation must be combined with appropriate support and resources for the mentally ill. It will take years, if not decades, to get dangerous assault rifles and oversized magazines out of circulation, even with aggressive buy-back programs, which virtually eliminated similar massacres in Australia. Better mental health programs are not only the humane things to do, but in the long run they will also reduce overall costs to society. It is cheaper to support the mentally ill versus the cost of incarceration and the risk to public safety.

Phil Heckler

Hicksville resident

News

You could say Darren Butler has quite the entrepreneurial disposition. The Hicksville resident not only founded a church, but invented a doorstop that does not require screwing any holes into your wall or door. The device simply clamps on to the bottom of any sized door without requiring tools.

“I never envisioned myself as being an inventor,” explained Butler. “I became one by accident and out of frustration.”

After Butler and his wife purchased their home, they wanted to decorate and maintain it.  “We have four children and at the time we wanted to minimize the damage that occurs from doors slamming into walls because as young children do; they have a tendency to aggressively open doors, and as a result the door knob created holes in our wall,” said Butler. “We purchased conventional doorstops so at the very least we could minimize that reality if not eliminate it all together.”

The Hicksville Fire Department hosted the Nassau County Parade and Drill Championships this past Saturday, an event that was entertaining for both guests and participants.

The Motorized Drill competition held in the morning had 16 participating fire departments. The drill included eight events and each racing team was judged based on how fast they completed each event. Events included the Three Man Ladder, Motor Hook and Ladder, Motor Hose, Efficiency, Motor Pump, and Buckets. The Hicksville Hicks came in fifth place and received a trophy.


Sports

Madeline Huffman, a fourth grade student at Our Lady of Mercy School in Hicksville, recently became the New York State Free Throw Champion in the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Competition, 9 Year Old Girls Division at the United States Military Academy, West Point.

Huffman’s journey to the state championship began at her home parish, Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in January. The local qualifier was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Joseph F. Lamb Council #5723. Boys and girls ages 9 through 14 competed, each receiving three warm up shots and 15 free throw attempts.

This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long-distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.

“I meet my goals and maintain my health. I stay mindful of what is important to me and seek balance in all endeavors. With gratitude, I am fully present to this moment in time.”


Calendar

Hicksville Street Fair

July 20

Blood Drive

July 23

Our Lady Of Mercy Family Festival

July 30 - August 3



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