Kids shouldn't fear going to school

I am a student at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and I was on spring break when the Utica College lockdown occurred.

I had three family members on campus, and I was just horrified that this occurred here. I have to admit that I am slightly fearful to return to class. I should not be afraid to go to school, and neither should millions of other students across America. School shootings have become common in America. There were 65 reported school shootings in 2017, and we have reached almost two dozen less than three months into 2018.

For comparison, the United Kingdom last had a school shooting in 1996, after which strict gun laws were imposed. They have had no school shootings in 22 years. We cannot even go 22 days without one in America.

Students should not be afraid to go to school. Students should not have to participate in lockdown and active shooting drills when they are supposed to be learning. The real shame is that school shootings have become so ingrained into American life that these drills even need to be carried out. It is disgusting that over 75 shootings in the past 15 months have occurred and still nothing is done to help kids. We need to take action to enforce stricter gun laws so that future generations are not practicing shooting lockdown drills at the age of 5.

Olivia Martello, Utica


Those targeting Tenney are left-wing bullies

The radical left-wing protesters targeting Claudia Tenney are nothing more than bullies funded by people like George Soros and his extreme left-wing friends.

The only thing their protests do is remind everyone of the left’s unrelenting hatred for President Trump. We should pay no mind to these scripted extremists that do nothing but resist and obstruct rather than engage in meaningful conversation that helps our community.

Jim Zecca, Utica


Solar, wind plans must move forward

Thank you for coverage of the changing makeup of Northeastern forests in “Beech tree growth booming as climate changes, and that’s bad for the forests.”

This is another shameful consequence of man-made climate change, a development that should be particularly troubling for residents of Upstate and Central New York. As Patrick Whittle notes: “The dominance of beech was also especially notable in some key tourist areas — the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Adirondack Mountains of New York and the Green Mountains of Vermont.”

Though the Adirondacks are filled with heritage sites, the unique makeup of its forests are what draws individuals to Central and Upstate New York. Just as we wouldn’t tolerate the venerable old homestead of a former president falling into disrepair, we should not tolerate the growing climate threat that is spoiling the Adirondacks’ beautiful mix of quaking aspens, red and sugar maples and yellow birch trees.

After the fiasco of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, it’s clear the Trump administration will not lift a finger to protect our nation’s natural beauty. But, reports like this article should embolden Gov. Solar, wCuomo to pursue his solar and wind initiatives more forcefully in order to protect our state’s natural heritage.

Jim Scannell, Utica


Tenney's actions speak her beliefs

I want to thank Rep. Claudia Tenney for helping to keep our children safe.

After the tragic shootings in Florida and with the recent lockdowns at Utica College and neighboring school districts, I’m glad she cosponsored "The STOP School Violence Act of 2018." This bill authorizes funding for the necessary resources to help our local school districts properly train students, teachers and law enforcement identify and intervene when signs of violence arise.

Facilitating coordination between school districts and law enforcement is vital to keeping our children and teachers/staff safe. Many politicians just talk about what they’ll do, but Claudia Tenney is actually doing something about it!

Barbara Cavaretta, Utica


Will we ban all weapons of choice?

Innocent people were mass murdered last Halloween while enjoying normal activities along a bike path in New York City.

The murder’s lethal weapon of choice was a rented pickup truck. Eight people were killed and 11 others injured before the perpetrator was stopped by a policeman’s bullet. Five months earlier a murder deliberately rammed a car into pedestrians in Times Square killing one of them.

What if the truly deplorable person who committed mass murder at a Florida High School recently had used an automobile to mow down those vulnerable students as they headed for home at the end of another school day? Would the buzz we now hear over and over again be about the demonization of the AAA (American Automobile Association)? After all it is a group that promotes automobile ownership and use. The answer of course is no. Instead the national dialogue would be about the murder’s numerous red flags and why our system of institutions apparently ignored them.

Somehow because the mass murder, with a long history of trouble, chose an AR-15 instead of an F-150 the wrath is absurdly deflected from his record and directed at the N.R.A. (National Rifle Association). Recent history has shown us that deranged people can pick their poison to accomplish their end, pull the trigger or step on the gas. Because of petty politics we are missing an opportunity.

Bill Schmutz, Oneida