FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM MARCH 15, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 35
The 1964-65 World’s Fair Monorail
can be seen running next to the Long
Island Expressway looking east in
this gem of a photo from the Queens
Library digital archives. This portion
of the monorail ran around the Lake
Amusement Zone. In the distance,
at left, you can see the Better Living
Center and the Picture Tower of the
Eastman Kodak Pavilion. Send us
your historic photos of Queens by
email to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject:
A Look Back) or mail printed
pictures to A Look Back, Schneps
Communications, 38-15 Bell Blvd.,
Bayside, NY 11361. All mailed pictures
will be carefully returned to
Photo via Queens Library Digital
letters & comments
A LOOK BACK
BLAME THE LEFT FOR
I read the editorial in March 9 issue,
“Whose side are they really on?”,
about guns and the blame placed on
Republicans and the National Rifl e
I can commiserate with many students
today aft er shooting rampages
at schools and colleges. Th ey see it
as a major issue, as they can be future
targets of shooters. Much as in my
school days of the 1960s and early
1970s when the Vietnam War was
by far the primary issue. In my day
we saw the war as a senseless, tragic,
wasteful aff air. For the youth of my
day, we oft en felt like no one was listening
to our concerns.
Th ere are as many Democrats and
politicians of all parties who are gun
owners as the Republicans and conservatives
who are accused of supporting
the NRA. Likewise nearly all
of the liberal Hollywood elite, many
of whom have openly admitted to
Th e enemy is not the NRA,
Republicans, Donald Trump or his
supporters, Tea Party, conservatives.
Th e fault for the recklessness of gun
users is the liberalism, permissiveness,
“do your own thing” mentality
that was essentially started by the
political left .
Americans have been gun owners
since the republic was founded.
Growing up in the 1960s, nearly
everyone in the neighborhood had
a gun. Never once did anyone go
berserk and initiate a gun rampage.
It was not until the permissive, “do
your own thing” 1960s that reckless
behavior slowly changed.
As with many other issues in
this country, such as immigration,
race, terrorism, obesity and climate
change, the problems persist because
we are not having an honest and
open discussion. So long as the blame
is tossed upon the NRA, Republicans,
conservatives, gun owners, etc., and
not the real sources, the sad situation
will go on and on and on.
Edward Riecks, Howard Beach
Editor’s note: Last week’s editorial,
and our past editorials about
gun control, clearly stated our belief
in the preservation of the Second
Amendment. We repeat our view
that assault weapons should be outlawed;
one does not need — nor
should one desire — an AR-15 or similar
military-grade weaponry to hunt
or protect their home. Th e Second
Amendment does not prohibit, in our
view, Congress from enacting new gun
It should be further noted that
the “do your own thing” mentality,
of which the author speaks, infl uenced
Canadian and European culture
as much as our own. Canada
and nations in Europe also have fi lms
and video games depicting graphic
violence — yet these nations do not
have the level of gun violence that our
nation currently experiences.
What those nations do have in common,
however, are stricter gun laws.
We wonder why our Congress won’t
adopt the same.
DOUBLE STANDARD FOR
NEW SCHOOLS BOSS
We don’t know for sure whether
the new schools chancellor is indeed
guilty of the allegations of sexual
discrimination and retaliatory practices
lodged against him while he
was in charge of San Francisco’s
public schools, the details of which
the taxpayers forked over a princely
sum to suppress.
But we can be certain beyond
the shadow of a doubt that if the
accused were a New York City
teacher, he’d be pulled from the
classroom immediately, be ruled
ineligible to work with children and
be dispatched to an isolated site,
held in limbo there, and investigated
at length under a presumption of
Even if exonerated, he’d have to
fi ght for his job back and, if successful,
be uprooted from his former
school to a new location without
an offi cial statement acknowledging
I don’t begrudge incoming
Chancellor Richard Carranza his
gracious acceptance of the double
standard of which he is the beneficiary.
But when rank has its privileges,
a double standard is no standard
Regardless of the merits of past
complaints against him, Carranza
may prove a fi ne chancellor and he
deserves a chance. But his stentorian
disavowal of having a mind of
his own, even potentially independent
from the mayor’s position on
any education issues, does not bode
well. He has rushed to swear absolute
obedience to the mayor. Th at
suggests a voluntary dearth of courage
and an abrogation of intellect.
Richard Carranza is perfectly
content to be the mayor’s rubber
stamp and has said so. And
the mayor is just as tickled to rubber
stamp the new chancellor’s selfstyled
vindication of his own past.
“We are entirely confi dent (the lawsuit)
was baseless, and entirely confi
dent Richard Carranza is the right
person to lead our school system,”
said the mayor’s spokeswoman.
Ron Isaac, Fresh Meadows
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or its staff .
Congress keeps shooting
blanks on guns
BY STEVE ISRAEL
It’s tragically ironic that I left Congress to write
novels, and that my next book deals with why
Congress does nothing on the issue of gun violence.
I started writing my book in December 2012, as
I sat in my local offi ce in Hauppauge. Th e Sandy
Hook massacre had killed 26 children and adults.
I watched families clutching each other. Watched
tears stream down then-President Obama’s face.
Watched the pundits and commentators assure us
that Congress would act. Finally. Th at the murders
of our precious children would not be in vain.
I knew back then that I’d be inundated with questions
about how Congress would respond. Would it
enhance background checks? Reinstate the assault
weapons ban? Limit magazine capacities?
I was confi dent that we would do something.
Doing nothing when our schoolchildren are massacred
would be the most shameless act of cowardice
in recent congressional history. Back then, I
couldn’t believe that Congress would put political
calculation ahead of kids.
I was wrong. We did nothing. Zero.
Since then, there have been 200 other school
shootings that killed 400 people, according to the
Gun Violence Archive. And what has Congress
done? Again, nothing.
I witnessed hard lessons. About Political Action
Committee (PAC) contributions, voter intensity,
base politics, the might of gun manufacturers, the
competition within the gun lobby. So I wrote.
Sitting through hearings and markups and the
most asinine debates imaginable. Hearing some of
my colleagues defend the rights of suspected terrorists
to carry weapons instead of the right of students
not to be shot in their classrooms. Listening,
while almost punching through my keyboard, as my
colleagues explained that this was a mental health
problem while doing nothing to increase resources
for, mental health.
In this case, their cheap talk was deadly. I became
pretty skeptical. Snarky, actually.
I hope that this time the voices of high school students
will carry from Florida to Washington, D.C.,
and across the nation. I hope they fi nally shame
Congress into action.
And I hope you join them. Because many of my
former colleagues are betting that you’ll be drowned
out. Th at you’ll turn this page, click another link,
become distracted by the latest presidential tweet.
Your voice won’t make a diff erence everywhere.
Th ere are places where pro-gun gerrymandering
might as well have shaped congressional districts
in the shape of an AR-15 assault rifl e. So work on
the state level to elect offi cials who will draw better
districts aft er the 2020 census — districts where
you might actually see bumper stickers that say “I
Remember Parkland & I Vote.”
Just as important, understand that states are fi lling
the policy vacuum created by a currently obstinate
Congress and spend time and money on those local
races as well. Or, you can keep doing what you’ve
been doing: Recycle your rage at the deaths of our
children. Elect the same people, watch the same
press conferences, feel the same shock, sadness,
anger. And, before long, scratch your heads trying
to remember what ever happened at Parkland.
As a member of Congress, Steve Israel represented
New York’s Th ird Congressional District, which
included northeast Queens. His next novel, “Big
Guns” may be ordered at repsteveisrael.com, or
directly from your local bookstore.