BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Gun law rush ‘appropriate’

Editor, OBSERVER:

According to the article “Goodell, Young feel sweeping gun law rushed in anger” (Jan. 18) well, when 20 first-graders and six school staff in the neighboring state of Connecticut are gunned down by a law abiding citizen, I think a gun law rushed in anger is appropriate.

Senator Young and Assemblyman Goodell what provisions did you not like in the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act SAFE bill? You really did not mention one in the article.

Was it the bans on high-capacity magazines, background checks on buyers and on dealers who sell ammunition, the provision to include a mental health component, tighten the description on “assault” weapons?

Mr. Goodell you say “it was driven by political opportunism, rather than any real emergency.” Forty-two gun related death everyday in America, this month over 900 gun related deaths.

This does not include the thousands injured by guns every day and the tremendous hospital costs associated with the shootings, mostly footed by taxpayers.

Gun violence is not an emergency! Mr. Goodell; tell that to the parents of Sandy Hook Elementary, and the loved ones of the two firemen killed in Webster. Sen. Young you stated “the bill went too far in penalizing law-abiding firearms owner who aren’t causing the problem …” most of the mass shootings were done be “law-abiding firearms owners” people with no criminal record.

Why do police set-up road blocks near bars at night? Is it to harass law abiding drivers on their way home or to stop drunk drivers before they kill someone?

Is the wait for a background check that burdensome?

I am an advocate of the Second Amendment and I am not against gun ownership for hunting or personal protection. Making it easy for a mentally deranged person to attain a military style weapon is not good policy.

Criticizing bipartisan New York state lawmakers for rushing an important bill that can make us safer is not good leadership. If I have to wait a little longer to get my gun because of a background check, it will be worth the wait.

GREGORY CATALANO,

Dunkirk

CASA’s future

is in doubt

Editor, OBSERVER:

All agree that we have a moral and legal obligation to remove and protect children from homes where they have been neglected and abused. But what happens after a child is placed in foster care? We can breathe a sigh of relief because the child is safe but it is not over; it is a mistake to think all is well. It is the beginning of a long, lonely, confusing and often frightening journey.

Caseworkers, attorneys, counselors and foster parents are all essential parts of an overburdened system. Separation from siblings and friends, moving to a home with strangers, court rooms, new schools, endless questions, emotional upheavals and mental health issues are overwhelming issues for the child.

This is where CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates – enters the picture. The trained CASA volunteer advocates for one child or sibling group at a time by getting to know the child, communicating with all of the adults and agencies involved, reporting to the Court, and monitoring the mental health, physical health, education and permanency plan for the child.

The CASA volunteer remains until the child is in a permanent, loving home.

The state Office of Court Administration which provides funding for CASA has announced that it is eliminating its $800,000 funding for CASA because of budget constraints. This is for the entire state of New York and out of a state proposed budget of $137 billion. Clearly there is an increasing need to preserve children’s mental health, not elimination of vital programs.

Please call the Office of Court Appeals, Chief Judge Lippmann at (518) 455-7700 to urge him to not allow the elimination of CASA funding statewide, a program that has been life changing for thousands of children across the state.

LAURA L. WURSTNER,

Silver Creek