Dominican and Puerto Rican flag together
Bronx: The Vladimir Gotlibovsky case is a doozy. Picture a black man having a gun (legal or illegal) at a wedding, which fires in his pants pocket and shoots someone because he doesn’t know how to carry it properly. Picture that black man handing that gun off to his brother who in turn hands it off to the gun owner’s wife. The brother and wife are both caught but the district attorney declines to prosecute them, while the owner is released and his case deferred. Now throw in the fact that Gotlibovsky was charged with illegal use of a firearm license in 1996 but still has a license.
Sounds far-fetched? It is. Gotlibovsky isn’t black. Gun control is supposed to keep people like him from having guns, but in New York gun control follows its original design — it was implemented after the end of slavery to keep guns out of the hands of black people. The NYPD uses gun control and reluctance to hire black officers as measures to keep guns out of the hands of black people. Jonathan Solomon
Pope’s hot topic
New Rochelle, N.Y.: Scientists agree that Earth is warming, which is destructive to life on the planet. While some may deny that human activity causes climate change, the vast majority of the scientific community does not. It is clear that the future of life on Earth is in our hands. The New York-New Jersey Congregations of Dominican Sisters have committed to take action to stem the tide of climate change. We are delighted that Pope Francis is using his moral authority to address its dangers and to call us to action on behalf of life on Earth. Climate change is clearly a moral issue. It is the most vulnerable who disproportionately suffer from the excessive floods and fires and the extreme cold, heat and storms. Arctic and island countries and poor people in general — those least responsible for climate change — are paying the highest price for our use of fossil fuels. We look forward to the release of the Pope’s climate encyclical on Thursday and urge everyone to take this opportunity to be responsible citizens of Earth. Cecelia Lavan, Blauvelt Dominican Sister in collaboration with the Dominicans of Amityville, Caldwell, Hope and Sparkill
Ozone Park: Walking the 15 blocks from my house to work, I encountered a girl on her cell phone screaming vulgarities; a driver opening his door to dump McDonald’s garbage in the street; a car service driver double-parked even though spots are open nearby, forcing traffic to squeeze by him; a woman unpacking her car on the street side with the door wide open and no regard for passing cars, and last but not least, a girl walking her two small dogs that peed on every flower, brick and gate they passed, who then left their number two behind. Why doesn’t anybody care anymore? Why aren’t parents teaching their children right from wrong? It isn’t that hard. A decent society depends on it! Nancy Contino