Common Sense: Week of August 23


State Senator Marty Golden’s “community gun bill” — which creates a criminal liability if you share or make available a “community gun” where the gun aids another person in the commission of a felony, or, if the person aided is under the age of 16, in the commission of any crime — is receiving a great deal of attention and support. This is a particular issue in addressing gang-related crime.

The senator, who I serve as chief of staff, has been a leader in writing and passing public safety legislation. It’s no surprise considering he is a highly decorated former police officer who was severely injured in making a drug arrest. This particular bill is being introduced in the Assembly with significant support and has received the backing of Mayor Bloomberg.

The “community guns” bill will provide prosecutors with greater tools to put criminals behind bars by making anyone and everyone responsible for the use of a weapon. It makes a lot of sense.

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The selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate will go a long way in energizing the Republican ticket among conservatives as well as bring new ideas and a youthful vitality to the ticket. And if that was not enough, the differences between Ryan and Biden are stark in nature.

Biden’s idiotic remark that Republican policies will put people in “chains’ before an African American group concerning Republican economic policies is another example of the vice president putting his foot in his mouth. I can hardly wait for the two to debate.

Congressmember Paul Ryan is a man of ideas and principle who makes it a practice to know an issue before he discusses it. Some would call him a policy wonk, but one who knows how to explain and communicate a position.

Americans elect a president, not a vice president. Having said that, it is important that the vice presidential candidate be completely qualified to replace the president if needed. Paul Ryan is such a candidate. And beyond that fact, he is a politically valuable addition to a ticket that needs to show ideas and proposals that are different from the failed policies of Obama.

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Senator Golden has announced that he will once again be sponsoring a September 11memorial service on the 69th Street Pier beginning at 7:30 p.m. The senator has organized the memorial on the pier since 2002. As in the past, the memorial will conclude with a lighting of candles and a moment of silence.

In 2001, we as a city swore that we would never forget the horrors of that nightmarish Tuesday. This tribute on the pier that contains Brooklyn’s official 9/11 memorial is one of the largest 9/11 events that takes place in the entire city with usually over 1,000 participants.

That’s no wonder considering that the 11209 and 11228 zip codes had some of the largest losses of life. Almost everyone in Southwest Brooklyn from the time knew of friends, neighbors or relatives that were lost.

Many said that after the 10-year service, fewer and fewer people would attend the memorial service. I hope this is not true because the need to keep this event at the front of our collective consciousness remains. For 364 days of the year, we can do what want. One day a year, let’s take a few minutes to remember.

Jerry Kassar is the chairperson of the Kings County Conservative Party. He is a longtime community activist who has served as an officer or member of many organizations. He works for the state of New York.

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