34 THE QUEENS COURIER • MARCH 8, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
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STORY: Owners of College Point’s Spa Castle hit with Child Labor Law
SUMMARY: The owners of Spa Castle, located at 131-10 11th Ave.,
were fi ned $1,000 by the New York State Department of Labor after
being found violating state child labor laws.
REACH: 16,614 (as of 2/26/18)
Whose side are they really on?
Th is Wednesday, March 14, marks the one-month anniversary of the
Parkland, Florida, school shooting — and despite the horrors infl icted there,
our elected offi cials have done next to nothing to keep our kids safe in school.
Th e ineptitude is not just limited to Washington, D.C. — where the
National Rifl e Association’s cash-fueled infl uence over Republicans seems
impenetrable — or in Florida, where the state Legislature rejected an assault
weapons ban as the students of Parkland watched from the gallery.
Here in New York, the bastion of progressive politics on the East Coast,
our state Senate defeated attempts at meaningful gun regulation. State Senate
Republicans on Feb. 28 blocked votes on several new gun control bills,
including one by Queens state Senator Michael Gianaris that would boost
background checks for gun buyers.
It begs the question: Whose side are these Republicans really on?
In a statement following last week’s vote, state Senate Majority Leader John
Flanagan said he wants safer schools for everyone. He rattled off a list of ideas:
money for security cameras, hardening school doors, assigning an armed
offi cer at every school, panic buttons in the classrooms, better response plans
and increased mental health services.
“Every responsible option is on the table,” Flanagan said. It’s remarkable,
however, that he mentioned “every responsible option” but one: better gun
laws that would keep fi rearms out of the wrong hands.
Th ose ideas are also oddly similar to what the NRA has been saying since
Parkland — the old “guns don’t kill people…” argument, reinforced with a
half-hearted appeal for more armed patrols in schools. More guns, as always,
is the solution to our gun problem — even though it’s quite clearly the cause
Newsday reported that the NRA has poured $175,000 over the last decade
toward the state Republican and Conservative parties, as well as their candidates.
Flanagan and party spokespeople responded that such contributions
had nothing to do with decisions made in Albany. We’ll leave it to the readers
to decide on giving them the benefi t of the doubt.
But it’s becoming increasingly clearer by the day that if we want to eff ect
real change in this country, we the people will need to step up and make
the change ourselves. We see a great example of this in the 18 Catholic high
school principals in Brooklyn and Queens who signed a joint letter demanding
that lawmakers take defi nitive action to keep our schools safe.
Likewise, we must all demand that our elected offi cials fi ght for tougher gun
laws and safer schools. If they won’t make that happen, then in November, we
have a responsibility to vote them out.