5) In contrast, the first President George Bush showed courage and patriotism.As a volunteer teenage combat pilot, he was shot down and rescued at sea.He resigned his NRA membership when its original mission of responsible gun ownership was replaced by fringe group agendas. President Bush also called for a kinder and gentler nation.It’s the antithesis of the fear-mongering NRA.Frank WicksSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crash The slaughter of 17 in a Florida school may be a tipping point. Major companies are suddenly dropping National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsements.A new generation of politicians might find the following to be a winning combination.1) Declare the NRA to be a terrorist organization. It enables assault weapons for mass killings of increasing frequency. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Meanwhile, repeated carnage in Australia has been stopped with buybacks.2) Claiming the Second Amendment allows assault weapons is ludicrous. A one-shot musket and bayonet were the weapons of our Founding Fathers.3) Debating age for ownership, banning bump stocks, background checks and arming teachers are red herrings.Responsible assault weapon ownership is an oxymoron.Anyone wanting one should be judged as too dangerous to have one.4) Samuel Johnson observed that patriotism is the refuge of scoundrels. Assault weapons are for cowards and fake patriots.The flag-waving NRA leader and the president of the United States both found ways to avoid military service.
They made a terrible start in Quito, conceding inside 38 seconds, but the Barcelona superstar led Argentina’s fight back to ensure they secured their place in next year’s tournament.It was part of a remarkable night of football that saw:Panama qualify for their first World Cup with a controversial goal in a 2-1 win over Costa RicaThe United States miss out on the tournament for the first time since 1986 after losing to Trinidad & TobagoChile manager Juan Antonio Pizzi step down after his side lost to Brazil to miss out on qualifying for their third consecutive World CupPortugal beat Switzerland to replace them at the top of their qualifying group but the Netherlands go out despite winningMessi said it would have been “crazy” had Argentina not qualified for Russia 2018, but it took his intervention to ensure they reached their 12th consecutive World Cup.Ecuador scored in the first minute, taking advantage of Argentina’s hesitancy, before Messi struck twice before half-time to calm some nerves.His third, a lofted chip over goalkeeper Maximo Banguera, saw his country win for the first time in the Ecuadorian capital since 2001 and, crucially, reach next year’s World Cup.Sampaoli warned against Argentina depending too much on Messi – despite it being a remarkable 11 months since any other Argentina player scored for the national team in a World Cup qualifier.“Today, luckily, the nationality of the best player in the world is Argentinean,” Sampaoli continued.“We must be sure everything does not depend on Leo but today he brought his great ability. I told the group we should help him be in the World Cup.”Nestled between Kuwait and Moldova as the world’s 131st most populous nation, Panama’s biggest football achievement up until Tuesday evening was finishing as runner-up in the 2013 Gold Cup.Now, they have reached their first World Cup – but it was not without controversy, because the Gabriel Torres’ header that drew Panama level with Costa Rica did not appear to cross the line.Despite furious complaints from the visitors, the goal stood, and Roman Torres struck in the final few minutes to send Panama through.It was a neat reversal of fortunes for Panama, who missed out on qualifying for the last World Cup after conceding two goals in stoppage time against the US in 2013.This time, though, it was their 87th-minute winner that ensured their place in Russia – at the expense of the US.In contrast to Panama, the United States has a population of 323.1 million. Their opponents on Tuesday, Trinidad and Tobago, have a population of 1.3m – roughly the same as the US state of Maine.Described as the “most surreal and embarrassing night in US soccer history” and “simply devastating” by American journalists, the players were left in tears following their shock 2-1 loss.“It’s a blemish for us. We should not be staying at home for this World Cup and I take responsibility,” coach Bruce Arena said of a team ranked 28th in the world.“We failed on the day. No excuses. We failed today. We should have walked off this field with at least a point.”Captain Michael Bradley described the night as the “perfect storm”.“Everything that could have possibly gone wrong did, in this stadium and in two other stadiums across the (CONCACAF) region,” he added.“To give away the first goal like that (an own goal) is a killer. But the reality is it was all there for us, and we have nobody to blame but ourselves.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram WORLD CUP 2018Lionel Messiâ€™s hat-trick against Ecuador – the 44th of his career – ensured Argentina survived a scare to reach the World Cup finals on Tuesday night (early Wednesday morning in Nigeria).The 2014 runners-up began the day sixth in the group, knowing only a top-four place would see them qualify automatically for Russia.