Re Oct. 17 letter, “Keep assault weapons only for police, military”: Please define your definition of an “assault-style weapon”? Do you mean any item that can be used to assault and inflict rapid and numerous wounds and/or death? If so, it must apply to cars, trucks, planes, knives, swords, hammers, screwdrivers, any firearms, bottles, pipe and any item a deranged individual would use to inflict pain, injury and even death to another person or animal.What is wrong today is that people have changed. Why do certain people feel that the solution to their problem is to inflict pain and worse on innocent people? Is it drugs? An overwhelming fear of failure? The problem is not the object used to inflict pain and death — it’s people. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Over the years, I have observed that the prevailing attitude of prohibiting this and that and passing more laws isn’t working. It’s always easy to prohibit “something.” Does it really solve anything, other than saying we did “something?” It didn’t work for booze, gambling and prostitution, etc.I agree with your comment, “but our forefathers could not have envisioned the reality of today. It is not 1776.” Our forefathers fought to free themselves from the abuses of an oppressive government. I wonder how they would react to today’s governmental involvement in our daily lives?The people of today are nowhere to same people of 1776. Recent events have certainly demonstrated that fact. Some people are less caring of their fellow man, have an attitude of, “What can I get out of this for me,” and have just “gone off their rocker.”Let’s agree to really put forth an effort to address the real problem. Let’s address what is affecting people. Mental illness? Drugs? I do know one thing for sure. It’s not the assault-style weapons you referenced in your letter.Joe VivaBallston LakeMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation
By Julien PretotVAL THORENS, France (Reuters) – Climbing phenomenon Egan Bernal was poised to become the first Colombian to win the Tour de France and the youngest race champion in 110 years when he retained the overall lead after Saturday’s 20th stage, a 59-km ride from Albertville.The Team Ineos rider, 22, finished fourth in the stage won by 2014 champion Vicenzo Nibali, the only man to interrupt the British outfit’s reign on the Tour since 2012.His teammate and defending champion Geraint Thomas is second overall, ahead of Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk after France’s Julian Alaphilippe cracked in the final ascent to the ski resort of Val Thorens.Today’s final stage from Rambouillet to Paris is a largely processional ride with only the final sprint being contested.Bernal, who claimed the yellow jersey when he was the first at top of the Col de l’Iseran in yesterday’s truncated 19th stage, was never bothered in a stage that had been shortened due to landslides on the initial course.“It’s incredible to think that I have won my first Tour,” he said. “I just want to get to the finish line in Paris tomorrow and after I’ll be calmer. Colombia is on the verge of winning its first Tour – I feel this is not only my triumph but the triumph of a whole country. ADVERTISEMENT“My dad couldn’t talk at first but when he managed, he congratulated me. He was about to cry. For us, it’s a dream. We used to watch the Tour on TV and we thought it was something unreachable. As a kid, you think ‘how cool it would be to be there one day’, but it looked so far away. Here we are and I’m very emotional.”Three Colombians will feature in the top 10 as former podium finishers Rigoberto Uran and Nairo Quintana lie seventh and eighth overall, respectively.Alaphilippe cracked with 14km to go in the final 33-km climb ending 2,365 metres above sea level and slipped from second to fifth overall.Bernal is 1:11 ahead of Thomas, who was always bested by the Colombian in the mountains and never looked in a position to threaten him on his favourite terrain.Kruijswijk is 1:31 off the pace. FIRST OF MANYThe Dutchman’s Lotto Jumbo-Visma team set a high pace at the foot of the climb to Val Thorens and Laurens De Plus stepped up a gear to trim the peloton as the breakaway riders’ advantage melted.Sensing the main pack breathing down the neck of the breakaway, Nibali, looking to salvage a poor campaign with a stage win, went solo with 12.5km left.He never looked back and held off world champion Alejandro Valverde, who took second place 10 seconds behind, with his Movistar teammate and fellow Spaniard Mikel Landa finishing third.“It was a difficult Tour for me but I never gave up and finally I win again on this race,” said Nibali, who had no huge expectations after finishing the Giro d’Italia second overall this year.Bernal, who will also win the white jersey for the best Under-25 rider in the race, crossed the line 17 seconds off the pace to Thomas’s accolade.In the absence of four-time champion and teammate Chris Froome, Bernal rose to the challenge after winning the Paris-Nice and Tour de Suisse weeklong races.He will become the youngest rider to win the Tour de France since the end of the Second World War and the third youngest in its history.As he crossed the line he was congratulated by his teammate and 2018 champion Thomas. Asked what words he used, Thomas replied: “I said to him, ‘Just enjoy it. Soak it all up. And don’t worry about crying, because all real men cry.’”Team Ineos principal, Dave Brailsford, said: “It’s the most exciting Tour de France that we’ve taken part in. A lot of people may have questioned having two leaders; were we hedging our bets and whether it was going to work. It’s worked to perfection and you can’t get better than second and first.”Frenchman Romain Bardet, who dropped out of overall contention early in the race, is set to snatch the polka dot jersey for the mountain classification and Peter Sagan is expected to win a record seventh green jersey for the points classification.