This week, ClickBack sought editorial page reader comments on murder in Maine. The question inspired some philosophical, wistful and thoughtful comments.
What are the causes of murder in Maine?
Sixty years ago, a murder committed two years prior was still shaking heads of Maine citizens. Folks lived with their homes and car doors unlocked with the car keys in the ignition. Not all that long ago, people respected each other, their possessions, their way of life and the law.
Today, we have more than we ever imagined. But people have lost all respect for even simple traffic laws, and for one another. Senseless slayings dominate the pages of the newspaper. Families loosely tied together split and kill each other.
Drugs rule the lives of many, and end many of them at a young age. Shoplifting runs rampant, auto thefts and break-ins are as common as the morning coffee break. Movies and TV ratings rely solely on violence. The voices of news – Murrow, Brinkley, Cronkite – have been replaced with the scorn of propagandists like Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh. Sixty years ago and for some time after, we delighted in exploring Acadia National Park. Today, we have to listen to gun lovers demand they be allowed to carry concealed weapons there.
Nothing can bring back the past. There were a lot of things we’d like to forget. But, if people would just try to show a little respect toward each other, in their autos, their jobs and at home with their families — who knows, maybe we’d have so much more to enjoy, even if we only have a nickel in our pockets.
Bangor has three methadone clinics to treat opiate addicts. Our fine city is bringing in drug addicts from all over the state to get their synthetic fix. Doctors are too quick to prescribe narcotics with no follow up or inventory control, to see if the patient is abusing. The laws in Maine need to be tougher on doctors.
The murders in Maine are mostly husbands and boyfriends killing their wives and girlfriends. They aren’t pulling the trigger while high on methadone. Were they strung out on methadone I doubt they would shoot anyone. Thus, we ought to have more methadone clinics and rethink the entire war on drugs.
I do not see drugs as being the major thing with increasing rates of domestic abuse and violence. It seems when some get stressed these days, they “lose it” more readily than in past times. Times are tough, but they have been tough before. The impulsiveness, the need for having things happen now instead of relying on more inner resources and resilience (such as patience) seems to be in shorter supply these days.
The Supreme Court ruled it’s permissible to possess a gun for self defense. But you shouldn’t have to live every day armed in defense against your own family.
Several months ago a dangerous man was released from a mental hospital. He returned home and, police say, murdered his father. We need laws that make it easier to commit dangerous mentally ill people. Today there was another headline screaming about spousal murder. The killer is going to get a mental health evaluation —far too late for his victim to benefit, but just in time for him to have a dandy defense — if he can pull it off.
How many of those killer relatives do you think had training in hunter safety? How many do you suppose would have been saved under the recent Supreme Court ruling that everyone is entitled to a gun for self-defense? How many would have been saved by more restrictive gun control laws? The next big-ticket item on the NRA agenda is to remove the restriction on gun ownership for misdemeanor spousal abuse. That should help with the death rate.
No door-locks growing up in suburban N.J., no door-locks in suburban Bangor either. Twenty-seven years here, no problem yet. Fifty-eight years there, my parents lost a hammock off the front porch around 20 years ago.
Trust, not guns.