Jan. 18 Letters to the Editor

Posted Jan. 17, 2011, at 4:35 p.m.

Reasonable gun law

There is a tremendous amount of inaccurate and inflammatory rhetoric about what we, as a civilized society, might or should do about the tragic shootings in Arizona regarding firearm possession and use laws.

As a life member of the National Rifle Association, a former federal firearms license holder, and with a current concealed weapons permit, I am compelled to propose the following: add “clips of over 10 rounds” to the 1938 federal gun law’s list of “registration required” firearms. The list includes sawed-off shotguns, machine guns, silencers, etc.

This 10-round clip restriction was part of the 1994 Brady Law, but probably the only part of that law that was reasonable. Otherwise, the Brady Law was strictly cosmetic for the assault weapon ban portion and thereby derided by most gun owners or anyone who had knowledge of guns. That is probably why the law was not ex-tended and shouldn’t be passed again.

The two recent Supreme Court decisions that sided with the Second Amendment did state that there should be some “reasonable” restrictions on gun ownership and use. I think that banning extended magazines might fall under the “reasonable” clause.

Also, the shooter was not required to obtain a handgun permit by Arizona law. If Arizona had a handgun training and certification program as used in most states, someone might have figured out he was too mentally unstable to carry firearms.

I hope that Maine’s handgun permit system would have found this flaw during the training and certification program for a concealed carry permit.

Larry Ferrell

Newport

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Nudity in the BDN

I was very sorry to see the nude sculpture, “Bella,” in the Lifestyle section of the Jan. 13 BDN. I hope it suffices to say that if I wanted to look at nude women, I’d subscribe to Playboy.

Mary Griffin

Levant

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Stopping the hatred

There has been a lot of discussion about how the use of violent metaphors played a role in the recent deaths of six innocent people in Tucson, Ariz. That may be. Or it may not. We will never truly know. And frankly, it doesn’t really matter.

What’s done is done. Pointing fingers won’t undo the loss of three elders. Spewing venom won’t return a young staffer to his fiance’s side. Assigning blame won’t return a dedicated public servant to his place on a federal court bench. Being angry won’t allow a 9-year-old girl who loved ballet and baseball to grow up and make her mark on this world.

Anger, hatred and fear are the causes of this tragedy. The only way to stem the tide of violence is to combat them.

We need to respond to anger with understanding. Answer hatred with acceptance. Face fear with strength. Stop giving hatred airtime.

If we want to turn the tide on a political climate that is tearing our communities apart, we need to model the behavior of change. We need to practice patience and understanding in the face of adversity. We need to respect others as we wish to be respected, especially when we disagree.

We must be what we expect of others, because change starts with you.

Shannara Gillman

Seal Harbor

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Message of disrespect

Since Gov. Paul LePage was elected by a minority of Maine voters, he should respect Maine minorities. His decision not to attend Martin Luther King Jr. Day events sends a message of disrespect.

Peg Cruikshank

Corea

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AG’s health care lawsuit

I wonder by which Maine rule or law Attorney General William Schneider gets his authority to have this state join other states with intention to challenge the federal health care law. He is quoted as saying (BDN, Jan. 12) that he’s “determined to do it” but does not cite legal basis for his determination. Notwithstanding the hundreds of people who recently expressed their disapproval, the AG evidently plans to push ahead with his plans.

It has been said this potential lawsuit would cost Maine taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. From which pockets will a lawsuit be funded? Fulfilling ill-conceived campaign promises is not always the wisest and best course of action, it seems to me.

Patricia Curtis

North Haven

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Strategic nepotism

First, I would like to congratulate Gov. Paul LePage for his new position. Like all elected officials, the best interests for the people and the state are his priority.

As a former campaigner for a senator from Massachusetts, I am very familiar with nepotism on a state level. Nepotism has existed throughout all states and forms of government in one way or another, whether we like it or not.

The man working the tollbooth is probably a cousin to a former senator or governor. Aunt Mary is working in the department of finance, cousin Jethro is working for the department of transportation — you get the point.

Second, the old saying “If you wash my back, I’ll wash yours” is typical of our elected officials. They do have the best interest of the people and state when they arrive, but by the time they depart, the “I’ll wash your back if you’ll wash mine” will have influenced their decision-making throughout their career.

The hiring of Gov. LePage’s daughter may in some people’s eyes be a form of nepotism. I feel it was a very strategic move, considering allies are needed; who better to trust than his own daughter? He will be in situations where some Republicans and Democrats will want to see him fail. Best wishes to him in his new position as governor. Stay strong, the sharks will be biting.

Sue Lara

Eastport

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Either way, you pay

Gov. LePage and his men (no women to speak of as yet) are darn well determined that Mainers won’t be compelled by Uncle Sam to buy health insurance as per Obamacare. They’re lawyering up to fight it.

Mandatory auto insurance is OK, but mandatory health insurance sets them off. “It’s not the Maine way — take care of your own!”

They might as well be saying “pay or die” to your average Mainer, and that’s not the Maine way either. The LePage people promise not to kill DirigoChoice until they have something to replace it. But what they’re going to run into right away is what Trish Reilly has been wrestling with for years.

Unless you’re willing to put up with “pay or die,” you’re going to have to have universal coverage, and the only way you can ever get enough money to pay for that is if everyone buys in — through insurance premiums in a private system or taxes in a public one. Either way, Mainers are going to have to pay. And if LePage can get them to part with their dough voluntarily, I’ll be switching parties in admiration.

Willard Morse

Pembroke

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