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Letters to the Editor for Feb. 10, 2010

Well-regulated guns

In the wake of the recent shootings in Arizona, we believe there should be additional federal restrictions on firearms. The sale of large ammunition magazines and assault weapons should be banned. Assault weapons and large magazines have only one purpose: to kill and wound people. They cannot possibly be justified for hunting, target shooting or self-defense, and there is no reason why they should be sold to the public. There is also no reason to think that the Founding Fathers meant to protect such devastating modern weapons by means of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Since this is a national problem, it should not be left to the states to resolve it. As we see it, the phrase “well-regulated militia” of the Second Amendment gives Congress the authority to regulate the sale, possession and use of these weapons.

Many people who have committed terrible acts with guns had no previous record of violent crime. Considering the ease of killing with a gun, this makes it imperative to emphasize the prevention of crimes with firearms.

Karl K. Norton
Libby P. Norton

Their vision, on vision

When the referendum for the proposed Bangor arena takes place, it will be for each resident of Bangor to consider if their vision for Bangor matches that of the city council.

There has been a lot of information about the desire for a new complex, which is not really the dispute. What is woefully lacking is a sound plan to pay for the proposal. One councilor is quoted as stating that voters vote with emotions instead of facts. However, it seems that the council first had a vision, authorized a plan drawn up and now is crunching numbers to make it palatable to the resident taxpayers of Bangor.

The concern many have with the current path is that the financial well-being of the taxpayers of Bangor will be intricately linked with the financial well-being of a gambling institution. The proposal has the bulk of the revenue resource coming from Hollywood Slots. Do they have a 30-year contract with Bangor? Is there anything to stop them from pulling up stakes and leaving if they don’t find the profit they gain to their liking?

You don’t have to stretch your imagination to see murky waters ahead. Already the council has proposed spending city funds to hire a lobbyist-consultant to go to Augusta to argue the support for Hollywood Slots to be allowed gaming tables.

One pauses to wonder — is this the vision referenced as the reason the council fired our well-respected former city manager Ed Barrett?

Linda S. Thomas

Relative wealth

In his Feb. 6 BDN OpEd, “Movie gets to heart of recession,” Chris Crittenden claims that “the middle class is slipping away while the fabric of our society has disintegrated into a mountain of poverty and on top of that castles of extreme riches.”

The writer continues to argue his point by claiming the top 1 percent of income earners own more than 23 percent of the wealth in this country. If true, does it matter?

Bill Gates or an “evil fat cat” may have more green pieces of paper, but are their lives that much different than yours and mine? Mr. Gates and I both have access to clean water, indoor plumbing, automobiles, food and all the basic household appliances, yet he makes magnitudes more than I do. I can also assume a great majority of Americans have access to these, too (and more every day).

This equality was not the case 100 years ago when standards of living were so different between the rich and poor. When looked at in this way, we are not in a “mountain of poverty,” but rather, a mountain of abundance.

If you brought a man from 1850 to Bill Gates’ house, what would he be more amazed at — the expensive foreign car and top-of-the-line electronic gadgets that only the rich can afford? Or the indoor plumbing and the clean, abundant food that we can all afford?

Kyle Pomerleau

Star spangled rap

As a veteran, I was disgusted with the way the national anthem was sung at the Super Bowl. I think that if they want someone to sing it at a sporting event they should make the singer audition first. If they don’t know how it is supposed to be done, then find someone else. The other complaint is that they should stop making it sound like some rap music.

John L. Clark

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