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Tuesday, June 19: Gun control, LePage’s money, and conservation


Gun control

I write to you on a very important topic, gun control, which I’ve focused on for my ninth grade project. I understand why most people would think that keeping guns away from the public would make the environment that much safer. But according to Gun Control Facts by Paul Harvey, studies show that a complete ban on guns happens to raise robberies, armed robberies, manslaughter, and kidnappings, even though murder decreased.

This is what happened to the Australians when they banned guns in 1996, it did more harm than good. Australia isn’t the only country where this has happened. Canada, France, and Japan have had problems banning guns in their country. High gun ownership countries have less suicide and homicide ratings per 100,000 people than countries with low gun ownership countries like Japan, Denmark, and France.

Vermont is one of the safest five states in the country. Vermont citizens can carry a firearm without getting permission, yet for 10 years in a row, Vermont has remained one of the top five safest states. Criminals will avoid gun-carrying citizens, stated by Gun Owners of America. Even when guns are banned and there is a home invasion and immediate help is needed, the police are minutes away.

Hunter Strauch


LePage spending habits

Governor LePage thinks the win in the Wisconsin recall election helps his anti-spending agenda. Wrong. That win helps the Koch brothers and other wealthy donors believe that if $60,000,000 can buy Wisconsin voters then $600,000,000 or more could buy presidential election voters too. And those rich donors are well on their way to spending that.

If LePage is so concerned about spending maybe he should focus on the campaign spending that is corrupting our democracy.

Nancy Allen


Great, happy family

Reading Pay it Forward about Miriam Kates-Goldman — I was married in Norman, Okla., Nov. 1, 1945, on furlough, then went to Okinawa to finish my 46-months with the military. I was on Eniwetok, Marshall Islands and Nagasaki and lived to come home. I am 90 years old now.

My wife Beth was in the Navy and stationed in Norman. After the war we settled in Winn. We had three daughters. Beth passed on two years ago. I have a great, happy family.

Hazen Trueworthy


R&D Bonding

Paul LePage has always claimed he was pro-business. Yet, he recently vetoed the R&D bond that would draw labs, researchers & new business to the state and build employment opportunities for the future. This appears extremely short-sighted to me. You have to wonder, just what is he doing to build the state, despite his claims of success?

All that I’ve seen is LePage tearing things apart that help people, harming kids, the elderly, the poor and the disabled. The richest of our citizens seem to be the only ones benefiting from his policies. The infrastructure is crumbling, the environment is being threatened, human services are cut, education funds are slashed, health care benefits are limited. How can Maine thrive under austerity measures? Austerity programs have been proven to do more harm than good.

Barbara Dietrich

Blue Hill


Ah, yes, two of my favorite subjects on one OpEd page! (Sunday, June 2-3, 2012) Daryl Dejoy’s stirring article on coyotes was compassionate and intelligent. I, too, am disgusted with Gov. LePage’s signing LD 372 into law, giving hunters a stipend to hunt, trap, burn, lynch, etc., coyotes. When hunters set “their dogs” on other dogs (coyotes) isn’t that “Dog Fighting”, and isn’t dog fighting against the law?

Then you have Bruce Poliquin being a “bump on a log” (probably from one of the trees in his mansion’s yard he doesn’t pay his share of taxes on) about the Housing Authority study. (Why is he on the Housing Authority Board anyway?) He disagrees with the study’s results, so he can’t help himself but jump on that log in his million-dollar yard. I am fascinated with the air of dishonesty being projected by Poliquin.

Do his supporters like dishonesty? I don’t. I guess dishonesty breeds dishonesty.

I suggest Poliquin open up his estate and offer refuge to the state’s coyotes (“allowed” to be hunted 24/7/365). I don’t believe states have the right to annihilate a predator species they wrongfully blame for killing more deer than ticks and human hunters. And the “deer herd hand wringing” goes on and on and on.

Jackie Freitas


Conservation priorities

In “ Response to Conservation Priorities,” Sandy George paints a picture of Land Trusts in Maine as a corporate monster privatizing public land.

Born and raised in Montville, Maine, I have always admired the people who have protected our local lands from tacky and out-of-date development plans. Which is why, at 25 years old, I am the youngest person on the board of directors of the Sheepscot Wellspring Land Alliance (SWLA).

As with most land trusts, SWLA is run by a group of dedicated and local volunteers whose mission is to preserve local land and ecosystems in Maine in order for it to be protected for generations to come. All of the land we have protected is open to the public at no cost — and we provide trails to boot. A hundred years from now, it will continue to be free from fast food chains, strip malls, and private vacation home properties.

I believe we need to continue to encourage community volunteerism, engagement, and foster a commitment to preserving our local and natural heritage in Maine.

Emily Horton


Applauding MEA

I write in response to Harriet Real of Eastport’s questioning of the relevance or benefits of the Maine Education Association’s support of gay marriage. Gay marriage is an issue that has progressed to civil rights stature in our country like slavery, women’s suffrage and desegregation.

It is no longer acceptable to view homosexuality as deviant or unacceptable under the laws of our nation. The First Amendment gives one the right to believe so and, therefore, not practice homosexuality. It does not, however, give one the right to force their view on others. Teachers are the front line in seeing that public education teaches our children the difference between right and wrong. Discrimination against gay couples and their children, bullying and tacit approval of such by teachers is wrong. I applaud the MEA’s as well as President Obama’s position.

Robert Richard


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