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Monday, July 30, 2012: Elderly drivers, gay marriage and gun control

Driving records

Re: “Secretary of State exploring tougher restrictions for older drivers,” July 24. Politically, I disagree with almost everything Charlie Summers stands for…and I am most definitely not a Democrat, either. I almost qualify as a senior.

Here is the thing, you can be a poor driver at any age. If, as a society we are truly interested in road safety, we need to retest after the initial license. Why not do it on a periodic schedule that is easy to remember: 10 year anniversaries from your very first license? Thus, start at age 16 for example. Then, at age 26 you get another written, road test, and vision test (a REAL eye test, by a licensed optometrist!).

Same at ages 36, 46, 56, 66, 76, 86, 96, 106, etc. , on whatever 10-year anniversary. If you fail, you have 30 days to study up, get retrained, get new eyeglasses, etc. so you might pass the tests again.

People can be a menace on the road at any age: drinking/drug problems, arrogance, inexperience, simple lack of knowledge.

Expensive, you say? Factor the cost of hospital bills, rehab, police, ambulance, fire, road workers, etc. Not to mention deaths. What is that cost?

Within a generation or two, the culture behind the wheel would change, and people would stop thinking they could drive just fine after a few drinks and other poor presumptions. If we are truly serious about road safety….and not just grandstanding?

Paul Sheridan




Bible rules

This is in response to the recent letter by Jackie Freitas stating that individuals have “made up” Bible injunctions against homosexuality (“to cause controversy”).

The following passage, regardless of all the different translations the Bible has gone through, is perfectly clear to anyone who can read: “Therefore God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own person the due penalty for their perversity.” (Romans 1:26-27). The Bible containing that passage has morally guided Western society for the better part of two thousand years and that phrase has always been there.

As the letter writer stated, I also agree with Jesus’ Golden Rule, which says that we should do unto others as we would have done unto us. I believe that is the basis for St. Paul’s admonition not to engage in sodomy, as this is not in keeping with the dignity of the individual person.

You have the right to be ignorant of the Bible, or to ignore certain passages that you don’t care for, and to not believe what it says. Those are your rights in a free society. But you don’t have the right to state that believers are “making up” these verses or to state that people are hateful or vitriolic when we cite Bible passages in a discussion about codifying social issues into law.

Patricia Claus


NRA member

As a Lifetime member of the NRA and formal Federally Licensed Gun Dealer, I no longer agree with the “slippery slope” approach of the NRA. (If you allow them to pass any gun related restrictions, ever, they will be at your front door next time to take all your guns away).

I can see only two ways to stop or prevent the continuing mass shootings by mentally impaired psychos. One, provide mental health care and/or mental health evaluations resulting in gun ownership restriction. Or two, restrict the ownership and type of guns or magazine capacity. Since the country cannot even agree on providing regular health care, obviously the mental health care provision is out.

Outlawing “Assault Weapons” is, in reality, a joke since any semi-auto weapon functions identically with what is being sold as an AK-47 or an AR. That is, a Remington semi-auto deer rifle or duck shotgun fires at the same rate. One trigger pull, one shot. Not fully automatic, as the politicians and media would have you believe.

What can be restricted is the number of rounds (bullets) the gun magazine holds. A deer hunting rifle is restricted by law to five rounds. The duck shotgun is restricted to three rounds. The expired Brady Law restricted all magazines to 10 rounds. I fully believe that the 20 or 30 round clips should be restricted to military or police use.

I would gladly give up my right to own high capacity magazines if it saved a single life.

Larry Ferrell


Tori support

I am writing to support Victoria ‘Tori’ Kornfield’s run for Maine House District 17. I have chosen to vote for Tori because during my time as her student at Bangor High School I saw the passion she brought toward her students’ education. I know that Tori would bring this same energy to Augusta, where she would help solve the pressing challenges faced by Mainers — the lack of jobs, the failing economy, and the rising costs of health care.

I ask that all voters in District 17 join me in voting for Victoria ‘Tori’ Kornfield on Election Day this November and help bring her passion, energy, and dedication to Augusta. This election is pivotal one for Maine’s future, its time to bring more legislators like Tori to work for Maine.

Ben Claeson


Space marriage

Astronauts are considered some of the bravest and noblest Americans.

The first woman in space, Sally Ride, was one the bravest and noblest of the lot. According to Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Ms. Ride was “A profile in courage … Ride inspired millions of Americans with her determination to break the mold of her time,” says Mr. Romney.

Now, it turns out that Ms. Ride was gay and her loving and committed partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy, is not eligible to receive the federal benefits all other astronauts and millions of other Americans are entitled to because of the Defense of Marriage Act. This is a travesty and an injustice. We can show our belief in equal rights for all by voting to allow same-sex marriage in Maine in November.

We can also reject Mr. Romney at the polls. He has said that he supports the Defense Of Marriage Act which means he believes Ms. Ride’s life partner is not worthy of equal treatment under the law.

Kenn Chandler

Mount Desert

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