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Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012: Guns, Congress, iPads

Use right gun word

Attention, all media personnel and news reporters: Please educate yourselves about proper firearm nomenclature before you attempt to engage in a discussion of gun violence and suppressing my Second Amendment rights.

The long, square-ish, boxy thing that holds rounds of ammunition and is then inserted into the hand grip of a semi-automatic pistol is called a “magazine.” It is not a “clip.” Ever. Well, only on TV is it a clip.

In real life, a clip is a small strip of metal designed to hold several rounds of ammunition aligned specifically so they may be pushed into a magazine one after another very quickly.

Clips load ammunition into a magazine. The terms are not interchangeable. Using them as such makes it obvious you do not know what you are trying to write/talk about and makes your entire article/story impossible to take seriously.

Brian Nichols


Gun-control risks

Could the control of guns ever be as effective as the control of illegal drugs? Possibly effective, but law-abiding citizens would be in more danger.

If you make it illegal for law-abiding citizens to be armed, the only armed people will be those willing to break the law. They will know that law-abiding people are unarmed and, therefore, easy prey.

Making it illegal to have guns in schools in Connecticut did not prevent the recent tragedy. It prevented all qualified teachers from having a gun that could be used to possibly prevent or reduce the extent of the tragedy.

A better idea would be to have pepper spray, tasers, and loaded pistols and rifles with laser sights in a locked cabinet near the office door that could be quickly accessed by trained, qualified personnel at the first sign or sound of trouble.

Some legislators want to pass a law that requires gun show sales to have buyers checked to make sure they are not prohibited from owning a gun.

I called the Penobscot Sheriff’s Department and asked if there were a number to call to check on a buyer of a gun I want to sell privately. He couldn’t tell me, but gave me the number of the ATF in Portland.

I called the Portland ATF and asked the same question, and was again told that there is no number I could call.

Am I confused, or is this a ridiculous situation?

Paul Bouchard


Congress needs adults

What is the difference between the present Congress and a Boy Scout troop. Give up? The Boy Scout troop has adult supervision.

Maybe Congress should get their fingers out of their ears, quit saying “la-la-la-la, I can’t hear you,” to each other and actually try cooperating to do the people’s business.

Now there’s a novel idea. Oh, and by the way, the president might give it a whirl, too.

Joan H. Pichering


Missing the Christmas point

Political correctness or not. I have not seen a big-box store this Christmas season displaying a “Merry Christmas” sign in front of their store, on the foyer, or on the door. “Happy holidays” just does not cut it. They want your money and give no thought to what Christmas stands for.

Ralph Steeves

Presque Isle

Securing iPads

Two years ago, Foxcroft Academy decided to embrace technology for their students’ edification. To achieve that goal, the school purchased iPads for every student.

Essential details were not properly considered before implementation. The iPads are not secured in any way. Students can install any application they desire. They can be used to communicate via Skype. As a parent, that is a scary thought. Games and texting are a

regular part of their use, even during school hours.

The administrator of the program informed me they do not lock down the iPads, because students could figure out how to unlock them and do what they want anyways. Their solution is to run a secure firewall at the school. This does not stop the games and texting during school,

nor does it help parents with protecting their kids at home. The administrator’s response was that parents could sign a waiver disallowing students from taking them home. If students have their textbooks on their iPads, how can they do homework without it?

Apple provides software to lock down these devices. By using this and proper protocols, these devices can be made much more secure. Nothing in the computer world is bullet-proof, but that does not mean you just do nothing.

If schools are going to provide technology to students, they should be prepared to secure those devices. If it is too “difficult,” then they should not be providing it until they are ready and able to do so.

Daniel Bayerdorffer


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