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Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012: Assault weapons ban, MDI senior care and firearms dealers

Legal, illegal weapons

Since the tragic shooting in Connecticut, I have talked to some people about reinstating the ban on assault weapons. A few of these people have repeated the usual National Rifle Association argument that if a person wants an assault weapon bad enough, they will get one anyway.

Unfortunately that’s basically a true statement. However, my question is, so what? Does that mean that we have to continue to make it so easy? Do we have to continue to give them these weapons on a silver platter?

Why not make it difficult for a person to obtain one of these weapons? Why not make them have to go underground to get these weapons? Why not make them have to pay much more for an illegal assault weapon than they would have to pay for a legal one?

To continue to make it so easy is unacceptable.

Another benefit of making these weapons illegal is that if a person is caught with one, they might end up in jail. Any problem with that?

Mike Gagnon

Fort Kent

MDI senior care

The College of the Atlantic claims to focus on environmental studies and human studies. You might think that with such programs the college would be more sensitive to the human and environmental costs they would inflict on the hapless seniors they plan to throw under the bus by commandeering their homes at Harvard Hill, when more humane options are available. The people affected would pay a heavy price, by being separated from their friends and support system, and cast into strange, probably less comfortable and affordable living situations. Is it too much to ask that these people, many in their twilight years, be left in peace?

The seniors of Mount Desert Island have been comparatively fortunate in have a caring community that respects them and does its best to help provide them with comfortable, affordable living space. The college seems to care little for such a philosophy and prefers to place themselves in the ranks of those in Congress who would demolish Medicare and Social Security as we know them.

The limited financial means of these seniors place them in a poor position to fight this cavalier action of a deep-pocketed college. Let us hope that there is a compassionate, public-spirited attorney out there who will step forward to defend these people on a pro-bono basis.

Gene Clifford

Southwest Harbor

Firearms dealers’ responsibility

A federal firearms license holder with whom I’m familiar recently remarked to me that he sees no reason for people to own powerful “assault-style” weapons that are capable of firing hundreds of rounds per minute when matched with high-capacity magazines; they aren’t useful for “varmint control” or necessary to larger animal hunting, nor are they necessary to use to maintain firearms proficiency.

However, to paraphrase, he then said, “Well, people want them, it’s legal to sell them, and I can use the money.”

I have also known, in past decades, firearms dealers who chose not to sell firearms that are more accurately thought of as weapons, and who asked questions of prospective purchasers about what they intended to use a particular firearm for — and who would refuse a sale based upon the response given.

No combination of highly politicized, excessively sophisticated, top-down regulations will likely effectively address the challenges inherent in an attempt to prevent events such as occurred two weeks ago.

Some members of our communities seem to think that arming ourselves strategically could deter, discourage or minimize harms inflicted in that way. I doubt that accepting a “pistol in every pocket” approach will help. We must also, as individuals, accept responsibility for the creation of, and maintenance of, civil society.

Gary Roberts


Trickle down morality

As a great-grandmother and Mainer for 45 years, the recent senseless violence, both here and nationwide, deeply concerns me.

Like the rest of you, I have been seriously concerned about the amoral attitudes being practiced by the so-called leaders of our society. The past election was a horror show of bad manners and blatant lies on the part of many of the candidates and their supporters.

The “moral” majority have too, too often shown their bigotry and prejudice of anyone who does not espouse their own particular beliefs, and much of the media eats it up and digests it. So how, with this constant barrage of economic and moral turpitude, do we expect the general populace not to mirror this behavior?

Is it time for a change, and will that change be aids to character building and togetherness or more and more sanctions for we citizens to “protect” us from one another? Please abjure the blame game and use the horror of this latest sad incident as a talking point to bring us together, noticing and caring about our neighbors, not only in our own towns, cities and states, but also on a worldwide basis, to save all of us from isolation and fear of that which, being different, seems frightening.

Sharing and knowledge are the tools we need to survive, not more guns and isolationism. And certainly not a turn toward a police state mentality.

Janice E. Kelley


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