Saturday, Jan. 25, 2013: Gun control, the Callahan Mine and the labor mural

Posted Jan. 25, 2013, at 10:56 a.m.

Just do it

It is apparent that the state is in a financial crisis, as is our federal government. The governor is cutting aid to programs due to shortages of funding from the federal government.

As much as we all hate to admit it, it’s time that someone, maybe the governor, take the bull by the horns and do what is necessary to fix the state’s problems.

Democrats, Republicans and independents need to stop the politics and work together to fix the problems and stop blaming the other for the problems.

Duane Jewel

Lamoine

AR-15 not necessary

Jerry Metz in a letter to the BDN on Jan. 17 cites the usefulness and his need for an AR-15 machine gun to control “varmints” around his property in rural Maine.

It reminds me of a situation I faced as a newly minted commissioned officer during World War II when a Marine gunnery sergeant attempted to teach me the use of a 45-caliber sidearm.

I missed a large target 16 times.

The sergeant, as he signed me off as a satisfactory marksman said, “Sonny, if you see an enemy coming at you, throw the gun at him.”

It meant to me that I needed to improve my ability to use the assigned weapon. Since young officers could not buy Tommy guns, it was the only option.

Metz might profit by using a 12-gauge shotgun, which sprays pellets not indiscriminately in lieu of his new machine gun, or he should spend time at being a better marksman with his bolt-action rifle.

Or, he should work on arranging his farmstead in a way to allow a more peaceful coexistence with the other “varmints” that surround him, or all of the above.

John Lyman

Orono

Up in arms

Here we go again. Everybody is up in arms over gun control.

I would like to tell you how gun laws saved my life. Forty years ago I was sitting in my car, 50 miles north of Bangkok, Thailand.

Thailand has Draconian gun laws. All guns must be registered; you can only buy one box of bullets and must return the fired shells.

The reason I am still here is that my assassin used a homemade 12-gauge shotgun made out of a water pipe.

Had Thailand’s laws been more liberal, the assassin could have acquired a real gun. He might have killed me.

Robert Hauger

Winterport

LePage the tyrant

I did not vote for Gov. Paul LePage due to his “poor me” rhetoric. Was his personality this bad when he worked for Mardens? If so, he should have been fired.

He sounds like a child throwing temper tantrums when other children don’t agree with him, saying, “I’ll take my toys and go home.” Except now he is a grown man who represents the people of Maine.

If he continues to act this way, maybe impeachment is the answer. Instead of acting like a governor, he seems to be acting like a tyrant. This behavior will only get worse before his term ends.

Other lawmakers working with him shouldn’t have to tolerate his behavior.

Beryl Brillant

Calais

I, ME, mine

I read with interest the BDN article, “State, federal agencies to update public on cleanup of toxic former mine in Brooksville” on Oct. 19 about the ongoing cleanup efforts at the Callahan Mine site in Cape Rosier.

It’s particularly troubling that a mine that hasn’t produced copper in 40 years is still threatening public health and the environment.

But it also hits close to home, as I am a second-generation commercial fisherman operating out of Bristol Bay, Alaska.

For nearly 10 years, a foreign mining conglomerate has been finalizing plans to build the Pebble Mine, which would be the largest open-pit mine in North America. Like the Callahan Mine, it would produce copper.

The Pebble Mine is located at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, known across the world for its abundant supply of wild sockeye salmon.

Unfortunately, the mine and its waste could wipe out the bay’s nearly 130-year-old fishery and endanger the surrounding area, much like the Callahan Mine has in Maine.

While the Environmental Protection Agency is forced to retroactively clean up the Callahan site, it has the opportunity to proactively protect Bristol Bay, its fishery and the native people who call the region home.

That’s because it spent more than a year conducting a watershed assessment of how large-scale mining like Pebble would affect Bristol Bay and its salmon. The science has proven what we’ve known all along — the mine and the fishery cannot coexist.

I hope the EPA learns lessons from a superfund site in Maine and applies it to Alaska. About 14,000 commercial fishing jobs, including mine, could be on the line.

Max Hames

Freeport

Great moment for mural

On behalf of the plaintiffs in the labor mural suit, we are grateful to the people of Maine who have stood by and demanded that the history of Maine labor mural not languish in some dark closet but instead be displayed in full light for the public to see and appreciate.

We are pleased that the day has finally come when Gov. Paul LePage allowed the mural to be put back on display in a Maine state building.

This is a clear and decisive victory not only for the First Amendment and the artist but also for the majority in Maine who opposed the way our governor had been abusing the mural since 2011.

We were pleased to see that the state finally agreed to respect the terms of the Reed Act funds that originally paid for the mural. Those terms included displaying the mural for the public to see and appreciate.

Lead attorney Jeff Young suggested the Maine State Museum would be an appropriate site for displaying the mural. We are grateful to the museum and the new Department of Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette for making this possible.

There is still more to be done, but this victorious return of the mural to the public eye marks a great moment for the people of Maine and free speech in America.

John Newton

Portland

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/01/25/opinion/saturday-jan-25-2013-gun-control-the-callahan-mine-and-the-labor-mural/ printed on September 21, 2014