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Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013: AR-15s, gun control and the Second Amendment

Keep gun debate focused

I am writing in response to John Lyman’s Jan. 26 BDN letter titled “ AR-15 not necessary.” Lyman’s ignorance of weaponry, history and criminology is due to a lack of understanding. I know because I’m a fellow veteran.

He refers to AR-15s as machine guns, but I don’t believe it so. Machine guns fire up to a full belt or magazine with one squeeze of the trigger.

They are not assault rifles either. AR-15s have the look of and are a semiautomatic, like many sporting rifles. They are excellent for use against deer, devastating coyotes, feral pigs, rabid animals, target shooting and defense.

Firearms, knives, axes and bats are just tools. They are only dangerous weaponry when in the wrong hands. The real issues here are about moral decay, justice and our freedoms.

The many laws we have in place are ignored by the common criminals and people with mental health issues. These same laws work against law-abiding citizens.

Stay focused. Don’t let moral decay, corrupt politicians and evil undermine our freedom. Deal with them harshly, not our rights.

Bill Zissulis


Naive gun control

I cannot believe the people who are naive enough to think that banning assault rifles will be the end. If the government passes a bill, it only builds the foundation on which to build more gun laws.

The government can’t even enforce the laws we have, yet they want to make more.

Gun control will not stop crime. Criminals do not abide by laws; they will still have guns. It will be the citizens like you or me who follow laws and end up unarmed and unable to protect what’s ours.

Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. Let’s try enforcing the laws we have to punish these people.

If someone is disturbed enough to kill another human being, then being charged with a gun crime is not going to matter to them. Let’s start looking at the cause instead of the result and stop letting the government control our choices.

Dawn Drew


2nd Amendment misinformation

Letters such as the one published on Feb. 2 by Howard Cutler are common these days and show how misinformed many Americans have been over the issue of the Second Amendment.

Cutler writes that the Second Amendment is not for hunters or sportsmen, but “gives we the people the right to form an army to take back and defend our freedoms and liberties.” Later he adds, “I want to have the same weapons the police and military are allowed to have.”

Samuel Adams had an answer for Cutler some 200-plus years ago when he said, “In monarchies the crime of treason and rebellion may admit of being pardoned or lightly punished, but the man who dares rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death.”

In establishing our republic under the Constitution, the right of rebellion against monarchies was made irrelevant. No right of rebellion against a republic exists now because we participate and have other means to have our voices heard.

Cutler may want to own battle tanks, intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads or semiautomatic firearms with detachable magazines, but the Second Amendment acknowledges no such right.

Semiautomatic firearms of any configuration should be regulated under the National Firearms Act as dangerous and unusual weapons.

Jonathan Albrecht


Ask the right question

Maine Rep. Janice Cooper’s Feb. 2 OpEd, ” Sense and sensibility: Disarming the weapons in our minds,” showed that her heart is in the right place, but her thinking is a bit clouded in regards to Maine gun owners. Under the First Amendment, she has the right to express her feelings, and, thank God, I have the right to respond.

Cooper said in the article that “Mainers use their firearms mostly to kill our loved ones and ourselves.”

She is correct; we do have a state and national problem with suicide. But let’s focus on the prevention of suicide, not the instruments of suicide.

Cooper is free to start her own “revolution to think differently” regarding guns. But she should not try to push her agenda onto the thousands of law-abiding gun owners of Maine.

Most Mainers that own guns have them for a variety of reasons: hunting, self-defense, collecting, trading, target shooting, skeet, among others. Let us focus on serious help for the mentally ill, enforcement of existing gun laws and even making all crimes committed with a gun a federal offense.

Background checks are nothing more than “checks” on law-abiding citizens, leading to universal gun registration and ultimately to gun confiscation. Make no mistake, this is what the hard-core anti-gunners are after.

A ban on semiautomatic AR-15-type weapons is not going to solve the crime problem. Ask yourself this question: How do you keep these guns, or any gun, out of the hands of the criminal element?

Gary Osgood

Carroll Plantation

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