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Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013: Politics of immigration, cancer screening funds


Gun safety

South African Olympic medalist Oscar Pistorius is now on the dock for the murder of his girlfriend. The story is all too familiar. He heard alarming sounds in the night, reached for the pistol he kept under his pillow and fired, he said, at the intruder he thought was in the couple’s bathroom.

Tragically, this person turned out to be his girlfriend, who died of the wounds. Whether this proves to be a horrible crime of passion or self defense gone wrong, the presence of the gun is pivotal to the outcome that otherwise would have been trivial.

Like so many gun owners, Pistorius thought his gun made him safe. But also like so many gun owners, he ignored the overwhelming evidence that the presence of guns in the home make’s it more likely, not less, that we or a loved one will be hurt or killed.

I am a National Rifle Association member and gun owner. I am also a physician, and it is my job to assess health-related information as carefully as I can.

Wayne LaPierre, with the NRA, does not speak for me when he goes on about Second Amendment rights and attempts to gin up our membership on this issue.

I fully understand and support the role of firearms in sport and hunting, but I fear that we in the gun community are spreading dangerous misinformation when we tout weapons for self-protection. The evidence says otherwise.

Steve Bien


Superhighway of illegals

Now that the debate about assimilating undocumented workers is back in the news, I often wonder if these future citizens, whose numbers are large and powerful enough to swing elections, would be welcomed by the president if they tended to vote Republican?

How would the Democrats deal with such a massive problem of illegal immigration if this was actually the case, which we all know it is not?

I believe the problem would already be solved because Democrats would have a superhighway built to run buses full of people who didn’t obey our laws back home where they came from.

The urban media would praise them without a judgmental word.

James L. Lamontagne


What if

What if the law-abiding bus driver in Midland, Ala., had been trained, licensed and willing to use his concealed firearm?

What if one of the law-abiding teachers in Newtown, Conn., had been trained, licensed and willing to use a firearm?

What if a law-abiding moviegoer in Aurora, Colo., had been trained, licensed and willing to use his or her concealed firearm?

What if we offered jobs as school security guards to some of our military personnel being discharged? We are already paying them, and most are trained in firearm use, some extensively. As it is now, many will not have a job.

If the attitude is that “it’s OK” for some schools to have armed security and others to be gun-free zones is not called hypocrisy, what is?

To steal a phrase right out of the liberal playbook, if it saves just one life, it’s worth it.

Mack Leo

Screening for all

Our state has an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Mainers by accepting federal funds to cover 69,500 more people through Medicaid.

That is 69,500 more people in Maine with health insurance, giving them access to needed care, including routine screenings for cancer which let us find disease early, when it is most treatable.

Each year, the Maine affiliate of the Susan G. Komen foundation grants funds to support breast cancer services in Maine communities.

We fund mammograms, diagnostic testing and even transportation to treatment with a focus on serving people who lack adequate health coverage.

We are proud of the impact that we and our community partners have, but even our best efforts to serve those in need are not enough.

Until everyone in our state has access to health coverage, there will be too many people who fall through the cracks. There is no reason why anyone should have to forego cancer screening because they cannot afford it.

I hope everyone who supports our mission of ending breast cancer will encourage their legislators to accept these federal funds. The money is there to benefit Mainers.

We’d be foolish to miss such an opportunity.

Regina Rooney

Community Outreach Manager

Maine affiliate of Susan G. Komen

Old Town

Correction: The previous version of this page incorrectly identified the writer of the letter "What if" as Mark Leo. The correct name is Mack Leo.

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