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Saturday, March 2, 2013: Gun-free zones, dangerous U-turns and patriotic taxes

Familiar feeling

Sarah Smiley’s Feb. 25 column in the BDN, “Missing home, missing Maine,” was an excellent article.

I have experienced similar feelings when traveling outside of Maine. She captured those feelings very succinctly.

Jan Larsen


Gun-free zones

Since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, many Americans are pushing for stricter gun control policies. I am a strong supporter of our Second Amendment rights that we are entitled to as American citizens, because it saves lives.

What happened in Newton, Conn., was undoubtedly horrible, but none of President Barack Obama’s proposed gun laws would have stopped Adam Lanza from obtaining those weapons, killing his mother and then continuing on to commit his unthinkable crimes at the small town elementary school.

Obama did not address the one proposal that could have actually made a difference that day: repealing the Gun Free Zones ban.

The Gun Free Zones ban prevents teachers and administrators from protecting children. If a teacher had been in possession of a concealed weapon on that day, how much shorter would have Lanza’s reign of terror been?

On October 1, 1997, Luke Woodman arrived at Pearl High School in Mississippi, carrying a hunting rifle into the building. Two people were killed, and several were injured. Woodman planned to continue the killing spree at Pearl Junior High.

Joel Myrick, assistant principal, had heard the shooting, ran to his car, and retrieved his handgun. Woodman had already made it to the parking lot, but Myrick managed to confront him and subdue him until authorities arrived, saving lives.

If we really want to protect the children of our country, we should take a closer look at Obama’s proposal. Stricter gun laws don’t mean better, or even safer, gun laws.

Jana MacIsaac


The circus is in town

After 11 days of public hearings, the DCP Midstream circus and legal ringmaster are finally leaving town. Now the clowns will deliberate on whether or not to permit a 23-million gallon propane tank.

I have never seen a circus work so hard at deception and recruiting local clowns, nor have I ever seen so many clowns shamelessly drink the Kool-Aid to join the circus.

The ringmaster for DCP has brought deception, including promises of transparency while secretly writing town ordinances; floating balloons, instead of a scale model; and promises of safety for a tank on a piece of land too small and with no comprehensive safety plan.

Discovery has shown the less-honorable side of clowns who support social media hate, do the bidding of the circus’ public relations team and exhibit blatant bias in public hearings.

The truly scary part of this circus is the side‐show: acceptable risk. The public has heard countless statistics about the unlikelihood or minimal risk of any accident.

One of the circus performers went so far to say the Good Harbor study was really “far out there” for noting potential terror risks associated with the tank. DCP pushed the Kool-Aid of acceptable risk ad nauseam while the clowns bobbed their heads.

Acceptable risk is akin to Russian roulette. There is always a loser in Russian roulette.

Most of us refuse to drink the DCP Kool-Aid, nor be conned by its circus freaks. Let us pray the clowns wake up.

Jeannie Lucas


Trooper’s judgement

I am writing about the state trooper who was injured while making a U-turn. I have no sympathy for this officer.

My husband had this happen to him once, and luckily he missed hitting the state trooper by inches. My husband said the look on the officer’s face was one of total surprise.

Yeah, surprise because he didn’t look before doing this dumb stunt.

Trooper Shawn Whalen was lucky he didn’t seriously harm Eric Rosten. My husband was lucky he wasn’t killed when this happened to him.

I feel bad for this officer’s family. Is doing a quick U-turn worth almost killing someone and themselves?

This would’ve been horrible for two families because of the thinking of officers who don’t think of anything or anybody when it comes to getting a speeder or someone doing something coming the other way.

Wake up, use caution on the road, or stop driving.

I know this has happened time and time again, and every time I read about it it makes me just as angry as when it happened to my husband.

If we have to be aware and careful, troopers better well be, too.

Cynthia Hirst


Sequester suggestions

Here is a suggestion that might help avert the sequester.

I asked two young veterans how much a typical soldier on deployment in Afghanistan drawing combat pay earns. Military pay is complicated, they said, but a good approximate figure is $45,000.

Our soldiers in Afghanistan put their lives on the line every day. As a nation, we resolve to send the young men and women who volunteer for military service into harm’s way only on missions that are crucial for preserving the security of the United States and for promoting peace and justice around the world.

Few occupations are more difficult, more dangerous and more important.

So, it would be hard to justify, during a time we have committed troops to hazardous duty, anyone having an income much more than $45,000. But shared sacrifice during a time of war hasn’t appealed much to Americans since World War II.

Let’s call this idea “shared sacrifice lite” — income more than $315,000, which is seven times $45,000, will be taxed at the rate of 100 percent. Bringing in more in a day, than a soldier on active duty in a war zone pulls down in a week, will be considered unpatriotic.

In addition, excess income can be taxed at 100 percent to help pay for America’s overseas obligations which, frankly, are not helping balance the budget.

Two good things might come of this. We might raise military pay, and we might bring our troops home.

David Paul Henry


Thank you

Thank you to the BDN for publishing the “Agree to Disagree” column on Feb. 22, by Ethan Strimling and Phil Harriman, both former state senators, about the necessity for public gun permits to remain public.

It should be required reading for all in the present state administration, Legislature and city council.

It does not make me feel safer to know that anyone anywhere may be carrying concealed weapons, even those with demonstrated anger management issues.

Pamela Taylor


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