LETTERS

Tuesday, May 14, 2013: Gun owners, nanny state and teachers

Posted May 13, 2013, at 12:53 p.m.

Responsible gun owners

What possessed a Kentucky father to purchase a rifle for his 5-year-old son? He doesn’t know right from wrong, nor is he responsible enough to even have a gun. He probably thought it was a toy when he pointed it at his 2-year-old sister, shot and killed her.

I’m not against people owning guns. I’m against the wrong people having guns, like criminals, mentally ill and people who don’t know how to be responsible.

I do not think that extensive background checks are threatening the right to bear arms. It is another way to make sure that guns stay out of the hands of the people who shouldn’t have them at all.

The gun violence is increasing daily. People are wanting money for their drugs, so they break into houses and rob people on the sidewalks, banks and pharmacies. I know that some of them get the guns illegally, and others buy them with no or non-comprehensive background checks.

Let’s save our people with extensive background checks to make sure that the wrong people don’t have the right to purchase guns.

Becky Wiers

Palmyra

Support LD 1302

I am speaking up as a Mainer who wants a Maine that is both open for business and a Maine that is the way life should be.

We must defend ourselves against damage the mining industry can inflict on us. I am the granddaughter of a coal miner’s daughter. As a youngster, we traveled frequently to the hills of Pennsylvania’s coal mining territory.

Back then, I just saw the slag heaps as piles of mud. I figured the sinkholes with quicksand were just things you stayed away from — the thought of the ground sucking you in being the source of more than one nightmare.

Traveling west, I saw the metal mines, not thinking of the long-term consequences of the mines on the environment.

This issue is truly of monumental consequence to the people of Maine. Indeed, who did the Department of Environmental Protection contract to develop the rules for this kind of mining? A contractor with lots of experience in the mining industry?

Urge the Legislature to vote in support of LD 1302, ” An Act to Amend the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act to Protect Water Quality,” in defense of our water and our way of life. We must plan for seven generations.

Priscilla Jenkins

Winthrop

 

Super highway to nowhere

Many of us who live and own property on or near Penobscot Bay are horrified by the proposed dredging of the bay by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the sole purpose of creating a superhighway for tankers right down the middle of one of the last beautiful small bays in America.

What about the obliteration of our famous and traditional industry of lobster fishing by removing thousands of cubic yards of silt and then dumping this toxic sediment into the world’s most productive lobster nursery?

According to The Lobster Conservancy, there is a growing consensus among scientists that Penobscot Bay is one of the richest lobster grounds in the world, “the results of favorable environmental conditions for egg and larval survival and growth, which in turn lead to high settlement.”

What about the impact of this proposed dredging on our current and growing industries of tourism and recreational boating? Or how about our fledgling boat-building and eco-tourism industries when this beautiful waterway becomes a tanker super highway to nowhere?

Whose interests would be served by the proposed dredging? Don’t all industries deserve the consideration and support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers?

Why would they consider only the interests of increasingly obsolete, caustic industries that pollute and destroy our irreplaceable natural resources for the quick buck, while providing very few jobs and enriching only a few interested parties?

We will certainly put up a vigorous fight. Not because we want to but because we must.

Susan Guthrie

Belfast

 

Videos kill

Our Legislature cannot decide on how to ban assault weapons in this country. Well, here is a suggestion: Take all the manufacturers of violent video games, and prohibit their sales.

Children today sit for hours on end playing these games. Studies suggest they become emotionally desensitized.

Look at Columbine and Sandy Hook. Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty — these are what should be banned from production. The problem starts at home, not at the rifle counter.

Susan Lara

Eastport

 

Nanny state 

As I look at the proposals put forth by the Maine Legislature, one thing becomes clear: They think we’re stupid and that they know what’s best. We don’t know what to wear when we kayak; we don’t know tanning can be harmful; we don’t realize that a sales tax is the most regressive tax and hurts the poor the most; and we can’t know what is in child vaccines because it might scare us. We have a right to know what someone is about to inject into our children.

What is wrong with our lawmakers? Why have they decided they know what is best for us? This is a republic. We hire them to do our bidding, not become our mothers. Why are they so interested in our personal life decisions and so oblivious to the real problems?

Legislators need to deal with the real issues in Maine, and they need stop telling us how they think we should live. They work for us. We want low taxes, good jobs and less government intrusion. Mainers are independent, hard-working people, and we do not need a Legislature that only wants to tell us what’s bad for us. We need a Legislature that works to improve the economy.

Dana Peterson

Trenton

 

Teaching and security

I agree with teachers who say they should teach, not carry guns. I did my student teaching in Connecticut 10 years ago in a medium security prison.

The teachers did not have guns. We did have an armed guard outside of our classrooms. We also had body alarms that were set off if we were knocked down, which also had a panic button we could push if we felt threatened in any way.

It would seem to me that a similar device would be more appropriate for teachers in the classroom and have it monitored by local police, along with a trained officer in each school.

Teachers need to teach, but they also need to ensure the safety of themselves and their students. Seems like a body alarm or a similar type device would add a measure of security and still allow teachers to focus on teaching.

Susan Harper

Sangerville

 

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