Monday, May 27, 2013: ‘Broken Arrow’ at Benghazi and gun control bills

Posted May 26, 2013, at 11:20 a.m.

Benghazi outrage

Benghazi matters. In Vietnam, we had a call sign that was used when someone was in serious trouble. We called it “Broken Arrow.” When broadcast on the radio, it immediately brought help and gave the caller the highest priority for any resources. It was used sparingly and was not questioned.

That tradition continues today, though the words may change with time.

On a rooftop in Benghazi, the night of Sept. 11, 2012, an American fighting man broadcast “Broken Arrow” and no one came, according to a Fox News report. Those who tried were ordered not to, the report said. I believe someone, with 20-20 foresight, just knew that nothing would help, or so they would have us believe.

The next day, the president went fundraising in Las Vegas, according to a column written by Rich Lowry, editor of “National Review.”

They should hang their heads in shame, and we should be outraged.

Jerry Williamson, retired U.S. Air Force

Ellsworth

Shortsighted and dangerous

Legislation introduced by Rep. Aaron Libby, R-Waterboro, LD 660, that would repeal Maine law requiring a permit for concealed carry, is a shortsighted and a dangerous step in the wrong direction in the efforts to make our communities more safe.

But don’t take it from me. The stance of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association on the bill reveals that the very law enforcement officials whose jobs Libby seeks to make easier are among the bill’s most vocal opponents. The dangers of sanctioning concealed carry for any interested individual without requiring a thorough background check should be obvious — but apparently are not to Libby.

Libby’s legislation represents the opposite direction that we should be moving on Maine gun laws. Maine lags behind other New England states by not requiring mandatory background checks on gun show purchases. Closing the gun show loophole serves not only the purpose of decreasing the likelihood that guns fall into the wrong hands but also deters prohibited purchasers from attempting to obtain a gun at a show.

If Maine legislators want to make our streets more safe, they would be wise to heed the advice of those we entrust to keep them safe and oppose any future votes on Libby’s bill.

We must collectively work toward making safer communities. A vote in favor of LD 267, a common-sense measure that would close the gun-show loophole in Maine, while respecting the Second Amendment, would indicate our lawmakers’ dedication to do so.

Simon Thompson

Portland

Anything but fresh air

I would like to respond to Ken Fogelman’s May 23 BDN letter titled “Senate fresh air.” What took place in the Senate on the day that vote was taken on gun control measures was anything but a breath of fresh air.

Fogelman erroneously stated that this vote was the will of the American people. The real dastardly attack on the American people was perpetrated by the Republican Party in the form of another filibuster because they knew there were enough votes to get the bill passed with a simple majority.

With 100 seats in the Senate, the 54 votes to pass the bill was a clear majority, but with a threatened filibuster by the Republicans, 60 votes were needed to pass the bill.

With the polls showing that the majority of American people favor the bill, and 54 votes in favor of passing it, I would say that Fogelman’s statements did not represent what the American people wanted but what the National Rifle Association and its political cronies wanted.

Mike Avery Sr.

Milford

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