October 20, 2017
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Friday, Oct. 13, 2017: Death of ‘Big John,’ Trump defends America, high price of gun violence

Trump defends America

Ken Burns’ documentary about Vietnam makes it so horribly clear that the selfish, inept response and lack of honest leadership by two Democratic presidents — John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson — kept us in this tragic war with secret, impotent commands and no commitment to the truthful reporting or fateful hope of winning. Both presidents were always acutely aware of their next election and public perception. The American people were kept in the dark about a war that was facing ultimate failure.

Gross mishandling of war was again repeated in Iraq, when another weak Democratic president, Barack Obama, failed to continue the surge strategy left him by the Bush administration. Obama pulled out troops who had successfully established relative normalcy and peace, and the war goes on to this day.

Now, in addition to the radical Islamic terrorists, we are facing more international challenges as Russia, Iran and North Korea breathe their breath of war at the United States and their neighbors. Fortunately, we have in the White House a president, Donald Trump, who is not concerned with polls, press reports or how the rest of the world perceives him; he is focused on the U.S. people, their safety, freedom and future.

Today, if we as a country were to face another challenge from rogue nations that would want to see us destroyed, I believe that Trump would not run away to his real estate bunker or hide in the White House or go into psychological or mute denial. I believe, hope and pray he would lead the charge against those enemies to our defense and victory.

Elizabeth Printy

Damariscotta

Time for common-sense gun control

As the number of people injured or killed related to gun violence grows, our ability to change any gun legislation remains stagnant. I frequently hear that “people kill people, not guns.” The group touting this expression are the same group against any form of background checks on people.

President Barack Obama issued 23 executive orders on gun safety. They focused on background checks, better communication between federal agencies, improve gun safety classes, research into causes and prevention of gun violence, and developing and placing into effect emergency response plans. None focused on taking guns from people. In February of this year, President Donald Trump signed a bill reversing an Obama-era rule on gun purchases by mentally ill.

When I was in junior high school, back in the 1960s, I was a member of the NRA. It’s primary focus was gun safety. The NRA hypes any form of gun control legislation as an infringement on the Second Amendment.

When I have a cold or allergy issue, I’m limited to the amount of a decongestant I may purchase and then only after I show proper ID so that a background check can be done and I must sign for it. But I can purchase a gun, make it virtually an automatic weapon, and any buy amount of ammunition, as did Stephen Paddock, without question.

Jim Flavin

New Sweden

High price of gun violence

U.S. Senate candidate Eric Brakey thinks that any discussion of guns, in the wake of the 58 deaths in Las Vegas, is not only premature (after the traditional moment of silence), but something he completely rejects. Let’s not even think for a moment of the thousands of suicides and murders of family members of gun-owning, country music loving Americans.

We have to call this out for what it really is: the “Second Amendment tax.” This is a tax paid not just in dollars, but also in the lives and blood of our fellow Americans. No other developed nation has to pay so high a price, live in constant terror or be subject to the whims of the leadership of a misbegotten organization like the NRA, whose own membership favors more extensive background checks.

Gun silencers are no more hearing protection devices than tin foil hats protect the wearer from someone reading his or her mind. Buy a silencer, a “ bump stocks,” or put on a tin foil hat, and we know that deer hunting or varmint shooting is not what’s on your mind.

It’s time to find ways to roll back that Second Amendment tax. We can if we elect politicians who will work together for common-sense reforms.

Michael Grunko

Chebeague Island

Death of an iconic bear

My heart was crushed to read about the killing of the magnificent, iconic Maine black bear known as Big John. Wouldn’t it have been enough to take his picture rather than take his life?

This majestic being should have been free to live his life, but instead became a commodity, nothing more than a trophy garnering bragging rights. I can’t believe this is what God really wants for his beloved creatures.

As Dimitri Merejkowski wrote in his fictional account of the life of Leonardo da Vinci: “The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.” I wish that time were now.

Wendy Andresen

Camden

Tim Rich for Congress

I will be supporting Tim Rich for Congress in the Democratic primary in June because he has come out as a strong supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan. I agree with Rich in his belief that every man, woman and child deserve access to quality, affordable health care, regardless of their financial standing or medical condition.

The time has come to stand together, and make sure we are not leaving anyone uncovered due to an inability to pay. We should no longer fear a trip to the hospital because of the debt we may accrue, or put off a checkup only to allow a condition to grow from treatable to life threatening.

Rich’s experience working in health care technology will make him a powerful advocate for the medical coverage that Mainers deserve. I have met and spoken with Rich personally, and he is the best candidate to represent the 2nd Congressional District. I urge you to look into his campaign and consider giving him your vote.

Courtney Schaff

Bangor

 


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