Gun violence madness
Guns kill. Indeed, that is what they are meant for — killing things. On Jan. 23, two died and 17 were wounded in a school shooting in Benton, Kentucky. It was the 11th school shooting in the first 23 days of 2018. It appears now that the pathology of gun ownership has hit teenagers, with a vengeance.
America has unleashed a monstrous nightmare on itself. In 2014, there were 33,599 gun-related deaths. It is estimated there are 357 million guns in the United States — more than its population of 323 million. A large number of these guns are uncontrolled and easily gotten by anyone, especially kids.
What is the NRA and gun-owner solution: more guns, and easier to get. You don’t throw gasoline on your burning house, which, contrary to any reason, is what America is now doing with guns.
We need gun control. It’s that simple. The generation that created this mess is going to pass away and the new generation inheriting it will ultimately use these guns on themselves and others. At this rate, in 10 years, there could be two guns for each citizen, all mostly uncontrolled and easily accessible. Americans have turned a relatively safe nation into a dangerous place.
What other civilized nation has created a culture where kids can now kill each other in their own schools? I can’t think of any. This, in a nutshell, is pure madness.
James P. Chasse
Reject Bar Harbor port authority
Bar Harbor does not need a port authority to build a town-owned public multi-use marina on the old ferry terminal property. Yet, the Legislature is about to vote on LD 1400, An Act to Create the Bar Harbor Port Authority.
The Transportation Committee recommended that LD 1400 “ought to pass.” If it passes the Senate and the House, the residents of Bar Harbor will be asked to vote on an entity that “has the authority to acquire, construct, operate, maintain … terminals, industrial parks, transportation and warehouse facilities, roads and other facilities on the land and in the waters within the limits of the Town of Bar Harbor and enter into contracts … within and beyond the boundaries of the Town of Bar Harbor.”
In this instance, the Legislature is voting the vested interests of the surrounding communities on Mount Desert Island and around Frenchman Bay, all of whom are otherwise disenfranchised while those who are enfranchised are the registered voters of Bar Harbor.
The legislators must realize this is not just a “pass through” vote. It is the only opportunity for the voices of the disenfranchised to be counted on an issue that affects us all deeply and irrevocably. In order to protect the environment, the ecology, the beauty, the culture, and property values and economy of the area, I encourage them to vote “no” on LD 1400.
Ann Michelson Hirschhorn
Missing FBI text messages
I searched the BDN over the past few days to find some print coverage of the Justice Department inspector general finding missing text messages sent between FBI officials involved in both the Hillary Clinton security violation investigation and the subsequent Russia investigation. I had hoped to actually read something detailed about what would seem to be actual news coverage. But not a thing on this national story with real political implications.
But over that same period I was able to learn that a Taco Bell worker in South Carolina threw a burrito at a co-worker, resulting in cheese getting on the co-workers uniform. Whew! And I also learned that a woman in Fort Kent backed over a couch in her front yard and lit the couch and her car on fire. I immediately checked my front yard to make sure there were no couches there.
I guess my thirst for actual news coverage wasn’t for naught.
We need a climate change strategy
Recently, the Trump administration has promoted expansion of offshore oil drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans. Thankfully, the entire Maine congressional delegation has openly opposed the drilling in Maine’s waters, citing the many negative effects to the environment and the economy for our state. But more needs to be done.
We need a policy to address climate change. One that limits fossil fuel use, promotes innovation, keeps American businesses competitive and looks out for the average family’s bottom line.
A policy that puts a price on carbon and demands that the fossil fuel industry pay the true cost of its impact on the environment is long overdue. A bipartisan group of economists and national leaders created such a policy. It’s called a revenue neutral carbon fee and dividend. It’s a predictable steadily rising fee that returns the dividend to the citizens and allows for the market to drive energy supply based on fair, competitive pricing, free of any subsidies.
We need more than opposition to local offshore drilling. We need a leader to introduce a solution that addresses the growing problem of climate change. Our state motto is “Dirigo,” meaning “I Iead.” We need a member of Maine’s congressional delegation to step forward with an economic and energy policy for the country and world that addresses the reality of global warming head on. Who will that leader be?
Trump undermining our institutions
The jury is still out on whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. But one thing has become clear over the course of the last year, and that is both are working toward demeaning and undermining institutions of the United States government, including the FBI, CIA and the Department of Justice. They are being aided in this endeavor by some Republican members of Congress to the likely delight of the Russian government.
Wouldn’t this be a perfect time for Republican members of Congress to step into the breach and embrace a Margaret Chase Smith moment and call out the Trump administration and its minions for the great harm they are doing to our nation.