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Wednesday, April 4, 2012: Guns, birth control and mining

Guns statistics twisted

Dr Erik Steele’s March 30 column on firearms protection showed a great deal of bias against gun owners.

It has been said statistics can prove anything the user wishes, and this article is a case in point. Dr. Steele cites a study in which firearms misuse appears to outnumber justifiable use by a wide margin, but it conveniently neglects an important fact: In the majority of cases in which a gun is legally used to protect the user, no shots are ever fired. The mere threat of use is enough to send most thugs scampering off to seek an easier victim. This is not just common sense, it is a verifiable fact.

Dr. Steele’s article clearly stated that his numbers were based on actual shootings, which obviously leaves out huge numbers of justifiable gun uses where no shots were needed. He is using a specific section of the data to support his philosophical point of view while ignoring anything that doesn’t support it.

Furthermore, the recent attack in St. Johnsbury, Vt., and last year’s attack in Eastbrook show why it is important to be vigilant. Two similar stories, two very different outcomes. The armed homeowner in Eastbrook survived. Sadly, the teacher in Vermont did not.

If folks like Dr. Steele prefer to remain unarmed, that is certainly their choice. As for me and my family, we are quite prepared to meet these thugs head-on. I hope and pray we never need to.

Charles Koch


Ricochet argument

I’m glad that despite her intent, BDN columnist Amy Fried was able to so clearly make the case against Obama’s health plan. First she argues companies or organizations being able to decide what is covered is analogous to them telling employees how to spend their salary. She writes, “If employers have this right, your boss’s religious principles should be able to dictate how you spend your salary, restricting what food you buy and movies you watch.”

But to take this argument one step back, she is approving of the federal government doing this very thing to employers. The federal government is dictating to business owners how they spend their money on health care. The hypocrisy in her argument is blatant.

Furthermore if, as she argues, there is a financial benefit to requiring contraception coverage, what better reason is there for employers to prohibit their employees from spending their money in certain ways? Imagine if they could prevent them just from buying tobacco and alcohol. The cost in health care, lost wages and lost productivity due to these two items alone is far greater to everyone involved than pregnancy or abortion.

It’s a strawman argument to suggest opponents of this provision are opposed to worker freedom to obtain birth control and she knows it. What they are opposed to is the mandate that employers pay for it. Opponents believe that employees should be free to spend their salary any way they like, including on contraception and birth control.

Ian Shearer


Don’t crucify them

I read in the BDN that Pope Benedict went to Cuba and said Mass. During the homily he warned against those who would act against the teachings of Jesus and was quoted as saying that such people “close themselves up in their own truth and try to impose it on others.”

He went on to say that such sinners are driven by “irrationality and fanaticism” and that they were “like the blind scribes who, upon seeing Jesus beaten and bloody, cry out furiously, ‘Crucify him.’”

Homosexual people are being treated like Jesus and crucified by the Catholic Church. Use the words of the Pope as inspiration and accept them as a parable to teach the congregation that change is imminent and warranted. Let us pray to the Lord.

Patrick Quinn


Fix reporting bill

LD 1633 was proposed to increase the punishment of not reporting a missing child within 24 hours to a class C crime. LD 1633, sponsored by Rep. Kim Olsen, was voted “ought not to pass” on March 14.

Those against LD 1633 had concerns regarding the 5th Amendment, special circumstances that may arise (divorced parents, etc.), and argued that this was “a solution looking for a problem.” I am writing to seek support from fellow Mainers in revising LD 1633.

Rep. Olsen said that the committee is seeking support from Attorney General William Schneider. It is important that residents take this opportunity and share support and concerns by writing to Schneider.

LD 1633 has the potential to positively affect children in Maine because the first 48 hours after a child goes missing are crucial. Statistics show that 74 percent of children abducted by strangers are murdered within the first three hours; it is imperative to act fast. Maine’s youth are the future of our state; LD 1633 vows to advocate for the safety of missing children and the future of Maine. We must do what we can to support the reconstruction of this bill.

Carlie James


Pass mine bill

I am a longtime small-business partner in Aroostook County. I interact with a number of people every day. Some are small-business owners, some are working in a stable job and some are desperately looking for work, but every single one of us would see a net-positive from the passage of the bill to streamline the mining permitting process in Maine.

Bald Mountain is a site that has attracted interest all of my working career. This interest has recently increased because of the market conditions for the minerals in the deposit. We’re told that the mining project would put 300 people to work directly and another 600 indirectly, with more than $600 million dollars in employment income over the life of the project. I don’t need to tell you how much $600 million in local employment income would mean to the auto dealers, shop owners, restaurateurs, barbers and hundreds of others who run businesses in northern Maine.

I know this one piece of legislation and one project won’t be the silver bullet that lifts Aroostook County’s economic standing to the same level of southern Maine, but they will deliver a solid number of new, good-paying jobs and a very significant boost to our economy.

If Maine is truly “open for business,” then LD 1853 deserves the support of the Legislature to put people to work in Maine and Aroostook County.

Terry Kiser


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