October 20, 2017
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Comments for: To Maine leaders: Ignore politics, focus on safety of children, public

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  • Anonymous

    There’s nothing irrational about suggesting that armed guards for schools need to be at least part of the solution. In fact, it seems pretty irrational to me for anyone to suggest that armed guards or teachers trained in the use of guns and armed are just “introducing politics” and aren’t part of the solution. We use armed guards to protect our courts, nuclear facilities, airplanes, military facilities, and everywhere else that we want to be secure from attack, so isn’t it irrational to think that we can effectively protect schools from armed attackers without some sort of armed presence? They can have all the meetings and committees to study the problem they want to, but the next time some whackjob with a gun decides to take out a bunch of school kids, at least until the police get there, only an armed presence on-site has any chance of stopping him before dozens of more kids are killed. It’s not warm and fuzzy, but it’s reality.

    • Helyne May

      HERE is some reality for you.
      People have access to military grade weapons that are specifically designed to kill as many people as possible, and as long as that is possible, multiple people can be killed before anyone has the ability to do anything about it.
      Our local schools are instituting tougher screening processes for who gets into school. But the outer world of adults needs to have a long conversation about why we feel the need to have more weapons keep us safe. We are awash with gun weapons in this country, and that fact, in part, makes the US the deadliest place to live in the industrialized world in terms of gun violence by magnitudes. “More guns” is not making us safer–it’s been tried to disastrous result. And why should my children have to grow up in a police state? I haven’t met one teacher that finds that the idea of guns in schools is not insanity.

      • Tom Brown III

        This is the same diatribe we keep hearing from people who just eat up the media fueled hysteria. There are numerous examples of potential mass shooters being held at bay, or compelled to ending their lives when met with resistance from armed individuals.

        I don’t neccisarly agree with the NRA’s position of armed guards in schools, especially if it is some new government agency i.e. Department of School Security, which will be a new TSA. More government is never the solution.

        • Cecil Gray

          The 2nd amendment is pure government and it is used, according to your definition, as your solution consistently.

        • jim477

          The school defense system propose by the NRA Does Not involve funding, training or staffing by local, county, state or federal government.

        • Anonymous

          Mass hysteria? And which side is that coming from?

      • Anonymous

        Then maybe we should confiscate all the “assault weapons” and issue them to the military for use in Afghanistan. What’s that you say? They aren’t military grade after all?

      • “People have access to military grade weapons …” Some people do who have an FFL License! But the rest of us, law abiding citizens, must settle for semi-automatic weapons for their defense!

        • Anonymous

          Learn to shoot straight!

          • Anonymous

            Your point?

          • Anonymous

            No! Don’t point! Aim, squeeze the trigger. Maybe you won’t miss the first shot.

          • Anonymous

            No need to worry about my shooting skills gsgofer. I was taught by some of the best. Two to the torso and one to the head.

          • Anonymous

            Oh and one last comment for the evening…no one has anything to worry about from me unless they arrive at my house in the middle of the night, enter uninvited with the intent to do bodily harm to my family or me…then they have a great deal to worry about.

        • Anonymous

          Actually, Bill, FFL’s don’t deal with full autos unless they obtain their class III license in addition. Civilians can own full auto weapons if the jump throught the hoops….1) pay the ridiculous price for the weapon, 2) pay the $200 IRS transfer tax per weapon, 3) get the chief law enforcement officer for the county to sign off on the transaction, 4) get finger printed and photographed, and 5) get approved on an FBI/ATF background check.

      • Anonymous

        Helyne, you obviously know very little about firearms, as with many others here expressing entirely negative views about particular weapons. Your heart, like the others, however, is in the right place. Let’s face it, we all want to protect our children and live in a safe and free society. We simply hold differing views on how we reach that goal. I do have a few comments, though. My wife works in a particular school system in this state and she and many of her fellow staff members are whole-heartedly in favor of an armed officer in school. Many of our schools already have that program in place…..the school resource officer. So, apparently, you’re not asking enough teachers the right questions. Consider that many of our schools are in rural areas where police response times could be measured by the half hour. During that amount of time, that’s a lot of little (and helpless) children that could perish to the hands of a sick person, whether their tool is a gun, a knife or a sword. An armed officer may not always stop the bad guy, but ya know what? It certainly changes the odds. Our politicians who make laws that create these “no-gun” slaughter zones are guarded by armed police officers in their ivory towers, Yet, they pass laws which demand that the most vulnerable among us ARE REQUIRED to remain in an unarmed zone which historically has always been the location of choice for sick individuals to wipe out large groups. Consider factual statistics, if you would. Virtually every mass shooting in recent time has taken place in one of these so-called “gun free zones”. All that designation means is only the good guys won’t have guns because law-abiding citizens don’t want to be prosecuted. Once a person decides in his/her heart that they want to commit the heinous crime of murder, do you really think another “feel good” law is going to deter that individual from carrying out the act? It’s as bad as the little sign at the courthouse that says it’s a misdemeanor to bring a gun into the building. For a person bent on killing his ex-wife or an attroney or a judge (all of which are felony-level crimes), that misdemeanor really isn’t much of a deterrent. Afterall, if they are willing to murder, they are willing to either die or go to jail for life already. A second add-on charge of possessing a gun on school property probably isn’t going to do much to change their minds about murder either. Instead, a person intent on reaping the highest potential body count is going to pick the location with the greatest opportunity to achieve that end. Hence, Columbine, NewTown, and the other schools and malls which have endured mass murder. It would appear that you are among the fortunate group of folks who has never been the victim of violent crime. Of course, if you experienced rape, assault, robbery, a home invasion or a car jacking, or have had your life threatened by a nut, then perhaps you might start to respect why some folks just don’t care to be a victim. You can pray it doesn’t happen to you. You can hope it doesn’t happen to you. But there is a segment of society that feels that it is their individual responsiblity and lawful (and natural) right to take steps to protect oneself. They carry a firearm. Does increasing the number of law-abiding persons with weapons decrease crime? You bet, in nearly every national study. Not that you’ll do it, but consider, just consider, buying the book “More Guns, Less Crime” by Professor John Lott, or at least consider reading about the author of that book. Afterall, you do want to have facts at hand for your argument, right? Look at the murder rates of places such as Chicago, Philly and Washington DC, which have the highest number (and toughest) of gun laws on the books and yet which boast the highest murder rates. 1.2 murders per day in Chicago alone. Compare that to places like Maine which not only have among the highest rates of gun ownership per capita, but which has some of the lowest rates of violent crime. I think it’s something like 1 murder every 14 and a half days in this state. Maine is not an anomoly. The same statistics carry for other rural states such as Vermont, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, etc. …. all places with very high firearm ownership rates, minimal gun laws and far less amounts of crime. The reality is, whether you want to accept it or not, criminals do consider self-preservation. Most of the criminals with who I have interracted with in the criminal justice system over the last 26 years have wanted to survive. Criminals (except for the spontaneous idiots) indeed consider their targets, and choose the easiest one to successfully commit their crimes. Given the choice between two homes, one with guns inside and one publically-declared unarmed, the burglar is most apt to enter the home with no guns if given the choice. The same would go for schools. Look carefully at the statistics for firearms deaths. Too many people take the bottom line number to support their war cry that guns indiscriminately kill thosuands annually. In fact, many of those deaths are suicides, and the figures also include those persons who died during the commission of a crime (folks shot by police or homeowners), or which were accidental shootings. Compare the bottom line real “murder” rates with the deaths attributable to death by automobile (38,456/yr) or death by drunk driver (10,228/yr). Where is the uproar for those death rates? As for your suggestion that military grade weapons are running loose in America, get a grip. Military grade weapons are fully automatic rifles which are capable of being fired in full auto, select fire or three-round burst modes. Those are controlled by the National Firearms Act. Civilians have been unable to purchase a new machine gun since 1986. Most military personnel would laugh if you issued them an AR-15 Bushmaster as their duty weapon. They are not military-grade weapons. The only groups which call them military grade are anti-gun politicians and the mindless media which regurgitate their particular anti-gun utopian political ideology. In reality, you can achieve a higher body count per shot buy using grandpop’s double barrel ten gauge shotgun to commit mass murder. No magazines needed. Reload time? About 2.5 seconds. So you say limit magazines to 5 or 10 rounds to slow down the kill rate! OK, if you take away my 20 round magazine, I’ll just go buy two 10 rounders. Reload time? About 2 seconds. (Plus maybe carry a second gun). The reality is, more laws and banning guns will not stop sick individuals from finding a way to kill innocent children if they really want to kill innocent children. There were roughly 2.5 million AR-15’s in this country that did not jump out of the closet today and kill anybody. Those were the firearms owned by the sane, law-abiding people you apparently want to disarm. Your laws will not stop or disarm the sick people.

        • jim477

          Good post – unfortunately the gun grabbers, influenced by our Brit controlled media tend to yawn at folks like us when we present reasoned, rational positions on this issue. Nuts with werapons will continue to assault vulnerable individuals and groups until adequate
          defensive measures utilizing all defensive tools in society’s reach are implemented ie mental health and physical deterrents.

        • Anonymous

          I sure wouldn’t want my child going to a school where the teachers were armed. Teachers have the same problems as everybody else. Besides, anyone with a gun in school with a weapon can produce collateral casualties. Secondly- If you are that poor of a shot that you feel you need a weapon with multiple shot capabilities, why don’t you take a marksman course and learn to shoot better. maybe consider joining the military where you can just blast away!

          • Anonymous

            His point was limiting magazines to a particular sizes solves nothing.

          • Anonymous

            gsgofer, forget the collateral damages issue. We have 20 dead kids from direct fire. Take a look at a survivor of a mass shooting and her thoughts on the issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhyuJzjOcQE

          • Anonymous

            Recently, the NYPD had a shootout on the street with a lone gunman. The gunman was killed along with 6 collateral casualties. All with friendly fire. If the local schools here allowed teachers to carry, I would take my kids out of school. I come from a long line of shooters. I hunt deer, as my father did and his father before him. I believe in the right to own firearms, but I would not trust the life of my child to a gun-toting teacher .

          • Anonymous

            A lot of teachers come from a long line of shooters as well. I would rather my child have at least the odds changed toward a chance at life rather than cowering under a desk and being shot six times while he waits 15 minutes for cops to arrive and another 4 minutes for cops to assess the situation. The Tactical team would not arrive for at least 30 minutes in the best of circumstances in many locations. By then, it would be too late. It is not the best solution, but of the present alternatives, I’ll put my bets on a trained teacher or resource officer moreso than the sick individual bent on racking up a body count.

          • Anonymous

            Doesn’t look like the entire link was posted. Try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhyuJzjOcQE

          • Anonymous

            “Secondly- If you are that poor of a shot that you feel you need a weapon with multiple shot capabilities…”
            There are a few things the movies get right regarding pistols: Pistols aren’t that accurate from a distance, and it’s harder to hit a moving target while you may be moving as well.
            If the other guy has multiple rounds at his disposal, you had better have multiple rounds ready to go yourself, no matter how good you are. Because chances are, the other guy isn’t going to wait for you to carefully reload after each shot before he starts shooting some more at you.
            You should know that law enforcement officers have 8- to 10-shot magazines loaded in their pistols. I guess that means the officers are terrible shots, huh?

          • Anonymous

            Little kids are hard enough targets to hit anyway—watch a dodge ball game sometime; so equip classrooms with big enough lockers kids can hide in, i.e. escape hatches for kids and run drills.

            The best solution is to disarm people before they get into the school grounds; but a determined person will always find a chink in the armor.

          • Anonymous

            yes , yes they are crap shots. Look at the guy who was shot in NYC. ALL of the other 6 people who were shot that day were shot by cops.
            Police tend to do the ” pray and spray” just as much as others. And they are supposed to be the “trained professionals”

        • Anonymous

          Based on the millions of student/teacher hours spent in safety, the overwhelming majority of schools are not “slaughter zones”.

      • Anonymous

        I am starting to believe that these semi auto military grade weapons are being bought up by folks who arnt very good shots! Why else would someone need a banana clip? Maybe the answer is more gun instruction for people who feel they can’t it their target with 1 shot. That would maybe reduce the collateral casualties among the gang bangers too.

        • Anonymous

          Gang banger are no more likely to turn in their weapons then any other criminal.

      • Anonymous

        “People have access to military grade weapons that are specifically designed to kill as many people as possible, and as long as that is possible, multiple people can be killed before anyone has the ability to do anything about it.”

        Stop with the rhetoric. No body has access to “military grade weapons” except the military. None of the shootings that occurred in the past two weeks were done with “military grade weapons”.
        ~~~~
        You remind me of a person I know that posted on FB a photo that claimed a switchblade was illegal to sell, purchase or own in Maine but she was wrong. Switchblades can be sold, bought and owned by people with a disability that does not permit them to open close a “traditional locking blade knife”. I pointed that out to her and guess what the response was? *crickets*

      • Anonymous

        Tell that to the over 40k that were murdered by the Syria president and now we are shipping guns and ammo to protect unarmed citizens over there, who is going to send guns and ammo over here if that happens here again, (Civil War) Answer: No One will we will be on our own. I served in the Military over 20 years, and we do not have military grade weapons for sale to the general public. Very few can afford and will get the permits required to buy and own automatic weapons. We are out gunned but we should have at least a fighting chance, if you want to be a sitting duck, go ahead, don’t buy a gun, I will go down with a fight, remember Japan did not attack our Country because we have guns, you can not ban everything because of a few that do not use something responsible if so cars would be banned long ago, and Doctors kill more people a year then guns by mistake, so are you willing to ban them also.

    • Anonymous

      Because, of course, this solution worked *so* well at Columbine (where there were *two*, count ’em *two,* armed guards!)….

      • Anonymous

        I’m not advocating for armed guards in every school because I’m not a fan of the idea, but there are many differences between how the Columbine shooting was handled by LEO’s and how they’re trained to handle them now. Using Columbine, especially without reading the details of how the guards reacted to it, to compare to how guards would react now is like comparing apples and oranges.

      • Anonymous

        No there was one who engaged and called for back up. And yes that Deputy Sheriff is credited with saving lives. And lets not forget the explosives they never had a chance to use. What did you say? Yes facts a pesky things aren’t they.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly. It did not work. And as for the Tucson tragedy, Jared Laughter was tackled (that was how he was stopped, not by a gun.)

    • Anonymous

      If you don’t subscribe to or read the print BDN, you would have missed the article in the 12/16 issue, “Teachers Say Guns are not Part of Their Jobs” (from the Keene Sentinel). Even with these horrible tragedies, kids and teachers are still way more safe in schools than outside of them.

      • Anonymous

        besides arming the teachers themselves, there are dozens of other ways to look at adding security on site. stop the knee jerks and fire up the organ between your ears

    • Anonymous

      Armed police, screened and armed volunteers will stop an attack…anything else is just wishful thinking and will end up with more dead kids.

    • Anonymous

      If a school needs armed guards, it’s not a safe place for children and parents should be arrested for allowing their children to be present in such an unsafe environment!

      • Anonymous

        Historically, schools are relatively safe places for children…..that is, until that particular moment when a deranged individual arrives with the intent to kill. Then, history also reminds us that schools in that situation are notoriously bad places to have sent our kids. In Utopia, I would carry a crystal ball before a handgun. Until I find a higher grade crystal in the real world, however, I’ll keep all my other options open.

  • Anonymous

    In the meantime, can we get a dialogue going about ways to curb the reckless sensationalism with which the media covers these tragic events? We know from the way highly-publicized shootings run in strings that frenzied reporting fires the imagination of copycat killers, and while no one respects the ‘freedom of the press’ more than I do, surely some reasonable regulation of the coverage of these killings is warranted.

    • Anonymous

      “Reckless sensationalism”? And you’d make a good censor?

      • Anonymous

        I’m sure the Legislature will be able to set appropriate standards. Why do you object to so common-sense a way of preventing murder sprees? Tool of Big Media?

  • Tom Brown III

    “There is a lot of common ground to plow, if we can set aside our rhetoric and focus on keeping Maine citizens safe and free.”

    this is ironic because using a metaphorical device, then preempting a goal with an action is by definition rhetoric: the scientific use of language to persuade/motivate/compel.

  • Anonymous

    ” the national debate about firearms has consisted of gun rights supporters and gun control advocates speaking among themselves to solidify their political bases or criticizing each other from a distance.”

    I think this is lazy analysis, the two sides aren’t equivalent. This piece talks about a need for a discussion and increased safety measures — immediately that is a no go for the most vocal fraction of gun advocates. Having a discussion isn’t a moderate or center stance to them. There is this paranoid notion that any bit of legislation or even a discussion will somehow lead to a full on firearm ban. Obama has done absolutely nothing in regards to weapons, but right wing politicians and the NRA constantly speak about the doom and gloom that would arise and will arise now that Obama has been elected (and re-elected) — and firearm sales spike after tragedies like the Conn. elementary school shooting.

    Unfortunately, I think there are too many irrational people willing to derail discussions at all costs for any real changes in our safety measures to occur.

    • Anonymous

      It’s irrational to participate in a discussion with, or compromise with people who are opposed to my rights to own a gun. You don’t need to look beyond any of the internet forums following the Sandy Hook shootings to find that there are people who do want to ban gun ownership outright. That isn’t irrational paranoia on our part, it’s reality. Dianne Feinstein has admitted in the past that she would seek the confiscation of privately owned guns if it were politically feasible. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe that there are many other politicians, most of them Democrats, who feel the same way. I would be more than happy to have a discussion with people who truly believed in and supported the right to bear arms, but there aren’t any at the table.

      • Anonymous

        Feinstein? Isn’t she the one who has a concealed carry permit? Typical “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.

        • Anonymous

          She had (past tense) a CCP

    • Anonymous

      …and talking about armed guards or training teachers to carry guns seems to be an immediate no-go for the anti-gun crowd.

      There is a paranoid notion that an armed guard or a few trained teachers carrying concealed weapons in a school makes turns it into an “armed camp” or “police state.” With talk like that going on, how can we possibly have a rational discussion about how to protect our children from armed psychopaths?

  • Cecil Gray

    Once again George Smith is quoted as some one who has something worthy to say. Time to move on in the mix of decision making, and that means parking George out in the back forty where he can wait for another free trip.

  • Anonymous

    The idea of teachers packing is a distopian idea that I’d expect in a sci fi like “Soylent Green”(funny the Charlton Heston link there)…..is that where we’ve landed and is it because of the gun manufacturers’ lobbying arm, the NRA?

  • Peter Lucas

    I suppose if one is selling security on the competetive open marketplace the seller will do all he or she can to arouse feelings of guilt or remorse among potential customers. Public schools are famous for spending tax dollars on trends that soon die a death of uselessness. Beyond buying uselessness public schools must continually support security systems and the costs are quaranteed to escalate through the years. Proceed with caution (free security advice).

  • Anonymous

    Obviously “gun free zones” are meaningless. Either people are really stupid or there is something else at work here.

    Did you hear that for the second time in a matter of weeks someone was pushed off a platform in front of a speeding train? Obviously the answer is train free zones.

  • Anonymous

    If this were the 1st school shooting in the world I would agree, but its not, so it is part of the solution, and there are already plenty of armed guards at schools through out the country already.

  • Anonymous

    Well at least there is a commission finally after many public tragedies. I hope the commission looks at all commonsense solutions to the problem. It appears to me the one common denominator is the shooter has some sort of mental illness. I say the 1st thing that should change is the mentally ill’s patient privacy laws, what is more important the person who can not advocate for themselves because they are in a delusional state or the safety of the patient, those closest to the patient and the innocent public? Commonsense says it’s time to close the loop holes that keep us all in danger, and let the people closest to the patient advocate to medical professionals on their behalf. Also, look at loopholes on gun laws, and violent video games. Is it necessary to have guns that shoot more than one bullet at a time (I admit I don’t know much about guns), also, why do we need to practice time and time again at killing people in multiple ways with the violent video games? I believe it has desensitized many to the value of human life. Just saying…

  • PabMainer

    A report done on the Today Show by reporter Peter Williams stated that the shooter in Newtown, CT had a verbal argument & confrontation with 4 staff at the school on the day before the dreadful happening…..if so, was this reported to law officials and followed up on, and why was not more done to either watch or take the shooter into custody for questioning?….. It seems that people are jumping on the anti-gun soapbox when if factual the warnings were there and if followed up on by the school and authorities then a horrific happening may have been avoided……the same report states the “assault style” rifle was found in the car and not used in the school killings…..I agree it is time to avoid the “politics” and focus on facts and what should have transpired in the 24 to 48 hours prior to the shooting……

  • Anonymous

    It looks like the lady in the above picture has her eyes closed.

  • Anonymous

    I suggest researching the sandy hook shooting for yourself. The corporate media is lying and it is very obvious.

    YouTube the Robbie Parker interview, supposed parent of a victim. Watch it then you tell me what’s going on?

    The medical examiner ? Watch that one…scary.

    Second shooter?

    Etc etc etc

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely no evidence of a shootig at sandy hook. None.

    Pictures? No. Parents allowed to see kids? No. ( think about that for a second)

    CCTV camera footage? No…..survivors? No ( seriously ?)

    Not to mention the outright lies and completely inept reporting.

    Question everything!

  • Anonymous

    We have armed guards for banks, for celebrities, for the President…. nothing in this article points to protecting our children in their schools.

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