Monday, July 15, 2013: Park’s Hardware, guns and uniformed military recruiters

Posted July 14, 2013, at 5:07 p.m.

Missing Park’s Hardware

A business located in downtown Orono for more than 120 years will be gone by the end of the summer. Park’s Hardware will surely be missed. For a number of years, I’ve been diligently avoiding the big-box stores whenever I can.

The service and personalities at Park’s have been great. Maybe I pay a dollar or so more than the big-box stores, but it’s well worth it. It’s getting harder and harder for the little guy to compete, and we’re losing these small local businesses. But not many people seem to care. Thanks for all the pleasant transactions over the years, Park’s Hardware. You’ll be missed.

Cindy Carusi

Orono

Slippery slope

While I have been blessed to be a Maine resident, I am a Chicagoan — a city with some of the strictest gun laws in the United States.

Gun registration and control, even direct prohibition, does not reduce gun violence. Concealed carry was illegal in the state of Illinois. However, earlier this month, the Legislature overrode a veto and approved concealed carry.

Furthermore, on April 16, 1982, Chicago required registration of all guns and prohibited the registration of handguns, which effectively outlawed handguns.

Fast forward to July 2013: Over the extended Fourth of July weekend 47 separate shootings echoed through this city, killing 11 and wounding dozens more, including a 5-year-old boy, according to the New York Times.

Then, Illinois State Rep. William Davis requested the National Guard assist the local police. Despite a massive police presence and budget, Chicago cannot contain, let alone decrease, gun violence.

Federal gun registration is a slippery slope. Mark Kelly, the husband of Gabrielle Giffords, during his stopover in Maine declared that he does not buy the “slippery slope” argument that gun registration will lead to more gun restrictions.

Kelly is offering an opinion that directly conflicts with the facts of U.S. history and present day American life. From a humble directive after the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy, the National Security Administration has exponentially expanded its surveillance operations to such a degree that it effectively conducted warrantless wiretapping on hundreds of millions of Americans.

Some may argue that “This is Maine, not Chicago.” There are pieces of Chicago everywhere in Maine. Places where there the gap between rich and poor is widening, where children lack guidance, where parents struggle with poverty and where people have lost hope.

If we choose to try to regulate and legislate our local security though Washington rather than looking in our own neighborhoods, liberty will be lost on a slippery, but absolute, slope.

Dean Rinaldi

Ogunquit

Disappointed in vote

As an Air Force veteran, I was upset to see that the Maine Legislature narrowly killed a bill to help military recruiters. The bill simply would have ensured that recruiters have the same access to Maine public schools as other career or college recruiters and would have prevented schools from requiring they make their visits in civilian clothes.

Those who opposed the bill said there was no problem and simply didn’t believe the recruiters. It doesn’t matter how many schools are at issue, and our military service members should have been given the benefit of the doubt when they raised their concerns, especially since passage of the bill posed no problem for the vast majority of schools with sound policies in place.

These recruiters represent enthusiasm, initiative, discipline, judgment, justice, knowledge, loyalty, tact and selflessness, all invaluable qualities for young people to gain. They also represent more than 300 professions in which students could gain job training and experience. Restricting their access is bad policy, and worse, telling them they can’t wear their uniforms is shameful.

Because of the short-sightedness of a few liberal House members, our kids are missing out, and our troops got a slap in the face. I am especially disappointed in our state legislators from Bangor who voted against the bill: Reps. Aaron Frey, Adam Goode, Victoria Kornfield and John Schneck. This bill shouldn’t have been controversial.

Doug Damon

Bangor

Military insult

Since Reps. Aaron Frey, Adam Goode, Victoria Kornfield and John Schneck voted “against” allowing military recruiters to wear their respective uniforms while recruiting in the public schools, one can only surmise that the people they represent do not respect the military and its option for service to America.

Maybe a result of their actions would be for all current military and military retirees to avoid shopping in Bangor or supporting the city.

How insulting to all the men and women who are serving our country and all the retirees living in the area.

Judy Carter

Dixmont

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