Reject ‘bump stock’ ban
I am writing to express my strongest rejection to any act or emergency action to ban devices like the now famous “bump stock.”
I am very disappointed to hear that the Legislative Council will be voting to bring it up to the full Legislature on Tuesday.
I ask lawmakers, no beg them, to please consider these factual points:
Bump stocks are not a “work-around” or “loophole.” They are completely legal and have been deemed as such by the highest legal authority, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
These have been in existence, as they are sold today, for almost 15 years and thousands of Mainers own them and they are used without incident.
Maine is not a “gun control pioneer” and has a long tradition and heritage of simply complying with federal law. We have no problem to fix, much less rising to the level of an emergency bill for this session.
Before any vote is cast, before any decision is made or mind are made up, please consider these facts. Reach out, ask. These accessory items are not the bad guys. The bad guys are the ones who are breaking the law and doing bad things.
Fanning flames of bigotry
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” reads Emma Lazarus’ famous poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, which has become as much a part of our nation’s charter as the Declaration of Independence. We extend “world-wide welcome” to “the homeless, tempest-tost” out of a recognition of our common humanity.
Unfortunately, our president, our governor and other elected officials have done everything in their power to make refugees and immigrants feel unwelcome. Recently, state Rep. Larry Lockman tweeted “Muslim refugees & immigrants in Lewiston are demanding change, refusing to assimilate, taking credit for making Maine great, and saying they aren’t leaving whether Mainers like it or not. #buildthewall #theyhavetogoback.” This type of racist, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic rhetoric has no place in Maine politics.
Immigrants and refugees have always been a vital part of the fabric of our communities in Maine. In this time of global unrest where many are being displaced by war and the effects of climate change, we should welcome refugees and immigrants to our state, not demonize them and treat them like the other. Mainers are compassionate, hospitable people; we deserve leaders who respect the dignity of every human being, not those who fan the flames of bigotry and xenophobia.
Poliquin and the NRA
Rep. Bruce Poliquin has been well supported by funding from the National Rifle Association, which has spent $201,398 to support him, according to The New York Times. That amounts to an NRA cost of $11,847 for each of the 17 people killed with an AR-15 at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
After the Oct. 1, 2017, massacre in Las Vegas where 58 were killed and 527 were injured, Poliquin commented: “My thoughts are with all those effected in the horrifying attacks in Las Vegas. The nation is with you.”
What are Poliqun’s thoughts today? The silence is deafening.
“Everybody feels the evil, but no one has courage or energy enough to seek the cure,” Alexis de Tocqueville said.
Too late for victim
It would seem that it was Bangor City Councilor Sarah Nichols’ “choice” to wait until a #MeToo movement is on the horizon to show compassion for the victim of Alex Gray is a bit too late.
When she voted to approve a 10-year contract with Waterfront Concerts in September 2017, just a month before he was pleaded guilty to a domestic violence charge, she already had facts before her. The vote could have been tabled until due process was in force.
Methinks the dollar signs blinding her eyes were more convincing than the word of a victim of domestic abuse. No excuse for those members who voted for him to advance in the good will of the Bangor City Council.
Sharon I. Rideout
Stop the slaughter
Another mass shooting, this time in Florida at a high school, leaves 17 dead. Those of us who don’t own guns are exasperated on why those who do own guns aren’t demanding action. I am talking to those who claim that they are responsible gun owners; why aren’t they speaking up?
Why aren’t they saying that the NRA doesn’t speak for them? Why aren’t they demanding that there be reasonable gun laws? Why aren’t they demanding something, anything, to stop or even just make it harder for people to buy those kinds of weapons that are used to go into a school, a church, a theater, a night club and a concert and massacre people? Why?
Did they hear the young survivors in Florida? They said that they are not going to let this happen again. They speak for millions of us. As more and more people are affected by these type of massacres, the demand for changes in gun laws will become deafening. The politicians will start listening or they will be voted out.
And if responsible gun owners don’t start speaking out, then they might find that they might not like the changes that do happen to the gun laws. This isn’t a threat, it’s reality.
We need them to become involved. I know there can be a compromise that both they and I, and the millions like me, can live with. Let’s work together on stopping this senseless slaughter in our country.
Stand with Parkland
I want to support all the efforts to reduce the violence we see daily in this country. I stand with the students in Parkland, Florida, who are demonstrating for increased safety in gun laws.
Students, their teachers, parents, and other supporters around the nation who are preparing for a “march for our lives” on March 24.
I hope our schools in Maine will participate. I have faith they will help move this issue forward. Our young people are our future.