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Friday, August 23, 2019: Concern for people instead of the gun lobby, Trump can’t tell me how to vote, tackling prescription drug prices

Concern for people instead of the gun lobby

The Supreme Court seems to have interpreted the Second Amendment as a right of every law-abiding citizen to own just about any conceivable firearm or accessory for self-defense, even though the word “self-defense” doesn’t appear in the amendment. This raises a very serious question. Do firearms actually provide self-protection?

Just a casual look at gun-death statistics in the U.S. would show that having plenty of guns in private hands does not provide more security. In fact, just the opposite is true.

For example, a 2009 University of Pennsylvania study of gun assaults concluded that victims in possession of a gun were 4.46 times more likely to be shot than victims not in possession of a gun. It just makes sense to outlaw all non-sporting firearms such as handguns and assault rifles.

Why do you think Congress has failed to fund gun-violence studies? Could it be because they fear the NRA more than they are concerned about gun violence in our country? It is time for members of Congress to place the safety of Americans ahead of their reelection.

George H. Elliott
Bangor

Trump can’t tell me how to vote

As a Jewish woman, I felt sick to my stomach when I read that the president had declared that “any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” How dare this man, who cages migrant children and claimed there were “ very fine people on both sides” of a rally involving neo-Nazis in Virginia, even think he can instruct Jews how to vote.

He greatly underestimates the independent mind that Jews have cultivated after centuries of facing down demagogues like him. I believe President Donald Trump is the greatest threat facing the healthy functioning of our United States. He turns citizens against each other, works to undermine health care access for our most vulnerable citizens, attacks the free press, embraces and admires autocratic leaders, and now attacks my intelligence and loyalty to my country if I do not vote for him.

Trump is apparently attempting to transform our democracy into a Trumpocracy. Congress needs to fulfill its essential role in protecting our country, and impeach the president before he does any more damage to our country and her people.

Naomi Cohen
Hope

Tackling prescription drug prices

What a relief it is to hear about campaigns that take aim at price gouging by pharmaceutical companies! It is a long-standing problem that just seems to be getting worse. Many Mainers find it very difficult to afford the medications they need.

Their treatment is absolutely necessary to keep them alive, but the price of prescription drugs just keeps climbing and climbing. People are scared that soon they won’t be able to afford their medications and will have to start cutting things out like heat, food or home repairs. It’s terrifying to get to a point where the medicines you need to keep your family safe become out of reach.

Our drug prices here in the U.S. are the highest in the world. Wasn’t this supposed to be the land of plenty and privilege? Regular people need help. We are tired of drug companies raising prices when these same drugs can be bought for less already in other countries. This is contrary to the American way of doing business that has always focused on a competitive marketplace that creates fair prices for consumers.

It’s time we all make a strong appeal to our members of Congress to put an end to this painful situation. If they want our support, they should stop talking and take action. Get some sensible solutions on the table for this impossible situation.

Rosalyn Fisher
Bangor

 



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