Letters to the editor, The Courier-Gazette

Dec 20, 2012

Defend the Second Amendment

Due to the horrific incident that occurred last week at a Connecticut elementary school I felt it necessary to speak out on the issue of firearms control.

I am sure that there have already been many knee-jerk reactions calling for the disarming of all citizens. So I ask as a law-biding gun owner that you be careful in your response to this horrible incident. I direct my comments to those who feel that our country would be safer if the private citizen was disarmed. You know of course that there is true evil in our world. You should also know that disarming the public will do nothing to eliminate the presence of this evil. You know or should know that there are mentally challenged people who respond to stresses in their lives in unacceptable ways, sometimes with violence. You should also know that these problems have existed since Adam.

The majority of firearms owners are, in fact, law-biding citizens who present no threat to any of us. In fact the presence of an armed citizen has on many occasions prevented or reduced crime. The police cannot be everywhere. In fact we don’t want them everywhere. Many times the police presence comes only after an incident has occurred. We are one of the few countries in the free world that allows the law-biding citizen the right to keep and bear arms. That right, as granted by our forefathers in the Second Amendment to our Constitution, should be viewed as sacred. Its importance is only surpassed by our right of free speech. Our government was formed by revolutionaries, by a people who viewed their own government as oppressive. They did not give us the Second Amendment for personal defense, nor for hunting. They gave it to us so that we the people would always have the ability to defend ourselves against a government that failed its people.

You do not have to look very far to see governments that abuse their own populous. North Korea, Iran, Egypt, Syria, and China, are only a few that instantly come to mind. Power corrupts and we all know about absolute power. Could it be that the presence of an armed public has prevented these evils from taking place in our country? During World War II, the Japanese wanted to invade the U.S. One of the comments made in opposition to that idea was, and I paraphrase, “There will be a gun behind every blade of grass." This I believe is another reason to defend with all our might the Second Amendment. Let’s not base decisions on the lowest common denominator.

Evil does not come from the many, it comes from the few. It should also be noted that in the past few years there have been a number of violent attacks on school children in China. The weapon? A knife. Be careful what you support, it could come back and bite us all.

Leo Mazerall

Stockton Springs

Wake up America

I write this to your office and I will say this time to wake up America, when are we going to stop and think about where it stops? Twenty very young children killed by a human being hell-bent on taking human lives and six adults. For what?

As a retired Army sergeant who has handled many types of weapons from a .22 pistol to the firing of a tank and everything in between, I say it is high time for America to wake up to this question — how many weapons does one need in a home?

My answer only to this issue is two and that is one rifle, a single-action and one pistol. Period. Now I will say this, I know that there are those who will disagree with this.

I will also ask: who in the world needs an assault weapon of any kind in his or her home and for any reason? To the National Rifle Association: you may believe in gun rights for ownership, but where does it stop?

How many people have to die before we draw the line at gun control and restrict the number of weapons in a home? Also when a person goes to purchase a gun of any kind they should show proof they they know how to handle that weapon, from shooting it and so on.

Again I say enough is enough. It is either gun control with all safe guards in place or the killings will not stop and it will get worse and the end result will be more children being killed and all because we feel we must have a gun on us and with us. Then if something happens, out comes the gun whether we know how to shoot it or not and someone ends up being killed.

So again my question is where does it end on the number of weapons that we have in our homes or on us? The only safe weapon is the one never picked up and never loaded for any reason.

I will say this: when it comes to hunting only, you take a weapon you are going to hunt with and load it only when you are ready to use it, not before. At the same time you make sure you have a target in site before you ever fire your weapon.

Robert J. Robinson

United States Army Retired

Thomaston

Open letter to Susan Collins

Dear Sen. Collins,

Here is an opportunity for you to step up to the plate and demonstrate the statesmanlike qualities Maine senators have been known for. First convince your constituents that no one wants to take away their hunting rifles or shotguns — you can do this!

This is a matter of banning assault weapons and all automatic or semiautomatic weapons from everyone except the military. These are weapons of war and no one else needs them. This is not a matter of keeping them out of the wrong hands — there are no right hands for these kinds of weapons. Other countries have successfully banned such weapons.

Be the first Republican to introduce a bill banning assault weapons and I guarantee that you will have national acclaim. What you lose in support from the National Rifle Association, you will gain in stature (and votes) both in Maine and nationally.

I will be glad to collect signatures supporting such a measure.

Thanks you for your service to our state.

Sincerely,

Corallie Murray

Camden

Superior service

On Monday I was fired by my employer of almost 12 years to cut expenses and increase profitability. On Thursday my daughter was due to have surgery. On Wednesday night, my septic tank backed up into my basement and into the shower my daughter was about to use. But this letter is not about me, it’s about Superior Restoration and Interstate Septic. Because on Thursday morning, very early, when the engineer from Interstate arrived to dig with such care in our vegetable beds for the septic tank’s inspection cap, his main concern was for my daughter and her operation. And when the team from Superior Restoration arrived to clean up the mess, their main concern was to get the shower usable so my daughter could take the shower prescribed by the hospital before the operation, the one she’d been trying to take the night before. Then, when I told Dave, Superior’s boss, who is an old friend, that I had been fired on Monday, he commiserated, shook his head, took 10 steps towards his van, turned and said: “Consider this my Christmas present to you.” Half an hour later Dave called again to let us know that he had spoken to Interstate and they had also waived their bill. “Just bake us some cookies.”

I don’t know exactly how much the bills would have been, but this generosity saved us a substantial amount of money at a time when we can least afford it. I don’t know a better story to restore your faith in the human spirit, nor a better argument to buy local.

P.S. The operation went fine. Going to Waldo County General is like going to family, complete with eccentric uncles, kindly aunts, laughing cousins. We’ve rarely felt better cared for.

Paul Hodgson

Camden

Thanks for the deliveries

Many of us who live in Knox County enjoy our early morning paper to sit and read at our breakfast table. But think, who makes this possible?

It is the young boy or girl that give us this good service year round through sleet, rain and snow throughout the year. But the question is who are these boys or girls in the wee hours of the morning who the customer doesn't know?

I received a card the other day around my newspaper, signed Shannon — but I don't have her address to return a Christmas card or gift for Christmas.

I think the subscriber of the newspaper should print the address of the carrier on the local or state of Maine section so the customer knows who is delivering his or her newspaper.

Gordon Wotton

Thomaston

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