Letters to the editor, The Courier-Gazette
Stand up for rights
It was interesting that the headline for your story on gun control read "Maine`s concealed weapons permit applications rise with nations violence," then in small print under the photo of the co-owner of Johnson`s Sporting Goods and in an interview with her she says it's because people are buying guns to get them before they are told they cannot get a gun. Shouldn't the headline have read, "Maine people are buying guns and getting concealed weapons permits before the government takes away their Second Amendment right to own them;" or more bluntly before the Obama Administration takes away their rights.
Later in your editorial you bring up the Bangor paper caving to pressure from people writing in to object to having concealed weapons carry information released in its paper. You say they claim they (the Bangor paper) weren't necessarily going to publish the list. Really? What else were they going to do with it? The people who were writing into the Bangor paper to defend their Second Amendment right were using their First Amendment right.
Look what happened in New York.Burglars started targeting gun owners homes (if papers are going to publish this information they should be held responsible when homes are broken into or someone is killed). The payback came when private information was released about their editors and employees, they had to hire armed security for protection. The other thing that happened to both them and the Bangor paper was a drop in circulation. Give that a moments thought.
The press used to stand up for citizens rights against government when it started to get out of control and overbearing. Those days are gone, papers are more apt to stand up for the rights of illegal aliens. Writers and journalist like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine (Common Sense), James Madison, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton (the authors of the Federalist Papers), John Adams, and other framers of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights; would be ashamed of a press that would let the government infringe on the rights of citizens.
Your editorial accuses the governor and others of bullying for standing up for our Second Amendment rights. What was the Bangor Daily doing trying to publish a list of names of people who have a legal right to carry a firearm? Intimidate them. Looks like the Bangor Daily might have been using their First Amendment right to try and do some bullying of its own.
Against the will of citizens
In a rare display of bipartisanship, our state Legislature overwhelmingly approved LD 576, a “Resolve to Protect Concealed Handgun Permit Information on a Temporary Basis." Waldo County legislators Jethro Pease, Erin Herbig, James Gillway, and Sen. Mike Thibodeau voted in favor of privacy. Thank you for listening to your constituents and voting for common sense.
My state representative, Brian Jones of District 45, voted no. It is very disappointing that he voted against the will of the citizens he represents on ideological grounds. The vote in the Maine House of Representatives was 129-11, and 33-0 in the Senate, a clear mandate in favor of those with concealed carry permits to remain secure against a mass harvest of their information. Though a temporary measure, it should be replaced with a more permanent law in the coming months.
Hopefully Rep. Jones will come to his senses and support LD 345, "An Act to Ensure the Confidentiality of Concealed Weapons Permit Holder Information." The vast majority of gun owners in Waldo County are law abiding, responsible taxpayers and sportspeople. I urge all residents of Burnham, Freedom, Knox, Montville, Palermo, Thorndike, Troy and Unity to contact Rep. Brian Jones and voice your opinion in support of privacy. Going against the will of your constituency, and the majority of citizens in the state of Maine, is contrary to a democratic representative republic.
Representative Brian Jones recent vote to not support the temporary ban on publishing the names of concealed weapon permit holders was very disappointing. As a hunter and supporter of gun rights, it is unbelievable that my representative, who represents rural small towns, would vote against the interests of his own constituents. Not only does the U.S. Constitution protect those rights, but our State Constitution states that every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.
Representative Jones was one of only 11 legislators to oppose protecting the names of law abiding citizens being published in newspapers. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is an American issue. The excuse given is always that it’s public knowledge and newspapers have the right to publish the list of names. I wonder if Representative Jones would support publishing the lists of names of welfare recipients in Waldo County.
David A. Parkman