Letters to the editor, The Courier-Gazette

Dec 29, 2012

Wake up call

I write this letter grudgingly, knowing the greater majority of people in Maine probably disagree, and let them, that is their right. To the retired Army Sergeant, I respect your service sir and thank you for it. Your opinion, however, I cannot share. Mr. Mazerall has a better grasp on the truth with regard to the Second Amendment, which, as part of the Bill of Rights, cannot legally be rescinded. It was placed there by James Madison as a protection for the people from tyrannical government, and those who would remove it should, and hopefully would, be removed by the people. "But it was written when people had single-shot muskets," people cry. Yes, and the British Army also had single-shot muskets. For the Second Amendment to be plausible, citizen armament would need necessarily to keep pace with government armament. Switzerland, by all accounts, requires the populace to be armed, as does Israel. Switzerland also, I am sure, does not look the other way when young people exhibit deviant and violent behavior, then blame everyone else when that behavior bursts suddenly into action. Israel suffers from violence, but from a different source. If the young people were taught the truth, instead of "progressive opinion", they might better understand many things including the sanctity of life. The vast majority of violent mass murderers had known psychological problems, ignored or kept quiet by those who wished not to offend someone. It is past time that people, known by psychologists to have tendencies toward mass violence, be reported to authorities who investigate backgrounds for gun purchase. If some nut causes a bad accident on the road do we take away all cars? No, we punish drunk drivers and those whose reckless behavior caused an accident. Had the Army's policy at Ft. Hood required personnel to be armed, the massacre would never have happened. These people all go for soft targets, of which, sadly, Ft. Hood, Colorado, Columbine, the Amish school, Virginia Tech and all the others were. Yes indeed America, "Wake Up!"

Richard Harding



Angels among us

There are Christmas angels, one of them owns The Brass Compass. While Lynn "Angel" Archer was renovating the second story she same across toys from sixty-five years past. My husband remembers spending Christmas there with his mother, sister and brother. I spoke with her, simply wondering if there would be something he would remember as those were the days when toys meant a lot. Lynn had the opportunity to exchange a red dump truck for monetary compensation. Instead, her heart said wait. She generously presented it to Gordon Mank in an act of kindness we will always cherish. Gordon always loved trucks. At The Brass Compass, along with very good food and a warm welcome, she has a sign that says it all, "Kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life." God bless you and may His force shine upon you. She puts Christ in Christmas.

Sandra Mank



Cooking for a cause

Monday night, Dec. 3, amateurs and professionals competed with their best chilies and chowders in an event to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Hundreds attended to taste and judge the 17 entries and $2,281 was raised for MDA. The 2nd annual event was organized by the Rockland Professional Firefighters Local 1584 chapter of the International Association of Fire Fighters and hosted by Trackside Station at 4 Union St.

The winners, which were chosen by the attendees, were: Individual Chowder: Jim Stone; Individual Chili: Bryce Laster (who also won the US Coast Guard's Chili contest last Friday so Trackside Station sponsored him to compete) and Professional Chili & Chowder: Nick Krunkala of Fog.

This fundraiser would not have been possible without all the wonderful participants and the crowd that filled Trackside to taste chili and chowder, buy raffle tickets, 50/50 tickets and have a fun night.

We would like to especially thank the following people for their help and contributions to the evening: Loyal Biscuit Co., Tim Pollard and Pine State Trading Co., Tim Horton’s, Shaw’s, Bert’s Machine Shop, American Awards Inc., Waterworks and the contestants: Alexander Ghee of Park Street Grille, Nick Krunkala of Fog, Emily Creamer of Clan MacLaren, Rob Craig of Owls Head General Store, Melody Wolfertz of In Good Company, Tim and Denise Pezanowski of The Lobster Shack, Julia McClure of Sweets & Meats, Rockland Fire A Shift, Jim Stone, Chris Oliver, Stephanie and Renee with Knox County Dispatch, Ian and Gideon Sullivan, Elizabeth Steele and Bryce Laster.

MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.

Donations continue to be turned into the group. If you’re interested in donating please contact Carl Anderson at 831-9323 or via email at canderson@ci.rockland.me.us.

Carl Anderson, Rockland Professional Firefighters Local 1584 chapter of the International Association of Fire Fighters

Kelly and Mike Woods

Trackside Station


Season's songs

I want the fine teachers who brought the lovely group of young children to Main Street in Rockland on Thursday afternoon to sing seasonal songs to know that the experience gave unsurpassable beauty and wonder to the day, and how much I thank them all for sharing their voices, their spirit, and light.

Maggie Trout



Thanks Denise!

The Thomaston Public Library would like to acknowledge and thank Denise Stadler for her donation in the memory of Ashiah Pettee. Ms. Stadler’s donation has been used to purchase new books for the children’s collection. The Thomaston Public Library staff thanks Ms. Stadler for her gift, which will surely provide much reading pleasure for many of our young patrons.

Thomaston Public Library staff

Comments (2)
Posted by: Sarah G Ridgway | Dec 31, 2012 16:52

@Richard Harding --  Correlating high gun ownership with low crime doesn't compute. There may be a lot of weapons in Switzerland (and Canada, among others), but they aren't all carried publicly and available at a moment's notice. And I hope you're not suggesting that there are no "soft targets" in those countries just because people have guns in their homes. I wouldn't argue with the statement that people who carry out mass shootings have undiagnosed or poorly treated emotional illness (the difficulties in obtaining treatment in this country is another ongoing tragedy), and I'm not suggesting that restricting ownership of assault-type weapons and extended clips/magazines would stop the massacres. But as long as the general culture of this country hangs on to its long-standing belief that guns are the solution to most everything, it would make sense to make sure that those particular weapons are in the hands ONLY of those who absolutely require them -- active-duty military and law enforcement -- and the sale of unregistered guns at shows and on the internet should be banned.

Posted by: Lawrence Butler | Dec 30, 2012 08:42

Just a quick fact check on foreign gun laws (and not getting in the 2nd Amendment fray), nearly every Swiss male between 18 and 30 has been drafted and serves in the reserves until he turns 30, and keeps his assault rifle at home.  No one in Switzerland is required to have a gun, except for members of the reserves.  Around 25% of households have a weapon at home. The U.S. is double that.  Likewise with Israel. If you are in the reserves, you keep your weapon at home to facilitate mobilization. Outside of that, it is really, really hard to get a gun in Israel.

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