December 29, 2012

Letters to the editor: Headline focused on gun, not deed

A man who beat his grandmother to death with a hammer murders again after serving a scant 17 years in prison, and the Press Herald trumpets the news that he chose the same weapon used in the Newtown massacre ("Similar guns used in N.Y., Conn. killings," Dec. 26). Why not: "Convicted killer kills again"?

William Spengler
click image to enlarge

The gun that William Spengler chose to use to ambush firefighters shouldn’t have been a Press Herald headline’s focus, a reader says.

The Associated Press

The reason is found in a commentary where Greg Kesich is busy noting the Bill of Rights is not a "suicide pact" as he advocates the irrelevance of the Second Amendment ("Everything is on the table in gun violence debate but guns," Dec. 26).

The advocates of gun control seem to be the same folks who advocate socially liberal policies like the rehabilitation and early release of killers and mainstreaming of the mentally ill.

It seems these "rights advocates" ought to be concerned about the loss of all constitutional rights, the right to bear arms, along with the freedom of speech and the press. If the right to own and carry guns is the root of the violence, perhaps talking about and publishing the story is an equal accomplice. How long will it be before the same forces call to ban all three?

Peter Guidi

Portland

Unions are job destroyers, Hostess experience shows

The Bakers Union really showed Hostess, didn't they? You have a company fighting to stay afloat and the Bakers Union goes out on strike.

When I saw the pickets in front of the Hostess plant on the news, I was reminded of those murals that Gov. LePage removed from the Department of Labor building and the Democrats and labor unions want put back up.

Those murals depict union members walking the picket lines in front of various factories and mills here in Maine. Many of those same unions are still in existence today, but the factories and mills are all gone. The unions made them noncompetitive and they simply moved out of state or closed down.

The bottom line is that labor unions are not job creators but job killers. That is one of the reasons today that unions are declining in the private sector. Only in the public sector are unions flourishing, and that is because only the taxpayers can afford the wages, benefits and retirements unions demand.

But recent events may be a harbinger of things to come in the public sector. Several California cities and towns have filed for bankruptcy because they can no longer afford the union retirements. The Postal Service is going bankrupt because it cannot afford to pay future medical costs for its union retirees.

Having no job and no paycheck as compared to having a job and a reduced paycheck made sense to the Bakers Union. I am sure that there are employers waiting in line to add these dedicated union workers to their payrolls.

Raymond T. West

Topsham

Republican Party has lost its way since Lincoln's time

What has happened to the progressive Republican Party -- the party of Abraham Lincoln?

This past election was filled with Republican efforts to stop minorities from voting. Even here in Maine, we had state Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster questioning voters solely based on the color of their skin. We remember that our governor told the NAACP to "kiss my butt." Really? This is the 21st century.

Abraham Lincoln called for the "colored" vote in his last speech prior to his assassination. Must we regress to the pre-Civil War era?

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