December 27, 2012

Letters to the editor: Lawmakers fail to meet expectations

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Neither Congress, above, nor the president has taken substantive steps to address the many serious issues facing the nation, says a reader.

The Associated Press

AARP's six chapters made an extraordinary effort to help by hosting local food drives that support food pantries and other programs such as Meals on Wheels.

The chapters collected more than 6,500 pounds of food this year, and several made sizable cash donations as well. These contributions will go a long way toward helping low-income Mainers who might otherwise go hungry in the coming months.

As they did last year, many local businesses participated in the AARP Chapter food drives, making the effort a true community affair. With Maine ranking ninth in the nation for food insecurity, it is especially important for us all to be aware of the needs of others.

AARP was founded more than 50 years ago by a retired educator, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, who recognized the power of community and the difference each one of us can make through "creating the good." We applaud the AARP chapters for their dedication and generosity.

Greg Cross

community outreach director, AARP Maine


Guns give single assailant power over innocent crowd 

As the sadly familiar debate resumes over gun control, now that our television screens have shown once again the sadly too familiar images of grieving parents, we will have once again thrown in our faces: "Guns don't kill people; people do."

This is not true. What is true is that people assault people; people batter people; people beat up other people; people swing baseball bats at people; people knife people, often many times.

But none of these acts will assuredly destroy other people or innocent bystanders in great numbers. These acts of violence and aggression are typically one-on-one, and engage, however sickly, some degree of physical courage.

But guns confer an enormous advantage on the single assailant, because unlike any other weapon, they are most likely to kill their targets.

Guns do kill people. The bumper sticker should read: "People assault people; but guns kill them."

What's more, guns -- as each mass murder by a single assailant reminds us -- are the ultimate coward's weapon. They enable a paranoid individual to kill his victims and innocent bystanders in numbers greater than his own, without demanding even the most irrational courage of a wild animal.

How anyone living in a civilized country can be both a parent and oppose serious gun control beggars the imagination.

Sylvia Kraemer



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