May 26, 2013

Letters to the editor: Car inspections burden on poor

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Erik Lowell of AAA Car Care in Portland puts a new sticker on a car after he inspected and passed the vehicle in 2011. A reader says Maine’s car inspection mandate amounts to “a regressive tax.”

2011 Telegram File Photo/Derek Davis

I would like to shoot some holes in the letter "NRA brushes off risks guns pose to kids" (May 13), by Sam Kamin.

First of all, I wish those on the left would stop emotionally politicizing the firearms issue by surrounding themselves with children, which is a tactic used by terrorists to prevent retaliation.

Secondly, the NRA is the foremost advocate for and instructor in firearms safety.

Let's look at some facts. When seconds count, police are only minutes away, and here in rural Maine, they can be very long minutes.

I would like to cite an incident that happened three years ago in Pittston where the homeowner and his daughter were severely brutalized and left for dead. Law enforcement just could not arrive in time. Would not a firearm have been a better self-protection weapon than 911?

Quick-access safes are not as simple to open as a gun lock. I would like to suggest the homeowner place a cellphone in the safe, draw and cock the firearm, then dial 911. This way, if police cannot arrive in time, the law-abiding citizen can protect himself from a criminal assault.

To suggest an intruder may not be armed is absurd. What intruder would not be armed breaking into a home he knows to be occupied? Prudence demands you assume an intruder is armed and ready to do you bodily harm.

Mr. Kamin's thinking would leave the innocent homeowner to the mercy of an armed intruder. This is absolutely wrong.

Dave Ricker


State rankings should get lowest old-school grade

I am a former public school teacher, having retired in 1996 after 37 years as a teacher of history and psychology at Portland High School.

When I was an undergraduate student at Bates College, their alpha grade scale included a grade of double F. I think FF is an appropriate grade for Gov. LePage's bell curve alpha grading system for Maine's public schools.

Gerald M. Davis

retired Portland High School teacher


Immigration plan will draw other nations' best citizens

Congress now has a solid, sensible immigration bill to deal with. The "Gang of Eight" has presented a bipartisan bill that, among other important things, contains a realistic roadmap for undocumented workers in waiting.

These include children who know no other home than the U.S. They are products of our educational system, "dreamers" who thirst for more of what they have learned to know and love.

Every single one of us comes from the same background they do. We, all of us, are immigrants.

As Barney Frank pointed out in a recent column ("Immigration a good problem to have," May 19), people who come to our shores as immigrants are the adventurous, the creative, the hard workers intent on getting ahead. They are people who add to our rich cultural heritage and drive our economic prosperity.

It is only right that we immigrants make it possible for them to participate in our communities and workplaces on a solid footing.

I urge our senators, Susan Collins and Angus King, to support this bill. Let's make dreams into reality.

Mary-Jane Ferrier

South Portland

Senator quick to recognize constitutional violations

Please take note, dear readers, that your new Sen. Angus King just had the guts to stand up and challenge egregious violations of the Constitution by the military and the executive branch ("Military: al-Qaida war to last 15-20 years," May 17).

Congress has the sole power under our Constitution to declare war. Every president and general tries to ignore that fact, given that it provides a civilian check to unlimited warmaking.

Angus King called out the generals, and for that he deserves our thanks and strong support.

If the warmakers cannot follow the Constitution, perhaps their funding should be cut -- and that would be the ultimate in patriotism by those in D.C. sworn to uphold our Constitution.

Thank you, Sen. King. Keep on them!

Alan Morse


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