April 25, 2013

Letters to the editor: Defeat of gun bills shows NRA's power

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Gun-control advocates and gun-rights backers face off Saturday at a gun-control rally outside the Indianapolis office of U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., who voted against gun-control measures last week. Readers deplore the Senate’s rejection of proposals that polls show had broad-based support.

2013 File Photo/The Associated Press

It is time for Susan Collins and other decent and responsible Republicans to sever their ties to their party. How about two independent U.S. senators from Maine?

Meredith N. Springer
Scarborough

Some weeks ago, I watched the head of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, as he appeared on "Meet the Press" and talked about the mayor of New York spending his own money on ads for expanded background checks for gun purchases.

Mr. LaPierre said the mayor "could not buy America" with his money and ads.

That is probably true, but it would seem a waste of the mayor's time and money anyway, as it is now clear that the United States Senate is owned and operated by the NRA.

Shame on the Senate for ignoring what 90 percent of Americans wanted and voting for what the big money lobby wanted instead.

The gun issue is not the big problem here; the problem is that our government no longer represents American citizens, but works for those who can put big money into their campaigns for election and re-election.

It is time for the American voter to clean house at the next election and then make Congress work for all Americans, not just those with lots of money.

Gary Phillips
Wells

How reducing the size of a gun magazine from 30 to 10 bullets, so killers will have to stop and reload more often during the killing process, is an infringement on the Second Amendment right to bear arms totally escapes me.

Ralph Rodway
Old Orchard Beach

It is appalling to see that both of our senators hid their votes against an assault weapons ban behind a vote in favor of the useful, but much less likely to be effective, increased background checks legislation.

The Press Herald colluded in this shell game by burying news of Susan Collins' and Angus King's votes for the gun lobby deep in the article ("Maine senators mourn defeat of gun compromise," April 18).

The legislative process appears to have been carefully crafted to shield the pro-gun lobby votes cast despite the clearly stated directions of their constituents.

From 1994 to 2003, the last full year we had an assault weapons ban, there were still 16 mass shootings in the U.S.

Since the ban expired in 2004, there have been 27 mass shootings.

What further evidence is needed that these weapons of mass destruction are a cancer in our country?

And what rationale is there for owning such a weapon, beyond "I want it"?

Patricia Garrett
Portland

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