April 12, 2013

Letters to the editor: NRA gets an F on guns-in-schools plan

In regards to the recent story ("In Focus: NRA: Arm school staffers, save lives," April 3) on the National Rifle Association's proposal to put guns in schools after the recent murders of 20 kids and six educators at Sandy Hook:

Wayne LaPierre
click image to enlarge

The National Rifle Association, led by Wayne LaPierre, above, recently reacted to the Newtown massacre by calling for school staffers to be trained as armed security officers. “The same people who profited from the guns and bullets that killed those children” have no place giving advice, a reader says.

2012 File Photo/The Associated Press

I wanted to say that it is essential that we listen to the wisdom of survivors of gun violence, rather than NRA head Wayne LaPierre. I couldn't imagine anyone listening to the advice of the same people who profited from the guns and bullets that killed those children.

The NRA's notion that response time is the key to protecting our children, rather than keeping the unstable from getting a gun, is a ruse. In other words, if your kid went out with his BB gun and shot the neighbor's cat, would you put a guard by all the neighbors' cats, or take the gun away?

More survivors are learning the hard way that guns would be made safer by treating them as a privilege, not a right.

I was almost a victim of a gunman when he walked into a bar with a short-barreled automatic and started to spray everyone sitting at the bar. I quickly grabbed it and struggled for it, hoping some other gun-wielding fool didn't crawl out of the woodwork to shoot the gunman while he was wrestling with me.

A gun simply wouldn't have helped me or the other 18 people who survived, because the NRA provides the weapons, legal protection and training that any gunman needs to get the drop on all of us.

And one more "response time" we should be concerned with is the speed with which the assault weapons ban got dropped from the Senate negotiations, showing us the influence of the NRA, the corruption of Congress and the weakness of the White House to do anything about it.

Gregory Woolley

Portland

Energy efficiency program biased against rural firms

When homeowners are using the Efficiency Maine website or calling Efficiency Maine and asking for contractor information, they are given names of contractors who are within 25 miles of their ZIP code.

This is brutal for rural contractors who are not within 25 miles of highly populated areas. There is not one contractor I know who limits their range to 25 miles.

To get around this, Dana Fischer, the residential manager of Efficiency Maine, has encouraged companies to use their employee addresses as business locations.

Efficiency Maine also does not count jobs completed equally for all contractors.

All installation work that heating, solar, air sealing and insulation companies perform through the Efficiency Maine program is counted but not the independent audit company's work.

Their work is only counted if it leads to another contractor's work. Why should an auditor's job count be based on someone else's work?

Michael Stoddard, director of Efficiency Maine, has publicly stated that there is no way to keep track of how many audits are done and only counting finished houses can be accurate.

This is incorrect because every Efficiency Maine audit is entered in the Efficiency Maine database. Shouldn't he know this?

The website is the resource that most all homeowners use to find contractors. The way it is now, small rural companies are at an extreme disadvantage and homeowners are not getting complete information. Should Efficiency Maine be playing favorites with public funding?

DeWitt Kimball

Complete Home Evaluation Services LLC

Brunswick

'Asinine' statement fails to capture sub tragedy's impact

"This ship (Thresher) helped save the world." How asinine, how exaggerated this statement ("Thresher crew 'helped save the world,' " April 6).

Notwithstanding the circumstances under which it was made, a commemorative ceremony, its issuer, an admiral in the U.S. Navy, should forever be characterized as someone who is both foolish and pompous.

The Thresher's loss was grim news, appalling and shocking. Kennedy, himself lost that very year, was president; I, 31 years old, was living in New York.

In the 50 years since its destruction, attributable most likely to slipshod manufacturing, nothing has occurred leading one to believe the world has been saved.

Let the Navy's reputation be restored; retire this admiral.

Paul E. McArdle

Boothbay

Parents urged to speak up to save Biddeford schools

Do you care about your children's education?

If you do, speak up, please; otherwise, just repeat the word "goodbye."

Say goodbye to teachers, nurses, administrators' aides, bus drivers, support and more. We have already lost a great deal, stripped from our hallways, leaving empty rooms and school administrators juggling more than they should.

Principals are in charge of more than one position without an assistant principal to fill in when they are gone. Why? No budget for it. Two hats must be worn.

Personally, I would love to have the principals in our schools full time, supported by an assistant principal, but these are the decisions being made. Why? Because the administration's hands are tied trying to cut the budget, and the parents aren't speaking up.

We have to call and talk to our school board now before the changes are finalized. Not after. If we don't speak up now, then there is no right to complain when everything is gone. Which leads us to that word again: "Goodbye."

Goodbye to the librarians: Children who have been able to learn about books in the library will find themselves in a repository, left with choices but no guidance.

Goodbye to the registered nurses, replaced with licensed practical nurses and hopes that no medical emergency will make a difference.

Goodbye to bus aides and special educators. Goodbye to assistant coaches and money for sports programs, music and foreign languages. Just goodbye.

If we as parents do not speak up and call now, then there is only one word you need to know: "Goodbye."

Please call a school board member now.

Goodbye.

Beth Goodrich

parent of twin Biddeford Primary School students

Biddeford

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