January 25, 2013

Letters to the editor: Readers weigh Obama's gun controls

(Continued from page 1)

Barack Obama, Joe Biden
click image to enlarge

President Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, announces proposals to reduce gun violence on Jan. 16.

2013 File Photo/The Associated Press

Let's get real, America. Guns aren't going away. They'll only go underground. Then the crazies and the criminals will be the ones with the guns, and we law-abiding citizens will only have our words to use to protect our families. Think words are gonna stop a bullet?

Christa Kay

Topsham

Thank you for your editorial Jan. 17 supporting President Obama's "common-sense reforms" to the nation's gun laws ("Our View: Response to Newtown required bold actions").

I am in complete agreement with the position expressed. I wish our entire congressional delegation were willing to take as "common-sense" a position.

When the Second Amendment was enacted, people did not use assault weapons to hunt and protect themselves. They do not need them now, either.

Madge Baker

Shapleigh

Incarcerated teenagers create striking displays

Every Christmas at the Long Creek Youth Development Center, residents in the living units pick a seasonal theme and decorate their common areas using their imaginations, creative talents and available materials.

Volunteers judge the success of these endeavors. The payoff for the kids, besides bragging rights, range from pizza and soda to an in-house movie with popcorn and the like.

Under the watchful eye of Emmy Brown, longtime volunteer services coordinator at Long Creek, we served as this year's judges. As usual, each of the five units did a remarkable job, but two displays struck us so viscerally that they inspired special recognition.

In one unit, we were greeted by an enthusiastic group of young women who had put together a sequential rendition of scenes and quotes from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." This led to their holding hands around a tree and together singing the "Whoville Christmas Song."

But, more emotionally, in concert with the "stolen Christmas" theme, the girls mounted a display of individually drawn angels, each representing one of the 20 children and six women who died in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

The other remarkable exhibit, which as a Christmas theme was a surprise, was presented by one of the young men's units. Their display was centered on the individual photographs of the over 40 Maine boys lost in Iraq and Afghanistan along with a couple from New Hampshire, each photo accompanied with a short biography. Necessary research had been aided by the Long Creek librarian.

In each of these efforts, some of these incarcerated kids thought beyond themselves, the group bought in to an idea and they then carried it through. As judges, we were privileged to witness the results.

Frances Jane Addor and Roger Addor

Scarborough

Ted Brown

Brunswick

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