January 11, 2013

Letters to the editor: State coyote hunt poorly thought out

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EASTERN COYOTE
click image to enlarge

A male Eastern coyote patrols its pen at a wildlife rehabilitation center in northern Maine in 2003. The increase in the state’s deer harvest between 2011 and 2012 should prompt the re-evaluation of the idea that coyotes need to be killed in order to sustain the size of the deer herd, a reader says.

2003 File Photo/The Associated Press

Within hours after the Newtown killings, the news media showed names and photos of every sick killer over the past few years, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood. The Newtown sick killer is now referred to by his first name!

On the front page of the Dec. 26 edition, the Portland Press Herald showed a photo, with his name no less, of another sick killer ("Similar guns used in N.Y., Conn. killings"). Why? Why? Why?

Please leave the names and photos where they belong, with the police. Names, never, ever! Photos, never, ever!

Gerald E. Smith

Harrison

As reported in this paper on Christmas Day, a convicted felon who had served his time set fire to his house to lure firefighters into a trap ("Man kills firefighters responding to NY blaze"). He then murdered them with volleys of bullets.

Isn't it time we assigned an armed police officer to every fire truck, in line with the recent recommendations of Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, who proposed that we do the same at every school in America?

Given the profits of the gun manufacturers, and their obvious sincerity in wishing to make America a safe and successful democracy with less government, it would seem appropriate that they and the NRA set up a fund to finance these and future recommendations that would otherwise require public expenditures for guns and the people to carry them.

I would only suggest that it might be more affordable to arm the firefighters, though it would be difficult to fight a fire with only one arm free.

In all seriousness, this is another small-town tragedy of guns and mental illness, and we really must renew our efforts to build a community-based mental health system and remove the war guns from the store shelves and American homes to stop the carnage in our communities.

With 300 million guns lying around America, it is honestly difficult to imagine how more guns and "good guys" to carry them will help us now. Likely, all we men think we are good guys.

Jay Kilbourn

Kennebunk

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