February 20, 2013

Letters to the editor: Storm adds to firefighters' to-do list

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Drifts cover the sidewalk along Moulton Street in Portland on Feb. 9, making it impassable following the Blizzard of 2013. After the storm, city firefighters took to the streets to dig out nearly 2,000 fire hydrants, a reader says.

2013 File Photo/Gabe Souza


Again the heated argument about the right and the need to bear arms is abroad in the wake of the recent slaughter of children and their teachers in Connecticut. Some say that if someone in the school had a gun, it may have stopped the gunman, or not.

But in all this clamor, there is a question that I have not heard raised, and it is critical for gun advocates to answer:

Where is the gun in your home? Is it on your person? In a drawer in the kitchen or bedroom? Is there one in each room?

How do you get to it soon enough to threaten the intruder? He won't wait, and any aggressive move would certainly be matched with violence.

So, how does having a weapon in your home or business protect you and others from this type of violence? Or does it add more firepower to a volatile situation?

Mel Howards



Criticism of AR-15 based on emotions, not on facts


Do hunters in Maine use AR-15-style firearms for hunting deer? The answer is "yes" – the public and government are only looking at the gun basically for its color. For years any gun with a wood stock has been acceptable, but plastic and black, not so much.

The AR-15 platform – so much maligned, especially by our troops in the Vietnam War, but now so perfected – is the classic firearm of the next century. Two pins separate the lower control group from the upper. The upper has been transformed into a versatile firearm that its designer, Eugene Stoner, could have never imagined.

So do Mainers use the AR platform for hunting? It really doesn't matter so much that they do, but they may.

One can purchase a number of gun magazines (readable, not capacity) that explain how the platform and available calibers are used for hunting. So to categorize that any type of firearm is not useful for hunting is just biased against guns.

Any firearm is useful for hunting. Hopefully, it never again is an issue in this country that we have to hunt for our own meat instead of buying it. All the anti-gun people will become hunters again, as our forefathers did to survive and provide protein for their families, as grocery stores and the convenience of commercially packaged meat did not exist then.

It is not the action of the gun. It is the action of the person. People in this country do not drive their cars right and kill others. People do not do a lot of things correctly and harm others. It is not the tool. It is the mind.

Albert Bergeron



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