January 23, 2013

Letters to the editor: Academics top attraction at McAuley

(Continued from page 1)

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A Catherine McAuley High School student prepares for a test during lunch period in a 2000 file photo. A McAuley teacher questions a letter that he said “baselessly denigrates” the Portland school.

2000 File Photo/Gregory Rec

Tom MacMillan

chair, Portland Green Independent Committee


Convicts will offend again if allowed back into society

While I agree with most of the comments of Jay Kilbourn ("Letters to the editor: To put end to gun violence, use multipronged strategy," Jan. 11), I'm not sure I agree with having someone ride "shotgun" on every fire truck. Takes me back to the old stagecoach days, and it didn't work very well then either. Defense is not a preventative.

In the case of the tragic shooting in upstate New York on Christmas Eve day, that awful act would never have happened if the state had not paroled a murderer -- a murderer of his own grandmother!

Punishment is meant to deter crime, but if we deter punishment, crime will continue to rise. It is time to put money and manpower into guarding our prisoners, not letting them out and paying people to defend us in public.

Don Davis


Gun control critic's letter presents misinformation

The gun advocate who contradicted the inaccuracies of gun-control advocates ("Letters to the editor: Gun rights facing threat; critics cite dubious data," Jan. 14) was no less inaccurate himself.

The most glaring was his contention that the U.S. military developed the .223-caliber round to wound our enemies rather than kill them.

The 5.56 mm round, roughly comparable to the civilian .223-caliber, was developed to chamber in the M-16A1 assault rifle, with the original intention to field a lighter, more compact weapon for jungle fighting and allow the infantryman to carry more ammunition into battle. Neither in my training nor my combat experience was the absurd notion ever conveyed to simply wound rather than kill an enemy.

I also suspect that the writer tossed hunting and gun safety laws into the mix with regulations on sales and ownership in order to arrive at a five-digit number of regulations like 20,000.

If there is any substance to this, it might suit all our purposes to revisit gun regulation in order to trim it to a few common-sense maxims. Few or no restrictions on hunting pieces while banning military assault weapons and large-capacity magazines works for me.

My father's arsenal consisted of a bolt-action deer rifle, a shotgun for bird hunting, and his old service automatic pistol from the Second World War. I doubt if he had more than 30 rounds about the house at any one time. I really don't believe anyone should require anything more.

John M. Flagler



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