I don’t know whether to fault or praise the lead story “Event aims to show it’s legal to pack heat” (April 14).

Fault, because at a time of dangerous discourse across the land, which many believe could trigger violence, The Portland Press Herald is trumpeting this event on its front page.

Praise, because it is a newsworthy article alerting all of us “nonpackers” that such an event is planned and we should either stay away from Back Cove on April 25 or prepare for a counter, more peace-oriented, event.

I come down on the fault side. After all, who wants to be there to protest against people armed with loaded weapons, in case tempers flare on either side and things get out of hand?

But to the event itself: Why is it happening? Is anyone threatening to repeal the Second Amendment to take away a citizen’s right to bear arms? As much as I wish we lived in a gun-free world, I don’t believe anyone, at this time, is in the news advocating this. So why is it happening?

I can surmise only that those who are planning the event are joining the ranks of the anti-liberal sentiment sweeping the country following President Obama’s health care victory.

In my view, most of this sentiment is based on fear — fear of a socialist takeover; fear of the census taking names for future internment; fear caused by racist sentiments (the white race is losing control); fear that we are losing our atomic edge in the world and that Obama’s policies are leaving us more vulnerable.

These fears are not supported by facts, but they are encouraged by those who want to gain or maintain a political advantage and by our 24-7 news media to garner more readers and viewers.

What’s the answer to these fears? Why, carry loaded guns, of course — blatantly and flagrantly, out in the open — as if a weapon were an intimidating force designed to allay fears.

It is not. It is designed to create more fear. Where is this all headed?

Paul B. Kussmann


There can be only one reason to organize an event at which people will be encouraged to carry guns out in the open, and that is to provoke people with concerns about the number of guns in the United States.

There certainly can’t be a safety reason for carrying a gun in Maine. There have never been more than 39 murders in a year in Maine, and the majority of those are the result of domestic violence.

Absent a safety concern, the only other reason to carry a gun is for the purposes of hunting, which is certainly not going to occur in Back Cove. Apparently, these individuals don’t believe that some of us have the right to be in an environment in which guns aren’t present.

In a country in which there are 15,000 murders every year, all of the glib defenses of gun possession can’t obscure the fact that the rest of the developed world has exponentially fewer murders than the United States and much tighter restrictions on gun possession.

The one power we have in this situation is to exercise economic persuasion. I will not spend money at a business that sells guns or welcomes their possession, and I’d encourage those who feel similarly to do the same.

Reid Scher


GOP missed its chance to influence bond package

Once again, Republicans in the Legislature showed they have no backbone by not raising an uproar over this bond issue.

This one-size-fits-all bond package will further weaken the Maine economy and transfer debt to children not yet born, a thing that goes against the grain of the U.S. Constitution, which is to “promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” not strap them with debt.

The Republicans should have insisted this bond package at least be broken down into individual parts.

The Republicans have another chance — they can use all their resources to convince Maine voters to reject this bond package in June.

I, however, do not see them doing that. Why? Because a weaker Maine benefits both parties — that is what keeps the electorate coming to the government trough.

Another reason I do not see the Republicans using all their resources to persuade the electorate to vote against this is that the political pendulum is naturally swinging back toward the Republicans, they being the minority party in a midterm election, so why take a chance.

The Republican Party, like the Democratic Party, is all about winning elections, not standing on principle and doing what is right for the people of Maine.

The Republicans will simply say, in a high tone, “We voted against it.” Yes, but did you fight against it? Some things must be fought for, and securing the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity is one of those things that must be fought for.

This package is a shameless trick to garner votes. We all know, in the private sector, we cannot borrow our way out of debt, nor can we purchase jobs with someone else’s money.

I ask all Mainers to vote against this bond package in June.

Alan Lowberg

Independent candidate for Congress, 1st District


Principal applauds judge for upholding principles

As principal of Deering High School in Portland, I would like to extend my gratitude for U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby’s decision to uphold the consequences as spelled out in Yarmouth High School’s honor code (“Judge: No putting off honor code punishment,” April 14).

School administrators everywhere take with the utmost seriousness our charge to create an environment that fosters personal, academic and civic growth for our students.

As a group we work tirelessly with staff, students and families to educate our young people regarding substance use and abuse.

We urge parents and community members to join with us partnering with coalitions such as 21 Reasons to meet the challenge and tragedy of underage drinking.

My colleagues and I have attended more funerals for young people than we care to recall where substance use has played a role. I am clearly supportive of the judge’s decision, and I know that we as a community need to use the tools we have to send clear and consistent messages that we know will save and improve lives.

I also thank Yarmouth Superintendent Judy Paolucci, Yarmouth High School Principal Ted Hall, Assistant Principal Amy Bongard, substance abuse counselor Jill Frame and the Yarmouth school district for standing up for what is right.

Ken Kunin

Principal, Deering High School



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