Shame on the NRA

No doubt the NRA prides itself on each of its legislative victories. They spend a lot of money to buy the votes of Congress. Each victory brings them more control of our government and assures that the money flows, allowing them to buy even more votes.

What does the NRA leadership think every time Americans slay Americans with NRA-protected assault guns? There have been 18 school shootings since Jan. 1. Do you think the NRA cares who’s next, as long as they keep having their way with Congress?

Which begs the question — what do the members of Congress who take NRA money think? Don’t they care about our children and the many other Americans being slaughtered by assault weapons? What does Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin, the beneficiary of more than $200,000 from the NRA, according to The New York Times, think about its agenda? He’s taking their money so he’s clearly complicit in the assault on our children.

While gun control is absolutely constitutional, it may take sacrifice on the part of gun owners to agree that only the military should have access to assault weapons. Are Americans willing to make a sacrifice for the sake of our children?

The NRA and their toadies in Congress don’t give a damn what happens, so long as they carry out their agenda of destructive dark money and keep control of Congress. Shame on all of them. Shame.

Alan Parks

Bar Harbor

LGBT Mainers aren’t broken

The Feb. 14 editorial “Lawmakers should restrict ineffective, harmful conversion therapy,” presents an astute summary of the real experiences of LGBT children, young adults and their families. The vast majority of health care professionals, educators, clergy and others in supportive programs can attest to the accuracy of the research that concludes that such attempts to change one’s sexual orientation results in great suffering and too often in suicide.

OUT Maine concurs with the editorial’s apt conclusion that LGBT people do not need repair, only nurturing and supportive families and communities. The teaching staff of schools, social workers, medical personnel and other community leaders who participate in our training programs demonstrate their desire that acceptance becomes the healthy norm in our society.

We applaud the editorial favoring legislation — LD 912 — that bans harmful attempts to change LGBT children and youth through conversion therapy. Although it is shameful that this restriction is needed, as long as our children and their friends are burdened by condemnation or cultural and religious judgment, this bill is a positive step toward achieving the common good.

The Rev. Dr. Ralph Moore, Jr.


OUT Maine board of directors


Poliquin’s gun control stance

Last spring and summer, I spent months trying to schedule a meeting with Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s staff in the Bangor office. After about six months of effort, I was granted a meeting.

During that meeting, I repeatedly asked about Poliquin’s position on common-sense gun legislation. The answer repeatedly was: This is not a problem in Maine. Poliquin’s base knows where he stands on this issue.

The data show exactly where Poliquin stands. Over the years, he has accepted more than $200,000 from the NRA. He is in the top 10 recipients in the House of Representatives for NRA contributions.

Does Poliquin still believe this is not a problem in Maine? If so, I hope he will wear a badge of shame so everyone knows where he stands.

Joyce Mallery


No tax giveaways for General Dynamics

Maine citizens should be outraged that defense contractor General Dynamics is coming to the taxpayer trough again for $60 million to subsidize their operation at Bath Iron Works. This corporate welfare must stop.

General Dynamics is the sixth largest defense contractor in the world, had $31.3 billion in revenue in 2016 and is so profitable that they are doing stock buybacks. General Dynamics also just had their tax rate reduced by the Trump administration from 35 percent to 21 percent. This will fatten General Dynamics and other megacorporations bottom lines significantly.

For example, Pfizer, the big pharma giant, will reap an $11 billion gain as a result of this tax break. Billions, folks, we’re taking billions. So why does General Dynamics want millions more from Maine, the 33rd poorest state in the nation? One word. Greed. General Dynamics and other corporations such as Amazon seek to play states off one another if not given huge tax incentives. It seldom works to the taxpayer’s advantage.

Please write, call or visit your state representatives and let them know, loud and clear, enough is enough. No more corporate welfare. We want to live in a democracy, not a kleptocracy. We must stop corporations such as General Dynamics from scamming taxpayers by subsidizing their losses and privatizing their profits at our expense.

Don Kimball

South Portland

Dutson wrong about protesters

Lance Dutson asks in his Feb. 13 BDN column, “Where are protests when they really matter?” He thinks we have enough to protest here in Maine with Rep. Larry Lockman defending the Jackman white separatist and with all of our governor’s embarrassing remarks. Well, nice, we can agree on what Gov. Paul LePage has been doing. But Dutson thinks the #resist movement is being influenced by paid organizers to participate in public displays. No, we are being influenced by what we read. You know, the fact-based news.

My daughters and granddaughters marched with protesters in Augusta because the Maine marches were focused on electing women to office. We agree with Bill and Melinda Gates that the more empowered women and girls are, the stronger their communities are. This is not just about Maine because the culture and values of President Donald Trump have been becoming more blatant throughout our country.

He says we went bananas over the tax bill. Well, maybe we learned something from the tea party protests that empowered Republicans to take the House and the Senate. Because of the women’s movement, Steve Bannon is becoming alarmed that the American patriarchy is endangered. So maybe we are now engaged in a protest that will really matter.

Darlene Martin