Let’s be safe drivers

I shall start this letter by saying thank you to all the careful courteous drivers out there. I appreciate you. It seems like every time I turn on the news lately or pull up Facebook, there has been another accident and I find it alarming and also sad. Yes, accidents can and do happen, but lately it seems that the majority of these accidents were preventable.

If we all do our part by obeying the laws of the road, many could be prevented. Please put your phones away, don’t tailgate, don’t speed and please do not drive if you are impaired in any way.

If you can’t keep your eyes open, turn on the air conditioner, get some caffeine into you, and pull over. The other day driving through downtown Searsport, a Jeep-type vehicle was following me way too closely and refused to back off. I pulled into a parking lot and let him go but I should not have had to do that.

Some drivers still don’t know that they need to put their lights on when they are using their wipers, and some still don’t understand why they need to clean all the snow off their cars. A little snow on your car roof can turn to ice and fly off and potentially harm someone.

Please, fellow drivers, let’s turn these statistics around. Let us all take responsibility to be the safest drivers we can be.

Joanne Spencer

Why are these weapons allowed?

I have learned that a common bullet shot from an AR-15 can do much more damage to the human body than a bullet from a handgun. So I am asking why these weapons are allowed on our streets.

This is what one radiologist and another expert on wound ballistics had to say: these bullets travel at a higher velocity, imparting roughly three times the energy of a handgun bullet; the damage they cause is a function of the energy they impart as they travel through the body; when they contact human tissue they travel along a circular path while beginning to yaw; the yaw effect releases tremendous kinetic energy into the tissue surrounding the permanent cavity created by direct contact; not only can the permanent cavity be larger due to sideways path of the bullet, but surrounding tissue forms a temporary wound cavity that experiences severe compression, stretching and shearing of the displaced tissue injuring blood vessels, nerves or organs not struck by the bullet.

The effect makes an organ look like an overripe melon smashed by a sledgehammer; it does not have to hit an artery to damage it and cause catastrophic bleeding; the likelihood of this bullet’s lead core breaking up, fragmenting, can amplify the effects of damage to the temporary cavity increasing the severity of the wound; exit wounds can be as big as an orange.

So I ask again. Why are these weapons allowed on our streets?

Mary Royal

Not impressed by USM name change proposal

I am appalled to read of the recommendation to change the name of the University of Southern Maine. For a small sum of approximately $2.5 million, the new name University of Maine at Portland will supposedly attract more out of state students. Really, are these folks that flush with money that they can throw it away on a new name? Maybe it is time for the state to Maine to reexamine how much is spent on the university system.

Wanda Passero