Stop the senseless deaths

The reprinted editorial from the Los Angeles Times that appeared in the BDN on April 20 emphasized the deadly toll of gun deaths in this country — well in excess of 100 per day.

Meanwhile, we are seeing communities across the country declaring themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuary Cities” in an act of defiance against any attempt to ameliorate this daily gun-induced slaughter. Have these people carefully read the text of the Second Amendment? It states as its purpose, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state. . .” Are these communities declaring themselves organized militias for our mutual defense? If so, aren’t they ignoring the fact that we already have several branches of armed forces plus national guard units in states across the country as well as police and sheriff departments to provide for public safety?

Defenders of the Second Amendment seem to ignore the purpose of the amendment and concentrate only on the means: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

They also ignore the term “people,” which refers to the population at large. The amendment does not explicitly refer to an individual right to bear arms. A logical interpretation of the amendment is that it guarantees a citizen army for our common defense.

A literal interpretation of the Second Amendment renders it obsolete. It was written just after the Revolutionary War when the principal weapons were bayonets and flintlock muskets that had to be reloaded with a musket shell and black powder after each shot.

It is unbelievably inconsistent for a nation that prides itself on innovative technological advances and a modern military organization to cling to a centuries old notion of national defense that results in thousands of senseless civilian deaths every year.

Larry Theye


End the power monopoly

I would like to know why some people can have some home businesses for profit but others can’t. I want to produce solar electricity at my home and sell it on the open market, but the power company won’t allow it. I could have a “mom and pop” home electric generating store producing small amounts of clean solar energy and sell it for profit on the grid; to help me pay the mortgage and taxes; and do my part: help clean up the air, save the environment, good citizenship. Everybody wins.

This is good clean work. People would buy the product — it is always in demand. The power company won’t allow it. Their lines belong to them, and the profit belongs to them. Maybe they shouldn’t have a monopoly. Maybe it is time for the people to own some profits of such a lucrative business. Maybe free enterprise? Anybody?

Patrick Quinn


Don’t forget what LePage did to public health workforce

I am a registered nurse who worked in public health nursing in Maine for almost three decades. I retired during Gov. Paul LePage’s tenure. He tried to dismantle public health in our state. It became almost impossible to do our jobs. So many positions remain unfilled.

The institutional knowledge that was lost during his time in office was staggering. At one point before I retired, I had clients in nine counties due to vacant positions. If he had been in office during the pandemic, I shudder to think of where our state would be right now. There are so many examples of his poor and shortsighted decisions.

Maine has done quite well under Janet Mills as our governor in this time of COVID-19. Her administration had to work to bring the public health workforce back from the brink. At the time of my retirement, public health nursing, for example, was down by well over half of what it had been.

Hearing the possibility of LePage running for governor again is sickening. I am concerned people will forget how he made changes that are still being felt over two years later. Once a workforce is lost, it takes a very long time to build it back. I have followed closely what the Maine CDC has been doing during this trying time. I want to thank all those who have worked so hard to try and keep us safe.

Cindy Look