2018-03-07 / Opinion


World has Changed Since 2nd Amendment Ratified

Congratulations to our young people taking a stand on gun violence by marching to the Capital in Augusta on March 1. The response from the angry gun advocates was disheartening. The men shouted and pointed fingers acting like bullies and advocated that we all should have guns to protect ourselves. They delivered a horrible message. Less yelling and more listening was needed to engage in a respectful dialogue to find common ground.

The Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms … .”

The 2nd Amendment’s interpretation continues to be debated. It is time for common sense to prevail. We are living in the 21st Century, 227 years after the ratification of the 2nd Amendment. “Arms” are not the same. We have developed armaments made for mass destruction, different from a musket.

Referencing only a part of something does not represent the whole. The full 2nd amendment was not intended to only have the last part referenced. The first part addresses the need for a “well regulated Militia,” written a couple of years after a federally financed armed force was established and the need for help from local communities might be needed to augment the Federal Militia.

The militia of the United States, has changed over time, complicating its meaning. Up until WW I, the U.S. armed forces were small. Our armed forces have continued to increase and are now located around the world.

Gun violence is not just a mental health or an “Arms” issue. Killing and warfare are part of our cultural make-up. Today we are surrounded by conflicts worldwide. News channels run 24 hours a day focusing on conflicts. TV programs and movies are destruction oriented, and children grow up with “games” they play on devices all focused on killing.

A citizen does not need to have semi-automatic weapons. These weapons are only for our professional armed forces. In a civilized society we need to find ways to solve issues without killing.

Christine Wolfe,


If BIW Wants State Support, it Should Diversify

Bill Haggett’s folksy defense of tax breaks for General Dynamics/ BIW (The Times Record, Page A4, March 2) throws a lot of smoke and very little light. Readers will note that he never explains why GD/BIW needs $60 million in tax breaks when it already has long term contracts with the federal government; the Navy wants to maintain two shipyards; the federal government just lowered their corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and it has a huge fixed investment in the BIW facility.

The only way BIW should get any support from the state is in a program that rewards them for diversifying. Such a program should not be upfront investment support. Like good private-sector practice, the state should only pay cash on delivery. For example, it could tell BIW/General Dynamics that it will pay $1 for every $5 of non-defense-contract goods or services that it sells, up to a total of $60 million over a 10-year period. Anything else is just a direct slap at Maine taxpayers, asking us to pay for fatter salaries and billion-dollar profits at BIW/General Dynamics.

Bill Savedoff,


Return to top