February 26, 2020

Arms race

In reference to the article in the Bangor Daily News weekend edition (Nov. 8-9) about Maine citizens flocking to buy assault rifles out of fear that the new administration will immediately pass a law to ban them, I cannot comment on what the new administration has in mind, but the question that troubles me is: Where do we draw the line?

If we accept that citizens may own an operational assault rifle, then why not Stinger missiles or flame throwers or artillery pieces? Why not operational hand grenades? What is the tipping point for what is reasonable and what is not?

Growing up in the 1950s, most of my relatives owned guns and were avid hunters. I don’t recall that they ever claimed to need guns to protect themselves from their neighbors or their government. In fact, most people never even locked their doors. Where did this fear come from? Was it the Cold War? The civil rights and antiwar activity of the 1960s?

I believe Americans have the right to have guns for hunting or protecting hearth and home, but not guns whose only purpose is mass, indiscriminate killing.

Eric Goodale


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