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If 'brain dead' has model it's the Democrat's views on guns

To The Daily Sun,

Don Ewing is absolutely right! Obama deserves an Oscar nomination for his recent, tearjerker performance on gun control. Now let's look at the real world. Not the "Obama stage play."

First, there has been no comprehensive gun control legislation because, like so many issues, Obama can not get an agreement passed through Congress. He lost both houses of Congress because the American people disliked his ideas, as well as the ideas of the Democratic Party. Further complicating matters, people in his own party oppose Obama's thinking on many important issues. The key stumbling block to progress on gun control is Obama's refusal to compromise. It is the same flaw we have witnessed on so many other high profile issues facing our country, including immigration.

Second, if Americans want chop suey, soup-of-the-day gun control logic look no further than than the left. In the 1990s the scream from Democrats was gun violence was caused by too many licensed gun dealers. The Democratic Party and the Anti Violence Policy Center celebrated loudly when it was reported the number of licensed gun dealers had dropped by 79 percent from 245,628 in 1994 to 50,630 in in 2007. The insanity of their thinking was fewer licensed dealers would reduce gun crimes.

Fast forward to 2016. Obama and the left have a new view. That view is a 100 percent total reversal of their old view of just a few years ago. They now say gun violence is caused by too few licensed gun dealers. Did the reduction in licensed dealers they screamed for reduce crime or death from gun violence? No. Will quintupling the number of licensed dealers again back to the 1994 levels or higher reduce crime or gun violence? No.

I tell you what it will do. It will increase the number of government bureaucrats further interfering in the lives of tens of thousands of ordinary citizens who collect guns for a hobby. People who sell, one, two or three guns a year. Those folks could now go to jail for not going through the pain, red tape and expense of becoming dealers. It will increase the cost of government by hundreds of millions of dollars harming more middle-class taxpayers.

If "brain dead" has a model it's Democrats' views on guns. Hundreds of thousands of guns are stolen in this country annually, many of which pile up in a vigorous black market of weapons for sale to any buyer with a few dollars. I know this, so do people intent on committing crime. Further, there are hundreds of thousands of homes in America with shared gun ownership. The shooter in Newtown, Connecticut, used his mother's gun.

Barack Obama has no answer to the these complex issues because it literally means banning guns guaranteed under our Constitution. Shouting "gun ban" would reduce the number of Democrats in office even further. The truth is Barack Obama continual, demonizing rhetoric on gun control has created one of the greatest gun manufacturing and gun buying frenzies of all time. The production of guns, and permit requests to carry and own guns are at all-time highs. The sad truth is Obama's mouth will be at the source of more deaths from guns than any president in history from that single fact.

White House spokesmen Josh Earnest was recently asked if any of Obama's executive actions would have prevented any of the recent shooting deaths. After pondering trying to contrive some political out he finally glibly replied, "No it would not have."

Tony Boutin

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Suicide attempt at jail was handled professionally; hereare the facts

To The Daily Sun,

A letter written by Mr. Gordon Blais was published in The Laconia Daily Sun on Thursday, Jan. 7. In his letter, Mr. Blais was very critical of the handling of a female inmate at the Belknap County Jail, who attempted suicide during her incarceration and who had to be hospitalized because of injuries that resulted from the unsuccessful attempt. This hospitalization has given rise to a substantial bill for which the county is responsible. Mr. Blais cites this incident as "another example of the poor leadership and bad management that afflicts our county government."

The incident referred to by Mr. Blais did in fact occur in the early fall of 2015. The occurrence itself is the only factually accurate content in Mr. Blais's letter; the remaining statements in the letter are incorrect.

First, Mr. Blais represents in his letter that his exchanges about the incident during the public comment portion of the meeting were with Commissioner Taylor. The exchanges he referred to in his letter were with me, as chairman and presiding officer at the meeting. I do not recall Commissioner Taylor actually participating in the discussion. Our meetings are videoed, thus making the fact of who said what easily verifiable.

Second, when processed into the county jail, the inmate was in the custody of the Department of Corrections, not the Sheriff's Department, as asserted by Mr. Blais.

Third, the claim by Mr. Blais that those in charge of the inmate knew or had reason to know that the inmate was a suicide risk is also incorrect.

Fourth, the statement by Mr. Blais that the inmate had previously attempted suicide while in jail is not correct. It should be noted that if the inmate had been viewed as a suicide risk, she would have been in a special cell and under constant observation.

Fifth, the inmate in question was in a regular cell occupied by inmates awaiting trial and classification, after which they are moved into general population. During this initial period these inmates have regular walk-by security checks every 30 minutes.

Sixth, when the attempted suicide was discovered, eight minutes had passed since the last walk by observation.

Seventh, Mr. Blais's suggestion that we don't utilize cameras in the jail is inaccurate. Cameras are a regular part of internal security in the jail. Cameras are focused on many of the cells from the day room area immediately outside the cells, including the one which the inmate in question was occupying. These cameras do have blind areas. The camera in the cell area in which the inmate in question was occupying observed some of her cell area, including much of the bunk area, but it did have blind areas within the cell. The inmate in question apparently knew the jail and the security routine well enough from previous stays to pick a time right after a walk by and to utilize an area out of camera sight for her suicide attempt.

This incident was thoroughly investigated immediately after it occurred. The results of his investigation were reported to the Board of Commissioners. At the Oct. 7, 2015, meeting Commissioner Burchell stated, "the recent incident at the jail was handled very professionally."

Commissioner Taylor stated that the report he had gotten indicated that "the handling of the incident had been outstanding." I concurred with my two colleagues. There was no negligence in the handling of the inmate prior to the suicide attempt and the incident was carefully and thoroughly investigated immediately after it took place.

In short, it has become clear that Mr. Blais looks for any opportunity he can find to hurl allegations of mismanagement against those who manage the county. It all started approximately four years ago, when his wife chose to resign her position with the county nursing home rather than face disciplinary action concerning allegations of improper conduct on her part. This latest assertion of mismanagement is simply another in a growing list of baseless claims of serious mismanagement by Mr. Blais, who clearly has his own personal ax to grind.

David DeVoy, Chairman

Belknap County Commission


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