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If Trond Berntsen had been armed 69 lives might well have been saved

To The Daily Sun,

With the debate on guns and gun control running hot here in the United States, we have something to learn from this saga. On July 22, 2011, Anders Breivik, a 32-year-old Norwegian, went on a shooting rampage on Utøya, an island in a fjord some 24 miles northwest of Oslo. Camped on the island in an annual youth encampment were some 600 young people, mostly teens. The carnage was 69 killed and 33 wounded by gunfire plus many more injured in the panic-driven scramble by the trapped teens to avoid being shot. Brevik had earlier set off a powerful 2100 pound car bomb in the government quarter of Oslo, killing 8 and injuring 209.
The details of all this are well known as Breivik had been forthcoming on the details involved both before and during his trial. His motives are fully explained in a 1,500-page political manifesto he wrote and e-mailed to hundreds of people prior to the event.
An hour-and-a-half after the bombing, Breivik, dressed as a police officer and armed with a semiautomatic rifle and pistol plus a bag full of loaded magazines for his weapons, boarded a small ferry for the short 600 meter crossing from the mainland to the 26-acre wooded island. He attempted to convince Monica Boesei, the camp manager, that he was there to ensure that the campers were secure in the wake of the Oslo bombing. Boesei, however, was suspicious and walked away to summon the camp security guard, off-duty police officer Trond Berntsen. Breivik followed her close behind. Berntsen, with his 10-year-old son beside him, saw them coming and knew right away from his many years as a police officer that this scene was wrong — he must have, because he practically threw his son into the bushes to get him out of the way (this saved his son's life). As Berntsen confronted the armed intruder, Breivik shot him in the head and then gunned down a fleeing Monica Boesei. Breivik then shot both twice in the head.
Here we come to the lesson of this letter. Trond Berntsen was NOT ARMED. There were ZERO guns on the isolated island except for those in the hands of the perpetrator. You anti-gun folks that want to ban all guns and prevent them from being anywhere near children should like this idea. Some 600 young people in camp, almost all of them teens, were WITHOUT ARMED PROTECTION. But I wonder why our own president and vice president have an army of hired guns to protect them and their families, but openly campaign to restrict "We the People" from protecting ourselves and our families. Berntsen, being an off-duty police officer, in this instance was not allowed to have a gun. So here we have a "gun free zone" so popular with anti-gun supporters. Most police officers in Norway at that time worked unarmed, carrying weapons only with permission in special circumstances. Officers in police cars were allowed unloaded weapons with ammunition accessible, but in locked boxes.
In my opinion, this is what should have and could have happened on Utøya. Berntsen should have been allowed to be armed. He was an experienced police officer who knew how to handle firearms and who instinctively sensed the danger and would have confronted Breivik WEAPON against WEAPON. This was the ONLY chance that could have saved all the innocent lives lost on the island. If an armed Berntsen could have stopped Breivik at this point, NOT ONE of the young people on that island would have perished. NOT ONE. In fact, I believe there should have been MORE than one ARMED security guard on that island.
As it was, Anders Breivik spent the next hour-and-a-half unmolested methodically gunning down nearly everyone he could find, even shooting at those attempting to flee by swimming. In my opinion, it was a disgrace not to have armed protection for these young people and a disgrace for civil authority to take so long to get together armed intervention. What was it that finally stopped Anders Breivik? When an officer finally showed up with a GUN, he lay down his arms and surrendered. Breivik had enough ammunition and the declared and admitted resolve to have killed everyone.
The 2012 annual youth encampment was subsequently cancelled, but the camp was resumed this July at another site on land along the same fjord. But this time the youth were protected by armed police patrols. Since gun control is such a sensitive subject now, I expect this letter to bring forth both support and opposition from the right and the left, respectively. Bring it on.

George E. Brunstad


Last Updated on Friday, 19 July 2013 11:49

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Newfound Lake would be seen as evergy corridor for State of N.H.

To The Daily Sun,

More than nine months have passed since the international energy giants first revealed their plans to build a series of massive wind turbine farms around Newfound Lake and the Mount Cardigan area.

I can assure you the Wild Meadows Wind Farm project is still on the table. Secondary roads have been cleared, individual turbine sites have been cleared and staked for each turbine location site. So, while many believe that this project is still in discussion stages, I know it is already in motion.

We're not stupid. We know what land clearings look like and we also know it's not free. While controversy continues in Concord about the fate of our community, I ask myself how can this be happening without community approval? I can't give you a timetable for their ground-breaking ribbon-cutting ceremonies because they haven't even filed for a permit yet.

You have to laugh at this type of arrogance, otherwise it will eat you up. If these projects do get the green light, a flurry of activity will start in the region. Once completed, the rural landscape traditionally associated with forests will be dotted by tall, white towers with massive triple-blades, equipped with blinking red lights and many, many power lines.

Details are sketchy at best for us, but rest assured developers are holding the master playbook in hand. Consulting firms have been contracted in helping developers navigate through the permitting process, a college professor is starting up a study with two of her students to tell us how we should feel and lawyers are lobbying in Concord to get'er done.

I laugh because this community is so furious and stand united against these next three developments — not for their aesthetics but for what it will do to our watersheds, rivers, streams and lake. Having five renewable energy plants in the area already... and adding three additional wind farms to this area will change us for decades to come. Newfound Lake will be seen as an energy corridor for the State of New Hampshire.

I can assure you that other Lakes Regions are closely watching us but not helping us. It's time to get some skin in the game and help a neighbor out. We'd do the same for you!

Ray Cunningham


Last Updated on Friday, 19 July 2013 11:42

Hits: 452

A story for people still pointing a finger at George Zimmerman

To The Daily Sun,
After reading letters from people who are unhappy with the verdict in the George Zimmerman Trial, it seems to me that people are, well let me give you an example from my childhood to get the feel of it.
When I was in the 6th grade we were coming home from school one December day after performing our Nativity play. We had them in public school back then. I was a shepherd in the play, wearing a chair cover for a shepherd's robe and having a mop pole for a shepherd's staff. After getting off the school bus my friend and fellow 6th grader Rick took my mop pole from me and threw it over the snowbank into the yard on the corner, which was our bus stop, and he refused to retrieve it. So I challenged Rick to a fight. Rick wanted to change cloths before the fight, so we went to his house. When he came out of his house after changing the fight proceeded. We wrestled around in the snow for a while and ended up in Rick's garage with me pinned against the wall staring at Rick's fist cocked and ready to let me have it in the kisser. A second or so goes by and Rick still hasn't punched me. At this point Ricks older brother comes out of the kitchen door, it was an attached garage, and say's,"hit em Ricky, hit em" and Rick says, "I can't, my hands are cold" (from rolling around in the snow). Well, more seconds went by and I wiggled myself free. I got Rick in a head lock. I was a fairly strong kid. Rick started crying, gave up and I won the fight. Which worked out for both of us, for we were able to become good friends and had many high adventures thereafter.

The fight was only to gain Ricks respect. But now to the point of my writing. There was a girl on the school bus, the prettiest girl on the bus. She apparently like Rick better than me. The next day she came up to me and said, "you're a dirty fighter. You cheated. You got Rick's hands cold so he couldn't fight." Her view was less then unbiased and it reminds me of those still pointing the finger at George Zimmerman. The question is, do we want our justice to be that?

John Demakowski


Last Updated on Friday, 19 July 2013 11:38

Hits: 293

When are reps planning on taking tour of the Belknap County Jail?

To The Daily Sun,
I read a letter to the editor this morning from Bernadette Loesch. You make some good points Bernadette, and I am sure there are other people who are thinking the same way. A sound investment is good business.
Unfortunately, the convention has not seen the facility and obviously do not care about lawsuits. Last May, Superintendant Dan Ward and Commissioner Steve Nedeau came before the Meredith Selectboard with a presentation on a criminal justice system assessment. Mr. Ward, I would consider an expert at his job, handed out a report titled "Criminal Justice Master Plan." This 165 page report prepared by David Bennett should be read by all public officials in Belknap County. A very interesting study indeed.
Mental health and rehabilitation are two highlights in this report. Programs such as cognitive behavioral treatment, a non-clinical form of educating and "New Direction Program" designed to create marketable skills are explained in detail in this report.
On a separate note, as I have already stated the current facility is unsanitary, unsafe and unacceptable for the county employees and those incarcerated there. Anyone of a sane mind who had a tour would agree.
So I will say again to the entire convention, When are you planning on having a tour of the Belknap County Correctional facility? "Are you afraid of the answers?" I find it disappointing that the taxpayers have voted for this kind of conduct. Maybe things will be different next year.
Carla Horne


Last Updated on Friday, 19 July 2013 11:34

Hits: 267

Obama's gross dishonesty is not indicative of blacks, it's just him

To The Daily Sun,

The problem (or advantage) of being black:

Some of our top leaders are black. Starting with our president, Obama, who has, used his father's race as a way to be one of the richest men in the USA, taking over the government as if he is already THE DICTATOR! Maybe many react to his excesses and gross dishonesty as if that is a problem with blacks, but, we know he is a total exception to the norm. I have known many brilliant, honest, and very helpful blacks, starting with the valedictorian of my high school class, also from a poor family. While we played after school, he worked to support his family, helped others with their school work, taught Sunday school, and excelled in sports! And like me, went to Rutgers University, where he was nice to let me ace engineering as he excelled in premedical studies!
We must first look at the history of blacks in America. Many are here as a result of the years of slavery. The blacks in Africa who were chosen for slaves were the easy going nice people. The people in the USA who wanted and could afford slaves were the educated successful ones. Thus slaves were exposed to good education, or good knowledge from observation.
I recall in grade school, as the skinny kid, I got picked on by the cowardly bullies: They were the weak-minded fools, who formed gangs to protect their weakness. I put up with a lot of that bullying, until a big, black kid, came up to me on the playground, and for no apparent reason started a "fight", in which I quickly found myself on top, the winner, with a new good friend! No one picked on me anymore! Shows exceptional kindness and brilliance about behavior!
Gangs are basically a bunch of cowards. As I've observed it, it is very dangerous to be surrounded by a gang of whites, always safe with a gang of blacks, who will protect anyone!
Blacks seem to dominate in sports, with the great combination of exceptional intelligence and strength. During WWII black pilots formed the most outstanding fighter squadron to protect bombers, with record of never losing a bomber! As a pilot since I was 13, with too many airplanes, I'm well aware how extremely difficult their record was: takes exceptional intelligence, skill, and strength! I never could have done that! I much prefer the calm and beauty of soaring, playing the thermals and slope lift from hills, much like three dimensional sailing!
I really wonder why we don't see blacks domineering in sailing. Somehow they just aren't involved. Much sailing, such as racing catamarans, would match their exceptional strength, intelligence, and intuition. Where are they? I'd love to get them into the sail training program at Fay's Boat yard, or as a start, sailing with me, at 80 years old almost a has been for racing, but would love to teach newcomers!
Jack Stephenson


Last Updated on Friday, 19 July 2013 11:30

Hits: 265

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