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Thanks for opportunity to serve on Laconia Police Commission

To The Daily Sun,

I want to express my sincere appreciation to the voters of Laconia for electing me to the Police Commission. A special "thanks" also to those who provided suggestions and advice, actively worked on my behalf and enthusiastically supported my campaign from the beginning. Your efforts made all the difference.

As a first-time candidate for office, I wasn't sure what to expect. However, during my campaign travels to all of the wards in the last few months, I received much encouragement, met many new and interesting people and made new friends along the way.

Congratulations to Commissioner Doug Whittum on his re-election and to fellow candidates Jonathan Muller and Michael Gagnon for their willingness to serve and for running spirited campaigns.

I will work diligently on your behalf and look forward to joining both Commissioner Whittum and Commissioner Armand Maheux in addressing the challenges ahead.

Thank you all for the opportunity to serve.

Tom Tarr

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Vast majority of shootings in USA are gang & drug related

To The Daily Sun,

James Veverka always presents compelling, although misleading and sometimes false, arguments in support of his radical left-wing policies which require Americans to give up our freedoms and prosperity. And he offers his "evidence" with snarky comments about anyone who might disagree with him.
Consider his Oct. 22 letter about guns and gun control.
We in New Hampshire should immediately know that Veverka's claims are simply false. If Veverka's gun control claims were correct, with our hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of guns, open carry, and shall-issue concealed carry laws, then New Hampshire should be a war zone. Yet New Hampshire (and Vermont with fewer gun restrictions) typically vies for the lowest murder rate in the nation, usually by a wide margin. Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens do not create a crime problem.

Veverka claims several studies "discredit" John Lott's book, "More Guns, Less Crime". We have learned from other studies such as on climate change, that studies by leftist organizations and organizations funded by or benefiting from big government are conducted to promote their political agenda, in this case gun-control. To promote their objectives they will change data, omit inconvenient data, manipulate models, or restrict the study in ways that don't reflect reality (which they may or may not indicate).

Veverka tries to mislead readers by quoting from "The Impact of Right-to-Carry Laws..." study statements which apply to different models they studied. But the conclusion of that study (starting page 79) states: "Finally, despite our belief that the NRC's analysis (a previous study) was imperfect in certain ways, we agree with the committee's cautious final judgment on the effects of RTC laws: "with the current evidence it is not possible to determine that there is a causal link between the passage of right-to-carry laws and crime rates." With all their efforts to get the result they want, the best they can do, in this and other studies, is claim there is no relationship between right-to-carry laws and crime rates.

Veverka wants people to believe that people with guns means we all live in a hail of bullets, but that of course is false. Most of us in New Hampshire have attended meetings, public gatherings, shopped, or walked the street with armed fellow citizens; I have never seen a civilian draw his/her weapon and I doubt many N.H. citizens have either.

I am reminded of the saying, "Good fences make good neighbors" and wonder if something similar applies to guns. Certainly most of us learned in dealing with bullies as children what we see among nations, strength deters aggression.

Veverka wants you to believe that civilians with guns have no value because he claims no civilian with a gun has stopped any shooting of four or more people in the last 30 years. If that is true, it may be because the civilian with a gun acted before the shooter could shoot four people. Civilians with guns save lives.

On April 24, 1998, Andrew Wurst went on a 20 minute shooting spree at a middle school dance killing one and wounding three before a civilian got his gun and stopped him. Many lives were probably saved since it took police 10 more minutes to arrive.

On Dec. 9, 2007, at the New Life Church in Colorado an armed civilian stopped Mathew Murray who was firing on parishioners before he wounded more than two people. On Dec. 11, 2012, the shooting spree of Jacob Roberts, in which two were killed and another seriously wounded, was ended by a civilian with a gun which was not even fired.

There are many other examples of armed civilians stopping killers or other criminals with guns or other weapons. It is estimated that guns are used up to 2 million times annually to stop criminals, usually without a shot being fired, but these incidents get little or no attention since they do not support the leftists' argument for disarming civilians.

Whether Umpqua Community College is a "gun-free-zone" is an interesting question. State law says a concealed carry permit holder cannot be stopped from taking a gun on public property, but the Student Rules of Conduct require a school approval to do so. How easy it is to get approval is a question considering the administration was strongly anti-gun.

We know that at least one armed student was on campus, willing to intervene, but was stopped by college officials. Whether he could have saved lives is unknowable.

Perhaps a more important question is, did the shooter think this was a "gun-free-zone"? I suspect the answer is "Yes". I suspect the college is sign-posted as a "gun-free-zone", but I was not been able to get answers from the college.

Veverka's claim of 280,024 gun deaths in the last decade is far more than the number of gun related homicides and the relatively few accidents (five times as many people drown). To scare readers, Veverka is probably including suicides which is typically about double the number of homicides. (Stricter gun control laws have little effect on suicides, almost half of all suicides are already committed without a gun.)

America's crime rates have fallen significantly for 20 years despite the near doubling of guns in civilian hands and the near tripling of concealed carry permits since 2007. (Whether the declining crime rate trend will continue is another question as the Obama administration has been releasing tens of thousands of criminal illegal aliens and on Nov. 1 began releasing 40,000 more convicted criminals, some of whom have violent histories.)
No matter how many restrictions are placed on law abiding citizens, there will be little or no reduction in homicides. History shows that increasing gun controls are typically followed by more homicides.

The vast majority of homicides are gang and drug related, and primarily in cities with more than 250,000 people. To significantly reduce shootings America's gang and drug problems must be addressed. But it is easier for politicians to claim to be doing something by restricting the gun-rights of law-abiding citizens; when those controls don't work, more such controls will be repeatedly added since the leftists' goal, as Senator Boxer revealed, is gun confiscation.

Unfortunately there appears to be little political will to solve the drug and gang problems, apparently letting these problems fester benefits the politicians more than solving these problems.

Don Ewing

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