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Ayotte is scared of NRA when she should be scared of NH voters

To the editor,
Kelly Ayotte's position on the background checks, as stated to the daughter of the Sandy Hook principal, shows her lack of understanding of the purpose of the checks. She said thousands were prevented from buying guns because of the limited ones now in effect. She then went on to say that only a handful had been prosecuted. As I understand the purpose, it is to keep bad characters from buying these guns. Expanding the checks, as the bill proposes, would expand them to gun shows and other venues.
She is scared of the NRA, which is crowing about their victory. Let her know that she should be scared of the voters in N.H. instead. She does not represent the majority of us.
Kent Warner
Center Harbor

Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 09:46

Hits: 341

Sponsors of HB-573 are willing to agree to reasonable compromise

To the editor,
My wife Cindy has been battling breast cancer for more than 20 years. She is currently undergoing treatments that keep her cancer at bay, but the treatments cause her to feel constantly sick, and anti-nausea drugs just haven't helped.
Desperate for relief, she tried medical marijuana, and it made a big difference. Unfortunately, we have no legal way of obtaining it. That's why I co-sponsored HB-573, which would allow cultivation of up to three plants for each qualifying patient and also for the creation of five state-regulated alternative treatment centers.
The home cultivation provision is essential for three reasons. First, patients in Cindy's situation can't afford to wait two or more years for the centers to open. Second, when the centers finally do open, their products will be more expensive than many patients can afford, on top of all their other medical bills. Finally, it is irrational to make medical marijuana legal for patients who are suffering, yet maintain felony penalties against patients who grow a few plants for themselves!
Patients like Cindy need access to medical marijuana now, and all we're asking for is to be protected from arrest if we choose to grow a few plants — just as patients in Vermont, Maine, and many other states are protected.
Is this really too much to ask in the "Live Free or Die" state? The House didn't think so — my colleagues and I passed the bill 286-64 with overwhelming bipartisan support, and last year 10 Republican senators voted for a bill allowing limited cultivation. Unfortunately, Gov. Hassan has now told senators they need to remove the home cultivation provision from HB-573 if they want the bill to become law.
This is crushing news for patients like Cindy who need relief today, not years down the road. To add insult to injury, in 2009, Gov. Hassan voted for a bill (HB-648) that would have allowed patients to cultivate up to six plants — twice as many as would be allowed under HB-573 and with fewer restrictions! Why would she change her position and turn a blind eye to the immediate needs of patients now that she is governor?
Sadly, we know the answer to this question. The only group that has been lobbying to remove the home cultivation provision is the New Hampshire Chiefs of Police Association. Enfield Chief Richard Crate and a few of his fellow chiefs have been fighting this bill for years. Their desire to maintain criminal penalties against seriously ill patients is cruel, heartless, and just plain wrong.
We are all raised to respect the police, and I share that respect, but in this case it is clear that a small number of police chiefs have crossed the line in lobbying against this compassionate provision.
Gov. Hassan needs to end this nightmare for patients, and the only way to do so is for her to reconsider and find a way to compromise with patients on home cultivation. Most of all, she needs to understand that the needs of seriously ill patients are more important than the preferences of a few vocal police chiefs.
The sponsors of HB-573 remain willing to agree to any reasonable compromise, and we very strongly urge Gov. Hassan to work with us on a solution that will serve the needs of patients in the immediate future.
Again, all we are asking for is compassion and a small measure of protection under New Hampshire law!
Rep. Ted Wright

Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 09:43

Hits: 387

Fields shenanigans are why good conservatives leave the GOP

To the editor,
In response to the front page article entitled "Sanbornton Rep says he's ashamed of County Delegation":
Representative Fields made a lot of charges and allegations in the article. For me, the most egregious one was the threat that he had to "toe the line" or be removed from his clerk post. Having been at numerous county budget meetings, and thus privy to Rep. Fields childish antics, I would have to commend Chairman Worsman for her incredible patience and grace under extreme duress.
Rep. Fields likes to use a particular phrase, "secret meeting(s)". He used it in the article and I have heard him use it in open meetings. I do not wish to appear unseemly, yet I would respectfully point out that a caucus is completely legal and that both party's routinely engage in them. What is discussed in them is supposed to be kept private among the participants. There are no smoke filled, back rooms, nor black cloaked figures here. The representative did a great job of smearing the entire delegation with the broad brush of suspicion. Yet, if you look past the allegations, there is nothing of substance there.
We can use this entire story to point out exactly why good conservative and liberty-leaning Republicans have left our party. These kinds of childish shenanigans damage the good name and reputation of the Grand Old Party, and do little to endear us to the public. It is no wonder that conservatives have bolted from the party and the Tea Party type groups have arisen.
Our party should require some basic level of loyalty to party and platform. Further, we should require that our Republican elected officials comport themselves with the proper dignity that each office requires. If we do not, we will see a further erosion of public support and confidence in our Republican Brand and values.
Don Walker, Co-Founder
Belknap County Conservative Republicans

Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 09:36

Hits: 403

Gilford wouldn’t have a village without the Gilford Village Store

To the editor,
Gilford is a great community with so much to offer recreationally, culturally and historically. In our quaint little village we have an incredible library, a fantastic Community Center, great schools, the Rowe House, the Grange and great athletic facilities.
Another heart of our village is the historic Gilford Village Store. Due to the economy of the last few years and competition that didn't exist a few decades ago the store is struggling. The store has great pizza, soups, sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches and breakfast pizza. A group of us gather there every morning for coffee, breakfast and to solve the worlds problems. Come join us. Stop in on your way by and grab a sandwich or something from the deli. If just half of us bought a sandwich a week we could help keep this historic institution alive. Without the store it wouldn't be a village.
Ken Sterner

Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 09:29

Hits: 381

The laws we make as a people are statements of our values

To the editor,
I have done my share of reading regarding the issue of background checks and I have yet to find one argument from the gun neurotics that makes any sense. Steve Earle's latest letter is an example of the deeply flawed reasoning I keep seeing. In his latest whine, Steve Earle misses the point completely when he uses the president's statement that checks would not have prevented Newton. Ninety Five percent of gun crime is done with handguns, not mass killing machines. Sensible people see Newtown as a symptom of what Australia's conservative prime minister called "the American Disease" after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.
Steve then launches off into another exceptionally twisted line of thinking. He claims since prohibition and the drug war have not worked, background checks won't make any difference. That bizarre line of tea party logic is just like saying since laws against rape, murder, robbery, arson, and assault don't work all of the time — well, you get the picture.
The laws we make as a people are statements of our values. Since certain people want to keep the loopholes open that will allow terrorists, mentally dangerous individuals, and criminals to arm themselves, I question whether such people have any civilized values left in them. They have drank the poison. There is something very wrong with these people's heads. Its just terrible to the right wing if a Muslim slips through the cracks but its okay if 30,000 Americans die each year from guns because "screw the world, we gotta have our guns!".
Background checks won't stop all aspiring sociopaths and spouse killers from getting guns but they will reduce the casualties. None are saying we can end the killing but civilized people want to lower the death toll from the American Disease. Background checks do indeed work to cut down on gun deaths. Daniel Webster from John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research makes it simple enough even for the tea party to understand: "The illogical exemption of private gun sales from background checks is the very reason that criminals don't currently have to obey existing background check laws." Webster's studies have revealed some interesting facts. "State laws prohibiting high-risk groups — perpetrators of domestic violence, violent misdemeanants and the severely mentally ill — from possessing firearms have been shown to reduce violence." One of his studies found that state laws prohibiting individuals under a domestic violence restraining order from owning guns cut intimate partner homicides by 19 percent. Another study found that state universal background checks coupled with "laws designed to increase gun seller and purchaser accountability — significantly reduce the number of guns diverted to the illegal market, where the above high risk groups often get their guns". Webster also notes that gaps in federal laws undermine smart state laws and further facilitate gun trafficking.
The Center found that states without universal background checks had a 30 percent higher rate of exporting guns across state lines that were later recovered from criminals and crime sites. The research also showed that states with loopholes are "associated with significantly higher levels of guns diverted to criminals both in-state and out of state". In another study after Missouri repealed its permit-to-purchase licensing and private handgun sale background checks law in 2007 there were immediate repercussions: "The share of guns recovered by Missouri police agencies that had an unusually short time interval between retail sale and crime — which is indicative of trafficking — more than doubled. The share of crime guns that had originally been sold by Missouri gun dealers rose sharply." According to the CDC, the Missouri gun murder rate rose 25 percent in those three years compared to the previous nine years.
Mr. Earle also goes after polling. As usual, he is wrong. Quinnipiac polling shows that — nationally — 88 percent support expanded background checks. That includes less populated states like Alaska and Arizona which check in at 60 percent and 70 percent. Arizona's Senator Jeff Flake, has taken a big hit since his vote. His approval rating plummeted to 32 percent. And that is the flake from flakey Arizona! We have our own flake that has to go.
James Veverka

Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 09:26

Hits: 468

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