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Gun ownership of just any old weapon is not your birthright

To The Daily Sun,

Mr. Alan Moon is right that back in the 1950s, many people had Thompson sub-machine guns. That was 60 years ago. Before even I was born. To say that civilization and society has changed in that period of time is an understatement.

My dad came back from Berlin with a couple of German machine guns, and had a Thompson himself. Many people from that generation that went to war had an ingrained respect for these weapons, and did not go around trying to justify them as necessary for hunting or personal protection. They were mementos of who they'd been and what they saw. They were men who experienced war and its horrors and had a real respect for those weapons of mass destruction.

My grandfather landed at Omaha Beach. He was at the Battle of the Bulge. He never wanted another weapon as long as he lived once he came back. My father was in Berlin in 1946 and 1947 and saw what war had done. My wife's father was in Vietnam and came back to be a cop, but didn't own these weapons, nor did her Marine grandfather who was at Peleliu. They knew the difference between weapons of war and guns for hunting.

These weren't these small men of this era who tell lies about "what the government is going to do" — these NRA apologists who want to hold on to their big guns because of some warped sense of reality.

Now maybe you served — I don't know. Maybe you have a healthy respect for guns — I don't know. But what I do know is that many people simply don't. They treat them with an offhanded cavalier disrespect. These are the people who leave guns out for their toddlers to either shoot them with or shoot other children with. These are the people who think it is fine to teach a kid with Asperger's and some violent tendencies to shoot. These are the people who allow dangerous people to purchase weapons they have no right owning. These are the people who think that brandishing a gun is the solution to everything. These are the same people who denigrate anyone else who vehemently disagrees with you — like you did with Ms. Loesch.

Gun ownership of any gun is not a birthright. You just want it to be.

Mr. Moon, no one has ever said they were coming to take your guns. All they've ever said was that they wanted to restrict ownership of certain types. And back in December, the Supreme Court said that they can do that. And yes, I know all about the 1939 case of U.S. v. Miller that you have quoted before. But the court and even our own government changes with time. Whether there is the political will to restrict guns, who knows?

The NRA has dropped over $30 million into the coffers of (primarily) Republican politicians over the past decade to ensure it doesn't happen. And I'm sure the GOP enjoys your ongoing support.

So until we have some form of psychological test to determine if people should be gun owners (or parents or pilots or truck drivers), the next best thing to do is try and keep military-style weapons out of the hands of people who have a demonstrated inability to respect them. And based on the angry spittle I almost felt the need to wipe off your letter in order to read it, that might just include you.

Alan Vervaeke

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Selectmen in Gilmanton not only ones who need a deep breath

To The Daily Sun,

In response to my most recent letter to this forum, and to those of others, a frequent contributor from Gilmanton confirms the negative mindset that prevails with a group opposing our Board of Selectmen. Despite numerous pleas for civility in town government, this contributor has responded with derision and contempt. Apparently "kumbaya," "Mr. Rogers," holding hands, getting along, and working together are viewed as "laughable," and he ridicules the notion of coming together and getting along. It appears that he believes by elevating the instigation in the eyes of his associates, at the expense of others, his dismissive rhetoric will benefit those calling to unseat our town government.

This letter-writer, and the dissident group he champions, are calling for and pressuring our Board of Selectman to "step down," and in effect, circumventing the electoral process and negating the votes of a majority of Gilmanton residents. Unfortunately, this tact has worked for them in the past, when a good man, serving on the board, was pressured to resign a year ago. This gentleman stepped down so as not "to see this town destroyed."

A recent letter asked "selectmen to take a deep breath" and "get on with the business of the people," and while I agree, I would extend that invitation to all involved in this contentious scenario.

Jack Schaffnit

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