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Letters to the Editor (8/28/19)

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Leave It to Beavers

[Re Animal Issue, August 14]: I know there are so many animals out there, and in here with us where we live. But relevant to Vermont and, as it turns out, the natural and cultural history of the American continent are the beavers — Castor canadensis. Indian wars were fought over the iconic Canadian mascot beavers, and their extraction determined Western development. I found a book about it at Phoenix Books called Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter by Ben Goldfarb — a total eye-opener in terms of continental politics and natural history. Bonus: a few solutions for your local pond, wetland or waterway.

Diane Gayer

Burlington

Enough About Addiction

Agonizing story about opioid addiction ["How Far Along?" August 21]. All the time, money and ink expended on addicts are a waste of resources. Narcan is the worst treatment for an overdose, bringing a dead person back to life to steal, lie and abuse again. We are losing many of our first responders to PTSD. They, like me, would not be OK saving addicts time and time again. The doctors, hospitals and pharmacies should be prosecuted. Vermont most likely will do nothing.

Mark Szymanski

Ferrisburg

Bernie's 'Doing His Job'

In "Sanders' Senate Attendance Dwindles as Campaign Heats Up," [Off Message, August 20] Paul Heintz again criticizes Sen. Bernie Sanders for doing his job: traveling the country, giving speeches, shaking hands, taking selfies, sweating in the hot sun, providing real and tangible hope for poor Americans. 

Certainly it's good to keep track of Senate attendance numbers, if only for the record — that's just basic journalism. And under normal circumstances, Democratic presidential hopefuls are fairly interchangeable, so choosing one candidate to assail repeatedly isn't such a big deal. 

But these times are different, something that Heintz might be too young to grasp. So I'll explain it: Paul, we're having a revolution. A sad little revolution for the same piddly birthrights that citizens in first-world nations have: universal health care, affordable college (like we had before Ronald Reagan, remember?), a living wage. At the top of the list is removing #RussianAgentOrange from our sacred Oval Office and appeasing Mother Nature before she flattens us all. Bernie is the man leading this revolution.

Heintz knows as well as the Russians do how easy it is to divide and conquer liberals. Russia has hilariously baited and botted and trolled American voters into fighting among ourselves. Infighting cost Hillary Clinton the presidency. So every time you sit down to write a piece that bashes Bernie (or as I call him, Captain Democracy!), think twice and do the right thing. Stop working for Vladimir Putin.

Heather Kennedy

Montpelier

Catching Airwaves

I was pleased to read that my longtime colleague Zeb Norris has landed on his radio feet at WDEV [Feedback: "So Many Signals," August 21]. After more than 40 years in college/commercial/community radio, I have dutifully tracked the vagaries of the broadcast "industry" yet can still assure enlightened listeners that there are inspiring stations and shows to be tuned in to if one makes the effort!

Todd Tyson

Tunbridge

Tyson is a station manager at WFVR-LP and a cohost of "Crossroads on the Point."

Gun Right

Oh, the irony! The author in the first letter to the editor bemoans a lack of fact-checking by Seven Days editorial staff prior to publishing a letter with an unsubstantiated quote [Feedback: "Fact-Check, Please," August 14]. Then the editor's reply admits the quote slipped by them.

But then, the very next letter, again about gun control, contains an inaccurate statement about the supposed easy availability of guns via the internet [Feedback: "Not-So-Great Guns," August 14].

Second paragraph, last sentence, "Why are guns available via the internet?"

They're not. You can't just click your way to purchase and have the gun show up via UPS. Existing federal law mandates that all firearms ordered via the internet be delivered to a federally licensed gun dealer who has to perform all required background checks prior to allowing the customer to exit the store with his or her firearm.

In closing, I ask that you don't fan the flames of an emotional issue with inaccurate statements.

John Bourbon Jr.

Essex Junction

Ready, Aim, Argue

[Re "Red Flags in the Green Mountains," August 14]: Usually I avoid topics like politics and religion, and now "gun control," but so many folks questioning the need for so-called "assault weapons" prompts me to mention that I have hunted deer with an AK-47, using a five-shot clip with three rounds in it — the legal, lawful use of any semiauto rifle here in Vermont. It is ballistically the same as a .30-.30 and one of the finest, most accurate deep brush rifles I've ever used.

However, the M-16/AR-15 can only be used for hunting animals traditionally not eaten, such as coyotes or woodchucks. The .223 high-velocity round will literally turn the animal inside out, as that bullet is so fast and tumbles after about 100 yards. A shot could hit a deer mid-chest and tumble through it and out its hindquarters. How this round was allowed by the Geneva Convention is beyond me, as .22s are outlawed — and adding .003", coupled with a massive powder charge, is terrible to witness in its destructive capabilities.

Adding ever more laws restricting these long guns, when pistols are known to kill so many more, is ludicrous. It is not the gun that kills, but a hard — or crazy — heart. Roughly 40 to 50 folks are shot, and five to 10 killed, every weekend in cities like Chicago. None of those shooters used registered pistols, passed background checks, were permitted or complied with any of the myriad laws existing now. Why would more slow or stop the carnage?

Steve Merrill

North Troy

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