R. Turcotte: The liberal agenda

It is no secret to any subscriber that newspapers are highly liberal in their agendas. At times, editorials lean so far left as to raise serious doubts of any common sense relevance.

The Sun Journal is no exception. In 2006, despite public outcries, it championed the storm water runoff scheme as a user fee that has mutated into an open-ended cash cow.

In 2010 it rallied for tax reform that would have burdened Maine people under the pretext of targeting tourists. Again in 2010, under the guise of benefiting the education systems, it defended releasing children's Social Security numbers to entities who have no right to such private data.

Exasperating examples abound for anyone who reads the editorials.

The Sun Journal now endorses releasing data on all concealed weapon owners in the state. Whether the Bangor Daily News ever intended to publish this highly sensitive information is immaterial.

Since editors freely express their views, I respectfully demand they answer these questions.

Whereas only law-abiding citizens submit to intensive background checks for concealed permits, what purpose serves the public by releasing such personal data to any individual or organization bent on satisfying dubious curiosities under the Freedom of Access Act — a controversial law that should apply only to insidious activities?

Why do you fear or strive to oppress the only people honest enough to respect the law?

Roger Turcotte, Lewiston

Editor's note: Maine's Freedom of Access Act does not consider intent or purpose of requests in granting access to public information. Under Title 25, Section 2006 (adopted by the Legislature in 1985, revised in 1999 and again in 2011), at the time of the BDN request, permits to carry concealed handguns "must be available for public inspection." That requirement of mandatory public access was strengthened in 2011 at the request of Gov. LePage. The Legislature is now evaluating whether to redefine that requirement. Concealed handgun permit holders are not the "only people honest enough to respect the law." There are hundreds of thousands of non-permit holders who also abide by the law.


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Cathy Russell's picture


Consealed gun permits should remain confidential...period! Just because the liberals go off on a rant about firearms and the recent school shootings across the nation, doesn't mean they have the right to inhibit ALL gun owners. ALL of the states which had gun violence dominating the headlines are liberal left states.

Zack Lenhert's picture

"Concealed gun permits should

"Concealed gun permits should remain confidential...period"

They can't "REMAIN" confidential because they never were confidential (until last week)... The public has had access to the information for probably around 30 years and it has never been a problem in Maine. This is knee jerk legislation in reaction to the irresponsible actions of ONE newspaper in NY.

The same information can be found on hunting permits, which would remain public, but nobody seems to have a problem with that. Letting the information remain public does not put CWP holders in any more risk than other State permit/license holders (hunters or explosives handlers for example).

I really find it amazing that after multiple violent tragedies involving guns, the NRA claims that we shouldn't rush legislation through, that more discussion needs to happen... but after only ONE newspaper irresponsibly publishes a list, all of sudden we need EMERGENCY legislation to protect CWP holders from identity theft?... never mind that all other permit holders are also subjected to information requests and contain essentially the same info. The hypocrisy is astounding.

 's picture

Are you saying...

...a person with a cc permit will never, ever break any law, including the murder of another human being - that they ALL are completely trustworthy?

 's picture

Suppose some whacko steals a car, ...

... goes on a joyride, and plows into a schoolyard, killing 20 kids and 6 adults. In order to prevent this sort of thing from happening again, does it make sense to demand to know who has a drivers license? Whoa! That Bob Woodbury has a license. We better keep an eye on him. He could snap at any time.

Does it make sense to make life harder for those who have a drivers license, who have already demonstrated a minimum amount responsibility?

No. This nationwide discussion is about control. Lots of folks want to give the federal government a lot of control over guns, healthcare, and other important items - without a shred of historical evidence that it can even control itself.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Mike, I would like to correct


I would like to correct one point that you make and say the nationwide agenda goes beyond control to elimination. Control is just the next heat setting on the burner as they boil gun owners. Some individuals want to raise as many obstacles to gun ownership as possible, such as the proposal to mandate gun insurance.

 's picture

Did that directly to you...

...from the NRA or did you look that up on the NRA's paranoia page?

Jason Theriault's picture

Here ya go


For $7, you can do a check on Bob Woodbury's driving record. So, stop pretending this info is locked up.

 's picture

The legislature...

...just DID take more control over guns. You've lost some of your freedom. That doesn't bother you? By the way, I've asked my representative in the House and Senate to make driver's license information private, just like CC. And it's NOT about gun control. It's about restricting the use of a weapon designed and created as a killing machine - like a machine gun, bazooka, grenade launcher, armored personnel carrier, tank - all with restrictions on ownership. This is a public safety issue, not a gun issue.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Bob, Here we go again with

Here we go again with the estrogen-filled response.

1. “like a machine gun, bazooka, grenade launcher, armored personnel carrier, tank” all these are currently restrict.
2. Assault-style weapons kill very few people as indicted in the FBI crimes report, which you ignore, so there is no public safety issue.

If you are really concerned about public safety, you would focus your efforts on handguns; they kill many more people than assault weapons. Since you are not focusing on handguns, the readers must conclude that you have another agenda - what is it?

 's picture

My agenda...

...is trying to understand where you get all these fantasies about me. Other than that, I have no agenda. I am what I say. You're the one who is paranoid believing I'm not what I say I am, that there's some kind of a conspiracy here, although why I would conspire against you I have no idea or, if I did have an agenda, why wouldn't I state it? I have stated it. It just makes too much sense to you and you are so frightened by it, you have to make up fantasies about me, call me names and call me a liar. Relax.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Here we go pulling out the

Here we go pulling out the fear card. I challenge your facts and your conclusions based on no facts. As to whether people believe you a pushing an agenda, we’ll let the readers decide.

 's picture

I disagree, Bob.

This is all and only about control, first of guns, later ... Safety is the well known straw man, understood 200+ years ago by certain fellows, whom I paraphrase: Those who would surrender liberty for safety deserve neither and will lose both.

Let's talk again soon when the discussion of "killing machines" is widened to include everything more lethal than a peashooter.

 's picture

Your definition of pea shooter...

...is rather bazaar. I can't argue your point because you believe a machine that kills 26 people in less than three minutes, 20 of them children and all of them with multiple bullet holes in their bodies, one with 11, a pea shooter. You need help.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Here we go again. Just

Here we go again. Just focusing on one incident to base all you decisions. Handguns killed thousands more than your “killing machine”, yet not a peep from you. How come?

I think you know that because you feel the need to dramatize the weapon used at Sandy Hook to make your point – “killing machine.”

 's picture

Why do you want...

... to ban handguns?

 's picture

I'm sorry you've never heard of using an example.

Every mass killing in the past two or three years is the result of the perpetrator using the so-called assault rifle. I use an example for the sake of brevity. But never a peep from you about all these other mass murders. How come? Because you need to downplay these hideous crimes.

Bruce Hixon's picture

Mass Killings

Gabriel Giffords was not shot with an assault rifle. It was a handgun. The perp had no ccp license, and the only other weapon there was in control of a ccp license holder and was never used, thank god, because the permit holder waited long enough to establish that the person who he was watching was on the right side. Had be been quick to react, another innocent would have died. CCP holders know the hazards of shooting first and that the anxiety of simply drawing a handgun will forever remain with you.

 's picture

Does that mean...

...a permit holder will never shoot anyone?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

FBI Homicide Statistics: Year

FBI Homicide Statistics:

Year 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Total firearms: 10,129 9,528 9,199 8,874 8,583
Handguns 7,398 6,800 6,501 6,115 6,220
Rifles 453 380 351 367 323
Shotguns 457 442 423 366 356

Homicide by Rifle 4.4% 3.9% 3.8% 4.1% 3.7%

My percent homicide by rifle row represents the percentage of homicide deaths that may be attributed to your assault-style weapons. The actual percentage is most likely an order of magnitude less because the data includes all rifles. Even if we assume that all rifle homicides are from assault weapons, the numbers are comparatively small.

That said, this data show your agenda will do little for public safety. The readers then must ask themselves why you keep pushing our solution under the guise of public safety.

In closing, your claim of fear appears to apply to you, not me, according to the facts. Moreover, the fact that I point our what I believe are flaws in your logic does in not way translate to my desire to regulate handguns - that accusation is emotional driven in my opinion.


 's picture

So I guess your stats...

...excuse all those mass murders by assault rifles. They just didn't happen, right?

 's picture

Nice dodge Editor. You didn't

Nice dodge Editor. You didn't answer Mr Turcottes question.

RONALD RIML's picture

That was a 'Question?' - It was a 'RANT!'

Some folks and their children...Brother......


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