How ironic that Gov. Paul LePage, stating that he wants to ensure the safety of Maine citizens, wants to prevent Syrian refugees from coming to Maine. Republican governors and congressmen are falling all over each other to safeguard the Americans from the fearsome widows and children who are fleeing Assad and ISIS.

We have all seen pictures of the boats crossing from Turkey to Greece and the lines of families trudging through Eastern Europe in hopes of getting to Germany or Scandinavia. Don’t they all look like commandos, bent on destroying everything in their way?

While insisting on stringent background checks for refugees, the same lawmakers refuse to call for thorough background checks when firearms are purchased in private sales in this country, where far more citizens are killed each year in domestic shootings than by would-be terrorists.

In fact, according to a conclusion by the Government Accountability Office, individuals who are on the no-fly list can still buy firearms. How comforting — they can’t blow up our airplanes but can still purchase enough weapons to duplicate the massacre in Paris.

It is time to repudiate xenophobic fear-mongering and, while we’re at it, support the gun-purchase background check initiative.

Edward Walworth, Lewiston

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