Forum, Aug. 12: A Hysterical Response to ‘Printed’ Guns

Saturday, August 11, 2018
Hysterical Response to ‘Printed’ Guns

For those frightened of firearms, the recent court decision temporarily blocking the distribution of 3D printer plans for guns ignited old fears of “undetectable plastic guns.” The misinformation on the subject out there is staggering. These same arguments were presented when Glock introduced a handgun with a polymer (plastic) frame. Then- Rep. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., went full-bore hysterical, not bothering to find out that the Glock had more than a pound of solid steel and was readily detectable. He’s dusted off the same arguments for this round.

The “printed” guns aren’t good for much. Even with steel parts in them, they won’t last very long — firing once or twice before they come apart. A novelty maybe, but hardly a terrorist’s choice.

A moment of thought may help. If someone wants to commit a crime, he can buy a gun from a “friend” on the street or steal one. But 3D printers are expensive and time-consuming to program. That’s too much bother for firing a single bullet. Here’s something I didn’t know until recently: It is quite legal to build your own gun, as long as you don’t intend to sell it. As long as it complies with federal gun law (primarily the National Firearms Act of 1934) and you can legally possess a firearm, it’s legal to build your own.

This decision doesn’t harm the Second Amendment. It throws a harpoon into the First Amendment though, as it is a prohibition on free speech. At one point a magazine wanted to print detailed instructions on how to construct a hydrogen bomb. The government sued to halt publication — and lost. Prior restraint is not allowed. These plans have been out there on the internet for years now.

This court decision will be overturned. And guess what: There won’t be a surge of people killed by one-shot plastic guns.

Patrick O’Connor


Time to Channel the Outrage

I wake up in the night angry and heartbroken over the fate of the more than 500 children who are still not reunited — and may never be reunited — with their parents due to the government’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.

President Donald Trump and his lackeys are in contempt of court. Last I knew, this was a punishable offense. Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said he could find all these children “with a keystroke.” Then do it, and stop the stonewalling and lies. Granted, there may be a legitimate reason to question the relationships of a few of these children and adults, but what’s the real offense? A “possible DUI”? Being brown? Not speaking English? Not having the money to hire a lawyer? I would not be responsible for my actions if someone, much less the government, stole my children on some “Trumped-up” pretext.

This situation is outrageous. Yet where is the outrage? Oh, right, we’ve got those midterm elections coming up. Don’t want to rile your base. Well, now is the time to channel the anger and outrage over this and too many other boneheaded and dangerous policies of the current administration and clean house. Support candidates in your state and other states who stand for a more honest and compassionate government “of the people.” It’s not too late — yet.

Curt Albee

South Strafford

What About Biomethane?

Why aren’t we promoting biomethane as an alternative fuel? It is environmentally friendly, inexpensive and would provide another income source for struggling livestock farmers.

For those who may not be aware, biomethane is also known as renewable natural gas. Instead of being released as a greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, it is natural gas captured from landfills and animal waste. In California, a recent study concluded enough biomethane could be captured to fuel 75 percent of the diesel engines operating in that state. New Hampshire and Vermont do not have nearly the number of trucks as California, but we certainly have a good share of dairy and sheep farms, not to mention landfills, that are currently allowing their methane to flow directly into the atmosphere. This would be a win-win for all concerned. Heavy duty trucks are responsible for about 20 percent of all greenhouse gases released in the US. Natural gas trucks can be purchased today that when powered by biomethane release less greenhouse gases than even electric trucks.

Let’s see some leadership from our elected officials promoting the capture and use of biomethane.

David Allen

White River Junction

N.H. Diversity Effort Draws Threats

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, people who attended a July 26 conference on creating diversity in New Hampshire are receiving all manner of threats, including death threats.

Message to all “white people” out there in the Upper Valley (yes, me included): What are you going to do about this?

Carolyn M. Bardos


Please Cover Up While Breastfeeding

Regarding the recent opinion column on breastfeeding by Katherine Foss (“Breastfeeding Is Under Unwarranted Pressure,” Aug. 3), I believe she went off on a personal soapbox.

No one is attacking the right to breastfeed by saying “cover up.” Breastfeeding is a perfectly natural body function. But so is defecating, and we do that in private. So, go ahead and breastfeed, but if you have the option to cover up, please do so.

Claire Gardner


Building Consensus Is a Needed Skill

Thanks to the Sunday Valley News and business writer John Lippman for the refreshing article on the changes to the admission criteria at the Tuck School of Business (“Tuck School Changes Admission Criteria to Give ‘Nice’ a Chance,” Aug. 5).

That Tuck values interpersonal skills that help “build consensus in a cooperative environment” over stereotypical “sharp elbow” characteristics is encouraging. Building consensus is an art sorely needed in our world of conflict. Teaching leadership skills that lead to cooperation will be more effective if students already value cooperation over competition and want to help others succeed.

Patricia McGovern