Valley News Forum for Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023: ‘Gun culture’ has a lot to learn

Published: 11-06-2023 4:31 PM

‘Gun culture’ has a lot to learn

At 12 years old I was given a .22 bolt action Winchester with a scope and a five-shot clip. I once shot five squirrels out of oak trees at about 75 yards with five shots. My grandfather loved cleaning, cooking and eating those squirrels.

My next gun was a single shot breech loaded 16 gauge Winchester shot gun. Grampy really loved the partridge, duck, woodcock and pheasant we brought home from the New Hampshire woods for him to enjoy eating. My dad was a target shooter with several awards and taught me how to aim and shoot safely and accurately. How to judge distances, windage, ballistics, and how to squeeze a shot off without moving the barrel off the target line.

People that are representing the so-called gun culture are maintaining how necessary the AR-15 is for shooting "varmints" like prairie dogs and coyotes. A hunter does not need to strafe a prairie dog with dozens of rounds of high speed bullets that explode on impact. These bullets shatter in the flesh and literally destroy the meat the hunter is hunting for. When I was a boy hunting with 60 year olds, some of them actually went out to get their deer with one cartridge in their rifle and one in their belt loop, "just-in-case.” They were hunting for food, not for "kicks" and not to gratify their need to be seen as macho. They were not thrill seekers. Both the gun culture and the gun haters would benefit from having input from truly experienced and knowledgeable users of guns that have both military and hunting experience.

Bill Fielding


Town considers septic plan

On Monday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. there will be a Public Hearing at the Newbury, N.H., Town Office. The purpose is to review and discuss a proposal for required septic pumping. The proposal’s intent is to protect the Newbury watersheds from potential contamination and it is based on Sunapee’s health ordinance, passed in March, and on state environmental recommendations.

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Lake Sunapee has excellent water quality, but that quality is at risk. One of the major factors is septic systems that are not functioning properly. A properly designed and maintained system will effectively treat wastewater. A system that is not maintained may develop leaks that can leach into both groundwater and into the surface water. This leeching will allow increased nitrogen and phosphorus accumulations and release pathogens that will enter our lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.

One of the key preventative measures for septic tanks is regular pumping on a three-year cycle. This also allows a trained operator to visually inspect your system for any maintenance issues or concerns. Unfortunately, this is not always occurring.

Newbury is considering making septic pumping a requirement. On Nov. 6 there will be a presentation on the technical reasoning for the proposal and then public input to understand citizens’ concerns. Several key reasons this is important:

■Required septic pumping has been attempted in other towns and failed.

■Pumping is very effective in discovering “failed” systems that can poison watersheds.

■The successful passage of pumping in Sunapee is good news for the lakes.

■The proposed rule change in Newbury may set a positive trend for other New Hampshire towns.

Please come to the Nov 6 public hearing.

David J. Rhode

Newbury, N.H.

GOP’s collapse
endangers the nation

Republican lawmakers (if they can even be called that) continue to line up behind Donald Trump, caving to his bullying. At the same time, former Trump loyalists peel off one by one in the face of a justice system that threatens to put them behind bars. What a show! It appears the Republicans in the House are betting on a Trump victory that will rewrite the rule of law in this country and give them the power to subvert the Constitution. And I thought the hubris of Bill Clinton inviting an intern into his private office was shocking.

For a brief moment, I hoped reasonable Republicans might work with minority leader Jeffries to bring the House out of the ditch and back to doing the peoples’ business. Apparently there are no reasonable Republicans. Instead another right-wing zealot with a pretty face and dubious pedigree will lead the charge in the war on marginalized people everywhere.

The death thralls of the Republican Party are proving long and painful and a real threat to our republic. Even an old leftist like me recognizes the importance of having a loyal opposition. We can all have opinions, but in the end the nation needs to be governed. Differing factions need to find common ground and work out compromises. The rule of law and the Constitution provide the framework for our common ground. Our founding enslavers, for all their faults, at least understood the importance of that premise, the need for a framework on which to build a nation. And they were wise enough to give us the ability to expand that common ground to meet the reality of our time. Trump and his ilk do not respect either the rule of law or the Constitution. There is no common ground to be found in Trump World, only obedience.

When Trumpism eventually dies in a bunker somewhere, its many adherents will deny ever being enthralled by its false promise. Before then, lets hope that its damage is limited. The hurt is real and we will all experience it in some way.

James Graham