Letter: McClaughry is wrong on guns, plastic bags
To the Editor:
John McClaughry's recent column told us exactly what he thinks of our Vermont legislature's work this year. I disagree with just about everything he says but I'll take issue with only two. The most shocking revelation was John's reason to oppose a 24-hour waiting period to buy a gun. Apparently, if a woman decides she's had enough from her abusive partner, she should buy a gun NOW, not in 24 hours. Please note that several pages later, the Banner printed sane advice from Dear Abbey: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. We should do everything we can to protect victims of domestic violence, even if it requires more action by the "government" (also known as police, social workers, and other good people we pay, with our taxes, to help us all when in need). But we should not ask a woman to shoot her husband. Aren't we better than that? Aren't we smart enough to find another way? Aren't we more compassionate than that? And I don't even want to think about all the terrible things that go wrong with that gun idea.
John is also terribly upset that we want to ban single use plastic bags. But unlike a plastic bag, his reasoning doesn't hold water. He tells us that natural gas is used to make plastic. This is true, and many of us don't know it. So far, so good. Then he claims we need natural gas to provide backup for wind and solar. This is absolutely and without a doubt untrue but I'll have to address this fact fully in another letter because of letter length limit. He then conjectures that environmentalists should prefer making plastic bags with natural gas, so we won't burn it for electricity, putting more CO2 into our air. Apparently, he hasn't followed recent discoveries that this plastic breaks down into microscopic beads that are carried everywhere on earth by the wind, particles that now appear in virtually everything we eat and drink and breathe. So, no, we don't want to make plastic bags either. We want to leave the natural gas in the ground where it won't permanently alter our climate. We want to take care of our planet, for our children and their children. Doing away with plastic bags is a very small part of our work to save the planet, but it is just laughably easy to do. So, let's make like a sneaker and "just do it."
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