LETTERS: The debt ceiling, guns in state parks, Meriden firefighters deserve praise

No ‘moderates’ left


In one of the many concessions Rep. Kevin McCarthy made to far right extremists in order to become speaker of the House, he agreed to not raise the debt limit — due to come up for a vote in September — without unspecified “fiscal reforms.”

Despite how it sounds, the debt limit doesn’t limit passing new spending — it covers paying for spending that’s already been approved. Failure to raise the debt limit could trigger a global financial meltdown. In plain language, this means that MAGA Republicans are going to threaten catastrophic financial default for the U.S. in September — or, according to news reports, even much sooner — if their demands aren’t met.

As New York Times columnist Paul Krugman put it recently, “There’s lots of evidence that Republicans will, if they can, try to use the debt limit to extort major cuts in Social Security and Medicare.”

As a recently retired citizen on a fixed income, Social Security and Medicare are essential lifelines. Any undermining of those two bedrock social welfare programs would be disastrous for my wife and me and millions of other Americans. But I’m also concerned about the damage Republican extremists can do to vulnerable poor and disabled people as well as to efforts to save our environment.

Many members of the Republican Party showed on January 6, 2021 that they are enemies of democracy, preferring violence and mayhem to accepting an election loss. President Biden described this large faction of the GOP as promoting “semi-fascism.” Other commentators — including some Never Trump conservatives — say there’s nothing “semi” about it. The votes in the U.S. House of Representatives to elect McCarthy speaker and to set the House rules show there are no “moderates” left in the GOP, only extremists, opportunists, and cowards.

Hank Hoffman, Wallingford

Safe spaces


The fact that our country has had 39 mass shootings in less than a month into 2023 should convince any sane person that allowing MORE guns into safe spaces is lunacy. However, a representative has put forth a bill to allow people to bring guns into our state parks. I urge all representatives of the CT state House to vote no on this dangerous bill. Any further gun legislation should be to restrict gun purchases and use. Further loosening of the regulations will only put lives in danger. 

Fran LaFrance-Proscino, Wallingford

Teamwork and training


I am a retired battalion chief from the Wallingford Fire Department and worked with the members of Meriden Fire Department for 28 years and I have some words about the fire on Broad Street this past Saturday to share with the residents of Meriden.

You are probably aware that they rescued a young man from the third floor via ladder. But did you know how difficult this task is? Two firefighters wearing 45 lbs. of gear carried a 35-foot ladder weighing 130 lbs. from the truck and raised it to third floor window and climbed it carrying heavy tools, removed the window entirely. One firefighter crawled in and searched the room with zero visibility and high heat, found him and dragged him over a bed to the window and lifted him to the sill and out to his partner waiting on the ladder, who then carried the young man down to waiting EMS.

Simultaneously, crews were climbing interior stairs to search for the trapped victim but were burned and driven back. Other crews were stretching hoses to extinguish the fast-moving flames.

This is all possible because of teamwork and hundreds of hours of training. Most of all a strong desire and determination to get it done. It is no accident that this young man is going to go on and live a full life, maybe possibly have children of his own as a direct result of the actions of your fire department.

Understand this! Meriden firefighters and firefighters across this great country are willing to do whatever it takes to protect the lives of their communities, sometimes at great personal risk!

You are blessed to have these men and woman as your firefighters. They are true public servants, If you call they will come for you.

James Duffy, Durham



Is it me or do other readers scratch their heads, too? The Connecticut legislature legalized rec — i.e. “wreck” — pot-dealing in retail shops across the state because other nearby states do it to haul in added revenue. And they just recently contemplated floating a bill to allow some “select” bars to stay open until 4 am. Puritanical I’m not, but what’s up with that?

All this in the face of an unprecedented number of car-caused pedestrian deaths, deadly wrong-way accidents, daily highway crashes usually the result of speeding, distracted driving, or driving under the influence.

Paul Scollan, Meriden

Who are you punishing?


The governor and attorney general open this subject about being hard on criminals/illegal use of handguns in our state. Who are you punishing ? Once again it’s the legal owners. Not the bad guys. One handgun purchase a month? Talk about a Democrat “control” pitch here! Bad guys can get a gun any time though, but that’s OK , right Ned? Ban unconcealed carry? You think a bad guy’s gonna hide his gun? You gotta be kidding me. How about we give police their authority back to do their jobs and stop messing with law abiding gun owners ? Let the police get back to police work free of harassment and legal repercussions. Having worked in Department of Corrections for 20 years, based on my experience vast majority of criminals are Democrats., Why is Ned so afraid to go after criminals, because they are Democratic votes. But you want to go after legal gun owners and make their lives miserable. This is just another reason why people leave this state in droves.

Al Esposito, Wallingford


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