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Time for gun insurance
Guns are not toys. They are lethal weapons. Just as in order to drive my car it must be registered and insured and I need a valid license, a similar approach to guns should remind people that owning a lethal weapon is a serious responsibility.
Instead of banning guns by type and magazine capacity, let’s require liability insurance and registration along with licenses to carry.
The insurance industry could readily attach a rider to your home owner’s or renter’s policy. If stopped by the police, a gun owner would have to produce proof of insurance and a license, just as I must do if I am stopped in a traffic stop. If I don’t have those, my car may be towed; for a gun owner, the gun could be impounded until the owner produces proof of insurance.
When I taught English to the Swedish police in Stockholm, you could own a gun, but until you had a gold marksmanship medal, you could not remove it from the shooting club. One of my students had to carry a weapon on the job, but could not have a gun at home himself as he was not qualified.
Harley Sachs • Portland, Oregon
Incredible waste of water
A mind-boggling 21 million gallons of groundwater was mixed with toxic chemicals and used to frack State Excelsior well 3-25 HD1, located within the Mackinaw State Forest in Kalkaska County.
Two other gas extraction wells on the same pad owned by Encana Corp. reportedly brought the total water usage and contamination to over 42 million gallons. This water can never be returned to the hydrologic cycle.
How much water is 21 million gallons?
Tahquamenon Falls is the largest waterfall in our state. Roughly 5,000 gallons flow over the falls every second (U.S. Forest Service estimates). Watch the water cascading over the falls for one hour and 10 minutes. That represents the 21 million gallons of water used to frack just one well.
Now picture our state with hundreds or thousands of horizontal fracking wells, each sucking up and contaminating millions of gallons of water that should be replenishing our rivers, streams and the Great Lakes. This is water that could be used for growing crops. This is the water that defines our state and is the bedrock of our tourism economy.
Horizontal fracking for natural gas is profitable because drillers get the water for free and they lease state land at rockbottom prices ($10 minimum bid per acre at the upcoming May auction of state land). They are exempt from state and federal environmental laws such as the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, the Clean Drinking Water Act and Michigan’s Water Withdrawal Rules.
We need to end gas industry exemptions to environmental laws, end the subsidies, save our forests and water which should belong to ALL the people of Michigan. As a state we need to invest in solar and wind to save our environment, our health and our economy.
Anne Zukowski • Charlevoix
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