I was stunned by the comment from gun-safety instructor Evan Easton in the Star Tribune's story on gun owners ("Land of 100,000 gun toters," July 8). Easton states that he feels he's a safer member of society when he carries a gun because he perceives "a sense of grace."
He explains that he behaves in a more responsible, less defensive manner when he carries a gun. In other words, the gun makes him feel in control of the situation. I would suggest that control of a potentially dangerous situation is better derived from strategies such as nonjudgmental communication, conflict-resolution skills and self-restraint.
These are the more effective, life-saving safety skills that we should be teaching. Tragically, the failure to limit availability of handguns has merged with a culture that is impervious to their dangers. Guns and the culture they create are used to kill and injure the innocent and guilty alike. Nobody is safer as a result.
DIANE BARNETT, EDINA
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As the guns article went to press, a young woman was celebrating her 25th birthday at an off-duty police officer's house in Detroit. Tragically, she was shot and killed by dancing and hugging the officer in a way that discharged the gun in his waistband. Whether intentional or not, more guns beget more violence. When will we ever learn?
LINDA WINSOR, St. Paul
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Dennis Schelonka was quoted in the story as saying that he wants to carry a concealed gun because "everyone has the right to feel comfortable out in public." What he doesn't seem to appreciate is that by walking around with loaded guns, he and like-minded thinkers have taken away my comfort level and made me feel less safe than before.
I believe the majority of the public would agree, as evidenced by the number of signs banning guns from places of business and congregation. "Conceal and carry" feels like a return to the Wild West. Why are we going backwards?
CINDY ROHDE, ZIMMERMAN
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Bonnie Blodgett states that the solution to our energy problems are community-based initiatives ("Big Oil the answer? Don't bet on it," July 8). I disagree. The Obama administration handed over billions of taxpayer dollars to Solyndra and other "green" companies to provide cheap solar or wind power. They have gone bankrupt.
That's because the technology has not yet been successfully developed without the need for government subsidies. In the meantime, there is technology out there that can bring us cheap energy right now: fracking, shale and noninvasive horizontal drilling. Look at North Dakota.
Oil production is booming. Unemployment is at 3 percent. And it's all being done on private land. Cheap energy made this country prosperous. Let's get busy. We can put people to work, drill for oil and protect the environment now, until the "back-room experiments" that Blodgett likes become practical.
ROBERT RABINOVITZ, MINNETONKA
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Applause, applause, applause and a big thank you to Lori Sturdevant for her column on the anniversary of the U.S.-Dakota War ("In recognition of history, a move to the present and beyond," July 8.) As a descendant of folks involved in that conflict, I'm glad to have it brought to the attention of the public with an attitude of reconciliation, which is constructive and essential to democracy.
SUZANNE LONG, BLOOMINGTON
Contrary to Republican claims, by retitling the voter ID amendment, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has shown himself to be above partisanship. By giving the amendment a title that accurately describes its effects ("Amendment's altered wording fuels political ire," July 10), Ritchie has undermined the legal argument of the opponents who have sued to keep it off the ballot while furthering his office's central mission of serving the voting public.
BEN JULIET, ST. PAUL
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When the Republican members of Congress focus all their energy on repealing the Affordable Care Act just for the sake of a partisan victory, none of us are well-served. It's true that the new health care measures will almost certainly hurt some people while helping others, but this would have been true of any health care bill promoted by either party. With anything so complex, the only realistic way to proceed is to live with it for a while, see where the problems are and fix them. Starting over will just set the clock back, leaving millions of Americans uninsured for years to come.
DAVID CARPENTER, MINNEAPOLIS
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Obama proposes to raise income taxes on only the rich. Is this good for the economy? Certainly not. Will it reduce our deficits? Doubtful, since spending will just increase more. Then, why? Obama is promoting "class warfare" in order to gain votes. He knows there are fewer rich voters than nonrich voters, so he demonizes the rich in order to gain votes from the nonrich. This is such a pitiful action by the leader of our nation, or any nation. He pits one group of Americans against another for his personal gain.
Shouldn't he be president for all of us? He promotes class warfare in many ways. Remember how he supported Occupy Wall Street openly when it began and later tacitly when the protesters became riotous? He also has demonized big oil, big banks, big insurance, big health care and more in attempts to improve his electability.
Obama slices and dices layers of America into classes, then trumpets his siding with the class that has the most voters. Class envy will always exist in America, but class warfare is something that does not have to exist and that should not be actively promoted by our president. The more Obama acts in an unpresidential manner, the more he bolsters the argument that he should not be president.
BILL HALLING, EDINA
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.