Readers Write (April 4): Child protection, guns, bike safety, CEO pay, billboard

  • Updated: April 3, 2013 - 7:02 PM
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FAMILY MATTERS

Sometimes, larger issues are at stake

The Schaffhausen murder case and the Slaven child protection case, both featured on the April 3 front page, shed light on each other. The Slavens may be upset that their parenting was called into question, but clearly child protection services were simply ensuring that the children were safe.

It is never an easy decision for anyone to decide that it isn’t safe for a parent to have contact with their children. Shawn Slaven said, “We’re talking about the relationship you have with your own flesh and blood.” True. And sometimes our own flesh and blood presents the greatest threat to our safety.

Sarah Rodems, Minneapolis

• • •

I do not understand the insistence of the NRA and its supporters that any firearm background check allow for the easy transfer of a gun to a friend or family member. This loophole would have allowed Nancy Lanza to give an assault weapon to her son, Adam, even if he had a diagnosed mental illness. Does the NRA believe that a close relationship precludes a mental illness? It is an unfortunate and reckless position.

Susan Barrett, South St. Paul

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SHARING THE ROAD

Not all the sacrifices should be on bikers

I disagree with the writer of the April 2 Letter of the Day (“Bicyclists, be safe …”) that I don’t need to ride on roads like Lake Street or Hennepin Avenue. I shop at businesses on those roads, eat at restaurants on those roads, and frequently get to those places by bicycle. Bicyclists have every right to use busy streets, and the driving public has every obligation to share the streets with cyclists, whose presence is just one of the factors to which a driver must adjust (think buses, pedestrians, and clueless people behind the wheels of other vehicles). Why should we bicyclists be marginalized more than we already are?

Larry Bruce Kaatz, Minneapolis

• • •

Andreas Aarsvold’s thoughts on being a victimized bicyclist (“Of bicycling, same-sex relationships and getting along,” March 30) were spot-on. But he missed one thing: Andreas, it’s pure and simple. You’re a victim of bullying.

First, you’re vulnerable on your bike. You can’t retaliate against someone sealed in their SUV (or, yes, even a Prius). Second, the bully-driver knows you probably can’t pull out your camera phone and snap a shot of their actions. In addition, in your “dorky” (your word) biking outfit, you look different, and that often freaks out bullies. They hate different.

Bullies come in all shapes and genders, whether it is a woman in an SUV, a beer-can-tossing homophobe, or anyone with a self-esteem issue. Just hang in there. Obey the rules of the road when you bike, be watchful, and keep using your eloquent words as you did to subdue the SUV bully: Words can be, in fact, mightier than the sword.

Dick Schwartz, Minneapolis

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