Readers Write (April 23): Boston bombings, guns, political discourse, hope

  • Updated: April 22, 2013 - 8:01 PM

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What wasn’t done? What’s best done now?

“The terrorists have failed” — the words of President Obama. But people killed and maimed is not a failure for the perpetrators. We hear, after the fact, that these radicals were “on a list” or “under suspicion” or “have been questioned,” yet people died by their hands.

Is that not our government’s failure? We deport farm workers and allow suspected terrorists to live here. Completely outrageous.

Don Eisenschenk, Minnetonka

• • •

Before it was announced Monday that the remaining Tsarnaev brother would be tried in civilian court, some senators and others in Congress suggested that he be tried as an enemy combatant. Heinous as the acts were, our justice system is strong enough to apply correct punishment.

The Tsarnaev family came to the United States a decade ago. The men who committed the crimes in Boston last week were 8 (Dzhokhar) and 15 (Tamerlan) at that time. This is the United States. We want justice, not vengeance. We are wounded and full of hurt, but we must continue to be Americans.

Mary Thacker, Greenwood

• • •

It seems to me that there is a vital lesson to be learned from the events in Boston: An attack strengthens and unites us; it enables us to forget our differences and to apply the full strength of our resources in responses.

But this is not the lesson we need to learn. I think we know this. The lesson we must learn is that we are typical of the world; others respond to attacks perceived as unfair just as we do. Attacks do not resolve differences; they magnify them.

* * *


Actually, the NRA also represents people

Since the defeat of gun bills, the commentaries and letters the Star Tribune has printed have overwhelmingly portrayed a failure of the political process. Even though an overwhelming majority of people favored increased gun control, the narrative goes, the Senate instead listened to a tiny minority of well-funded, politically powerful lobbyists, led by a monolithic entity called “the NRA.”

While compelling, this narrative is false. Suppose the bills had passed — no one would have attributed it to “the Brady Campaign.” Instead, it would have been heralded as reflecting the grass-roots will of the public.

The NRA is not an alien entity imposing its will upon society from without; it is millions of Americans who support the continued freedom of Americans to own and carry firearms, and the focal point of still more millions of nonmembers who look to it as the largest and most visible group working on behalf of gun owners.

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