Readers Write: (Nov. 23): Plastic guns, holding-pond drownings, Saints stadium, streetcars, Salvation Army

  • Updated: November 22, 2013 - 5:55 PM

It was only a matter of time before a tragedy occurred at the Hwy. 7/Hwy. 100 interchange.


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Why would a ban be more effective here?

Former Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan attempts, yet again, to use fear to garner public support for an ineffective and unnecessary gun-control law: the Undetectable Firearms Act (Short Takes, Nov. 21). He admits “a law will not prevent plastic guns,” yet it still gets his full-throated support. Why? Supposedly because “a stiff penalty can deter people from carrying them.”

Except it won’t.

There are already “stiff penalties” for carrying guns without a permit, or for possessing them if you’re ineligible. Those apply equally to plastic guns. It would still be illegal to bring such a weapon into a sensitive area like a courthouse or behind security at an airport.

What of the argument that they’re undetectable? If a ban on plastic firearms truly prevented their existence, it would be a historic first. Alcohol, drug and even “assault weapon” prohibitions have all been resounding failures. To expect this to be any different is naive.




An ecological tool, or a public-safety risk?

I am saddened beyond measure that two precious little ones drowned and three others were hospitalized (one in critical condition) on Friday after their car rolled into the holding pond at the interchange of Hwys. 7 and 100 in St. Louis Park. And I am angered beyond measure knowing that the Minnesota Department of Transportation could have prevented this tragedy. Finger-pointing in the aftermath is not fruitful unless it can help prevent future tragedies. In this case I pray it can.

Until recently my wife and I lived near that interchange. We were stunned when MnDOT installed a holding pond. The first day we saw it, we said almost in unison: “Someone is going to drown here.” How could anyone think it’s a good idea to put an unprotected deep pond in the middle of an interchange traveled by tens of thousands of motorists a day? I feel a measure of guilt for not raising my voice at the time.

Now I see holding ponds being added elsewhere (one such arrangement is so steep and deep it looks like a mountain lake) without so much as a guardrail.

The ecological benefit of such ponds cannot possibly outweigh the risk to life. I fully understand that we cannot remove every watery deathtrap near our roads and highways, but we don’t need to go out of our way to build new ones.

GREG HOWARD, Hudson, Wis.



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