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Readers Write (April 6-7): NRA, airline mergers, taxes, Megabus, military, North Korea, marriage, U smokers

  • April 5, 2013 - 6:27 PM

GUN VIOLENCE

NRA plan would hurt school programs

The report sponsored by National Rifle Association that was released this week calls for an armed guard in every school (“NRA study suggests trained, armed school staffers,” April 2). How can cash-strapped schools afford this? The most obvious way is to cut so-called frills from the curriculum, by replacing a music instructor who teaches tooting with an armed guard trained in shooting, or replacing the art teacher with an NRA-recommended guard skilled in a different way to “draw.” Our domestic arms race continues.

STEVE R. MARQUARDT, Lake Lillian, Minn.

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AIRLINE MERGERS

They can strengthen carriers in need of help

If the American Airlines/US Airways merger is not allowed, American would need to find another way to emerge from Chapter 11 (“What’s the upside of airline mergers?” editorial, April 2). United Airlines terminated pension payments. The government-backed pensions are now paid by taxpayers. American Airlines could do the same. The American/US Airways merger is a positive step for taxpayers. The federal government isn’t in a position to foot the bill for another major airline’s pensions.

DOROTHY ANDERSON, Osseo

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TAX MATTERS

Fix code and boost benefit programs

It was refreshing and encouraging to read Jim Graves’ commentary about our tax code (“A broken tax code, and how we can fix it,” Business Forum, March 25). He clearly identified the problem, has good ideas about how to fix it and, I believe, the intelligence and gumption to get the conversation going. Graves quoted Adam Smith’s tenets of good tax policy: simplicity, efficacy, certainty and equality. He says we currently have none of these. We all know the tax code needs to be changed, and now we have someone who can do it. Let’s get behind this energetic and creative mind.

MARY ANN HOPPE, Maple Plain

• • •

It’s important to increase the payroll tax for Social Security and the Medicare tax. This would stabilize the two programs. It’s unclear to me why the payroll tax is as low as it is. Certainly, Medicare needs more money. I don’t see the logic in reducing benefits for either of these programs.

GARY MILLER, Hibbing, Minn.

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NORTH KOREA

Young leader not as dumb as portrayed

The media depicts North Korea as a stupid nation with a young nut-case as its leader (Sack cartoon, April 2). That may be far from the truth. In fact, North Korea may be showing its brilliance. Kim Jong Un might have his military shoot a rocket in the air and declare war on the United States. In retaliation, we would quickly invade his country, rescue its defunct economy and build the successful nation that its people long for. All the young leader has to do is look at Japan and Germany as examples.

RON HARRIS, Minnetonka

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MILITARY DRAFT

Many sacrificed without complaint

One of the ancillary benefits of the military draft was that it kept the rich and their media shills from whining that they were sacrificing too much and that different rules for citizens is unfair. We have graveyards filled with patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice. We have veterans who went to war and will never be the same. Don’t worry, rich people: We’ll tell you when you’re sacrificing too much.

BRUCE BOLTON, Hopkins

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MEGABUS STORY

Kudos for cultivating student journalists

It’s nice to see that the University of Minnesota is producing good journalists these days, if student Brian Arola’s recent article on the Megabus is any indication (“Megabus steers into parking lot dispute in Minneapolis,” March 30). It was unbiased, to the point, did not waste words and appeared quite accurate. It laid the groundwork for discussion and potential change. Congratulate him on a job well done.

PAUL WAYTZ, Minneapolis

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SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

It wouldn’t harm this reader’s marriage

Marriage equality does not threaten my 33-year marriage. If it threatens your marriage, then I suspect you have more issues than you are willing to admit.

CHERYL HUNSTOCK, Minneapolis

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LIGHTING UP

U is behind the times on campus smoking

I agree with the commentary calling for an end to smoking at the University of Minnesota (“It’s time for U to have a smoke-free campus,” March 29). Besides the obvious health issues, cigarettes make the campus look bad.

My high school son and I did a campus tour last fall. I was disgusted by the many cigarette butts littering the grounds. This was the fifth campus we had visited and the only one where I noticed the problem.

When I shared this with the admissions office, the people there apologized for not having more personnel to clean up the butts. Hmm … I bet the U could save money if it didn’t have to deal with cigarette litter.

Now, I’m off to visit my mom, who’s dying of emphysema. She started smoking when she was in college.

RACHAEL DAVIS, Woodbury

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