My experience with armed guards in school
The proposal put forward by the NRA to station armed guards in schools takes me back to my own high school days in Chicago. There were armed guards in my school -- moonlighting Chicago policemen, just the kind of trained personnel the NRA says is called for.
One day a young man, a recent graduate, came back to the school to visit friends. Words were exchanged with one of the guards, and the visitor ended up dead on the hallway floor, shot in the back.
What came next is as familiar a script as any school play. The white guard claimed the black youth had pulled a gun on him, a gun that no one else saw and that never materialized. The guard was transferred.
According NRA chief Wayne La Pierre, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." His is an appealingly simple world, but not much like the one we live in. I learned that in high school.
RICARDO LEVINS MORALES, MINNEAPOLIS
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To its credit, the Star Tribune published an article suggesting that the proliferation of gun permits doesn't necessarily automatically equate to more violence ("Violence down, gun permits up" in Florida, Jan. 9).
However, the article also contained the statement (from the director of Florida Coalition To Stop Gun Violence) that we can't know if gun control works until we pass gun laws, which was frightfully similar to Rep. Nancy Pelosi's statement about the health care law.
I would suggest that the director become aware of the situation in Chicago, one of the most gun-restricted cities in the country, which has had more than 500 homicides this year.
Or, perhaps he should have paid more attention in history class to learn of the horrors that occurred in virtually every country that disarmed its citizens. Never forget, the Constitution was created to protect us citizens from our government.
ALBERT LONG, CRYSTAL
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What will it take for us to take it seriously?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just reported that 2012 was the hottest year on record for the United States, a full degree above the previous record, in 1998.
This is just one more indication that serious climate change is occurring. Scientists predicate that a rise of 2 degrees Celsius in the average global temperature would be dangerous and catastrophic.
I wonder just what it is about the definition of "catastrophic" that the public and our political leaders fail to understand. Is it that these world temperature rises will produce northern latitude temperature rises twice that level, with deadly heat waves?
Is it that glaciers in Greenland will melt much faster and cause sea level rises measured in meters rather than inches, inundating seaports around the world?
Is it that storms like Sandy, droughts and floods will be much more frequent and devastating?
Or is it that the global climate will reach a tipping point after which man will no longer be able to correct this catastrophe?
I feel that a failure of our political leaders to act on human-induced climate change is a crime against our children and grandchildren, a crime against humanity, and a crime against our maker.
GARY CARLSON, ALEXANDRIA, MINN.
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For GOP, session's start is ignominious
Minnesota Republicans lost the House and the Senate in the November elections. This was due in part to the fact that they were surly, intransigent and divisive. So how did they approach the new legislative session?
By calling their colleagues across the aisle names ("Legislature opens with pledges and a little pushback," Jan. 9). Labeling Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL-Minneapolis, a "Mother Earth feminist" is certainly not the worst thing they might have come up with, but was it really necessary to set a negative tone right out of the gate?
LINDA M. FELIX, MINNEAPOLIS
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Nurses saved a life; so did blood donors
What a wonderful lifesaving effort delivered by nurses who were at Maxwell's Bar in Minneapolis ("Off duty at bar, nurses save a life when gunshot victim comes in," Jan. 7).
It would have been good if there had been mention of the dedicated blood donors who provided the blood that the victim certainly needed, immediately and later. We in the Red Cross call them the invisible volunteers. Our gratitude goes out to them.
ALICE TOMASCHKO, AUSTIN, MINN.
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Boycott the arena, not surrounding businesses
In response to the Jan. 8 letter "Fans, it's your turn: Make league squirm," I offer this suggestion instead: I am not a hockey fan, but I am a fan of all the local businesses and employees who have lost much due to this lockout. Go eat, drink and watch the games for the first week at your favorite restaurants and bars, and tip heavily!
CECELIA SHEFFIELD, RICHFIELD