Legal action following shooting is misdirected

How is it that a small business that has been devastated by a mass shooting can be sued ("Lawsuit against Accent Signage may proceed," July 3) and the gun manufacturers cannot be held liable for any damages? Oh, yeah — that's because Congress passed laws that indemnify the gun industry from being held responsible for the death and destruction their products bring to our families, friends and coworkers. As those at Accent Signage struggle to put their lives and business back together, a lawsuit adding insult to injury is beyond comprehension. Isn't it time to stop giving the gun industry a free pass?

Linda Winsor, St. Paul


Lessons apply also to mining of metals

The July 5 editorial "A ready template for sand mine regulation" was certainly on target for sound environmental reasons. Given this, and the quote from Bill Mavity, a retired Twin Cities attorney — "This area has a special beauty. If you do heavy industrial mining, you destroy that beauty, and there's no way you can ever bring it back" — doesn't this perspective also apply to precious-metal mining in north-central Minnesota? Can we truly afford to lose thousands of acres of boreal forest and wetlands and go on as if nothing has happened? The leadership of Pepin County, Wis., in the case of sand mining may have an answer for all of us concerned with our fragile and very limited natural resources.

RICHARD STRUCK, Grand Marais, Minn.


Is president to blame for recent, uh, decline?

Not too many weeks ago, America experienced a sharp increase in gasoline prices, surprising and disturbing most everyone who drives, especially those who rack up the most miles a day. Seeking a scapegoat, some at least chose to blame our president, thinking that he is in charge of everything. Well, they were wrong, of course, as there are such things as markets, including the retail market for gasoline, a phenomenon independent of the White House. That fact probably escaped those who rely upon the misinformation made available on the Internet and talk radio. Still, it is not surprising that more recently gasoline prices dropped as sharply as they had risen earlier. Did anyone hear or see any thanks from those who had spewed their venom on President Obama earlier, when prices had gone up? No? Neither did I. Not surprising.

RODNEY E. JOHNSON, Minneapolis


A city is poised to sell its soul

With a debt of $17 billion, Detroit is scrambling for solutions ("Detroit is pondering selling its art collection," July 8). The collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts, one of the best in the nation, is worth more than $l billion, but the deaccession will barely put a dent in the city's debt.

Some civilizations, in the distant past, are known only by their art. In the future, Detroit will have no art to distinguish itself.



Personal experience shows middle ground

Regarding "The Gluten Trap" (July 8), we have found over the last year there are many people like my husband who do not have celiac disease but who are significantly affected by eating modern wheat. My husband was getting progressively sicker over the last five years, and many doctors could not find anything significant and kept suggesting over-the-counter medications to treat the symptoms without knowing the underlying cause. Since we own a small flour mill and sell at farmers markets, he started thinking about all the people who said they couldn't eat our products since they were affected by gluten. He then went gluten-free and within two months was symptom-free. That's when we discovered the difference between heritage wheat and modern wheat. We switched our product line to heritage flour and have found that many customers can once again eat wheat as long as it is a heritage variety. Life for those who do not have celiac disease doesn't necessarily fall into two groups — gluten or gluten-free. There is a vast middle ground for heritage gluten.

MARTY GLANVILLE, North Branch, Minn.

• • •

It's beyond me why anyone would unnecessarily give up real beer, bread and brownies for tasteless, expensive gluten-free substitutes. I went gluten-free when a "gold standard" intestinal biopsy showed celiac disease caused my sudden 25-pound weight loss. But I doubted my digestive system could fail so abruptly after 72 trouble-free years. I found a genetic test that conclusively shows susceptibility to the disease, so I signed on. Two months into the gluten-free regime, the test results came back negative — I could not have celiac disease. I quit gluten-free cold-turkey (on Thanksgiving Day!) and never looked back.

Now, six years into a normal diet and still a healthy 25 pounds lighter, I no longer require a daily statin dose to control my LDL cholesterol. In fact, I suspect the statin caused the problem, as digestive trouble is a possible side-effect of the drug.

I encourage anyone with a celiac disease diagnosis to get the genetic test and to question side effects of statins and other drugs as a possible cause that could be eliminated. World travelers should also rule out tropical sprue, curable with antibiotics.

Bon appétit!

RON CARLSON, Lake St. Croix Beach