According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ 2018 report, “Deposition of Lead Shot on State Lands in Minnesota,” over 357,000 pounds of lead shot was deposited on state lands during the 2017 small game hunting season. Lead is toxic to humans and animals; it can affect the manufacture of hemoglobin, causing anemia, and diminish reproductive ability. Its primary target is the central nervous system.

In both animals and humans, lead can cause behavioral abnormalities, hearing deficits, impaired cognitive functioning, neuromuscular weakness and death. A piece of lead as small as a grain of rice can kill an eagle. A single small lead split shot sinker is fatal to a loon. Lead is considered a hazardous waste, yet both the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the DNR permit the fishing public, hunters and shooters to leave lead waste contaminating land and water. As was mentioned in “Groups want ban on lead in ammo” (Oct. 6), lead has been banned in many products such as children’s toys, cosmetics, gasoline, paint and pet products due to its toxicity.

Many sports people consider themselves conservationists. If this is true, the DNR and MPCA must move forward to ban toxic products that pollute public lands and waters and ultimately harm wildlife.

Susan Solterman Audette, St. Paul

THE KURDS

Know who else wasn’t at Normandy?

Once again we see how President Donald Trump, the leader of the most powerful country in the world, is bereft of any knowledge of history — including American — but especially anywhere there is not a Trump Hotel. If he wonders where the Kurds were on D-Day (“Turkey strikes U.S. ally after Trump’s green light,” front page, Oct. 10), he should first look to see where Kurdistan was on D-Day. He would have noted that he could not find it on a map, since as a nation it did not exist.

If he wondered why it didn’t come to the defense of France and England, he might have discovered that it was because of them that it didn’t exist. After World War I, at which time the French and English drew lines in the Middle East and created boundaries where none existed before, they forgot to draw one around the place where some 20 million people, the Kurds, lived. They put parts of their land in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, all of whose borders were solidified at that time. The Kurds have been fighting ever since to establish a Kurdish homeland. The Kurds are Muslim but are not Arabs. They are still hoping that when the dust finally settles in Iraq they will at last have a piece of earth to call their own.

By the way, where was Turkey on D-Day? It was neutral. It entered the war on our side in February 1945, after it was clear how the war would end. I guess it took them a long time to get over their bone spurs.

Theodore Nagel, Minneapolis

• • •

Trump was asked about the possibility of ISIS fighters escaping during the attacks on the Kurds. He glibly said, “Well, they’ll be escaping to Europe.” He is so crass and irresponsible, without a clue, and an unmitigated disaster. His message is that Europe and its people don’t count. And obviously members of ISIS could escape through Europe and end up here.

This man doesn’t need impeachment. He needs a hopelessly gutless vice president and sycophantic cabinet to enact the 25th Amendment and remove him from the presidency immediately. Sadly, that won’t happen. We’ll just have to be the ones to gut it out.

Jim Bartos, Brooklyn Park

END-OF-LIFE CARE

It’s about the patient, not the doctor

I was appalled by the counterpoint “Pills that kill don’t serve dignity” by Neal C. Buddensiek (Opinion Exchange, Oct. 8), chief medical officer at Benedictine Health System. His self-centered, egotistical approach to end-of-life care left me hoping I never find myself in any system associated with him.

It’s too bad that “the assisted suicide debate ultimately distracts medical professionals like [Dr. Buddensiek] from pursuing dignified health care options at the end of life.” But contrary to Buddensiek’s belief, the focus of the debate should not be on distractions to the well-being of health care professionals like him but on the well-being of those suffering unimaginable pain. That Buddensiek may “wake up every day with passion to provide patients excellent symptom support and comfort” only means he believes his fervor trumps his patients’ excruciating pain — they will not have the option of ending the pain on their own terms because he wants the opportunity to display his professional passion.

While Buddensiek acknowledges that he suffers no such unbearable infirmity, he returns the focus again to himself, “compassionately” accompanying those who are the ones truly suffering. While Buddensiek acknowledges that “it is true that people living with neurologic conditions ... experience a highly variable disease progression, can become very disabled, and may experience a high symptom burden,” he immediately moves the attention from those suffering such a high symptom burden (a particularly sterile euphemism) to himself again — how he “can help respond to their unique needs” (an inexcusable euphemism).

I applaud research into improving palliative care in order to eliminate suffering. Until we achieve that goal, those who are suffering should have the option to end it at a time and place they choose, not when chosen by Dr. Buddensiek. The suffering should not be forced to be the involuntary fodder for experiments by self-appointed medical white angels.

Dean Karau, Burnsville

TRUMP VISIT

Don’t cops realize how this looks?

It is no public service to Minneapolis when T-shirts shout out “Cops for Trump.” The name “Trump” is now synonymous with lawlessness. We do not need the president’s reputation of well-documented violations of U.S. law to be directly associated with the officers who serve our neighborhoods. And do all cops wish to be represented by this inflammatory T-shirt?

Steve Watson, Minneapolis

• • •

If you are reading this, then you have survived the political fracas that was President Donald Trump’s Oct. 10 rally at the Target Center in Minneapolis, and Trump has now left Minnesota. But while the melee (from comments and actions from activists, pundits and politicians whose ideologies and political affiliations were all over the map) is finally over now, it is only a matter of time until the whole thing starts up again. You know this if you saw the recent article about how a supporter of Trump’s re-election campaign brandished a loaded gun at a supporter of presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren in Moorhead, Minn.

William Cory Labovitch, South St. Paul

BASKETBALL

NBA is moral while it’s convenient

I wasn’t looking for another reason to ignore the National Basketball Association, but they recently delivered once again.

This time, by limiting not only free speech by one of their employees, but free speech expressing support for human rights, they have expressed their priorities (“Morey’s words spark NBA/China conflict,” Oct. 8). The NBA prioritizes money over morals and a brutal regime over our democracy.

Their greatest fear is to be ignored, and the right thing to do is to indulge that fear.

Dale Vaillancourt, Burnsville

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