Our gratitude to alert citizen who called 911
Thanks to Waseca, Minn., resident Chelsie Schellhas, our community has been rescued from a devastating attack that might have been the worst in history (“Teen’s plan: Kill family and then schoolmates,” May 2). Schellhas called 911 after seeing suspicious activity at a storage facility. She is not only a local hero, but a national hero for making that phone call. Most people wouldn’t have wanted to get involved. It is her name, rather than those of killers, that should go down in history.
Michael Chinander, Owatonna, Minn.
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Thankfully, a tragedy has been prevented. What could have turned into a horrible mass shooting has led to the arrest of 17-year-old John LaDue. It pains me that anyone, especially someone in high school, could come up with such a horrific plan. I am not sure why this sort of thing is happening so much. It could be because of violence portrayed on TV or in video games. Having seen from experience that 8-year-olds now play games blasting out someone’s brain concerns me for the direction our country.
I am not sure how LaDue came to possess firearms and bombs, but we must prevent a situation like this from happening again. I am not for banning firearms, but perhaps we need to strengthen our restrictions on how one can possess deadly weapons.
Martina Kerber, Eden Prairie
Let us remember what the prisoner had done
While the botched execution of the prisoner Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma has outraged and anguished many, has anyone given a thought to his victim? He kidnapped and beat a woman and ordered accomplices to bury her alive. Exactly who suffered the most? And who deserves the most compassion and tears?
Mary Jo Sutherland, Shorewood
Bigotry of tolerance? Tolerance of bigotry?
In the public statement signed by prominent supporters of same-sex-marriage rights and reprinted in the Star Tribune May 2 under the headline “Persuade, don’t punish gay rights opponents” (May 2), I still see a resistance to the idea that gay marriage should be no more or less a privilege than marriage is for heterosexuals. The authors claim that we need bow to the churches, those high fomenters of xenophobia, so we can be sure that the spewing of their ideas flows freely.
Only a few decades ago, gays could — because of the misinformation posited by a coalition of those churches and the supposed intelligentsia — be incarcerated in prisons or mental institutions for life. They could, legally, be castrated or lobotomized. We have suffered at the hands of those in positions of power too long to tolerate bigotry, whether soft or hard, by people in positions of power.
Bigots are the kind of people who set themselves against the kind of communal cooperation that the authors argue is so necessary to our peaceful operation as a society. I am open to debate, but there are core principles that should not be debatable, but rather fought for by an accepting and inclusive society.
Don Anderson, Minneapolis
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The public statement was not without irony. One sentence stood out in particular: “As a viewpoint, opposition to gay marriage is not a punishable offense.” Actually, in Minnesota it is a punishable offense due to the refusal of same-sex-marriage proponents to include accommodations in marriage redefinition legislation to protect the religious liberty and conscience rights of those who object.
Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey makes it abundantly clear on his department’s website: “A business that provides wedding services such as cake decorating, wedding planning or services may not deny its services to a same-sex couple. Individuals denied any of the above services can file a charge with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.” The punishment for a marriage counselor, photographer or florist acting consistently with his or her beliefs about marriage can include heavy fines and even jail time.
Will the Minnesota legislators and law professors who signed the statement act on their lofty rhetoric and support legislation to protect the consciences of those with whom they disagree? Or is the letter just post-Mozilla damage control by the moderate members of an illiberal movement?
Jason Adkins, St. Paul
The writer is executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference.
Benghazi. Benghazi, Benghazi. Benghazi!
Judging from three May 2 letters, disappointment with our president has led to a new syntax, a new math and a new geography: [Noun] [verb] Benghazi. Los Angeles Clippers owner + quinoa + any hated federal agency = Benghazi. All roads lead to Benghazi.
Richard Robbins, Mankato, Minn.
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I want to thank the reader who chided the Strib staff for running quinoa recipes rather than covering the Benghazi story. It reminded me that I had forgotten to cut out the quinoa recipes before recycling the paper.
Jean Huwe, Bloomington