The Star Tribune’s special report on the meth crisis in Minnesota (April 29) was shocking. This crisis follows articles on the opioid crisis, the heroin crisis, the cocaine crisis and every other crisis born from the cartels that market drugs and human smuggling. Why is it such a mystery that one way to control drugs, crime and crippling social welfare starts with immigration reform and border control? Only one party stalls immigration reform. Is it the hope that poor Latinos will replace the African-American voter as the key to power? The situation is obvious, and so are the solutions.

Gary Qualley, Excelsior

JUVENILE JUSTICE

Answer: Attention before the fact, not afterward

It is very amusing the Star Tribune writes an editorial about helping juvenile crime offenders adjust to society (“Be more pragmatic about juvenile justice,” April 29). I recommend equal attention to early childhood development (“State knows too little about early ed efforts,” April 30). Study after study confirms that many illegal activities could be drastically reduced. There would be less poverty, less mental illness, less violence, less crime and fewer damaging addictions. Of course, there would be less juvenile crime, meaning members of society would need rehabilitation. Let’s get to the core of the problem. Let’s act instead of react. Let’s not be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Years zero to 6 are the foundation of a person’s life. I am a realist, not a Pollyanna, and know not all problems can be eradicated. But a much better job can be done to ensure that we have a more fair society. This will give lasting spiritual, economic, health and other benefits to the citizenry.

Gordon Hayes, Shakopee

GUN RIGHTS

‘Normal people,’ advocate says, but what of normal concerns?

After reading and rereading the story about Sarah Cade, “a self-described liberal gun nut” (“Aiming to change the debate,” May 3), I was left with some burning questions for her.

If you are against better gun laws, does that mean you find it acceptable that nearly 100 people are killed by guns every day in America?

Do you find it acceptable that our gun homicide rate is more than 25 times the average of other high-income countries?

Do you believe that your right to have unlimited access to guns for sport is more important than the American public’s right to not be shot?

Do “gun nuts” think about the common good and how to improve safety for all?

Jill Nelson, Minneapolis

• • •

Our family has been touched by a mass school shooting, so I read the article about Sarah Cade with interest. She a responsible gun owner who is a “stickler for safety” and is “vigilant about careful gun handling procedures.” She rationalizes gun ownership on the basis of competition, which requires skill and training, and defense. She appears as a model for how responsible gun owners should act caring for guns. But if the issue is the debate on gun safety, where is the advocacy for correcting the failings of existing legislation, e.g., closing the background check or the Charleston loophole? Where is the advocacy for repealing the Dickey amendment, which prevents the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching gun violence, or a ban on the bump stocks that make semi-automatic rifles into something they are not supposed to be. These are not “bad faith government restrictions.” They are common-sense measures to improve gun safety. Ms. Cade has an opportunity to be a unique and sensible voice for the gun lobby — advocating reasonable improvements to the existing framework of firearm legislation. Let’s hope the gun lobby doesn’t squander it.

Fred Beier, Edina

U.S. SENATE RACE

We wish Painter had stuck with our non-major-party movement

The news of Richard Painter’s choice to seek the DFL endorsement for Al Franken’s former U.S. Senate seat has left the Paula Overby for U.S. Senate campaign disappointed (“Bush ethics lawyer will run for Senate,” April 30). After Painter’s work with Paula Overby’s campaign for the Second Congressional District in 2014 and a potentially promising relationship with the Independence Party of Minnesota, we were hoping that he would take part in the Purple Coalition, an agreement between third parties and independents to support each other in the upcoming elections.

We respect Painter’s choice to seek the endorsement of the DFL Party but believe it is counterproductive to the shared goal of getting money out of politics. The corporate Democratic Party has shown time and time again that it does not share this goal of combating corruption. This goal was brought to the forefront by the U.S. senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, in the 2016 primaries, but has since been ignored. The Democratic Party has even gone as far as purging progressives from its leadership so that the issue could continue to be neglected. Labor unions and progressive candidates have seen these actions for what they are and are seeking to leave, if not already left, the party. Most notable of these progressive candidates is Tim Canova, former Democratic but now independent candidate for Florida’s 23rd Congressional District who will be challenging incumbent Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, for the seat.

Unfortunately, recent history predicts a disappointing conclusion to Mr. Painter’s run for the DFL nomination; however, this only emphasizes what happens when a candidate moves from challenging the corporate establishment to obeying its rules. Nonetheless, we wish him good luck.

Adam Schneider, Shakopee

The writer is a campaign volunteer for Paula Overby for U.S. Senate.

• • •

I am not a resident of Minnesota, but I hope you will hear me out. Richard Painter is a breath of hope for all of us who feel so disenfranchised (“Bush ethics lawyer cuts ties to GOP,” May 1). I am an old woman. I was raised as an Army brat. My love of my country is boundless. I feel betrayed by our current administration.

The stand that Painter has taken gives me a flutter of hope. My wish is that he can exert some influence on other Republicans to rethink their priorities. Are donations to their future campaigns truly more important to them than the welfare of this country I love?

I have no right to expect to be heard, but I simply needed to congratulate Mr. Painter on his courageous stand. May more members of the Republican Party think deeply about the United States.

Dorothy Scheller, Hillsboro, Ore.

‘YOUNG PEOPLE IN OBITS’

Let’s not hide reasons, nor grief

A heartfelt thank you to Gregg Larson for his May 2 commentary “Young people in obits: When silence isn’t golden.” Mr. Larson has given me the courage to stand up and speak out on the stigma attached to families suffering from mental illness and drug addiction. We lost our beloved daughter in 2017 to bipolar/depression and drug addiction. Friends and family knew of her battle and of our heartbreak, but their silence and apathetic disregard after her death has only compounded our grieving process. Perhaps if our daughter had died from a more acceptable disease such as cancer, our grieving would somehow be more legitimized. And of course, we as parents are to blame for her illness. A parent’s broken heart needs acknowledgment regardless of the cause of death.

We need more personal and public dialogue like the one on AIDS/HIV so we can rightfully dignify the death and grief that surrounds mental illness and drug addiction. We need more compassionate hearts that listen without judgment and honor the parents whose child has died from these debilitating diseases. God bless the child and their parents who are asked to suffer in silence.

Joanne D. Henderson, North Oaks