Yawn, ho-hum. Another school shooting. SWAT teams, police, first responders putting their lives on the line. Tanks brought in. Our local resources being drained for this chaos weekly. I am not sure what next horrific event it will take to help us come to our senses relative to guns in our country. A classroom of murdered 6-year-olds wasn’t enough; 58 killed and hundreds wounded at a country music concert wasn’t gruesome enough to even address the bump stock issue. Our society has been totally hijacked by the NRA and its bought-and-paid-for elected officials from top to bottom. The ransom being paid is our entire nation’s conscience. We must move to publicly financed campaigns to help rid our government of the vast influence of this association and others like it that have done such considerable damage to our society. The “concealed carry reciprocity” bill being introduced by members of the GOP is an outrage and needs to be soundly defeated.

Suzanne Davies, Lutsen, Minn.

• • •

I can’t think of anything more antithetical to states’ rights than the proposed “concealed carry reciprocity” law. What’s the point of each state passing its own gun laws — or any laws for that matter — if they can be legally undercut by visitors from another state?

Jill Schwimmer, Minneapolis

• • •

We need our Republican representatives in Congress to step up and finally free themselves from the hold the NRA has had on them for so long. So now another school shooting and more lives lost. There have got to be those in Congress who are willing to possibly lose their position in Congress to save hundreds of lives. What a reward!

Patti Korth, Edina

• • •

As a student in high school, I am the face of the future. With that comes much responsibility and hard choices. What classes should I take? What college should I attend? How should I contribute to society? All these choices create my future, yet I feel awfully powerless.

Wednesday’s school shooting was the sixth since the beginning of February. Kids my age who are attempting to build their future are facing the repercussions of the choices made by Congress and those 18 and older. It is easy to shut off the news and tell yourself that things are not going to change. People tell me all the time that if nothing changed after Sandy Hook, then nothing ever will.

Despite everything, I refuse to believe that. I refuse to believe that money and a gun is more important than a child’s life. I hold the least amount of say or power because I cannot even vote, but I wholeheartedly believe in change. My generation is experiencing the front line of the poor decisions made by past generations, and we have absolutely no say in it. I will not stand by while kids my age are dying in vain. Whether this changes the minds of zero or 100 people, I will not stop believing that change is good. In order for our country to grow and evolve, we must learn from our mistakes. With that, I encourage everyone to fight for policy change, fight for the good and fight for the future.

Sarah Rubin, Eden Prairie

HEALTH CARE

Yes! Allow the UnitedHealth Medicare fraud case to proceed!

Good for a U.S. district judge in allowing the UnitedHealth Medicare fraud case to proceed (Feb. 13). HMOs have never been audited for how they use taxpayer money. No one in Minnesota government has ever stood up to the HMOs and demanded accountability. Maybe this lawsuit will finally make the HMOs open their books and be accountable for the taxpayer money they receive to deliver health care.

Amber Garlan, St. Paul

POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

Two former Twin Cities mayors skills’ shouldn’t go to waste

We are sorry to see former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman leave the governor’s race (front page, Feb. 13). He is exceptionally qualified for the position. But this brings a larger dilemma. We now have two young, energetic and immensely capable former mayors — Coleman, and R.T. Rybak in Minneapolis — who could make a major difference on the national stage. How fortunate we have been to have both in the Twin Cities.

We need to find a way to share this talent with the rest of the country. Certainly the country needs them!

Janet Berry, Minneapolis

MARKET ECONOMY, PART I

When something is hard to get, like marijuana …

Regarding “Pot deals turn deadly even as legal, social attitudes relax” (Feb. 12), let’s be clear. These crimes are committed and the victims killed because of money. If sugar or coffee suddenly become hard to get, a black market would emerge and the same types of crime would ensue.

Mark Gortze, Maple Grove

MARKET ECONOMY, PART II

When something is in demand, like parking …

Come on, Minneapolis, make your city friendly! Twenty-nine bucks to park for less than two hours when we had to go to the downtown Hennepin County Government Center. That is horrid. Horrid. How can people who need to go there afford it? Come on! I can skip going downtown to shop or eat (thus avoiding paying for parking), and I will have to continue to do so, but sometimes there is business I must do that requires me to pay $29 for less than two hours of parking. Unreal.

Kerry Anderson, Plymouth

PRIORITIES

Signs of the times

A billboard above the soccer stadium being built in the Midway at University and Snelling avenues in St. Paul: “1 in 5 kids faces hunger.”

Priorities?

Sharon Fortunak, St. Paul

WINTER OLYMPICS

Congrats, you self-aggrandizing, flag-besmirching snowboarder

Dear Shaun White: Congratulations on your long-awaited redemption and winning another gold for the United States (“Halfpipe king reclaims crown,” Feb. 14). No, wait — upon being given our flag, you allowed it to drag on the ground and then stepped on it. It wasn’t for your country after all; it was just for you.

Maria Sampson, St. Anthony

MINNESOTA, NORTHWEST?

No, really, it was

In response to “It’s Midwest — just ask Dylan” (Readers Write, Feb. 14): The author has forgotten: Northwest Airlines now called Delta and Northwestern National Bank, later known as Norwest. People can quote Bob Dylan in support of many different positions, but I’ll bet that if you were to ask him to name “the brew that grew with the great Northwest,” he would tell you it was Schmidt beer.

Peggy Bonneville, St. Paul