I can't help but think that perhaps the best way to "Back the Blue" and show our support for the police is to begin trying to reduce the number and availability of guns on the streets. Doesn't that somehow make sense?

The ease with which guns can be acquired, along with their prevalence, must be among the biggest stressors for the officers who we ask to do so much. And those same factors might lead them to believe they will be staring down the barrel of a gun on every call. I can't imagine living with that fear or functioning under that possibility.

Maybe it's time to stop worshiping the false god of a constitutional amendment that is over 200 years old, written in a completely different time, and consider putting the same energy, passion and innovation into preserving human life and common sense.

Keep your guns. I am not advocating taking them all away. I am just asking that, for all those who fly the flags or display the signs about supporting the police, be willing to consider all the ways you could really actually do so that might matter more than just those words.

Liz Malanaphy, Hudson, Wis.

DOLAL IDD

What's justified and what's not

Did the hundreds of peaceful protesters walking in south Minneapolis this past Sunday following the shooting of Dolal Idd watch the same body camera footage as me? Did they see the window fragments spraying outward as Idd fired the first shot after he attempted to flee the gun sting? ("Gun sting led up to shooting by police," front page, Jan. 5.) What events, before or after the video cut released by the Minneapolis Police Department, could possibly make the climax of the video more conclusive?

I fully acknowledge, empathize and support the racial justice movement catalyzed by the killing of George Floyd and the revamping of the Police Department. I understand that institutional trust in the MPD is rightly at an all-time low, so I don't blame those who instinctively question the narrative pushed by such a distrustful institution. However, what else is needed to override this stretched emotional response to an individual provoking the police? Will we ever again perceive these natural progressions in an escalated situation as justified? Do I dare suggest Idd was an alleged arms dealer — a criminal — experiencing the consequences of his life's actions and that he shouldn't be branded a victim? These unfortunate circumstances need to be acknowledged, emotionally digested and responded to independently without the broad brush of systemic racism being uniformly applied and blurring the line between rational and irrational community responses.

Sam Schoephoerster, Circle Pines
• • •

The death of Dolal Idd once again raises questions of disproportional lethal force used against suspects. Are there not better ways to de-escalate and disarm other than a slaughter, with over a dozen rounds fired at Mr. Idd? Methods must change. This is carnage!

Charles Corcoran, Stillwater

JAN. 6 JOINT SESSION

Please rejoin the real world

The upcoming farcical charade on Jan. 6 to challenge the acceptance of the Electoral College count, orchestrated by Sen. Josh Hawley and Rep. Mo Brooks, should make intelligent, patriotic Americans sick to their stomachs. Full-time golfer and part-time president Donald Trump has urged on this seditious behavior and is inciting his followers to act on totally unproven, specious charges. Some Republicans have said they want President-elect Joe Biden to prove there wasn't widespread election fraud. That's like me asking you to prove that you didn't commit the latest Minneapolis bank robbery. It's absurd, isn't it? You can't prove a negative, nor is there any constitutional requirement to do so.

No, in the real world, where Trump was trounced by 7 million votes, it is up to the loser to prove there was fraud, if any. After having an army of attorneys, over 50 lawsuits and multiple judges and hand counts of ballots look at the 2020 presidential election results, the Republican Party has come up with diddly-squat. Now they want to perhaps permanently taint the process that has distinguished America from tinpot dictatorships — the rational, peaceful and gracious transfer of power from one political party to another. What a shameful end to a shameful presidency.

Stephen Kriz, Maple Grove

COVID VACCINES

We all got the shot, but it was slow

Our nursing facility was fortunate to be one of the first nursing homes in the state to receive the COVID vaccination. We received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 29. All of our residents received the vaccine. As a nursing home administrator, I am extremely grateful that the vaccine was both available for my residents and that all of them chose to receive it. As a small nursing home with just 21 residents, we have been blessed by God to be one of the few nursing homes in the state that has not had a COVID case among its residents!

Having worked with state and federal agencies for many years their bureaucracy is something I have come to expect. Our experience with the actual administration of the vaccine shots was no different. As a nursing home we were required to contract with a vaccine provider to administer the shots. There were six contracted personnel present from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. to administer 31 shots (staff included!). That is a total of 33 work hours or an average of more than one hour for every shot given! Why? The paperwork, signatures, database entry, etc. The public wonders why the rollout of the vaccine is taking so long and lagging behind the projections! If instead they had dropped off the vaccine and let my nurses administer it, I am sure we could have done those same shots in less than two hours by one nurse. Of course then we would not have had three people entering information into the system, making sure all copies of forms were signed and dated and that everyone received a card letting them know they were vaccinated and with which vaccine — all important details, but our country's reliance upon bureaucracy is hindering our efficiency.

Jeff Sprinkel, Deephaven
• • •

It is much easier to follow the daily COVID-19 death rate than the Minnesota vaccine rate. Where are the charts maps for that?

Over 75 and in the dark,

Richard Moe, Roseville

Opinion editor's note: Readers interested in the state's vaccination progress may find daily updates at tinyurl.com/mnCOVIDvax.

THE NEW YEAR

We can't just wish away 2020

I hear a lot of people saying "good riddance" to 2020.

A new year begins now, as a door to another time that cannot again be closes. Yet we cannot rid ourselves of what was nor should we ever wish to do so. That time is part of us — its loves and triumphs as well as its sadness and its heartaches.

Without the past the future cannot be. And yes, this past year of the plague has been hard in all its losses. But we should not pray for a life without pain, but rather pray for the ability to remove ourselves from such — or if we cannot, then to at least understand and accept that which cannot be removed.

If we cannot achieve that, then we will find neither necessary growth nor sufficient wisdom to go on and be successful in our being. 2020 is part of us and always should be.

Don Anderson, Minneapolis

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