Opinion editor's note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes letters from readers online and in print each day. To contribute, click here.


There is a lot of blame to be applied in the Burnsville killing of two policemen and a paramedic. Who sold this man the guns and the ammunition? ("Lives lost despite ban," Feb. 20.) Who knew this dangerous person had the guns? The guilty should be identified and those guilty of a crime should be punished. Those guilty of bad judgment should be offered appropriate guidance.

Do we do anything to monitor those who are legally banned from gun ownership? We should.

The politicians and influencers who are opposed to effective gun safety laws are guilty in these three deaths and many, many others. Shame on them and the voters who keep them in power.

It is entirely possible to have effective gun safety laws and allow people to have weapons for sport shooting. Let's make society safer by passing effective gun safety laws.

Mark Brakke, Coon Rapids


Guns: We can't live with them, but maybe we can live without them.

Joseph Wright, Bloomington


It's about how and when to restrain

The recent Star Tribune editorial "Find a fix to aid cops in schools" (Feb. 16) is representative of the inaccuracies and distractions our coalition has faced at the Capitol.

Prone restraints are anything but "reasonable." The Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians is opposed to the use of prone restraints in school; its written testimony called it an "extreme act" that can lead to brain damage and cardiac arrest.

Additionally, staff have not been "banned from using prone restraints since 2015." That year saw a ban on prone restraint only for students with disabilities. The 2023 law expanded that ban to all students, except in the cases of threats to bodily harm or death.

There has been a call for "clarity" regarding the 2023 law, so let's clarify the spirit and intent of the law: The state should ensure dangerous holds are only used on schoolchildren in situations of violence.

The editorial claimed advocates believe these holds are "more likely" to be used on students of color. We don't believe it's more likely; we know. Annual data on restrictive procedures from our Department of Education shows these holds are used more often on students of color and lead to student injury on a daily basis in Minnesota schools.

Our advocacy is not about whether school resource officers belong in schools. It's about setting reasonable limits on who, how and why adults can put their hands on your child while in school. No adult, whether they are a teacher, a principal, a security guard or an SRO, needs to use violent holds on children in nonviolent situations. It's that simple.

Matt Shaver, Minneapolis

The writer is a member of the Solutions Not Suspensions Coalition.


Everyone agreed to this

In her commentary, Laura Zabel used words like "unethical" and "exploitation" to describe the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's treatment of artists who play for free at the park events around the city ("Minneapolis Park Board must stop exploiting artists," Opinion Exchange, Feb. 19). Did the Park Board break an agreement with the artists? Did they trick artists into playing? I don't think so. They offered musicians an opportunity to perform without compensation and apparently musicians agreed to this arrangement. Hardly an example of exploitation or unethical behavior. If groups feel they should be paid for their performance, then they should get a paying gig — as many do. Zabel's points about the value of arts in our lives and that arts funding needs to increase are good ones. I welcome increased arts funding, but this effort should not be the Park Board's burden.

Kevin James Yellick, Minneapolis


Do I really have to spell this out?

This is in response to Paula Chesley's commentary "Toplessness laws: Still around, still unjust, and getting complicated" (Opinion Exchange, Feb. 17). Her premise that there is no difference between the male and female breast because both have milk ducts is just wrong. The truth is that the female breast is a sexual stimulus for most men. The truth is if you were to take a poll, probably 90% of men would say breasts are a factor in what arouses them. Women, on the other hand, may admire a man's chest, but most would need emotional stimulus and/or touch to become aroused due to the way women's brains work. To say there is no difference between a man and a woman's breast is like saying there is no difference between a tree and a flower because they both have leaves.

Furthermore, I would not want my 10- to 15-year-old daughters running around topless just because they can, and assume no man would take notice! Would you?

Anne M. Aune, Rosemount


Back to the city-state

After all the kerfuffle over the state flag, now people are saying that Minneapolis needs a new city flag! ("Slogans, flags and snark," Readers Write, Feb. 16.) What on earth does Minneapolis need a flag for? Something for the boys to rally 'round when they go to war with St. Paul?

Surely there are better ways to spend money and acrimony than arguing over superfluous flag designs.

Steve Hoffmann, Anoka


They really do help you heal

Regarding Dick Schwartz's Feb. 14 "Love letters revisited" and letters responding to it ("The conversation never dies," Readers Write, Feb. 17) — I, too, was uplifted. And like the letter writer of "The conversation never dies," when my dear husband, Michael, died nearly three years ago, not only was I grief-stricken but regretful that I didn't say all the loving, compassionate things I might have. So I purchased a dozen beautiful journals and began to write him every evening, telling him how much he meant to me, how much I missed him and sharing my day with him — what I did, who I saw, how our children were doing. It's a wonderful exercise, keeping him close, and helping me to heal little by little. I've filled up 11 of the journals so far and perhaps one day our children will read them, to see how very much I loved their father.

Thanks to both Dick and the letter writer for sharing.

Sharri Kinkead, Hudson, Wis.


Nothing like the printed page

The morning has broken. We're up and out of bed being about our morning routines: bathroom, dressing and prayer. Next for me in our ritualized day is going out for the newspapers: a jacket for the cold, a short stroll down the driveway, all the while taking in the fresh winter air, the rising sun, the crush of snow underfoot. What a joy to meet the day outside en route to getting the paper and, on arrival, reaching into our outdated, faded and cracked newspaper sleeve attached to our wobbly mailbox. These days it's a solitary journey. No one goes out for the paper anymore. It's screens and social media, digital now. Yes, I'm online for a couple of national papers but how I would miss that little trip and occasionally unexpected joy were it not for going out to get my copies of the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune.

Daniel V. Pearson, West St. Paul