Although I agree with the June 15 letter writer who wrote about the Republicans’ opposition to gun control, in light of the June 14 shooting, I really think he should have waited, at least a couple of weeks, before going there.
I once felt the wind from a bullet whizzing right by the side of my head. A police officer was shot, but fortunately not killed, in that same incident. (The shot went through the palm of his hand.) I can personally tell you, from that experience, that one day after the occurrence is simply not the time to be lecturing the victims.
Karl D. Sommer, Bloomington
• • •
As our nation becomes more entrenched in gun violence, most of us think this is an unacceptable way to live. These incidents, taken one by one, are deep and heavy and individual and provide an almost impossible basis upon which to enact good government policy. The variables are just too many, the scope too broad.
The fact is we will never know what motivates a shooter until afterward, if then. It cannot be and never will be predicted. Mental illness, hatred of a particular party, a grudge against an employer are all black holes of understanding. Shooters come from all geographic areas of the U.S. and include all colors, religions, educational levels and family entities.
If we are serious about ending gun violence, we must stop wasting time and breath shifting through the unknowable variables that are a constant topic of discussion after such heinous events.
There is exactly one constant we can zero in on when considering a solution: guns.
Concentrating our efforts on what we actually know and can see provides a more realistic basis for practical legislation to make us all safer. Common-sense gun laws are urgently needed.
Laura Isensee, Eden Prairie
• • •
The consternation of Congress would be comical if I weren’t still mourning Sandy Hook. Yes, you federal servants of the people, “they” are shooting at you. You were our hope all along through all of the homegrown terror we’ve lived through to do something to stop the insane glut of guns in our country. “They” were shooting at the rest of us.
You who are living on our dime and ill-gotten gains from a gun lobby, insurance lobby and drug lobby will next take health insurance from 25 million people, and you’ll be causing the death of more children. By the way, the rest of us do not go forth protected by federally trained and funded personal protection.
I spent a long and happy career teaching in lower elementary in public schools. I keep the full-page photos of the children and teacher heroes of Sandy Hook, printed in the Minneapolis newspaper that December, on my refrigerator. Many of you claim to be Christians. How are you to care for the least of these?
Darlene Martinson Ross, Benson, Minn.
• • •
The left-leaning mainstream media and Democratic Party are complicit in the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others at the GOP baseball practice. It was only a matter of time before something as heinous as this act of cowardice was bound to unfold. Both of these entities are so intent on taking down this sitting president at any cost with their lies, vicious slander, innuendo and false narratives. The hate and vitriol that is spewed by the unhinged left is really disgusting, and disgraceful to witness. Their violent nationwide protests, attempts at silencing free speech on our college campuses and intolerance of any viewpoints but their own run contrary to everything America stands for. The American people need to wake up to these seditious acts from the left and start ridiculing and condemning them for the treasonous acts they are perpetuating and condoning from their maniacal supporting base.
Bryan Berg, Holdingford, Minn.
• • •
In the interest of the common good, and by example, following the writer’s advice, I would like to provide “A reasonable reaction to an unreasonable action” (June 15). I write in response to the concluding remarks of David Banks, who describes a quote from President Donald Trump’s speech as “universal”: “… that everyone who serves in our nations’s capital is here because, above all, they love their country.” To this statement, there is one outstanding exception — the president of the United States. Given his unrelenting personal attacks against numerous respected U.S. citizens, including those who have been or are currently in service to the nation, I find no clear evidence to indicate that the president — above all — loves his country.
Steve Watson, Minneapolis
• • •
The shooting at the Republican baseball practice has brought into focus the civility, or lack thereof, between Republican and Democratic congresspersons, as repeatedly referenced on TV. This brought to mind a book I have, published in 2002, titled “Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct,” by P.M. Forni. Copyright laws prevent me from quoting the rules; however, it might be informative and influential for each congressperson to read this small but significant book.
Melvin Ogurak, Eden Prairie
It’s not just shootings at issue
In her June 13 commentary, Lisa Tibbitts suggests that fear and mistrust of law enforcement is unjustified because the risk of being killed by a police officer is low. But police officers can engage in conduct short of homicide that causes great fear and mistrust among citizens. Racial profiling, aggressive stop-and-frisk policies directed toward minorities and, in rare cases, outright racism among law enforcement all contribute to diminished trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Just a few years ago, several off-duty Minneapolis police officers went to Green Bay, Wis., where they fought with black men and made racial slurs in the presence of other police officers. Such conduct may not result in death, but it does not inspire trust or confidence.
Law enforcement and citizens suffer when citizens don’t trust those who are sworn to protect and serve them. Regardless of the jury’s verdict in the Philando Castile case, it is worth considering what causes that mistrust. The oft-cited police training mantra “better to be tried by 12 than carried by six” causes people to legitimately question whether those sworn to protect and serve them value civilian lives. Most civilians stopped for traffic offenses pose no threat to law enforcement — they simply want to return home to their families, as do police officers. Beginning every interaction between police and civilians with this simple thought in mind would save lives, and restore trust.
Terrance Newby, Roseville
$15 MINIMUM WAGE
On a cost-of-living basis, Mpls. is poised to become generous
New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles are frequently mentioned as having already passed a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Never discussed is the cost of living in these cities. In the most recent survey I could find, they rank, in order, as the third, fourth and 12th most-costly cities in the U.S. Coming in at 32nd is Minneapolis-St. Paul. You cannot compare wages in different cities without comparing the cost of living in them.
Judith Erickson, Bloomington
• • •
To the three assumptions mentioned by Keith Ellison’s June 15 commentary, I’d add another. We seem to elide the widespread belief that customers must not pay more for their orders, no matter what happens to wages. Who says? Who dictates that prices for coffees, meals, etc., are at the “right” cost point and should not be raised to allow for a server’s living wage? Why shouldn’t customers pay the actual cost of preparing and serving their orders? Business owners lament that raising these minimum wages would cut into their bottom line, but can’t they all raise their prices?
Until that happens, consider this: I was in the habit of tipping about 20 percent for a long time, then stopped to think: What if I raised that to 25 percent? In most cases, it would amount to $1 to $1.50 per meal, and at about 50 meals out per year, that would cost me a total of just $50 to $75 annually. If we all did that, it would make a big difference to the server, so it was easy to make that adjustment, and it’s the right thing to do.
Mary McLeod, St. Paul