Today, Americans will gather, light candles, say a prayer, and honor the memory of the 20 children and six educators who died two years ago when a heavily armed young man entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. There have been almost 100 shootings at schools since.
After Sandy Hook, a conversation started by a group of moms on Facebook asked: What can we do to prevent another such tragedy? To help prevent gun violence? That conversation is now a movement of moms (and dads), and it has a name — Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
As a supporter of Moms Demand Action, I have seen the amazing work we can accomplish. We have lobbied the Legislature, have spoken with the governor and have enlisted our neighbors to be gun-sense voters — folks who make sure to look at a candidate’s stance on keeping our children safe.
There are now 2.5 million members of Moms Demand Action, with a chapter in every state, and we’ve signed up 1 million gun-sense voters. We’ve convinced major corporations like Target, Chipotle and Starbucks to adopt gun-sense policies.
Recently, a mom who lost her daughter that day at Sandy Hook told our founder Shannon Watts that she wanted to hear from people who care. She wants people to say: “I won’t forget your daughter; I’m praying for you, and I’m taking action.”
This Sunday, and every day, we remember and pray. And we will take action. Will you?
Leah Auckenthaler, Minneapolis
U.S. SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR
Decent, yes, but there are a few problems …
I felt like Rip Van Winkle when I saw the Star Tribune’s Dec. 7 profile on U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (“Klobuchar’s profile, prospects on rise”). It must be 2018, I thought as I read what I assumed to be the Star Tribune’s glowing endorsement for her re-election. This kind of puff piece has no business on the front page of a newspaper that claims journalistic independence.
Klobuchar is a good and decent person and has represented our state with dignity and class. Her intellectual rigor and work ethic are great assets to have on Capitol Hill.
However, to moderate and conservative Minnesotans, her voting record should be troubling. Just last month, she again opposed the Keystone Pipeline, a common-sense, environmentally sound energy project that would create some 9,000 American jobs. She also is an unapologetic supporter of the disastrous and job-killing Affordable Care Act. How can she be heralded as a bridge to compromise when, as same story notes as an afterthought, she votes with her own party almost all (92 percent) of the time?
And while this newspaper was critical of former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s presidential ambitions, our senior senator’s potential sights on higher office seem to be a source of pride for the Star Tribune.
Such articles make it hard for readers like me to believe this newspaper lacks a political agenda and wonder how solid the wall is between the newsroom and the Editorial Board.
Andy Brehm, Minneapolis
• • •
Klobuchar’s vote on Keystone is a prime example of her strategy to increase her presence on the national scene.
The pipeline, which is supported by labor in Minnesota, was a major project for U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu in her bid for re-election. Even though the president would have vetoed it, voters in Louisiana would have seen that Landrieu had some political power.
Instead, Klobuchar (along with Sen. Al Franken) opposed the measure, which failed by one vote, and Landieu was thrown under the bus. Apparently the hedge-fund managers and other large donors in California who oppose the project are more important to Klobuchar than is a fellow female Democratic senator.
One hopes that Klobuchar realizes that she was elected to represent the best interests of the people of Minnesota rather than people living in Beverly Hills and San Francisco.
Tom Carlson, St. Paul
• • •
So, the good senator took time from a hectic schedule to squeeze in a call to the CEO of a multibillion-dollar medical device company to chat about her effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s medical device tax, something the very wealthy med-tech industry is spending millions to accomplish. No mention in the story, or any news story, of her talking with low-income people who will be directly hurt by loss of $2 billion-plus annually in health-care subsidies if the tax is repealed. I hope the snub isn’t because poorer folks can’t afford expensive lobbyists or lavish politicians with campaign donations.
Ron Way, Edina
What are the limits? Is it even a question?
There should be no division of opinion on torture. It is not a partisan issue. It has been defined and rightly outlawed universally. To those who support its use, please ask yourselves if you would accept these methods for your family members. Detention is one thing; abuse is another. Don’t buy the poison. Why argue the false dichotomy between drone attacks and torture except for partisan purposes? They both violate human rights and due process.
Grave mistakes were made after the events of 9/11. Policymakers of all political stripes rushed to a “war” that could never be anything but a metaphor. The perpetrators were all incinerated; who would pay? Ah, terrorists — to be defined as — whomever, especially if they lived in the Middle East. Have we destroyed more terrorists than we have created by this “war?” President George W. Bush’s question — “Why do they hate us?” — has yet to be explored. It’s not our freedom; it is our license. Ask Dzhokhar Tsarnaev when he is tried.
Mary K. Lund, Minnetonka
• • •
I often thought, during my family-raising time, about what I would do if my child or wife or other loved ones were kidnapped and were threatened with death unless impossible ransom demands were met. While many avenues of approach to save them were considered, there was one that was commonly and immediately excluded: adherence to moral code. If it were possible that I could find someone with knowledge of their location or who could provide me with names of the perpetrators, there would be no limit to my ways to learn the needed information from that person. Call it situational morality, hypocrisy, cruelty, what you will — my attempt to save their lives would know no bounds. I would not stand atop a windswept hill, tears in my eyes and a noble look of loving morality and gaze upon their tombstones.
My heartfelt gratitude goes out to those in positions of authority after 9/11 for their courage to do what was needed to not only bring to justice those responsible for the murder of 3,000 human beings but also for their continuing efforts to prevent such a thing from happening again. If there is a God, he will keep you next to him. America’s message to terrorists comes from Macbeth: “Lay on, Macduff, and damned be he who first cries, ‘Hold, enough!’ ”
Mike Auspos, Ramsey