A headline on the June 20 front page read "Rising gun crimes defy answers." Well, no. The article gives a very thorough review of the gun violence occurrences in the state, of which we are all aware. But the answers are as plain as the nose on our face. The last year has seen a proliferation of the purchase of guns, and where there are more guns, more guns are used. This summer has seen a huge increase in gun violence, tragically of children and random and bystander shootings. What are the answers? On a personal level, if you are going to be out and about, at parties or in bars and restaurants, leave your guns at home. If you have guns in your home, be sure that they are locked safely in a gun cabinet, or equipped with a trigger locking device with ammunition stored separately from the weapon. On a societal level, the common-sense gun laws, which are all favored by a majority of Americans, need to be passed: universal background checks for all gun sales including private sellers. Registration of all weapons so that crimes can be tracked; automobiles are registered, and no one objects to that; why are guns any different? Red-flag laws, which would temporarily remove weapons from a person who is a danger to themselves or others. Banning assault weapons, which are not useful for hunting purposes, and which have been used in a number of mass shootings. Banning "ghost" guns, which are built from kits that are a runaround for avoiding having a serial number.

The answers will not be immediate, but gradually we will see a turnaround. When Connecticut strengthened its background-check law, that state saw a 40% reduction in homicides and a 15.4% reduction in suicides. States with this type of policy experienced a decrease in homicide rates in their major city centers. Also check out Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey. By contrast, when Missouri repealed its permitting law and background-check requirement in 2007, that state saw a 16.1% increase in firearm suicide and a more than 20% increase in firearm homicide rates. There is nothing magical, nothing mysterious, about these answers. Gun violence does not "defy answers." All it takes is for Republican legislators to follow the nose on their face, i.e., statistics, and act.

Robert Kriesel, Stillwater


As usual, we ask the wrong questions.

The solutions to gun violence are not a mystery: Stop selling handguns, remove most of the existing guns from private possession, criminalize the sale of guns to all but a verifiable, vetted set of individuals, and end the culture of poverty that produces the despair that fuels violence. The right question to ask is, are we willing to do what is required to actually end the casual and deadly use of handguns? So far the answer seems to be no.

George Hutchinson, Minneapolis


The Sunday Star Tribune is quite thick, but in all those pages on June 20 a particularly alarming statement jumped right off a single page, A10. In its own way, it completely summarizes the issue of gun crimes in Minneapolis: "[D]etectives are carrying such high caseloads that some shootings with no obvious suspect sometimes aren't even assigned." Is analysis even needed to grasp the gut-wrenching messages of that harsh reality?

Jim Bartos, Maple Grove


A June 20 letter writer lamented the fact that people simply "grab the gun, load it up and start shooting. No training, no target practice. Thus we have wildly shot bullets striking innocent children and bystanders." So, what's the solution? Train gang members and other criminals to hit what they aim at, thus killing only intended targets?

James Dunn, Edina


A front-page headline in last Sunday's edition read "Rising gun crimes defy answers." Really!

No one has any ideas? You announce to all that you have no faith in your Police Department and you plan to eliminate it altogether. Disrespected and unsupported officers are leaving your "enlightened" community in droves. And your lunatic City Council has no clue as to why crime is rising through the roof?

Perhaps the left-wing government "leaders" should themselves go into the violent streets to "solve" the problem. Then, perhaps, they could learn for themselves what difficulties brave and dedicated police officers have to face everyday (but I personally I doubt that these clowns have the capacity to see anything beyond their own twisted "logic").

As for me and my family, we live about 100 miles from the Twin Cities, and that is as close as we will ever come again.

Good luck to those who still choose to live and work there. You're going to need it.

Jerry D. Ames, Austin, Minn.


When the gun wielders who are shooting and killing each other are asked why they do it, do they respond that the answer to stopping it — because wouldn't most stop it if they could? — is "affordable housing, health initiatives and other services supporting communities of color" and fewer cops, as activists claim? Shouldn't they be asked? It could be something done in the short term, because between now and then, when we could accomplish those larger goals? How many more children and young adults and adults will have been gunned down on our streets, in their backyards, sitting at their dining room table doing homework?

Diane Adair, St. Louis Park


The city won't stand for this

The Star Tribune Editorial Board ("Looking for clues in Mpls. council picks," June 16) and two Sunday letter writers ("Wide open election? It's clear residents know what they want," Readers Write) made the same error. They wrote under the assumption that those who determine DFL endorsement for Minneapolis city offices are similar to residents and voters in the November election. They are not.

Since 1993 Minneapolis has been a one-party city, and in the seven city elections since then DFL endorsement has commonly carried the day. That's because in a city that has worked pretty well, activists DFLers made their endorsements and other, non-activist Democrats took that as their cue.

Since the 2017 election (and the election before that to some degree) the Minneapolis DFL Party apparatus has been in the hands of Bernie Sanders activists. I've nothing against Bernie Sanders, but he hardly represents the majority of city residents.

The DFL activists are in for a big surprise this November, because unlike all previous elections back to 1993, the city is not working well. Crime rate and police head counts are moving in opposite directions. Downtown has emptied out, posing grave threats to the city tax base. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board went way out of its lane and decided to try to solve homelessness, rendering parks unavailable to the rest of the community. And more.

This year about three dozen candidates with knowledge, experience and common sense are running for the various offices on the ballot. Between now and November they will make the case as to how they can improve governance — which has nowhere to go but up — and bring back a city that is safe, just and well-managed. Ordinary citizens, even though most probably consider themselves Democrats, will seek out these candidates, and will reject the incumbents and others who have put our great city in considerable peril.

David J. Therkelsen, Minneapolis

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