In "Legal marijuana will lead us to a 'Brave New World' " (Opinion Exchange, April 11), the author draws parallels between legalized marijuana and the use of soma in Aldous Huxley's masterpiece. Marijuana, like soma, will be used to keep us docile and cooperative, content rather than creative. However, the author ignores three issues: (1) Marijuana will not be significantly more available than it is now; who cannot get marijuana, legal or not? (2) Use will not significantly increase — how many nonusers would rush out to buy some as soon as it was legal? (3) Alcohol is a much more dangerous drug, but its use has not lulled us all into a state of satisfied semiconsciousness.
There are issues associated with legalization, certainly, but drugging the population into submissiveness is not one of them.
An aside: When a college freshman can write an op-ed as clear and well-reasoned as this, it gives one hope for the future.
Nic Baker, Roseville
THE DEATH OF DAUNTE WRIGHT
Officer's actions scrutinized: intervention, muscle memory
I have watched the bodycam video of the shooting in slow-motion several times ("Police chief: Officer apparently meant to fire Taser, not gun, at Daunte Wright," April 13). I have a few points. Why on earth did the female officer even become involved? The male officer who was processing Daunte was handling the matter perfectly, yet we see the female almost push him away so she could get involved. I then see the bright yellow Taser on her left hip, but she draws the black gun from her right hip. Eight seconds elapse before she shoots Daunte.
As a trained and experienced officer, she had more than enough time to realize she was holding a lethal weapon and not the bright yellow Taser. Accident? I don't think so. In the U.K. Coroners Courts, an "accident" happens when something could not possibly have been foreseen and avoided. This is clearly not the case here. I am not saying the shooting of the gun itself was a deliberate act. But it was far from an accident.
Jake Pepper, Wallasey, England
The writer is a retired judicial officer.
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Constant repetition and practice create muscle memory that enables a guitarist to read music and instantaneously change chord positions in quick order without relying on prolonged thought processes. Similarly, a police officer with 26 years of repetitive training in drawing and firing a sidearm acquires muscle memory that may unconsciously deploy in a crisis situation whatever the triggering intent. Draw and fire. Draw and fire. Draw and fire …
William T. Fidurski, Clark, N.J.
OBEDIENCE AND DEFIANCE
If you like law and order, you shouldn't flout mask mandate
I find it very odd that the very people who so vocally support law and order so easily flout the rule of law when it comes to masks, as demonstrated by Lisa Hanson for her wine bar in Albert Lea ("Wine bar owner who ignored shutdown order goes on the lam," April 11). You can't have it both ways, people. Either you support the rule of law or you make yourself a hypocrite by making exceptions for yourself.
Mark Anderson, Ramsey
Didn't like that phrase, didn't like that pose
In his April 11 column "Mpls. fund striving for efficiency in philanthropy," Lee Schafer uses the following language: "go to school and eventually join the workforce."
I see this type of language often. Some individuals seem to believe a citizen's only contribution to the world is economic, but this is not the case. Sources on the internet say that "deliberating civilly, monitoring the government, building coalitions, managing conflict peacefully and fairly, and petitioning, speaking or testifying before public bodies" are all part of good citizenship. The Star Tribune and Schafer do a disservice to all of us by leading some to believe joining the workforce is the only duty of a citizen.
Bob Janckila, Dassel, Minn.
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Was I the only one who did a double take upon the front-page photo of five legislators — all of whom happen to be women — in front of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial? ("Capitol gains: More women are in the Legislature than ever before, and changing it," April 11.) I'm disgusted that these women all felt they had to pose in fashion-model style, and that the (male) photographer didn't eke out a better shot. Perpetuating stereotypes much? I suppose decorum and tradition dictate such a pose by female legislators, but what a double standard!
Kristi N. Gibson, Bloomington
OPINIONS YOU DON'T LIKE
If you'll have none of it, you'll never learn a thing
I was disheartened to read the April 11 letter "I'll have none of it" regarding sports and politics. Not because of the letter writer's position that sports should not be engaged in politics. Rather because the letter writer states that because he didn't agree with an article he was reading that supported the opposite stance, he "did not finish the column, and ... will not read anything written by [the author] in the future." Shouldn't this be the intent of opinion articles: to help the reader become acquainted with opposing ideas and rationale? In the hope that we can then find areas of connection and support and compromise? We cannot achieve this if we don't finish the article.
Nancy Killilea, Edina
My brother was on that ship
I was surprised when seeing and reading the April 11 article regarding the finding of the U.S.S. Johnston ("Deep-water explorers find WWII ship sunk in 1944," April 11), because my brother Reinhart Stangl was on that ship. He was from Pierz, Minn.
The ship was captained by Ernest Evans. It was commissioned Oct. 27, 1943.
On the morning of Oct. 25, 1944, the Japanese fleet was headed toward Leyte Gulf on a surprise attack. Evans was the first to engage the enemy. They were totally outgunned. He had 5-inch shells vs. the Japanese 16-inch shells. They fought bravely for three hours until they were hit by many shells and sank.
My brother was a Fireman 1st Class. He was in charge of sending oil to the two engines. He lived in the water for one day and disappeared the second night. Of the 327 officers and men aboard during that battle, 186 were lost. The highest-ranking survivor was Robert Billie — he was in the water for 54 hours, then rescued.
Cmdr. Evans was seen leaving the ship but was never found. He was awarded the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart.
Lee Stangl, Brooklyn Park
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