How can we not all be filled with outrage over the senseless killing and shooting of young children? When do we start to push back? We have spent the past year castigating ourselves over George Floyd's death. Floyd's killing was wrong; the perpetrator has been convicted.
Let's make the civilian shootings of other civilians our highest priority. Let's discuss plausible solutions. Not one more child's life can be taken by someone, possibly gang members, shooting at someone else. I don't know what skin color the shooters have and I don't know what color skin the victims have. Just that the victims are children.
Floyd and his family have justice. We need the police force to stop the shootings and to stop the crime. Let's pull our heads out of the sand and acknowledge that social workers cannot accomplish this task.
Let's use our energy, our financial resources, our minds and our desire for peace to work on solutions to stop these shootings. Black lives matter, brown lives matter — all lives do matter. Children's lives matter. As a society we cannot allow the shooting of innocent children. Let's come forward with real proposed solutions and let's bring an end to senseless killing. I don't care which team you are a member of: Republican, Democrat, libertarian, Black, white or brown — we need a strong police force and community outcry and participation to stop these shootings. Believe it or not, we are all on the same team.
Brian Harrington, Minneapolis
So, one year after Floyd's murder, after all the calls for police reform or defunding, we had a morning shooting at George Floyd Square of about 30 rounds while a reporter on TV and others had to move for cover. When will the community take responsibility and report those who are committing this unspeakable violence, and when will the local media report these atrocities in a manner consistent with those that involve police misconduct?
James Duane Welter, Minneapolis
Early Saturday morning I woke to a text from one of my dearest friends, Kristin, reading, "OMG OMG OMG their friend was killed tonight! Shot!" Kristin had been preparing all week for a college family grad party that her sons, Charlie Johnson and several others were looking forward to celebrating. Her sons had been with Charlie the night he died and were minutes ahead of him when he was shot and killed.
They had a trip planned with him this summer. This was a real person with real plans and real friends and a real family and a real future ahead of him. Gone.
Where are the protests for justice for Charlie? Where are the banners? Have thousands of people gathered with flowers at the site where he laid dead? Will local news stations remember him a year from now? Or is his life less important because he wasn't shot by the police?
Let's all take a few minutes to imagine if George Floyd was our son or brother or friend. If Charlie Johnson was our son or brother or friend. If Aniya Allen was our precious daughter or sister or friend. If Ladavionne Garrett Jr. or Trinity Ottoson-Smith were our children, friends or siblings fighting for their lives in the hospital. Would you be more forgiving if the shooter had not been a police officer? Would you be more forgiving if the shooter were a certain race? I think not.
These are lives. Every. Single. One. Let's all come together and agree to cherish and memorialize every life and stop arguing about whose was more important. We cannot truly begin our work toward equality until we value every life as equal.
Jill McCarty, Edina
That image. Wow.
The photo by Elizabeth Flores on the front page of Star Tribune on Wednesday touched me deeply. The way Flores captured the innocence and strength of the girl kneeling at George Floyd's memorial was spellbinding to me. This is one I'll be cutting out. Thank you.
Teresa Fargo, Edina
We must beef up state protections
Though we may feel more divided than ever before, it's become clear this past year that one thing we all agree on is our right to make decisions about our own bodies. We cannot keep waiting for this to apply to reproductive health care as well.
As Sarah Stoesz wrote in her recent piece, "We knew the high court challenge would come, and now it's here" (Opinion Exchange, May 21) our state leaders who support reproductive freedom should work quickly to pass the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act in Minnesota. The PRO Act ensures all Minnesotans can make their own reproductive health care decisions and prevents politician interference.
Whether it includes birth control, pregnancy or abortion, the path to or away from parenthood is a deeply personal, private decision that should be made by a patient and their doctor. Though long overdue, we need this private decision to be protected at the state level, especially as we see louder opposition across the country, including Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban, which will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
This does not require us to agree with other people's choices; I have no place in your reproductive health care decisions and you have no place in mine. And we all owe it to each other to ensure it stays that way.
Holly Eamon, Hopkins
The president of the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund addresses the impending Supreme Court review of Roe v. Wade in her May 21 commentary. It ought to be ironic to believe that the Constitution of a republic founded on the notion that people are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" should contain a right for some, in the interest of their own happiness, to deprive others of life. And the fact that those deprived of life are the most vulnerable, dependent, helpless and unable to defend themselves ought to evoke some sort of sympathy.
However, even the happiness of those exercising this right is not very successfully pursued after all, if you actually follow the science. The lives of those who experience abortion can be devastated.
Ross S. Olson, Richfield
I see that an arbitrary, medically unjustified limitation on a person's right to make medical decisions for their own body is making its way to the Supreme Court. This abortion restriction is yet another pretense for imposing one religion's beliefs and values on all Americans. It was the wrong thing to do in regard to marriage equality, and it is the wrong thing to do in regard to abortion.
This particular limitation draws false lines in the sand at 15 weeks of pregnancy, but the ultimate goal, which most forced-birth groups will acknowledge, is to absolutely eliminate abortion as a personal choice. No other medical procedure is similarly legislated, and the same people who are trying to insert the government into uteruses are also trying to remove the government from the arenas in life where they don't want to be bothered by regulations. This is a religious agenda and an unconstitutional encroachment on the rights of Americans.
Erica Klein, Richfield
Oh, these capricious seasons
It's not high taxes that drive people from Minnesota — it's an afternoon high of 88 degrees on Tuesday and a temperature of 51 degrees the next morning. Golf carts shouldn't need butt warmers.
Todd Embury, Ramsey
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