Congratulations to the Minnesota Lynx for their WNBA championship! What a series and what a team! Also, thank you to the Star Tribune for your coverage of the team this season. Great articles on a range of related topics throughout the season. I specifically recall a fun one about Maya Moore's shoe contract. Thank you for sending a reporter to cover away games down the stretch. Fans notice and appreciate it.
We love our home teams! Go, Lynx!
Suzanne Olson, Maple Grove
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Thank you, Twins! You have given us a great season, watching the improvements in the players and the many great plays that were made. It was fun watching the games unfold and of course all the home runs. We hope they have a great 2018, so we'll wait til next year. It's too bad the Star Tribune failed to commend them for a great season they gave us fans instead of the harping about no playoffs.
Jean Lansing, Minneapolis
LAS VEGAS MASSACRE
A win-win on military weapons, our founding fathers — and fear
Solving the problems associated with public ownership of military-grade weapons, including high-powered sniper rifles, automatic weapons and large capacity magazines, is really quite simple. U.S. citizens should be able to own and operate all the military-grade weapons they want to own and operate, so long as they are at all times stored, used, bought and sold at government-certified (private and public) gun club facilities. It's as simple as that! Both sides win.
The spent bullets can be "harvested," thereby minimizing the environmental impact of the "sport." The club provides security against theft of the weapons, including the times when a limited number of weapons are out of storage and in operation. Rifles used for hunting can be legally limited to seven-round magazines, with severe punishments for "workarounds."
This will not make the people who think that they need military-grade weapons in their homes for protection very happy. If in fact these people are so paranoid that they can't feel safe without a military-grade weapon in their home, well, that's a different problem. That's a mental health problem. It raises the question: Do "we," including the "we" in the NRA, really want people who are this mentally ill to have military-grade weapons in their possession?
Piecemeal, knee-jerk solutions such as banning bump stocks when other "workarounds" are readily available are ridiculous, myopic, ineffective solutions for larger problems that can readily be solved with simple grand-scale solutions.
John Mattsen, New Brighton
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I think if those revered and honored founding fathers, those who wrote the Second Amendment, could see what horror and death modern weapons have brought to this nation, they would be deeply pained and demand immediate change. What has happened is not what they intended — for them it was all about a citizen militia. I can only imagine the shock, disappointment and sadness they would feel to know that because of the Second Amendment our nation has become the death-by-firearms leader of all industrial democracies in the world. I wonder if the members of Congress can hear them weeping from their graves.
James Tohal, Le Sueur, Minn.
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I agree with conservatives, Republicans and the NRA. Don't talk about guns, it's scary. We need to talk about why people want guns and why people want to kill each other. People want to kill because they feel threatened, are crazy or because we're basically violent, greedy animals needing laws to control ourselves. People want to arm themselves because they're afraid. Islamic extremists want to kill because their beliefs are threatened. President Donald Trump perpetuates fear and breeds hate, especially in his most fervent followers in the KKK and other white-supremacy organizations because their whiteness is threatened. Anti-science and religious-freedom zealots are afraid because their beliefs or pocketbooks are threatened. The media use fear to generate clicks and therefore advertising revenue. The NRA thrives on fear to the benefit of gun and ammunition corporations. Fear is a tool of control and power.
Some fears are real and biologic — flight or fight. The root of most fear is ignorance and feeling powerless. Our greatest fear is of death — our own or our children's. Humans invented religious beliefs to deal with that by offering afterlife. Fear, greed and beliefs are driving gun sales, headlines and cognitive dissonance. Policy and cognitive dissonance don't mix.
When confronted with irrational fear, understanding where it comes from is the most important part of dealing with it. That's the conversation; guns are a symptom.
Side note: I'll be hunting pheasants soon and don't need an automatic weapon, hundred-round clips and silencers to do that.
Greg Oasheim, Minnetonka
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I stand mystified at the collective head-scratching over motive in Las Vegas' terrible mass murder.
Stephen Paddock's amassing of an arsenal of deadly weapons is, in itself, the motive. His means were the ends.
When an individual is arrested for collecting child pornography, no one speculates about their motives for having those (rightfully) illegal materials. The means are the ends. When those people are found to go further and victimize people in their own lives, no one bats an eye.
How are these two examples so different?
Teresa Lewis, Minneapolis
MAYOR AND POLICE CHIEF
Article may have made case for Hodges, not Harteau, departure
Although I don't live in Minneapolis, I work downtown and am concerned about increases in crime in the downtown area, which made the article "Hodges, Harteau rift was stewing" (front page, Oct. 4) very enlightening.
Many previous reports told of Mayor Betsy Hodges overruling Chief Janeé Harteau's appointment of John Delmonico to be inspector of the Fourth Precinct, but this article pointed out that on May 2, Hodges created a list of "expectations" (really orders) for Harteau to follow, including notifying the mayor before sending all-department e-mails, communicating with reporters, before making any major personnel decisions, not talking with City Council members, etc. This certainly appears to make the mayor the acting police chief, or at least usurping the chief's authority.
Does the mayor have a law enforcement education, experience in law enforcement, knowledge of police department administration? The answer is clearly "no." Community council work and political work make up almost all of her adult life, clearly not the experience that would justify telling the police chief what to do and not do.
Rather than firing Harteau, perhaps the mayor should have resigned, allowing the police chief to administer the department based on her years of experience in law enforcement.
This is just one more example of why crime in Minneapolis continues to escalate, particularly in the downtown area. Elected officials should concentrate on their jobs, which apparently consist largely of running for office.
Donald Wegmiller, Eden Prairie
It's not a laughing matter
While the Star Tribune generally does well covering the problems of the poor, it apparently doesn't screen its comic strips. For example, I object to "One Big Happy" (Oct. 4) in which a young granddaughter tells her grandma they should help a shaggy, unkempt man they encounter holding a sign asking for food because, as the girl sees it, "[H]e probably spent all his food money on cigarettes and tattoos!" This strip could give readers the wrong idea about all poor people. The poor have enough problems without being made the butt of unfunny comic strips.
Willard B. Shapira, Roseville