See more of the story

It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that as those of us in the progressive movement fight for what we believe in, violence is never an option. A physical attack on an elected leader is not only an attack on a real person with family, friends and neighbors (as opposed to the paper-thin cartoon versions of elected leaders that are created through memes and vitriol), it is an attack on the rule of law and on the political foundation of our country that, for all its faults, we still believe in. As we try to change the things we think are wrong with our country, we must never forget that we will win only through ideas, love and peaceful protest. Our thoughts are with Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and the others injured in the recent attack. We wish them a quick and full recovery and send our goodwill to them and their families.

Steve Kranz, St. Paul

• • •

Year after year after year, we Americans have been assaulted night and day by news reports about shootings and gun deaths. It’s kids, it’s folks having a meal or drink in a bar, enjoying their yard, friends in parks, on the street, in libraries — just about anywhere and everywhere people just minding their own business and living their lives get gunned down.

Many reasons for this carnage exist, and heaven knows many of us have tried in our own ways to do something to stop this senseless and never-ending carnage. But on Wednesday, at a baseball field in sight of our nation’s capital, a number of men whom we’ve elected to help keep us and our country safe from random violence have finally found themselves in the cross hairs of a crazy person with a gun. I don’t want to seem mean-spirited or callous, but I have to say it: They, our congresspersons, are personally reaping what they’ve sown by groveling year after year after year at the feet of the NRA/gun lobby to scoop up their share of the NRA’s bucks for their campaigns and precious congressional seats.

Maybe, just maybe, they will remember how frightened and helpless and alone they felt today, faces in the dirt, with bullets flying over their heads; how they thought of their colleagues, their spouses, their own kids; and maybe, just maybe, they thought about how their many votes to weaken or gut gun laws might have had an impact on what just happened to them and on others who were wounded or killed today.

Joe Moriarity, Forest Lake

AIRPLANE INCIDENT

EMTs did just fine; passenger and Star Tribune lacked dignity

In response to “EMT removed dying woman’s body down aisle of crowded plane at MSP: Partly clothed woman found in plane bathroom”: Although this “most read” article appears to have been edited several times since first appearing on StarTribune.com, surely most visitors to the site have by now seen some version of it. The web headline alone conveys the crude and frankly clickbait-worthy angle that the Star Tribune decided was somehow important to writing about a woman’s death.

The original article, and to an extent the version present today, insinuated that something terribly inappropriate happened when EMTs “dragged” a “half-naked” woman off the plane in an attempt to save her life. I would like to counter that the truly inappropriate things to have happened are thus: A passenger witnessed someone in distress and, rather than having compassion, he thought only of himself. Then, lacking the manners to keep his thoughts to himself, he contacted the newspaper to complain publicly about the situation. Finally, the newspaper published a story for the world, and the deceased’s family, to have to envision the last moments of her life as being hauled unclothed down an airplane aisle while passengers gawked at her.

Some might argue that the complaining passenger was having compassion for the woman by suggesting she would have wanted to be fully clothed. But, truly, if one felt embarrassed for her to have been exposed in front of the other passengers on the plane, then how is the solution to expose details of her death to every person on the internet? The EMTs were not lacking in decency, but this article was.

Leanna Kemp Kristoff, Minneapolis

IMMIGRATION

Heed the solid concerns, not the ire, on driver’s licenses

A June 14 letter writer today was given way too much ink to talk nonsense. He takes issue with the June 12 editorial arguing in favor of licensing undocumented immigrants. The Star Tribune editorial cites solid reasons for licensing unauthorized immigrants, including public safety and business interests. I would add that insurance rates are increased when some drivers are unlicensed.

The writer’s main source of ire appears to lie in the editors’ choice of civil language. The writer would prefer to use the word “alien,” conjuring up creatures from outer space, saying that the word “immigrants” should be reserved for those who go through a legal process to enter. In fact, Black’s Law Dictionary describes an immigrant as a person who enters a country for permanent residence from another country. Two-thirds of adults undocumented have lived here for more than 10 years.

Before World War I, immigrants with $30 and a pulse could walk right in, which means that most of us have ancestors who were immigrants, or aliens, however you wish to remember your dear departed.

Many Minnesotans have been schooled in Christian social teaching of human decency allowing for people to pursue work and provide for their families. Since there are roughly 8 million undocumented workers in the country and funds for public transit are being denied, it is prudent and just to train and license these individuals.

Kathleen Wedl, Edina

‘URBAN RIVER’

Keep marvelous Mississippi’s character for the most to enjoy

I used to row on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland — a river with banks of concrete and steel that was so toxic that it burned with fire in the late 1960s. Only barges and rowers used it — for good reason. These days, like 400-plus other Twin Cities residents, I row on the Mississippi River — daily appreciating its beauty and wildlife. I know scary urban rivers when I see them.

I read with great interest at StarTribune.com that “St. Anthony Falls, birthplace of a city, could deliver new visions of an urban river.” (Print article: “Lock closings open a door for new life on Mississippi,” June 13.)

The Minneapolis Rowing Club has called the Mississippi River gorge home since 1965. We’ve shared its waters with canoeists, flat-water kayakers, fishermen and pleasure boaters.

My fellow members and I have hoped that more citizens could use the Mississippi and see this marvel that flows through our urban backyard. So every year our club teaches 100-plus middle schoolers, high schoolers and adults from all walks of life to row — a lifelong sport that anyone of any age can enjoy.

Whitewater destroys rowing, flat-water kayaking, fishing and boating. Raging whitewater won’t encourage the usage the river receives now — by nature lovers of all ages and backgrounds. It serves only a select few, being too dangerous for others.

Today, this beautiful urban river keeps its natural character, while allowing people to use it. This middle ground serves the most members of our community.

Lauren Blake Crandall, Eden Prairie

The writer is president of the Minneapolis Rowing Club.