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What follows is a refresher on tips to avoid becoming a victim of mass shootings. Don't search for humor in these tips; there is none. All of these characteristics and places are linked to actual mass shootings in the U.S.:

Don't be Black. This is essential. Don't be Asian or Hispanic. Don't be Jewish. Don't be Sikh. Don't be gay or any of the other letters in the acronym "LGBTQ." Don't be of school age. Don't go to supermarkets. Don't go to churches. Don't go to synagogues. Don't go to post offices. Don't go to anyone's workplace, including yours. Don't ride on trains. Don't go to train yards. Don't go to car shows. Don't go to nightclubs. Don't go to fast-food restaurants. Don't go to music festivals. Don't go to spas or massage parlors. Don't go to parking lots. Don't go to movie theaters. Don't go to shopping malls. Don't ride on subways. Don't live in a country that has a very high rate of mass shootings and gun violence.

Tips especially for children, other young people, teachers, coaches, principals:

Don't go to elementary schools. Don't go to middle schools. Don't go to high schools. Don't go to colleges. Don't go out of your home without wearing full tactical gear.

Don't expect the government to protect your right to life.

Never again — until next time.

Susan C. Mewborn, Minneapolis


The recent shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., was reportedly committed by an 18-year-old white male with a history of making threats ("Buffalo suspect scouted area for Black targets," May 16). The Republican proposals for funding "public safety" in Minnesota focus on increasing enforcement and penalties for law breakers. The question for supporters of these proposals is, where is the evidence that shows increasing penalties has deterrent effects on the cohort of mass murderers? Does the threat of lengthy prison terms or capital punishment enter into the minds of these terrorists? Punishing a suicidal, apocalyptic personality does not seem like an effective strategy.

George Hutchinson, Minneapolis


I've come to believe we need to develop a template for these atrocities in view of their frequency, all part of feeble preparation for what is apt to be needed again tomorrow or certainly in another day or two. Such preparation would include:

  • Prepared statements from enforcement agencies — state, federal, local — about how they have and will work together.
  • Prepared statements from notables expressing anger and promising to bring to justice all involved.
  • Prepared prayers for families of those who won't be coming home.
  • Thoughtful expressions of grief and shock to be read in flickering shadows of already half-mast flags.

I'm so tired and angry.

I wish those who provided protection and enablement for such horrible continuances would find courage to come to these murderous sites to explain and try to defend their positions.

I'm just a retiree who wants my loved ones and myself to be safe to go to a movie or buy some milk and eggs, as people do freely in most other countries. While arguably difficult, solutions can't be as difficult as having to follow such templates almost daily.

As we've been traveling the last few weeks, several people have asked what we pack for protection. I've told them our two small dogs should be enough, this being a civilized country. Perhaps not.

Steven M. Lukas, Minneapolis


The Republicans' candidate for Minnesota governor, Scott Jensen, stunned me yesterday. Maybe you, too. Right when I learned that a white supremacist in Buffalo, N.Y., had killed 10 people with a rifle, I also learned that Jensen has now apologized for supporting two gun control measures several years ago ("Jensen gets Republican nod for governor," May 15). He used to be in favor of background checks for gun sales and transfers and for requiring gun owners to report stolen guns to the police.

In other words, Jensen now wants to let it be possible for people with twisted thinking (i.e., targeting American citizens they don't like) to have guns with massive killing potential. Let it be known that the Republican Party of Minnesota has turned its back on reason to have chosen and supported such a person.

Melinda Quivik, St. Paul


Issue is societal, not criminal

No one thinks abortion is a great idea, but we have created a world in which people live with varying degrees of resources, and we have collectively decided not to support families. Abortion is not a criminal issue but a result of our social and economic values.

People who truly want to eliminate abortion would look at the larger issue. They would look at responsibility parents have, how children are cared for in this society and what issues parents face in raising a child. They would question why men and women seek abortions. And how it is that people in power who aren't taking responsibility for children are prescribing solutions. Perhaps they would explore countries that have low abortion rates to see that sexuality is included in education, birth control is available, and men and women have closer to equal authority.

Criminalization of abortion may make supporters feel righteous, even morally superior, but it will not stop abortions, only make it exclusive to those with connections and dangerous for those without. It also suggests that a pregnant woman alone has responsibility for the life of a child, when we all have responsibility for the care of children. If abortion is criminalized, we are all criminal.

Leeann Jorgensen, Alexandria, Minn.


Women have been given the most profound ability to, if they choose, continue the human race.

To make any kind of binding change in a decision on Roe v. Wade, a person must understand the process of childbirth. Men will never know or understand the process a woman goes through to become a mother. They may see it, but they don't live it.

Women know the process, all of it. The love, the passion, the hope, the months, the body changes, the wait, the fear, the pain, the tears and, hopefully, at the end of it all, joy.

It takes a great deal of courage to choose to become pregnant and become a mother. You don't know that until you are pregnant and have gone through it all, but it does.

I will discuss with anyone what I have written here — anyone, that is, who possesses a power beyond measure, a uterus.

Sandra Mahn, Plymouth


May be elusive, but it's there

Too many days, it is hard to find the good news around us. Recently, I found several in the Star Tribune to enjoy: teaching prisoners to be tattoo artists (the practice has become very popular for all ages and genders — my 73-year-old wife has two); a live music venue without alcohol (we had places like that when I grew up); the Republicans we once respected who appear to be quietly working to take back their party by working against Trump-endorsed campaigns; and the disco ball coming back! Where is my leisure suit?

Jerry Carroll, Roseville