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The Tuesday Star Tribune editorial "Gun laws in light of Burnsville's tragedy" totally missed the mark. Instead of calling for yet more gun control laws, the Editorial Board should be calling for a thorough investigation on why the laws we already have did not keep guns out of the hands of the person who killed the officers and paramedic/firefighter.

Steve Bjelke, New Brighton


In the editorial on gun laws it was noted that the shooter did not have the right to own a gun, but he had several. The answer was given that the solution for someone who ignores laws is to pass more laws for them to ignore. How about enforcing the laws we have? People are rarely prosecuted for straw purchases and other lies on gun applications, and gun charges are dropped in plea deals.

David Newville, Coon Rapids


O'Hara lays out the challenge

In his Feb. 25 opinion piece "Do we expect too much from police officers?" Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara does an excellent job of summarizing the expectations we have for police officers amid the ever-present dangers of so many people having guns and being willing to use them to address anything they see as a threat or even a minor inconvenience. (When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.) O'Hara is an excellent communicator, clearly defining the problems police face and asking us to be patient with the reforms in progress in the department after the upset that Derek Chauvin and the other officers caused by their role in killing George Floyd, and the disproportionate backlash against the police in general — probably the most destructive and expensive mess in the city's history, which we will be dealing with for years to come.

O'Hara deserves the support of all of Minneapolis. We are fortunate to have who I think is the best police chief since Tony Bouza, and we'd better support him. Besides his good communication and leadership skills, he's a top-notch police officer in good physical condition (recall his May 2023 chase on foot of carjacking suspects).

Dave Anderson, Minneapolis


I look forward to the day when an entire Opinion Exchange page is dedicated to an actual explanation of a "holistic, health-centered, community-driven approaches" to public safety. Instead, in "Why central cities can't find new cops" (Feb. 25), we read a mansplained version of the Black Lives Matter vision from an ex-cop who clearly has no interest in taking the actual vision seriously. Richard Greelis does not acknowledge any understanding of the perspectives of those of us who are as likely as not to have had law enforcement and the legal system historically minimize or ignore our primary safety needs. Victim of domestic violence or sexual assault? Don't bother to call. At best we'll offer an unenforceable order for protection. At worst, we'll assume you're lying or you deserved it. Victim of gun violence? Based on your skin color, we'll treat you like you're the threat.

And then imagine my surprise to see the same author co-opt an argument for treating kids like kids in our youth justice system. Indeed, it is true that a junior high student will respond to an imposed consequence of writing anything 100 times on a chalkboard with resentment and defiance. That's why many of us advocate strongly for youth accountability approaches grounded in developmental science that are more meaningful and effective, only to be told we're naive and soft.

When I see law enforcement get behind treating our children like children and honestly reckon with their history, I'll happily extend some of that grace to adult police officers as well. However, it will take actions, not words on a page, to convince me. Especially given the rest of the page was dedicated to the head of the Minneapolis Police Department telling us why we should lower our expectations for speedy and meaningful reform.

Kara Beckman, South St. Paul


It takes two for a cease-fire

On Feb. 27 the Star Tribune published an opinion piece by protesters calling for a Gaza cease-fire ("A Gaza resolution deserves the airing it can't get in St. Paul"). But missing from that piece was any detail of what the terms of a cease-fire should include. What terms do the protesters envision for a cease-fire? Do they envision that Hamas and the Palestinians also commit to cease attacking Israel?

It would be wonderful if there could be a permanent end to the Palestinian-Israeli hostilities. However, it seems as if the protesters are simply calling for an end to Israel's counterattack against the purposeful, gruesome Hamas killing of 1,200 Jews (including many young children), the raping and disfiguring of women, the burning of others alive and the capture of 250 hostages. The Hamas-stated goal is to destroy Israel and to kill all Jews, and the group has again stated its intent to repeat the Oct. 7 massacre. At the same time, Hamas is hiding its military machine among and under Palestinian civilian locations.

It would be a mistake to regard Hamas as an organization totally apart from the Palestinian people, who placed Hamas in power and then populated Hamas' army with their own men, who the Palestinians surely knew were building tunnels and a war machine under the populace. Hamas surely knew its vicious and gruesome killings would cause a violent response costing Palestinian civilian lives. It is Hamas who committed its own people to die.

It appears that the United States is making very significant efforts to cause a cease-fire to happen. But a peaceful resolution requires substantive concessions by the Palestinian people and Hamas too. It is no significant resolution to facilitate Palestinian representatives to maintain their goal of Israeli destruction and also maintain their military capability to do so. Merely calling for an undefined cease-fire falls well short of a realistic and meaningful resolution. It would be more helpful if the protesters made more specific suggestions of what the terms of a cease-fire should be.

Thomas Wexler, Edina


On Oct. 7 Hamas began an ongoing military operation, the goal of which is to wipe Israel from the map, and to kill Jews wherever they may be found (this is the meaning of "globalize the Intifada"). Given that Hamas has been very upfront that its goal is the genocide of the Jewish people and nothing less, pray tell, what precisely is a "proportionate response"?

Every time that Israel has agreed to a cease-fire, Hamas has used the time to rearm, retrench and embed itself ever more deeply among the civilians of Gaza. It has chosen a zero-sum game with the annihilation of the Jewish people as its goal. This is a game that Israel did not choose but must play to win.

I am therefore grateful to the Biden administration for its veto of a resolution that essentially demands that Israel roll over and die.

Rich Furman, St. Paul


We are mourning, not celebrating

I'm writing in response to the article published Tuesday titled "Burned airman is hero in Arab world," reprinted from the Washington Post. I was shocked at the inaccurate and misleading title to this article. As an Arab American woman, I can assure you that the Arab world does not find Aaron Bushnell's death heroic; we find it tragic. The mounting deaths in Palestine are horrific, and we do not celebrate those who martyr themselves to bring attention to the U.S.-backed genocide; we mourn them. I ask that you think carefully about what your intentions were with that headline and what authority you had to make that statement on behalf of Arabs and Arab Americans. I hope to see reporting in the future that reflects the honest and unbiased journalism that Star Tribune readers deserve.

Louisa Farhat, St. Paul