Readers Write: Schooling, Abortion, Gun Violence, Formula

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Thanks to former Associate Superintendent/Acting Superintendent Mitchell David Trockman for pointing out what should be incredibly obvious to the Minneapolis School Board: If you want to address declining enrollment in the district, you need to ask families to Minneapolis why they leave or choose not to attend Minneapolis public schools (“Don’t Accept Declining Student Enrollment So Easily, Minneapolis,” Readers Write, May 19). I guarantee you they will tell you. Then, and this is the key, you have to actually listen and make decisions based on this collected information.

I’m tired of hearing about declining MPS enrollment like it’s inevitable. It is not obligated. Superintendent Trockman, would you like to apply for your old position? We need you.

Anne Nervig, Minneapolis

The author is a Minneapolis Public Schools parent and a St. Paul Public Schools teacher.

ABORTION

Monday’s comment in support of the overturning of Roe v. Wade just because that’s what the Founding Fathers would have us do reveals historical ignorance (“The decision would only empower the people,” Opinion Exchange). The author claims that the country was founded on the idea that individual states could settle statutory matters on their own without interference from the federal government or other states. True. We started like this. But then we recognized that was a mistake that needed to be corrected.

I’m talking about slavery, of course. It took a Civil War and Abraham Lincoln to correct the course the Founding Fathers set for us by not only eliminating slavery, but redefining our national purpose. After the war ended and we began to live that purpose, the phrase we used to define ourselves – “the United States is” – replaced the old “the United States is”.

It was appropriate for the author to cite the preferences of some Southern states to ban abortions. These are some of the same states that would have continued the practice of slavery had they been allowed to. The license to practice slavery and allow its reach to spread to free states had been granted by the Supreme Court’s colossal error in the Dred Scott decision. So not for a minute should we think that states banning abortions won’t seek to extend the ban to states that choose to allow them or that try to prevent their citizens from going to states where they are legal.

The Supreme Court has made mistakes in the past in trying to give individual states the rights they seek for themselves. We should learn from these mistakes.

Ted Field, Mahtomedi

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There is a larger context about abortion: Can we use violence to effectively solve any of our problems? What are the consequences of doing so?

Mark Jacobson, Richville

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A May 18 letter stated, “Sex education from adolescence through the end of the childbearing period must place greater emphasis on control.” Another writer said, “Men who can come to question [of abortion] from a perfectly legitimate moral, ethical or religious point of view also have the right to express this opinion. and violence in the media are often fueled by the weekly or daily use of pornography, a multi-billion dollar industry statistically seen by 80% of men and dominating 35% of all content downloads from the internet.

I would ask these authors if they think a multi-billion dollar industry is going to break up so that society can have more control, less sexual assault, less promiscuity, less adultery, less predators of children, less violence against women and less recourse to abortion sought in desperation. I am 80 years old and I am very aware that abortion is the last choice a woman wishes to make. It’s always a choice made out of great conflict and lasting emotional upheaval. Men’s voices are essential to this conversation, but men need to take more responsibility for sexual activity and for “controlling” the urges that fuel the proliferation of pornography. Until at least that elephant in the room is addressed, abortion will continue to be the undesirable and blatant choice made by thousands of women. Come up, men.

Sara Meyer, Dundas, Minn.

FIREARMS VIOLENCE

How refreshing to read such a well-reasoned, well-researched, well-presented, and…well…simply sensible explanation of the unbroken series of mass shootings that have sadly become commonplace in our country. Thanks to the local teachers. James Densley and Jillian Peterson for their work with the Violence Project and for their compelling report (“Ideology is not what drives most mass killers”, Opinion Exchange, May 17).

What I remember is that most of these tragic events are suicidal cries from disconnected individuals. Of these troubled souls they write, “All we can say with any degree of certainty is that no one living a fulfilling life commits a mass shooting” and that for most mass shooters “the thought to simply commit suicide leaves them dissatisfied”. .”

Rob Held, Saint Francis

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An author of a May 18 letter commenting on the mass shootings in Buffalo wrote that “the gun is not at fault.” This is a retelling of the National Rifle Association’s famous mantra, “Guns don’t kill people…”. While Second Amendment advocates have a right to believe that ultimately their freedom is inextricably tied to their possession of a firearm, the reality is that this ideology is costing countless lives. And we know the corollary of the argument that “the guns are not at fault”. It’s: “People are at fault. One could almost put forward the extreme idea that to allow responsible citizens to bear arms without restriction, other citizens – identified as potentially “dangerous” – would have to be somehow isolated from the community. Would the abstract notion of freedom as expressed in the Second Amendment have the real impact of preventive incarceration of some members of our communities? It’s too Orwellian to imagine that.

While guns are not entirely at fault, they are significantly at fault. The tragic loss of life in Buffalo would never have happened if the attacker had attacked with a slingshot instead of a gun.

Richard Masur, Minneapolis

BABY FORMULA

As a parent and grandparent, I found it interesting and very depressing that three Minnesota congressmen (Reps Pete Stauber, Tom Emmer, and Michelle Fischbach) saw fit to vote versus the Infant Formula Supplementary Appropriations Act (HR 7790). This bill would provide $28 million in additional emergency appropriations to address the shortage of infant formula in the United States. Specifically, the bill provides appropriations to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address the current shortage of FDA-regulated infant formula and certain medical foods in the United States and to prevent future shortages, including taking the necessary steps to prevent fraudulent products from entering the US market.

There were, however, 12 Republicans who resisted their party leadership in supporting this legislation. Apparently there are no infants and children in the districts of Stauber, Emmer and Fischbach who need these products.

I hope their constituents remember that in November.

Ardis Wexler, Edina

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A May 19 letter to the editor described the writer’s response to the current administration’s lack of response to the formula shortage (“An alarmingly slow response”).

The writer went on to say that New York Rep. Elise Stefanik raised concerns about the risk in February. Please help me understand why Rep. Stefanik (along with 191 other Republicans) voted against the measure to provide new FDA funding authorizing $28 million for the formula shortage?

Debra Dullinger, Eagan

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