Letters July 14, 2022

All Americans need AR-15s

 I am the “NRA apologist” who wrote the June 16 letter to which William L. Scott refers in his July 7 letter, headed “Typical Bizarre NRA Paranoia.” Mr. Scott believes that my message is irrational, and offers his own supposedly rational thoughts.
 Mr. Scott writes of an “ongoing plague of mass shootings” in our country. News media cover the worst exhaustively, but inflating the numbers by including with them every shooting with four or more victims confuses the issue. The majority are domestic or workplace disputes with specific targets, and do not represent a threat to the public at large. One survey which lowered the bar for mass shootings to three or more victims, but without romantic connection, found that such shootings accounted for fewer than one percent of shooting deaths.

Current estimates indicate that there are at least twenty million magazine-fed center-fire semi-automatic rifles in civilian hands in our country.  The AR-15 is a clear favorite among them, which should come as no surprise since its military version, the M-16, has been our standard infantry arm for more than 50 years. Let’s ask what percentage of the type have been used in mass shootings. To be sure we’ve counted them all, let’s exaggerate the number at 500, which certainly includes all possible instances since the birth of the AR-15 in the early 1960s.  In that case, of the twenty million, 0.0025% have been used to slaughter innocents, and 99.9975% are responsibly owned and used.

So, Mr. Scott, you believe, rationally, that such rifles should be banned, even though to totally eliminate them would prevent fewer than one percent of gun deaths in our country. That’s not my brand of rationality. In fact, such rifles are the standard of our age, world-wide, and are not going away.  In our country it is important that such weapons be owned by civilians.  Too many forget that civilians are our militia, whom we may again call to service in the crises we face. They will form a “well regulated” force only if they have skill at arms.

 On that subject, I don’t even want to hear what you regard as a reasonable interpretation of the Second Amendment. Instead, I encourage you to read founding-era documents, letters, speeches, etc., so that you can understand what the amendment meant to those who wrote it.

 Jon Eggleston
Duluth, Minnesota

The baby-killing party

It boggles the mind to see a major political party campaign on the joys of killing babies in the womb.
Our culture has sunk to a new low.

Let’s return to the creator and giver of life with respect and not something that’s part of our throwaway society.

Gregg Schweiger
Duluth, Minnesota

It’s time to take action

I’m not sure about you folks, but I find myself agonizing over these right-wing fanatics grabbing all the headlines recently.

The “Loud Boys” and the “Goat Keepers” are true fascist monsters who must be stopped at all costs. To listen to them is to make oneself vulnerable to utter rubbish. They look to foment violence and confrontation. Their collective mind-set was part of the Jan. 6 disaster.

Writer letters to the editor, march in pro-democratic demonstrations, vote in upcoming elections, buy a hot dog for the kid next door! Just do not stay silent. Your future depends on it.

Ken Bracken

Karpman Triangle and forced birther politics

Are you familiar with the Karpman Triangle? (I’d be surprised if you were.)  The K.T. is a tool in psychology, used to analyze dysfunctional interactions between people. The Triangle involves three roles - the “Victim,” the “Rescuer,” and the “Persecutor.” It always involves fear-based personalities who have learned to deny their fear issues, which allows them to blame others for their emotional issues and choices.

A great example of this in real life is how Trump interacted with his base.  Trump was always the “victim,” with his base being the “rescuers,” and anyone who challenged or criticized Trump being the “persecutors.”

One could analyze the “Pro-Life” movement in a similar way. The fetus is the”victim,” the Pro-Life extremists are the “rescuers,” and Pro-choice supporters are “persecutors.” This would indicate the “Pro-Life” Movement to be a fear-based organization.

Again, because people like this are in denial, there will always be blame, where they will try to change other people’s behaviors. This never succeeds because they’re always trying to change the wrong person.
Some people want to frame this as Red State vs Blue State. It’s more fundamental than that. The real split is between fear-based, authoritarian personalities who want to control everyone and everything, but themselves, and rational people who want to control only themselves, and no one else. Those who want to control others believe they’ll feel safe if they can only control enough other people.  The irony is we only start to feel safe when we stop trying to control others, and control just ourselves.

Gary Burt
Marble, Minnesota