LETTER: Saving lives is worth a little inconvenience

To the Editor:


My daughter, Katherine Ann Olson, was murdered in 2007, in the first Craigslist murder. As a survivor of gun violence, it boggles my mind how people of good conscience can vote against measures that are proven to save lives. Our current state Senate leadership refuses to take up two bills that have had documented success elsewhere. Background checks on all gun sales and extreme risk protection orders (“red flag laws”) are proven life savers and are supported by 90% and 87% of Minnesotans, respectively.

Arguments against them often involve what amounts to the inconvenience that they will cause. Such inconveniences might include going through a process of certifying that the buyer is safe to have a gun or meeting at a local dealer to make the transfer. The gun lobby often calls this “penalizing law-abiding citizens.” Are not saved lives worth a little inconvenience? Real inconvenience is dying because of a bullet. Real inconvenience is planning a funeral and signing a “permission to cremate” form for my daughter.

We all want a safe society. Experience points to some proven safer paths we can take. Those paths lead to background checks and red flag laws. Isn’t saving lives worth a little inconvenience — certainly less than getting a drivers license? If you agree, please contact Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and your own state senator to urge them to pass these two bills within the Senate Public Safety omnibus bill.


Rolf Olson

Falcon Heights

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