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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Thanks for your many thoughtful contributions

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Bemidji Pioneer by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bemidji Pioneer. To submit a letter, email letters@bemidjipioneer.com or mail it to Bemidji Pioneer, P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.

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I made an internet search for “John Eggers columns, Bemidji Pioneer” the other day, looking to remind myself of the titles I have particularly enjoyed of late. None appeared on the first two pages of search results. Still, I persisted.

In October Eggers introduced us to Deb Haaland, the first Native American cabinet secretary and current Secretary of the Interior. A significant milestone, Eggers noted, considering that the first such secretary pursued Indigenous genocide as a goal.

It wasn’t until 1924 that Native people won the right to full citizenship, but still they had to fight for the vote, state by state. Clearly, the fight isn’t over, as multiple states around the country pass laws in an effort to limit access to the polls. Who are they looking to weed out exactly?

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A few weeks ago Eggers argued for a new mandate: a high school diploma. He makes a strong case, all predicated on one notion that “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

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I agree, naturally. I’ve built a life on the idea.

But I’m worried. For some, it seems, it’s enough to stake a position and never compromise. Don’t back down. It’s that simple. As far as I can tell, for these folks, education only gets in the way.

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Finally, last week Eggers took on our inability to take gun ownership seriously. This is one of several factors that contribute to our inability to keep kids safe in school, he says.

Things are different in Japan. People own guns there, of course, but they don’t get one until they show themselves fit. And that takes time. And the process is ongoing, for they must retake the class and exam every three years.

Their reward? A safer nation. The numbers are fluid, obviously, but using Egger’s data, the average U.S. resident is 595 times more likely to die by gun than their Japanese counterpart.

So there, I found them. The three columns. If I had my way, Mr. Eggers, these would be among the first to appear in a search list. But I am sure the others are of interest, as well. Thanks for your many thoughtful contributions to our community.

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The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Bemidji Pioneer by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bemidji Pioneer. To submit a letter, email letters@bemidjipioneer.com or mail it to Bemidji Pioneer, P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.