Minnesota high schoolers plan anti-gun-violence protests

REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Students from West Boca Raton Community High School carry a placard as they walk to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, during a protest on Tuesday.

The protest riseth and cometh. The Strib’s Anthony Lonetree writes, “Students at a growing number of Minnesota schools are joining an unprecedented nationwide campaign against gun violence in the wake of the Florida school shootings that left 17 dead. Walkouts are planned for March and April, amid hopes, too, for a strong state presence at a ‘March For Our Lives’ protest in Washington, D.C., on March 24. … In Minneapolis, students are planning to walk out of their high schools on Wednesday afternoon, according to several social media reports.”

KMSP-TV says, “The March 14 walkout started as #ENOUGH on social media and was subsequently co-opted by the Women’s March youth wing, called EMPOWER, and will consist of a 17-minute walkout meant to honor the 17 students and staff who died in the Feb. 14 shooting. In addition, a group formed under the moniker ‘National School Walkout’ is organizing a similar event for April 20th to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. ”

Brian Bakst of MPR reports, “Minnesota U.S Rep. Tim Walz, a DFL candidate for governor this year, said Tuesday he’s backing an assault-weapons ban in Minnesota and other ‘common sense solutions’ to stop gun violence. Walz has touted his support from the NRA in prior campaigns, donning a camouflaged NRA hat while running in a southern Minnesota district filled with rural towns. But the mass shooting at a Florida high school last week by a young gunman with an AR-15 assault rifle laid bare what has been a simmering divide as DFL candidates combined their condolences with calls to action. On Tuesday, Walz posted a statement saying that after hearing the ‘anger, grief and frustration’ of people across Minnesota over gun violence, ‘I get it.’

Meanwhile, at the Capitol, Tad Vezner of the PiPress says, “Before the most recent mass school shooting in Florida, the gun control group known as Minnesota Moms Demand Action expected about 30 people to show up for their February rally at the state Capitol. That rally took place Tuesday. An informal headcount easily topped 200, and organizers said the 400 leaflets they brought were quickly snapped up by the sizable crowd. ‘I’m new to this. This is my first time. Unfortunately, my daughter saw (a video from the Feb. 14 shootings in Parkland, Fla.) last night,’ said Beth Benson, 54, of Hopkins, referring to her 15-year-old child. ‘I tried to talk to her, but what do you say? I had fire drills and tornado drills in school. Now they have … I mean, this is insane,’ Benson added, choking up.”

Here’s Bloomberg’s Tiffany Kary on the 3M settlement. “Controversy is growing over the main chemicals involved, PFOS and PFOA, as well as the entire class of perfluorinated compounds — or PFCs — which are still used in stainproof and waterproof treatments and food packaging. The situation tested a state’s ability to force a major employer to pay for pollution as the U.S. relaxes environmental rules. It also shows how liability can mushroom long after companies stop making chemicals like PFCs that don’t degrade, but accumulate in the food chain.”

As intended. In the Duluth News Tribune John Lundy says, “A jump in the percentage of Minnesota residents who don’t have health insurance isn’t surprising, a legislator from Duluth said on Tuesday. ‘The GOP feds eliminated the cost-sharing subsidies for individuals,’ said state Rep. Jen Schultz, DFL-Duluth. ‘Health insurance is simply not affordable for many Minnesotans.’ The uninsured rate was 6.3 percent in 2017, the Minnesota Department of Health reported on Tuesday, up from 4.3 percent two years earlier. It’s still well below the rates in 2009 and 2011, just before the start of the Affordable Care Act, but slightly higher than the 2001 rate of 6.1 percent.” Plainly, this wouldn’t have happened if they’d just opened a Health Savings Account.

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Sandra Marks on 02/21/2018 - 09:02 am.

    Vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Way to go students!! If you turn 18 before 2020, please register to vote. Then, go to the polls and tell legislators who don’t support gun reform that their TIME IS UP!!!!

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 02/21/2018 - 12:35 pm.

      Midterms matter, too!

      Heck, if you turn 18 in time for the November 2018 midterm elections, get registered and vote, too!

      The midterm elections are every bit as important as elections in Presidential years!

  2. Submitted by Usha Abramovitz on 02/21/2018 - 09:11 am.

    Health Insurance not affordable – blame Obamacare!

    “As intended. In the Duluth News Tribune John Lundy says, “A jump in the percentage of Minnesota residents who don’t have health insurance isn’t surprising, a legislator from Duluth said on Tuesday. ‘The GOP feds eliminated the cost-sharing subsidies for individuals,’ said state Rep. Jen Schultz, DFL-Duluth. ‘Health insurance is simply not affordable for many Minnesotans.’ The uninsured rate was 6.3 percent in 2017, the Minnesota Department of Health reported on Tuesday, up from 4.3 percent two years earlier. It’s still well below the rates in 2009 and 2011, just before the start of the Affordable Care Act, but slightly higher than the 2001 rate of 6.1 percent.” Plainly, this wouldn’t have happened if they’d just opened a Health Savings Account.”

    This legislator from Duluth seems to be a typical partisan hack.

    Health insurance is not affordable because premiums in the state have been rising in the high double digits since the ACA took effect; deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs have similarly increased and networks narrowed!

    Cost-sharing subsidies simply means that we the taxpayer pay for private insurers’ unrestrained premium and other increases and profits. This, in addition to what we pay directly for hc insurance.

    I think this legislator needs to step down, if she does not understand simple economics and the reality that was the health care “reform” unanimously legislated by the Democratic Party.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 02/21/2018 - 09:53 am.

      I Agree

      The Democratic Party should not have passed that conservative Heritage Foundation plan. Some form of single payer would have been a lot better, even though the uninsured rate has been lowered.

      And since the GOP Congress (a.k.a “The Swamp”) has tried to jam their plans down out throats, I assume you don’t care for the poor excuse for a health care plan they tried and failed to pass last year.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 02/21/2018 - 09:57 am.

      Simple economics

      The increases in premiums have actually slowed since the passage of the ACA. This Duluth legislator has a much better understanding than someone who thinks the answer is opening a health savings account.

    • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 02/21/2018 - 12:14 pm.

      Health Care costs

      Have been rising for a long long time, for instance from 2001-2008 (who was in control then?) they increased by 97%. Obamacare slowed things down a bit, but never really address the issue of Costs. As has been pointed out it was a rehash of a Heritage Foundation plan put up as an alternative to Hillarycare. It was meant to keep Insurance companies in the game and skimming their 30% off the top. Medicare for all will get the insurance companies out from between you and your doctor and you and your wallet.

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