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Published June 16 2013

Editorial: Skeeter fighters win roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the mosquito control crews that have taken to the countryside to hold down the swarms of stingers that are beginning to rise from wet areas in the Red River Valley. “Vector control,” as it’s called, has become a sophisticated science, more and more advanced as more effective and safer forms of treatment are developed and tested. Of course, the real test is in the field, where current technologies can reduce mosquito numbers after a treatment by up to 90 percent. That’s a lot of dead skeeters. Residents of the Fargo metro area have gotten used to low numbers of mosquitoes in recent years in part because control has gotten so good. It’s hard work that is done in difficult places. So here’s to those crews who are out there right now, doing all they can to make summer outdoors mosquito-free.

LEAFY SPURGE: To the NRA and to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., for the NRA’s characterization of her vote against expanded background checks for gun sales as courageous. How is it that a North Dakota senator voting against gun control is courageous? That’s akin to a Maine senator voting for lobsters. Heitkamp might sincerely buy into the NRA’s guns-everywhere-all-the-time agenda, but she surely knows that voting against gun control of any kind is a safe vote for a North Dakota senator. Real political courage comes when an elected official does what is right, not what is popular. We recommend to the senator’s attention John Kennedy’s book “Profiles in Courage,” in which the late president wrote about political figures who risked their political lives – and sometimes lost – by championing causes that were very unpopular but very right.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.