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Campaign funds used correctly

MIAMI FL - DECEMBER 18:  In this phoillustratiRock River Arms AR-15 rifle is seen December 18 2012 Miami Florida.

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 18: In this photo illustration a Rock River Arms AR-15 rifle is seen on December 18, 2012 in Miami, Florida. The weapon is similar in style to the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that was used during a massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Firearm sales have surged recently as speculation of stricter gun laws and a re-instatement of the assault weapons ban following the mass shooting. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Updated: January 22, 2013 6:25AM

Campaign funds used correctly

I must take exception to Andy Shaw’s Dec. 16 column about the use of campaign funds for transportation expenses. My campaign fund purchased two used cars, one in Chicago, the other in Springfield, to save taxpayer money and to avoid taking a state-owned car to political events. My campaign pays for the cars, gasoline, insurance and maintenance of the vehicles with no cost to Illinois taxpayers.

I believe this is a highly appropriate use of campaign funds.

Jesse White, secretary of state

End our culture of violence

The Sun-Times editorial “Act now on guns” is right on target. So is Mayor Rahm Emanual’s proposal to outlaw the purchase of automatic and semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines containing multiple rounds of ammunition.

Assault weapons are designed for use by the military and law enforcement organizations, and the legal possession and use of such weapons should be strictly limited. The availability of these weapons only increases the likelihood of them being used, including by gangs or those bent on multiple killings. But the problem goes deeper than banning assault weapons and certain ammunition clips; our culture is riddled with violence . . . on television, in the movies, video games on computers and in game rooms at recreation centers and bars.

The president promised an initiative on gun violence in his State of the Union address next month. Mayor Emanuel and the City Council and the state Legislature should move ahead independently to take these assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition clips out of circulation and off the streets in Chicago and Illinois.

Yes, they still will be purchased illegally; yes they will be brought in across state lines, but the sale and possession of these weapons designed for the military should be illegal in our city and our state. This will raise the cost of doing business for the bad guys and make assault weapons and clips much less available to the general public. The larger issue, our culture of violence, needs attention from every level of society. That is a tall order but also one that needs to be addressed.

Peter Bensinger,

former administrator,

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

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