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Show integrity, and pay state pensions

Rasoaks parts memorial Newtown shooting victims Sandy Hook village Newtown Conn. Friday Dec. 21 2012.  The shooter Adam Lanzwalked

Rain soaks parts of a memorial to the Newtown shooting victims in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn., Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. The shooter, Adam Lanza, walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Dec. 14, and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children, before killing himself.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

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Updated: February 12, 2013 2:30PM

Show integrity and pay state pensions

For at least 30 years, money that was supposed to go into the State of Illinois’ pension funds was “redirected” to pay for schools, hospitals, prisons and myriad other projects and state agencies. When Bernie Madoff “redirected” his investors’ money to finance his own extravagances, your newspaper rightly condemned him and everyone agreed the investors were owed the money. But all we hear now is how the pension mess is a Democrat-vs.-Republican political game. This is no game. It is the future of thousands of state workers.

Springfield can change the retirement system for future state hires, but it is time to be honest about every alleged solution the pension crisis offered so far. Every proposed “restructuring” of pensions for current employees and pensioners amounts to nothing less than stealing from those workers and pensioners.

The last line of your Tuesday editorial read, “All that’s missing is courage.” What’s really missing is the integrity and honesty required to pay one’s bills.

Robert Hunt, Lombard

NRA misses point of Australia

The CNN interview with Alex Jones of the NRA got extensive coverage here in Australia. How embarrassing for normal Americans. He totally missed the point.

Yes, we love guns as much as you do, but we use them in licensed clubs and to hunt. We respect our fellow citizens and trust our government. A win-win all round. Our “Newtown” occurred in 1996 when 35 people were massacred by a lone gunman in Port Arthur.

As a result, we totally banned assault rifles and introduced strict controls over gun owners.

The vast majority of Australians supported this and gun homicides dropped by 80 percent.

Banning assault rifles in the USA would achieve similar results. This would be a stunning memorial to the 20 innocent first-graders who died last month. The civilized world will applaud you. God bless America.

Martin Lack, Brisbane, Australia

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