Updated: July 6, 2013 6:23AM
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is a Republican. I am a Democrat. Kirk is a conservative. I am a liberal. Kirk recently expressed what a very large portion of the American population feels. In Chicago there is a daily casualty toll due to gangs. Kirk’s remarks were neither high-class elitist nor “white boy” nor suburban. His remarks represent the feelings of any class and any race within or without the city limits. It is a cry from the graves of innocent victims. It is a cry from the grieving parents and friends of these victims. It is a cry from the outraged citizens of Chicago, Detroit, Gary and a host of other cities. Kirk offers the outcry and instead of support, he receives silence, criticism and racial attack. Are we to turn our backs to wanton crime that takes the life of innocent children because of the fear of being accused of elitist racism?
Sen. Kirk’s plan is not feasible. But it is the starting point. His outcry should be a rallying point that brings interested parties together to formulate a plan of attack. This is war. These gangs are domestic terrorists. We have absolutely no qualms about arresting and imprisoning those suspected of foreign terrorism. Why are we so fearful of doing the same to these domestic terrorists.
Frank Moriarty, Chicago Ridge
In his Sunday column concerning gay marriage, Mark Brown accused those who are against gay marriage of being “true cowards.” How absurd. Personally I believe marriage is primarily about children, so I have no problem with gay marriage because multiple studies show the children of such unions are not harmed. But until those studies, I was against gay marriage. However, others have different views on what marriage is about, and are against gay marriage. We’ll never all agree on cultural issues like marriage, and that is how it must be in a culturally diverse nation like America.
But what we can agree on is to disagree without being disagreeable, and on that score Brown failed miserably. I’m always amused by how liberals like Brown “celebrate diversity” and cheer “multiculturalism” until people hold positions contrary to those of the liberal.
Gerald Shinn, Pilsen
Getting smart about gangs
It appears that in their search for solutions to the gang problem, authorities and politicians are purposely or inadvertently overlooking drug sales, the root reason for the violence. Authorities and politicians are discussing the issue like it is has something to do with poor parenting, poverty, or anger and frustration due to lack of opportunity for disadvantaged inner-city youth when nothing could be further from the truth.
Speaking plainly, the reason for the violence is cash money, getting a larger share of the underground economy which some associated with the University of Chicago have been describing for at least 30 years. Now, some estimate the underground economy to be around $2 trillion per year. The police know that there are no more centralized gang leaders such as Larry Hoover or Jeff Fort determining day-to-day operations. Today, there is what could be described as independent gangs who are in the sole business of selling drugs, and they commit murder for the control of a single corner.
It is time for our decision makers to stop pandering and get smart. Two trillion dollars could help with the recovery.