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More gun laws not the answer

Bill Cowher coaches youth football clinic September. | Mark VHolden / AP Images for National Football League

Bill Cowher coaches at a youth football clinic in September. | Mark Von Holden / AP Images for National Football League

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Updated: November 18, 2013 7:43AM

I don’t understand why the government is trying to pass so many new restrictions on owning guns. Law-abiding citizens do not buy guns to go on shooting sprees. We have them for home protection, to go to the shooting range, or to go hunting. I understand why they think it is necessary to add these additional gun laws. But they do not seem to understand that people they are trying to keep guns from do not take laws into consideration when breaking them. The only way we can defend ourselves is if we are allowed to have the same firepower as criminals. I believe that concealed carry being allowed in states was a great idea. Now people looking to go on a shooting spree might think twice.

Kevin Bennett, Downers Grove

No football under age 14

My dad played football in college to pay for his scholarship, and without any encouragement from him I played high school football — and have a messed up shoulder to show for it. My cousin played for the NFL and when he left the game he never even watched it on television. He said, “It’s just a business.”

Last week I saw PBS’ Frontline program “League of Denial,” reporting 20 years of research on brain damage in NFL football players. This weekend I read the New York Times’ article “Tackling, at the Turn of the Century” about Teddy Roosevelt’s attempts to eliminate the brutality of football. He had to settle for only a few minor rule changes. Players are still being told that if a player hits you in the head and “rings your bell,” just suck it up and keep playing. Damaged knees and shoulders are a given when you play high school and college football but brain damage from concussions and sub-concussive hits is subtle and invisible and most often doesn’t show up till much later in life.

I am convinced that kids under the age of 14 should not to be playing football no matter how it’s taught or how much padding they wear. Their young brains are still developing and are especially vulnerable to getting shaken and injured and they and their parents won’t necessarily have any idea of the damage being done. Is it worth risking permanent brain damage just to play a little football?

Jerry Powers, Harvard

So-called ethics in government

While it’s possible to say “Ethics in Government” without a scornful tone or sneering, Congress makes sure that it’s becoming harder to do either. Since Obamacare is “so bad,” maybe Congress should extend CongreCare to all Americans. No one seems to complain about the cost or efficiency of the health care that Congress gives itself; maybe what’s good for Congress is good for the American people — either that or Congress should explain why it’s so much better than the people it represents, or purports to represent. Instead of defunding Obamacare, defund the massive subsidies given to major energy companies and to products and services that contribute to American obesity and unhealthiness — and no more unfunded wars.

Lester G. Lindley, Libertyville

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