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Forum: Focus on drugs as well as guns

Updated: May 11, 2013 6:46AM



While the U.S. Senate considers background-check legislation as a means to stop gun violence, it should also do a background check on the war on drugs. The two unrelated deaths of youngsters reported in the Chicago newspapers last week were beyond the reach of gun control but were within the reach of a better drug policy.

Brian Carrick, 17, died from a single punch triggered by his failure to pay a small drug debt in 2002 in McHenry County, according to testimony in the trial of his attacker.

And 14-year-old Depree Mims died last month in his Merrillville, Ind., home of a single bullet wound, a shot allegedly fired in retaliation for a robbery during a drug transaction — with the robbery victim apparently mistaken as to the residence where the robber lived, police said.

Drug prohibition and the huge illegal profits it produces are the reasons why so many guns are being fired and so many killings are occurring. We need to take the profit out of drugs to get rid of much of the crime on our streets and the taxes (to pay for more prisons, police, courts and violence-related medical care) that are breaking our backs.

James E. Gierach

Palos Park

Outrageous corporate pay

Boeing chief executive James McNerney got a 20 percent raise in 2012 to $27.5 million, even though the full fleet of 787 Dreamliners was grounded because of battery problems. Boeing still reported $81.7 billion in 2012 revenue. I wonder what his average employee earns.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s compensation fell 29 percent to $20.95 million in 2012. I hope they don’t think any of us are going to feel sorry for him. Certainly not while he is receiving close to $700,000 in “other compensation.”

Ford reported billions in pretax profit in 2012 — all this while the middle class is suffering job losses and cuts in pay.

Republicans still try to justify destroying Social Security and Medicare so the wealthy don’t have to pay their fair share in taxes.

Ann M. Gutierrez

Chicago

Decries lack of respect

People in today’s society have no manners. It seems as though the longer life goes on, the more we lose respect toward others and ourselves.

Kids and teenagers treat their elders with so little respect. They act so ridiculous in public and need to be taught correctly on how to act in public, how to treat people.

There are rare occasions when you find that stranger who smiles brightly, says “hello” or helps you out if you are in need.

It’s not just the children who have no respect, it’s also the adults. That’s even worse because that’s who the children learn from. I hope one day this can be resolved, and people can one day see how our world truly is becoming a “cruel world.”

Lynn Draskovic

Oak Forest



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