Updated: February 12, 2013 2:51PM
I’m responding to the Rev. Michael Pfleger’s call for peace in which Chicago buildings will light themselves in blue for nine days, beginning Sunday, to mark Martin Luther King’s birthday.
In 1989, when Cook County State’s Attorney Richard Daley stepped down to become mayor, I first called for an end to the war on drugs during my speech to Democratic slatemakers at the Bismarck Hotel as I sought their support for state’s attorney.
Again seeking that endorsement in 1992 and 1994, I called for an end to the drug war and the legalization and control of drugs to curtail needless violence. Instead we have gotten state’s attorneys O’Malley, Devine and Alvarez and the continuance of the drug war.
For 23 years, I have repeatedly called for peace with a plan to end this Al Capone-era prohibition, but our religious leaders, including Rev. Pfleger, have opposed the idea.
Now, instead of calling for midnight basketball leagues or other innovative programs to reduce gun violence and gang activity, Rev. Pfleger wants us to get excited that some building owners will light their buildings with blue, the United Nations’ color of peace.
This is utter nonsense, as if lights on a building will accomplish any more than “Down with dope; up with hope” marches or gun buyback foolery.
James E. Gierach
Limits on 2nd Amendment right
I really don’t get it. The Second Amendment guarantees Americans the right to bear arms, but no right is unlimited. Freedom of speech does not give one the right to shout “fire” in a crowded theater. The right to vote comes with registration, age and other restrictions or requirements.
Unfortunately, some gun rights activists think that their right is boundless and supersedes any other. That’s wrong. Many seem to forget that the Second Amendment mentions a “well regulated” militia in conjunction with the right to bear arms.
Most of the Founding Fathers were worried about insurrections or continued threats from foreign enemies, not a threat from an oppressive central government. Because many of the founders did not believe in a standing army during peacetime, they saw a militia as the best way to handle domestic threats and even some from abroad.
The founders, of course, had no concept of modern weaponry but did not approve of individuals owning major weapons, such as cannons.
Most Americans are fed up with gun violence again. People do indeed kill people, but the proliferation of guns, especially powerful rifles, that are legally sold today is at least partially responsible for America’s high level of violence.
In general, states with the least amount of gun control have a higher rate of gun deaths per capita than those with stricter gun control. Reasonable and sensible gun control laws make sense and do not take away our right to bear arms.