Updated: January 28, 2013 4:00PM
I want to rebut Roger Koenig’s Dec. 16 letter to Forum regarding the need to allow train whistles to improve rail safety.
Obviously, Mr. Koenig does not live close to a railroad crossing. He does not hear three or four blaring sounds every 15 minutes around the clock. I live next to the Canadian National Railway tracks that cross Ridgeland Avenue near the Timber Ridge Mobile Home Park in Matteson. We residents (753 homes) are so very happy that we now have a quiet-zone crossing, it’s simply wonderful!
He mentions train horns as necessary to alert today’s increasingly distracted drivers. First, when one is driving a vehicle, they should not be on a cell phone nor texting nor playing a CD too loud to hear such warnings as sirens and train horns. Second, crossings in quiet zones have plenty of warnings — lowered, extended gates, red blinking lights on the poles and gates, yellow pylons in the middle of the street to prevent going around the gates.
Anyone who thinks train horns are necessary does not live near a crossing, nor have they tried to sleep amid horns sounding frequently. Thank God that we now have peace at the nearby crossing!
Accepting violence has consequences
Many thought that America lost its innocence when JFK was assassinated. I am not sure, but it does seem to be a starting point or a marker in time of what was once considered unthinkable becoming commonplace.
What we did not know then was that our society would continue on a downward spiral of violence. New trends and attitudes developed that seemed to allow us to shrug off what once was considered outrageous.
Our culture appears to be developing an innocuous view toward violence. One can view the causes as ranging from televised images of horrible events such as war and terrorism to Hollywood’s increasingly violent movies to technology that provides despicable and violent video games to our children. We see that criminal behavior has become a social focal point that many children idolize and imitate.
So we view with horror the periodic mass killings by insane individuals and wonder why and how this could be. We wonder how to stop it and try to craft law so it’s less likely to occur again. But we know deep inside that it will, and there seems to be nothing we can do to stop it.
A question regarding Newtown
The recent shootings at the grade school in Newtown, Conn., are a horrible reminder of the times in which we live.
As a member of the National Rifle Association and an avid supporter of the Second Amendment, I believe that both sides of this issue should take a deep breath and let the grieving parents bury their loved ones and mourn in privacy. It is the least we can do out of respect for the families.
As a father of two children, I was extremely saddened by the tragedy. But I couldn’t help but think why there was a bad guy with a gun at that school, and no good guy with one to protect those innocent people?
Norman R. Corsi