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Forum: A pistol saved my uncle

Updated: March 2, 2013 6:31AM



My 75-year-old Uncle Henry lived in Harvey, in the same house for 40 years with his wife. His wife passed away in 1976. By 2000, he was old and frail and did not travel well.

One night while he was watching TV in his house, two men kicked in the rear door to rob him. Uncle Henry had an old .38-caliber pistol with ammunition as old as the gun. He aimed at the ceiling and pulled the trigger a few times before the bullets fired. The would-be robbers fled.

My wonderful uncle passed away five years later, but thanks to that old pistol, I was able to spend those last years with him. The story was a small footnote in the news, but had he been killed or killed a robber it would have drawn much more attention.

More gun laws that will be ignored by the criminals will not help protect anyone but will hurt the law-abiding people who merely want to protect their families, hunt, target shoot and live in peace.

The Connecticut shooter was mentally ill, stole the weapons from his mother and killed her as well. No law can prevent such crazed behavior — only common sense, such as securely storing guns and preventing access to mentally disturbed people, felons and minors.

Lee Stahr

Shorewood

Excited by ‘field of dreams’ idea

It was with great interest and enthusiasm that I read Phil Kadner’s Jan. 11 column (“Kicking around a big idea: Southland’s field of dreams”). As a youth baseball coach for 15 years, president of the Matteson-Olympia Fields Baseball League for 10 years and an Olympia Fields village trustee for 10 years, I understand the vision of Jim Garrett, president of the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau, from a social and business perspective.

Competing at the local and regional levels, I have taken youth teams to numerous venues in Illinois as well as in other states. Such venues draw parents, coaches and players from all over the country — providing an obvious and significant boost to the local economy.

Our region could also benefit from such an impressive complex — a year-round sports and entertainment venue utilized by neighboring communities and that would provide jobs and support affiliated businesses. There are some beautiful and prosperous baseball facilities in the Southland, but none that rise to the level of what Garrett is proposing.

I’m most encouraged by the positive impact such a complex would have on our local youth and the opportunities to offer our young people an alternative source of entertainment while providing a resource for young and old in our communities.

This dream can become a reality with the support of our businesses and visionaries whose goals should be to transform our region into a mecca for entertainment and business development, a true destination point. I understand the importance of the bigger picture. “Build it and they will come” to the south suburbs!

Kelvin M. Oliver

Olympia Fields



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