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Forum: Attack root causes of gun violence

Updated: August 30, 2013 6:26AM



I agree with the conclusions in Phil Kadner’s July 14 column (“Weapons bans: Common sense misfires”), but I have an observation as to why certain towns in our area have passed legislation to ban assault weapons.

I think what they are doing is actually a form of protest. They feel completely frustrated, as so many Americans are, about this festering issue, and, even if they think that their legislation won’t really do much, they may feel that they need to something.

The entire gun control debate is out of control. It’s incomprehensible that this supposedly advanced society can allow this deplorable situation to continue without people using rational thinking to come up with reasonable and effective gun safety regulations.

I’m fully aware that the collusion between Congress, the gun industry, the National Rifle Association and other lobbyists is why nothing substantive gets done on this issue. It’s all about money, power and control.

But little is being done in America to address the underlying problems contributing to gun violence. The root causes of this massive problem are that, in this wealthiest of countries, we have allowed our system of education to greatly deteriorate, and we have millions who desperately want to work but can’t find jobs because they have been outsourced. The disparity of income in this country is a disgrace.

These conditions and many associated ones are why people who are angry, frustrated and desperate resort to crime and violence. This country has become a breeding ground for violence of its own making. We are our worst enemy. This massive problem of gun violence will never change as long as we refuse to attack its underlying causes.

Ken Vrshek

Frankfort

Time to adopt the fair tax

What if there were a better way to collect the federal income tax so you’d never have to file a tax return again? No more saving receipts, and you’d never have to pay anyone to do your taxes for you.

And this system would fund the federal government exactly as it is now while saving about $650 billion a year. It’s not a fantasy, it’s a proposal that has been before Congress since 1999 — the fair tax.

It’s called that because it treats everyone above the poverty level the same. Everyone pays the same rate. That’s fair.

The current tax code is an incomprehensible mess for most Americans. It started out as a flat tax and metastasized into what it is today. If you go for a flat income tax, it’s going to end up back where we are today because it allows for special interest loopholes and privileges based on income.

The fair tax is based on consumption, like a sales tax. Those who can afford to spend more will obviously pay more in tax, but everyone pays the same rate. It would remove the ability of politicians to write special interest loopholes for the favored.

Glenn Gornik

Joliet



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