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Thursday, April 14, 2011 03:19 pm

Letters to the Editor 04/14/11


We are living in a state of anxiety these days. One of the things that we have focused our fears on is crime, and the only help being offered in the public forum seems to be so-called concealed carry legislation. It has been said that “guns don’t kill people – people kill people.” If approved, concealed carry will put more guns on the streets and literally in the hands of many more people. And why not? Maybe “bad people” will think twice if there’s an even chance their target may be armed. (Or not. Many people who commit crimes do not think things through in a healthy way – their judgment is often skewed.)

But before Illinois rushes into passing a concealed carry law, we need to ask ourselves a few tough questions. Most of us will never commit armed robbery or push drugs. But under the right circumstances every one of us is capable of killing. Having a gun ready to hand will make this much easier. Are you prepared to kill another human being in self-defense? How will you know for sure when your life is in danger? Police officers run afoul of this boundary in the line of duty, and they are well-trained in making this judgment. How will you feel if you kill in “self-defense” only to learn you were mistaken? Are you willing to kill another human being to protect your property? How will you live with yourself after you injure or kill another person just so you can keep your “stuff?”

There are parts of every city now that resemble a war zone. Concealed carry will not cure this; it may make it worse. The illness in our society needs to be addressed at the source before we can feel truly safe. We already know the source: poverty, drug addiction, domestic violence, social and economic inequality and lack of basic physical and mental health care for people living at the bottom of the economic ladder. So the last question we need to ask ourselves is, are we finally ready to do something real and healthy to address crime?

Catherine Wells

On March 19, Nancy Gray, prepared to attend a funeral. Nancy has macular degeneration, a retinal degenerative disease which causes progressive loss of central vision and gradual blindnes. She cannot drive. Consequently, since the funeral was out of town, she made arrangements to go with a friend. She made special arrangements for her only companion, Tina, her 5 1/2 pound Papillion.

Tina is a member of a relatively rare breed. “Papillion” is French for “Butterfly.” The little dog has large ears that look like butterfly wings. The breed has been nicknamed the “Butterfly dog.” It was made famous by paintings of French and Spanish nobility in the 16th century.

Perhaps Tina’s propensity for loyalty was the very fact that got Tina into trouble. Nancy’s friend walked Tina and proceeded to leave her in Nancy’s apartment. Tina is not particularly “socialized” because she is not around people that much. Consequently, the dog is frightened of people she does not know. So, Tina decided to find her “person,” Nancy.

Nancy’s friend inadvertently left the apartment door open. Apparently Tina escaped the apartment, shot down the hallway to the main lobby and tripped the motion sensor on the outside door to the parking lot. As she made her escape, people who knew Tina tried to catch her but she was having none of it. She was determined to find Nancy. She shot down Southwind Road heading west.

When Nancy returned home, Tina was long gone. Nancy called the veterinarians in Springfield and Chatham. She made flyers and posted them in stores and advertised in the local papers. She received a call several days later. Apparently, Tina made it to the MacArthur exchange. She was sited on the overpass to Chatham next to Iron Bridge Road. The lady who saw her tried to catch her but Tina was terrified and ran from her.

If there is anyone out there who may have seen Tina, would you please contact Nancy? It would be wonderful to see these two united. Tina is about eight inches at the shoulder, weighs 5 1/2 pounds. Her hair is silky, she has a black mask on her face and black “butterfly” ears. She is desperately seeking Nancy.

Kathleen R. Bartolomucci

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