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Thursday, June 29, 2017 12:16 am

Letters to the Editor 6/29/17

SB 1657, sponsored by State Rep. Kathleen Willis, is pending in the Illinois House and is aimed at reducing gun store break-ins while regulating gun dealers.


The recent article by Bruce Rushton titled “Killing Fields” (Jun 22) highlights a growing concern across this country: the soaring number of gun store burglaries. These guns are ending up in the illegal market and are causing the increase in gun violence in Springfield, Chicago and across Illinois.

SB 1657, sponsored by State Rep. Kathleen Willis, is pending in the Illinois House, and would help reduce the growing rates of these break-ins and regulate gun dealers on the state level. The legislation gives Illinois the ability to encourage better business practices among gun dealers, including security requirements. The bill codifies industrywide best practices by requiring video surveillance for brick-and-mortar locations.

In addition to addressing the growing concern around the increase of gun store burglaries, SB 1657 will help curb a major source of illegally trafficked firearms from entering our communities by enforcing background checks for licensees and employees, opening businesses to inspection by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional regulation and law enforcement during hours of operation, and safe business location requirements.

The legislation is one step in keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have access to them. It deserves the support of the entire Illinois House, as it will help protect our communities and help save lives.

Colleen Daley
Executive Director
Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence

On June 3, I was called to the bedside of a congregant, Jerry Bowman, as he lay dying in the ER at St. John’s Hospital. When I arrived, I met several of the staff who had been caring for him and his spouse. As it became clear that Jerry’s time on Earth was growing short, I continued to talk to him while his spouse held his hand. It was a very tender time, and I must commend the staff for their high degree of professionalism and empathy. It did not matter that his spouse was also a man – we honored their bond and their humanity.

Several days later, I conducted a funeral service for Jerry and he was laid to rest not far from the Lincoln Tomb. All those who knew Jerry and his husband recognized full well that theirs was a true marriage of hearts and minds and that nothing less than a dignified and reverent service was warranted. I am so proud of my church, the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation – which, along with other local faith communities, welcomed and affirmed this couple along with so many others. The hymnal lyrics, “How could anyone ever tell you, you were anything less than beautiful?/How could anyone ever tell you, you were less than whole?” have been on my mind this past week as I read the local news. I pray that eventually others will open their hearts and doors to the LGBTQ community, especially in their hours of need.

Rev. Martin Woulfe

Below are a few questions about Obamacare and the replacement plan that reporters don’t seem willing to ask, and therefore Democrats don’t have to answer.

If increased Medicaid spending is the solution to opioid addiction, why has the addiction and death rate gone up despite massive increases in Medicaid? Doesn’t that show a negative correlation between increased spending and reductions in addiction? It is a fact that Medicaid spending is not being cut in the replacement bill, only the projected increase.

Why did life expectancy unexpectedly decline after Obamacare kicked in when it was going up before? Wasn’t the more than 2,000-page bill with massive mandates, increased taxes and regulations supposed to improve life expectancy?

When Warren, Sanders, Hillary and others say the Republican replacement to Obamacare is going to cause thousands, if not millions, of deaths, why doesn’t the media point out that the death rate actually went up after Democrats passed their draconian bill?

It would be helpful if the media had an ounce of curiosity and reported facts instead of basically repeating Democrat talking points that pushes an agenda.

Jack Hellner


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