I am a pit bull owner of almost 10 years. The Gene Lyons’ column in Saturday’s paper was  irresponsible. How you can blame an entire breed for this man’s single experience when he has never owned a pit bull, been around a pit bull, or even probably been near one is beyond me.

The article was factually inaccurate, ignorant and downright dangerous. Pits are wonderful animals. They need to be properly trained as with any other animal. Any dog can be dangerous when untrained. The fact that nothing but bile was produced in this “opinion” article is downright shameful.

Joe Scialabba, Oak Forest

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Find common ground

I was more than a little surprised to see the Sun Times dedicating an entire page to the castigation of pit bulls [Gene Lyons, Sat. March 4].

Pits are a breed that, in my experience, has more than its share of couch potatoes with a penchant for soft beds and belly rubs. Have we learned nothing at all about the destructive nature of lumping all of anything into one pile? Yes, that even applies to dogs.

Shelters are filled to overflowing with pits that have been specifically bred for the very human pursuit of dog fighting. Not only are these dogs often cruelly mistreated in training and throughout their lives but they are dumped when they have outlived their usefulness. Instead of using the opportunity the column provided to shed a light on this dismal practice or call owners to task, Mr. Lyons used his personal fears to fan the flames of ignorance.

More legislation? Really? Who does that serve? No one. Can’t we rise above the use of public forums to incite hatred, fear and suspicion? Can’t we at least find common ground in the protection of man’s best friend?

Kristina Schramm, Lincoln Square

Imprison the culprits

Gene Lyons’ evocative article regarding pit bull terriers being good or bad for human society warrants serious consideration. Several studies have determined that pit bulls are innately tame, loyal and wonderful companion animals. Conversely, it’s widely known that violent criminals, gang members and inhumane reprobates adopt or steal pit bulls as a vicious means to train, traumatize and torment them into becoming attack dogs that kill other dogs, animals and in some instances humans. This is a societal problem that can only be remedied if prosecutors and judges rightfully imprison the dangerous culprits who wrongfully torture and force pit bulls to become menacing threats to innocent people and their respective pets.

Brien Comerford, Glenview

Insightful article

Thanks so much for your insightful March 5 article, “Get On Board With Bargain,”  which detailed the crazy course of events in the Illinois Senate last week. The public should know how close the Senate came to focusing on a compromise that will lead this state out of the fiscal irresponsibility of the last two years. Kudos to Sen. Christine Radogno, the Republican Senate leader, for getting five to six  of her colleagues to commit to voting for a compromise that could work.

But then chaos ensured as Gov. Bruce Rauner interjected his stances into the framework of the senators’ hard work at the very last minute. They left Sen.Radogno alone in her own party. The power and money of his office and his PAC were used to browbeat the senators of his own party into submission.

Many of the senators are not up for re-election until 2020, so why do they need to listen to a governor who may not even be around then? Even if they are up in 2018, they are all in long-ago gerrymandered districts that gave them name recognition and power enough to fight off a primary challenge.

It is time for the Illinois Senate to do the right thing regardless of party or threats by the governor. Vote for the “grand bargain.” No one is ever going to be happy with everything that it includes. But the alternative of having even one more month without a budget is a dereliction of duty and a violation of the oath of office. The House comes back to Springfield this week. They are looking to you, senators, to be the reasonable chamber. Do not disappoint.

Jan Goldberg, Riverside

No proof

To draw attention away from the deepening crisis of his involvement with the Russians, draconian budget cuts to the EPA and the State Department, an unconstitutional immigration policy and incompetent Cabinet of billionaires bent on destroying the departments they run, Trump has now accused Obama of wiretapping his conversations in the Trump Tower.

Of course he has no proof and doesn’t know you need a warrant from a FISA court to do so. So, what started as a right-wing conspiracy theory by the Brietbart wing of the GOP led by Steve Bannon became a Trump tweet and was endorsed by Sean Hannity on FOX News.

And, of course, if no proof is found for this misdirection, it will be because the fake news media is in collusion with Obama and Hillary. Don’t worry about Putin and Russian hacking and Trump’s financial connections with the oligarchs.

Tom Minnerick, Elgin

Democracy is threatened

President Donald Trump’s reign thus far shows an unhealthy reliance on a flood of executive orders which is in keeping with Trump’s highly autocratic governing style. Government by edict is not what our founding fathers envisioned. Our representative democracy is threatened when the balance of powers among the three branches of government skews sharply to the executive branch or when one political party dominates.

Mary F. Warren, Wheaton

Not well received

Sigh! In what world does Linda Chavez live in? In her article she claims the president had a well-received speech? Well received by whom? When will these Republicans wake up and see truth about Trump. He lies, insults, offends people constantly. I’ve never in my 76 years have seen such an offensive, incompetent man like Trump — not presidential at all.

Ann Gutierrez, Tinley Park