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Sunday Letters: Put blame for Dallas shootings where it belongs

A U.S. flag flies at half-staff outside Seattle Municipal Court next to Seattle Police Headquarters, Friday in downtown Seattle. Flags were lowered across the country Friday in honor of those police officers killed Thursday in Dallas. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Lay the blame for the Dallas police murders where it belongs: First with the shooter himself; then with the NRA, the GOP, and the overly-broad 2008 Supreme Court Second Amendment ruling (District of Columbia vs. Heller). Add in the repeated cases of the use of excessive force by police, and this day was just about inevitable.

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We have at least as many guns as people in America. As long as we do, this carnage will continue. Charles Whitman (1966 University of Texas tower sniper), the D.C. sniper, now Dallas. When someone with a rifle is shooting from cover, it takes too long for the “good guy with a gun” to find them and stop them. In the meantime, more people are dying.

And the mass shootings barely scratch the surface: 20,000 suicides and 10,000 homicides a year.

Michael Hart, West Ridge

Half-staff flag

I grew up in the 1950s, and I can remember the American flag at half-staff only one time, in November of 1963 when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Now our flag is at half-staff more than it flies high in all its glory, as it is supposed to do. Let’s just leave it at half-staff and raise it only when something good happens, or when we learn to live as one. America is a very unhealthy country. I long to be proud of her again.

Ken Karlson, Wheaton

Trump deferments

I received my draft notice and was inducted into the Army on April 11, 1962. I served my two years of service, unlike Donald Trump, who got five draft letters and got five deferments. So I guess if your name is Trump and you have tons of money, you don’t have to serve your country.

Ernie Gehrke, Jefferson Park

Avoiding reality

Former Gov. Pat Quinn has shown once again that he lives in a world devoid of reality. Why else would he consider it important to propose a referendum to limit the mayor of Chicago to two terms in office when the state’s precarious financial position can most directly be attributed to the control Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan has had over his party and our state government for more than 30 years? If Quinn really had guts and a desire to help the state whose condition he failed to improve during his time as governor, he would make term limits apply to Madigan and end his dominance over the entire Legislature, as well as his control of the redistricting process that has allowed most state legislators to choose their voters instead of allowing voters to decide who should represent them.

J.L. Stern, Highland Park

Wrong person

The recent committee hearing on Clinton’s e-mail practices invited the wrong person to testify. Director Comey did not conduct the Clinton interview nor was he present. The circumstances of that interview raise some serious questions. The person conducting the interview should respond to why Clinton was not advised of her rights in a criminal investigation, who was present during the interview, why was a transcript of that interview not made, where was the interview was conducted and why an interview of a lengthy investigation took less than three and one-half hours while the FBI director responded to congressional inquiries for over five and one-half hours. It is common practice to record the date time of commencement and termination of interviews. It is most important the interviewer state under oath his opinion and that the proceedings were not a influences by outside sources. This hearing failed to establish that.

John Culloton, Norwood Park

Compelling observation

In response to the recent shooting death of Philando Castile, Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota made a compelling observation on Thursday when he stated to a crowd assembled outside of his home: “Would this have happened if those passengers would have been white?” Dayton’s remark struck a chord in connection with the nagging issue of underlying and overt racism shadowing the already-strained relationship between white law enforcement officers and African Americans. Of course, any and all glaring inequity that divides blacks and whites is certainly not confined solely to confrontations that occur between white police officers and black males. To be sure, the FBI’s mild scolding of presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton’s “extremely careless” mishandling of classified and top-secret emails is also an egregious example of white privilege.

For nearly the entirety of President Barack Obama’s two terms in office, he was criticized for his sympathy for Muslims, his affiliations with Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Al Sharpton, as well hounded relentlessly about the validity of his birth certificate; however, it seems very safe to say that if it had been Obama who ran afoul of federal authorities for corrupting the integrity and safety of classified State intelligence, it is probable he would have not only faced criminal charges and a potential prison sentence but would (at the very least) have been forced to withdraw his candidacy for president. In stark contrast, Clinton walked away from her email scandal with barely a slap on the hand and smugly resumed her campaign for the highest office in the land- one for which, by her actions, she has clearly demonstrated she is completely unqualified for.

Therefore, it is appropriate to rearrange some of the words of Governor Dayton’s recent statement about the racially-motivated death of Mr. Castile to: “Would this have happened if the presidential candidate was black?” The obvious answer to that rhetorical question would be no.

Mary L. Flannigan, River Grove