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Friday Letters: National Guard isn’t solution to street violence

The National Guard is on duty in 1968 outside the Fillmore District Police Station. | Sun-Times Library

On Wednesday, Gov. Bruce Rauner said he has ruled out the deployment of National Guard troops to help combat street violence in Chicago. He further stated that to do so would be an emotional response that would make no sense.

In my opinion the governor without question made the right decision. I have been involved in two instances when the Illinois National Guard was in fact deployed to Chicago’s streets — during the Dr. King assassination riots in April of 1968 and then in August of 1968 along with federal troops sent by then president Lyndon Johnson to help with the massive demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

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When we hear the frustrated calls from some for the National Guard to be deployed, we must be aware of just what we are asking for. Those Guard members are civilians that are not trained in law enforcement. They are plumbers, electricians, firefighters, auto salespeople, etc., who have been trained by the military. They do not know Illinois law, they do not know municipal law. They are not trained in arrest, search and seizure. They do not know the elements of a crime.

One can see the problems we faced when they joined us here on the streets. Most of them spent all their time riding around asking us how to find certain streets and where certain neighborhoods were. Many asked us where to find food, water and coffee. They did not know the neighborhoods or the gang affiliates. When we did need assistance on a few occasions, we had to wait several minutes for the request from civilian authorities to be approved up the chain of command when time was of the essence.

My advice to those who are frustrated by the violence is beware what you ask for. The National Guard at best would be an occupation force, and Gov. Rauner was wise to make the decision he did.

Bob Angone, Miramar Beach Florida

Shocking news

I’ve had a severe anaphylactic allergy to dairy products since birth. EpiPens have saved my life on countless occasions. As I was growing up, my parents made sure I carried one with me at all times and left them with babysitters and nurse’s offices at schools.

Having lived with a food allergy my whole life, I was not shocked by the recent news on EpiPen price hikes. While I’m glad that elected officials are finally holding Mylan accountable, it seems inevitable that another Martin Shrkeli or Heather Bresch will emerge in the future. We need broader safeguards to protect working families from the greed of the pharmaceutical industry.

Congress has several options to prevent these outrageous prescription drug price jumps. Authorizing HHS to negotiate drug prices, supporting the broader availability of generics, and lowering barriers to the importation of cheaper drugs from other countries are all common sense legislative solutions. Please encourage your elected officials to pass legislation that ensures access to life-saving medications for all Americans.

John Gargiulo, Logan Square

Infuriating veto

When I read the “Young mother angry over Rauner veto of child care bill” article, it infuriated me. It infuriated me because I don’t have an answer to the daily question I ask myself, “Where are the lobbyists for the working poor?”

Gov. Bruce Rauner | Lou Foglia/Sun-Times file photo
Gov. Bruce Rauner | Lou Foglia/Sun-Times file photo

How could Gov. Bruce Rauner veto a bill that would assist thousands of children and yet give corporate welfare to billion-dollar companies? How can he say there is no money to pay for child care, when there is money to pay for corporate tax breaks?

Working parents like Ms. Tenai Woods are struggling to get by. She makes $15 an hour and was told she makes too much money to continue receiving child care. And yet Illinois is paying for corporate welfare to billion-dollar corporations!

Many child care facilities have gone out of business because of the cuts that Gov. Rauner has enacted. And yet Illinois is paying to constantly pad the profits of giant corporations and the lobbyists who work for them.

So where are the lobbyists for the working poor?

We, the people, have to be our own lobbyists. We deserve so much more than what Gov. Rauner is giving us. We need to tell the General Assembly members to override his child care veto — and if they don’t, we need to remember their track record in 2018.

The time for “pandering politics” is over. Let’s clean house.

Bernina M. Moore, Beverly

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. (AP)
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. (AP)

Make a donation

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick should donate 80 percent of his salary to fight social injustice rather than sit through an anthem honoring the flag and country that gave him the opportunity to make $19 million a year playing a game.

Travis Rudolph sitting with an autistic boy for lunch did more for social justice than 25 of Colin Kaepernick’s demonstrations.

Alex Silgalis, Palos Hills

Significant threat

Rev. Michael Pfleger wants to revise the Chicago police contract, and he brought up the use of force policy and mentioned Tennessee v. Garner, a case the Supreme Court said , when pursuing a fleeing suspect, he or she may not use deadly force to prevent escape unless “the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”

I wonder if Rev. Pfleger thinks someone driving a stolen car and almost running over a police officer and then driving that same stolen car into a head-on collision with a marked squad car qualifies as a significant threat to the officers or others. To agree that’s a threat wouldn’t fit into the Rev Pfleger’s rhetoric against the Chicago Police Department.

Richard Barber, Mount Greenwood

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