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Letters: Speak out against violence in Chicago

Three businesses were burglarized in Dec. 2019 on the Near North Side.
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Chicago crime: it is known and talked about everywhere — locally, nationally, and internationally. Myriad positions have been proffered in a so-far futile attempt to understand what is happening. It is painful and embarrassing to observe even well-intentioned but inadequate leaders tripping all over themselves, giving their naïve, inaccurate, and irresponsible ideas about how they understand the causes of our city’s increasing violent crime.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

The two primary causes of our violent crime are the following: 1) the collapse of the intact family as we have known it (meaning two effective, on-duty parents in the home), and 2) the move away from a committed connection to a respected, organized belief system or religion. Without an involvement with both of those influences, which teach people how things are to be done, the resulting behavior of many people will resemble that of untrained pit bulls off a leash.

Education and jobs are not the primary issues, as important as they are. People are trained from birth, and if their relatively minor errors and infractions are not identified, interrupted, and corrected early, they understandably grow older, not having learned what “no” or “boundaries” mean. After 5, 10, or 15 years of such non-shaping, what can be expected but fist fights and shootings?

The sad news is that the leaders of the most dysfunctional communities have not spoken out about the significant absence of fathers in those settings. They have become frenetic and determined to scapegoat others for the failings described above. Are we likely to see an increased return of fathers to such settings any time in the near future? Not likely. There’s no blame or judgment here, simply observation and description. Furthermore, none of this has anything to do with race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomics, politics, etc. For the moment the crucial issue is to contain the violence and to reduce its chance of spreading.

If the goal is the immediate interruption of the egregious behavior we are witnessing, then the following is the only solution in a civilized world: When dealing with “terrorists” of any kind there must be a show of force that is superior and external to that of the wrongdoers. It is just that simple. After the horrendous behavior is halted, leaders can then do the “committee work” to examine the best ways to reconnect people to families, belief systems, and the traditional settings that have always provided for structure, observance of boundaries, impulse control, and civility.

We have no time to waste.

Leon J. Hoffman, Lake View

Give Chicago schools money

I am a parent of two primary students in Chicago, and we reside in the Auburn Gresham area. Unfortunately, neither of my children attends a school in our own community. Instead we commute 2 1/2 hours daily by car so they can attend Level 1 & Level 1+ charter schools outside of our neighborhood.

Though we are in a position to make this lengthy commute, others in our neighborhood may not be so fortunate. Instead, they rely on the local schools, which are poorly funded and have overcrowded classes, overworked staff, fewer extracurricular activities and a lack of educational materials.

Our youth are in vital stages of the learning process; their primary and secondary education will guide them through their future endeavors and career choices. Less funding for CPS students decreases the opportunities afforded these children, cheating them out of a quality education and denying them the right to blossom into productive citizens of our community.

A family’s lack of financial means should not equate to lack of proper education.

More funding given to our city schools will provide our children with greater educational opportunities, which will lead to improved grades and test scores, fewer school closings, and less need for long commutes for some to receive well-deserved, quality educations.

“We the people” of Chicago are doing our part by working and providing our financial contribution to the state of Illinois; we expect Illinois to do right by our children by first acknowledging the need for fair funding in our Chicago Public Schools, and second, fixing the funding formula and providing this fair funding, accordingly.

Katrina Murray, Auburn Gresham

Do a poll

I would be very interested to see a poll of Cubs fans being asked if they are offended by the Ricketts family spending a million dollars in support of Donald Trump.

Tony Galati, Lockport