Elected officials should listen to young Florida students

SHARE Elected officials should listen to young Florida students
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Seventeen student survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lie down on the floor in silence and pray at the approximate time of the attack one week ago, inside the state capitol, in Tallahassee, Fla., Wednesday,. The students, members of the Congregation Kol Tikvah Temple, lost three students, and were at the capitol to pressure lawmakers on gun control reform. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

It is sad yet quite impressive that busloads of young people from a school involved in yet another senseless mass shooting would travel hundreds of miles to tell state lawmakers what is on their minds. It is beyond reprehensible that these same lawmakers would vote down reasonable restrictions on the types of guns that people own. When it is tougher to get a fishing license than an automatic weapon in Florida, something is very wrong.

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Lawmakers can compromise on this issue. In 1994, then President Bill Clinton backed a crime bill that included a ban on automatic weapons. It had bipartisan support mainly because it had only a 10-year shelf life. In 2004, lawmakers in Congress and then-President George W. Bush let the ban expire with nary a whimper.

Now we have a president and a Congress that gave wealthy Americans a huge tax break while deciding which social services to place on the chopping block. Services for mentally ill Americans always seem to get cut while demand grows. Can anything be crazier than allowing mentally ill people to purchase assault weapons and say it “is their right under the Second Amendment”?

I applaud the students of Florida for interpreting that amendment with intelligence. If only our elected officials would listen to them.

Jan Goldberg, Riverside

Not surprising

It is not surprising that as soon as the young survivors of the latest shooting cried out in their collective agony that the bought and sold politicians, including our president would do their utmost to victimize them a second time by trying to discredit them.

How dare these young people dare speak truth to power! Don’t they have respect for their betters? There is no depth so low that Republicans will not stoop to in their effort to serve those who own them completely.

Edward David Juillard, Morgan Park

Never punished

Time and time again we read of another innocent person who has spent years — even decades — in prison because a cop or prosecutor coaxed or forced a confession, or withheld exculpatory evidence, done merely to get a “win” to advance his or her career.

The loss suffered in these cases is just as damaging as many felony crimes. Yet, because of limited immunity, a statute of limitations, or just plain “protecting our own,” the perpetrators are never punished for this crime.

We need two new crimes on the books: fraudulent intentional incarceration; and fraudulent negligent incarceration. In this way, we can insure the punishment fits the crime. And these crimes need to be prosecuted.

Lee Knohl, Evanston

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