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Father Pfleger should lead that anti-violence caravan through Chicago first

Pfleger does not recognize the danger of restrictions placed on the police, who still manage to confiscate guns and make arrests.

Rev. Michael Pfleger
The Rev. Michael Pfleger has announced a plan to lead an anti-gun violence caravan to Washington, D.C.
Max Herman/For the Sun-Times

Father Michael Pfleger’s attempt to end gun violence in Chicago for more than 10 years has totally failed. Pfleger continually blames the government, legitimate gun shops and the police for the gun violence in Chicago.

Leading a bus caravan to the Capitol in Washington, D.C., along with anti-violence organizations, will accomplish nothing to end the gun violence in Chicago.

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How about directing the bus caravans to where the real problem is — in the neighborhoods of gangs, drug dealers and many shootings?

Pfleger cannot accept criticism from the likes of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for his failed attempts to end gun violence. He does not recognize the danger of restrictions placed on the police, who still manage to confiscate guns and make arrests.

Guns acquired from private gun shows account for very little gun possession by criminals. Most of their guns are acquired through theft or straw purchases. Aggressive pro-active police work is needed.

I will hold Mayor Lori Lightfoot accountable for failing to end gun violence in Chicago, but it seems like that does no good. All the talk and political spin by the mayor will not end gun violence in Chicago.

Dan Bartoszewski, Irving Park

Beware the promises of a progressive tax

A Sun-Times editorial on Aug. 12, “Beware of disinformation campaign against a fairer tax for Illinois,” which was written in support of a graduated income tax amendment to replace the state Constitution’s flat tax provision, lacks a serious reality check.

True, as the editorial points out, the General Assembly did pass legislation, effective if the graduated tax amendment is adopted by the voters in 2020, that would tax the “rich” earning $250,000 or more a year at a higher rate than those earning less.

But the Legislature can change that law and, for example, increase the tax rate on those earning less than $250,000, thereby hitting “middle class” taxpayers. The editorial claims that the Legislature can now change the flat income tax rate, “sticking it to the middle class.”

The reason for going to a graduated tax is not fairness. Rather, as the editorial illustrates, it is to pull Illinois out of its deep financial hole by raising revenue.

Why the Sun-Times believes the Legislature would abide by its own law enacted in anticipation of a graduate tax amendment is confounding in light of the Legislature’s spending history.

It is the Legislature that created the fiscal mess, and there is no good reason to believe it will stop its tax-and-spend program. Unnecessary spending must stop first and game playing must end.

I and most others, including the other major Chicago newspaper, agree that at this point a graduated income tax is not the answer. The Sun-Times is naive to think otherwise.

Denis Dohm, Oak Lawn