It’s. The. Gangs.

Outlaw gangs. It is the only way to take back the streets.

Chicago_Shootings.jpg

Chicago “blames everything and everyone except the people who are actually doing the shooting,” writes a Sun-Times reader.

AP Photos

How many bodies must pile up at the city morgue before we blame the elephant in the room? Ninety-nine people shot in a single weekend?

Mayor Lori Lightfoot blames the courts, but the courts are doing their jobs. Others blame the police, but they are doing theirs as well.

Blame the gun manufacturers, blame the lawmakers, blame the gun shop owners and the straw purchasers. Blame everything and everyone except the people who are actually doing the shooting.

It’s. The. Gangs. 

The city of Chicago created this maelstrom of hopelessness and violence, endlessly swirling and sucking young lives into a black hole. Talk, talk, talk, but nothing gets better. It’s getting worse.

Outlaw the gangs, it’s the only way to take back the streets. We need drastic laws to combat these drastic times, and my right to exist without being shot trumps your right to be a thug. Until then, buy more body bags.

Scott Sinclair, Third Lake

Open pools to full capacity

Here we are in Phase 5 of our state’s response to COVID-19, with capacity restrictions lifted on all bars and restaurants, yet the Chicago Park District continues to impose a 50% capacity limit on outdoor swimming pools for the summer. At a time when violence is surging in the city, and leaders are scrambling to find ways to young people positive activities, the parks are making it frustrating and difficult to use the public pools on some of the hottest days of summer.

It’s a real disappointment, to say the least.

Anna Brown, Pilsen

Pay living wage to reduce crime

Let’s not defund the police; that’s stupid. We need the police to protect us. We should seriously transform their training, though, to better handle people who are homeless, high on drugs and emotionally distressed.

But a better way to help our police would be to pay a living wage to every working person in the country is, especially heads of households. All races, all Americans, no exceptions. All who are subject to paying taxes or serving in our military, including immigrants who are here illegally or not. No exceptions.

Blame corporate greed, union busters and employers who do not pay living wages for the terrible street violence America is experiencing. Blame, especially, those who don’t pay their fair share of taxes to support our government — a government that tolerates and protects their lack of responsibility.

A living wage, not a minimum wage. There’s a big difference.

Marion J. Reis, Lombard

Other forms of institutional racism

Thanks so much for your well-balanced editorial on what you called the “willful blindness’’ of today’s Republican Congress when it comes to institutional racism.

While institutional racism is usually associated with the racism that emanates from formal institutions, such as the red-lining practices of the real estate industry in the 20th century, it also is to be found in the lack of attention given by the courts, media and schools to such brutal events as the 1921 race massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On the 100th anniversary of this event this past June, we paid only lip service to a defining moment in the history of American race relations.

We all can do better, for the sake of new generations. 

Alejandro Lugo, Park Forest

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Aaron Gordon scored 27 points, Jokic added 23 and the Nuggets beat the Heat 108-95 on Friday night to take a 3-1 series lead.
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