We cannot allow mass shootings to become common occurrence in Chicago

No matter how one wishes to define a mass shooting — more than three or four people shot in one incident — one could argue that the label “mass shootings” in Chicago has become more common than the label “terrorism” in the Middle East.

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Chicago mass shooting scene

Chicago police investigate the scene of a mass shooting where more than a dozen people were shot in the Gresham neighborhood on July 21.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

On July 15, there were reports that there had been two mass shootings on that Wednesday in Chicago. No matter how one wishes to define a mass shooting — more than three or four people shot in one incident — one could argue that the label, mass shootings, in Chicago has become more common than the label “terrorism” in the Middle East. 

One could also argue that this volume of mass shootings at least suggests the need for a military presence in our city. Still, the label, military presence, has taken on almost the same negative connotation as the words “law enforcement.” Have we just become too sensitized to this volume of violence, or is the term “mass shootings” now meaningless to us? While the use of words such as “oppression,” “poverty,” “reform” or “unemployment” may be very appropriate, the mere use of words alone has seemingly done nothing to decrease the violence that plagues Chicago.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be approximately 350 words or less.

Yes, we must be willing to undertake a long-term, consolidated, holistic plan to deal with our city’s violence. But such a plan will not stem the bloodletting now or anytime in the near future. Though not a popular plan, law enforcement is all we presently have to protect us. Terms and labels are not getting it done. Mass shootings need to be aggressively policed.

Terry A. Takash, Western Springs

Anti-vaxers boo The Donald

An audience of Donald Trump dead-enders booed The Donald when he encouraged them to get vaccinated Saturday. Sensing his mistake, he quickly pivoted to say, “You’ve got your freedoms.”

That’s why we’re about 17 months into pandemic restrictions with only slightly over 70 % Americans receiving at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.

The current surge is due to extreme discrepancy in percentages of the vaccinated. The more red the political affiliation of a county or state, the lower the vaccination rate and the higher the infection and death rate because of that discrepancy.

Trump and his self-destructive GOP have given us a death annuity from their governance. Eight months out of office and they’re still getting folks infected and killed, one delusional anti-vax, anti-mask statement at a time.

Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn

Reactions to violent deaths

The tragedy of Ella French’s death is heartbreaking. The size and media coverage of her funeral was inspiring. Imagine a time when every violent death is met with the same caliber of community outrage and sadness.

Rick Vogt, Norwood Park

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