NASCAR racing in downtown Chicago the last thing the city needs

These races would steer our city in exactly the wrong direction environmentally because they cause an obscene amount of pollution.

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NASCAR drivers practice at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 8, 2022, in Lexington, Ohio. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has reportedly given NASCAR the green flag to hold three straight years of stock-car races through the streets of downtown Chicago — if she wins a second term.

NASCAR drivers practice at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 8, 2022, in Lexington, Ohio. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has reportedly given NASCAR the green flag to hold three straight years of stock-car races through the streets of downtown Chicago — if she wins a second term.

Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images

Mayor Lightfoot’s MO appears to be implementing foolish ideas in secret, but her latest — inking an agreement for three years of downtown NASCAR races — veers toward self-parody.

In addition to the local alderperson’s concern about encouraging amateur drag racing, these races would steer our city in exactly the wrong direction environmentally.

Much has been written about the obscene amount of pollution caused by this type of auto race: By some estimates, the inefficient engines burning high octane gasoline belch out as much CO2 in a weekend of NASCAR events as several households generate in a year.

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This is in addition to the particulate matter that lodges deep in our lungs, plus the environmental burdens of manufacturing the thousands of specialized tires the racers chew through, and on and on.

Perhaps if the mayor had followed through on her promise of reinstating the city’s Department of Environment, residents and voters might have had the benefit of informed debate before the finish line was crossed.

Andrew S. Mine, Rogers Park

Dome would make Soldier Field worse

Putting a dome on Soldier Field would be like having bad plastic surgery and then trying to cover it up with more bad plasticsurgery.

Richard Keslinke, Algonquin

Gun advocates have sold their souls

To the gun lobby and all the politicians past and present beholden to its politics that let the federal ban on assault weapons sunset, the carnage in Highland Park couldn’t have happened without you. The same goes for the shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.

Thanks to you, the hits just keep on coming. Your efforts to ensure anyone of legal age in the U.S. can purchase an assault-style rifle, regardless of how angry or violence-prone they may be, has made mass shootings with these weapons of war a common occurrence.

What red-blooded American can’t find a use for assault-style weapons? Whenever I go squirrel hunting, I always grab my trusty AR-15, because I know it won’t jam during crucial moments.

So go on, pat yourselves on the back for selling your souls under the delusional belief you are the true defenders of our democratic republic. As Don McLean sang, I hear Satan laughing with delight.

Peter Lucas, Highland Park

No credible reason to own an assault rifle

There’s no credible reason anyone in Illinois or this country needs to possess an assault rifle. Our founders had muskets and no police force when they drafted the Second Amendment — the notion that every American has a right to a high-capacity killing machine is preposterous.

I don’t believe we should wait a day longer to pass an assault weapons ban in the state of Illinois. Gov J.B Pritzker can call a special session of the Illinois General Assembly and get this through.

Federal appeals courts have repeatedly upheld Cook County’s assault weapons ban, which means they’re likely to uphold this one as well. Now is the time to act before the next tragedy.

Let’s get this done Illinois. Lives are at stake.

Alexander Dean, Lincoln Park

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