To some in Chicago, 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez’s statement that “no innocent lives were lost” in yet another mass shooting in Chicago might have seemed like an offhand and frustrated utterance by a city leader (“Ald. Raymond Lopez stands by remarks that provoked gang threat” — May 9). However, in my opinion, it may well have struck a note. It suggests that because the murdered and wounded were just warring gang members, somehow we can take some solace in that fact.

The truth is we have reached 200 murders already in 2017 and also over 1,100 wounded. We have seen, toddlers, seniors, judges and police officers and many many more innocent citizens killed and wounded who have nothing to do with gangs. We are now going to try to parcel the victims and say, “Well, belonging to a gang will get you shot,” or just try to excuse it by saying, “Well, it’s only in certain minority communities, so it’s not that big a deal.” Chicago, it is everybody’s big deal and it’s going to take everybody to come together and fight this evil cancer that has kept people living with fear. We simply cannot separate the victims by affiliations and somehow think, well, at least they are killing each other.

Bob Angone, Miramar Beach, Florida

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Support gun dealer licensing  bill

Thanks for your article by the Watchdogs covering the increase of burglaries of gun stores in our community (Gun-shop burglaries helping fuel Chicago violence — May 5). This highlights the importance of SB 1657, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, that was just passed in the Illinois Senate. One of the main features of this bill is to require strict security measures to prevent theft and burglaries of gun dealers. The Illinois State Rifle Association is insisting this requirement will put many dealers out of business, but, frankly, any dealer who does not install and maintain adequate security should go out of business. Only responsible businessmen who practice all best business practices to prevent guns from getting into criminal hands deserve to operate in our state. I know my state representative supports this bill. I encourage all citizens to call their representative and demand their support also.

Eileen Soderstrom, West Ridge

Medicare for all

Even our president admitted that Australia’s health care system is better than ours. It is perhaps time take another look at single payer, or the expansion and improvement of Medicare for all. Today’s profit-driven health care system is extremely inefficient because of the amount of red tape. Single payer will simplify the process and use the money currently spent propping up the bloated bureaucracy to cover everyone. No one will go bankrupt or pay exorbitant premiums because of pre-existing conditions. Physicians will spend their work days taking care of patients as opposed to dealing with paperwork, which is what we currently do at least half the time.

In addition, as in Australia, publicly funded universal health care can coexist with private insurance companies. Therefore, people who work for these organizations will not face unemployment. The facts are that Australians are overall healthier than we are and live 5 years longer, on average. Australia also spends less on health care than we do — $3,760 per capita per year versus $8,233.

Hratr Attarian, Oak Park