In my opinion, the constant drumbeat of violence in Chicago has taken a very disturbing turn. When gangs start to use assault rifles — which has been reported the case in recent months — it shows the gangs are no longer worried about police interference.

We have been hearing that the Chicago Police Department needs to be reformed in order to regain the trust of the community. So be it. In the mean time, however, the emboldened gangs have become more violent as time goes on.

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In the last two weekends, over 80 people have been shot, including 14 deaths.

The mayor is angry, neighborhood folks are afraid to leave their houses, the constant call for police reform sooner or later has to be addressed and a solution has to be reached.

Chicago needs solutions now. It’s time to come together and put the past aside.

Bob Angone, retired Chicago police lieutenant

Shark movies do nothing but demonize peaceful species

Another shark movie that demonizes sharks, “47 Meters Down,” has been released. The vast majority of shark species are peaceful and innocuous. They live in their indigenous marine habitats with no intention to harm or kill humans. Conversely, millions of peaceful and harmless shark species have been invaded and killed in their native havens by humans for sport, or even worse, to brutalize and painfully slaughter them for shark fin soup. It’s high time for terrestrial humans to cease and desist from invading sharks imperiled aquatic habitats as a means to bludgeon and slaughter them. These important creatures are vital predators that are integral to preserving oceanic ecosystems and biodiversity.

Brien Comerford, Glenview

Michelle Carter in need of help, not jail

Massachusetts Judge Lawrence Moniz tipped the scales of justice upside down in finding Michelle Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her severely depressed teenage friend Conrad Roy III to commit suicide three years ago.

He and Carter exchanged thousands of text messages over time, with Carter first trying to get Roy to embrace life, then acquiescing to his demand to die. “I’m trying my best to dig you out,” to which Roy replied, “I WANT TO DIE.” Carter eventually embraced Roy’s plan saying, “If this is the only way you think you’ll be happy, Heaven will welcome you with open arms.”

That sure doesn’t sound like involuntary manslaughter to me. Both Carter and Roy were extremely troubled teens, Carter just 17 at the time. She needs psychological help, not a cage for up to 20 years.

Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn