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LETTERS: Gun-happy lawmakers are hard to reason with

A device called a "bump stock" is attached to a semi-automatic rifle

President Donald Trump has ordered his Justice Department to ban rapid-fire bump stocks like the ones used in last year's Las Vegas massacre— but officials aren't sure they can. | AP file photo

I am not a gun advocate but I respect the right of the citizenry to own guns. However, I must state that I am not in favor of guns being used against other citizens.

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The recent bill banning bump stocks was voted down by a 48-to-54 margin. I was very proud of the gumption shown by 48 of our usually gutless state representatives to vote for the bill, which I understand contained other restrictions that, it was claimed, would outlaw too many guns. And there is state Rep. Jerry Costello, the proud owner of 50 to 60 guns, which he uses ONLY for hunting. He voted against the bill because it would, according to him, probably outlaw 40 percent of his guns, which by my math would leave him with only 30 to 36 guns.

Now by my thinking, if you have 30 to 36 guns to use for hunting, that is still a lot of guns. It doesn’t seem to me that such a sacrifice in the number of weapons one possesses would severely impact Costello’s ability to go hunting. And since the major part of the bill was to ban bump stocks, what would the effect of outlawing bump stocks and some of the other modifications have on his ability to hunt?

Obviously, he would not be hunting with a bump stock installed on one of his weapons, so that would still leave him with a large number of weapons to choose from that still work fine for hunting. How is it possible to deal with our representatives when they exhibit the mind-set typified by Mr. Costello? The scary part is that there were 53 colleagues who think the same way.

Barry Goldberg, Evanston

Don’t be gullible

The Republicans’ proposed tax plan gives tax breaks to corporations and our wealthiest? Why be gullible? It’s a $1.5 trillion robbery.

Corporate America is having its best earnings season in 13 years; 288 corporations, including most of the Fortune 500 corporations paid an average effective federal tax rate of just 19.4 percent, not the 34 percent usually quoted. Also, 42.3 percent of corporations with at least $10 million in assets paid no federal income tax in 2012. Fortune 500 companies hold more than $2.1 trillion in profits offshore to avoid taxes. Under Trump’s proposed tax plan.$7.8 trillion is lost in federal revenue.

The richest 1 percent in the United States already own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. Twenty percent of our children live in poverty. With that already humongous wealth discrepancy the paucity of well-paying jobs helped elect Donald Trump. How will more tax breaks provide more jobs?
Assert yourself knowledgeably. Demand better representation.

Gordon Wilder, Highland, Indiana

Abuse of power

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s attempt to wreck labor unions in Illinois is his “scheme” to strip the rights of workers. Weakening the unions by executive order is a blatantly illegal abuse of power. Rauner’s focus is on silencing working people and their unions, who stand up for the middle-class workers. The people of Illinois must protect the unions, protect the right to organize, protect the wages of workers of Illinois. Unions are the backbone of the middle-class and are critical to the success of working families in Illinois.

Ann Gutierrez, Tinley Park