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posted: 3/15/2013 5:00 AM

More gun laws is not the answer

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In the gang-ridden streets of Chicago's South Side, teenage girls exchange sex and self-esteem for love and attention. Predictably this produces babies that become the responsibility of single mothers or grandparents to raise. A single parent becomes torn between earning a meager living or staying home and becoming a welfare mother. Those that choose to work must leave their children with many hours of poor or inadequate supervision -- particularly as the youngster approaches the teenage years. Rarely are there any male role models in the young person's life. The young man then turns to the structure of a gang seeking their approval for recognition.

In the case of Hadiya Pendleton, the alleged killer had been arrested on a gun charge in January 2012 and given probation. In the time since then, he was arrested three more times for various violations -- any of which should have returned him to jail. An antiquated reporting system and inadequate staffing are the reasons cited for the lack of communication.

Judges may cite the lack of prison space as one of the extenuating circumstances. Yet, we sold the Thompson penitentiary to the federal government because we don't have the funds to staff it. We could fill that prison with corrupt Illinois politicians alone.

The "eyewash" legislation proposed banning assault-style weapons is just that -- eyewash. Rather than address the social issues, the policing issues, the systemic issues, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Cook County Board choose to enact more laws and regulations but ignore a system that is flawed with inept and corrupt representatives, poor communications and inadequate policing. Let's just enforce the laws we have.

Elliott McDaniel


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