Wake up, Emerson, guns are the problem

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

September 3rd, 2019 12:08 PM

To Emerson Bolen, author of "Wake up, America! Guns aren't the problem" [Viewpoints, Aug. 28]:

I take offense at your statement that "… the majority of gun homicides are the type you see in the neighborhoods like Englewood, Lawndale, and Austin."

You imply that these homicides are simply to be expected and not worthy of outrage or preventive action.

Lives of victims in Englewood, Lawndale, and Austin matter just as much as lives of people in Oak Park, River Forest, or any other community. 

Arming citizens, legally or illegally, with AR-15s or handguns or any other type of gun or rifle IS the problem. Guns are too easily available. That's the sickness of our society.

Ellen Edwards

Oak Park

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  • Ray Simpson (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 11th, 2019 6:58 AM

    "Cranky" - you get called out for slander and this is your best shot?

  • William Dwyer Jr. (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 10th, 2019 7:34 PM

    Shhh.Go back to your nap Ray. You're getting cranky now.

  • Ray Simpson (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 10th, 2019 6:52 PM

    So let me get this straight, You list about 4 dozen cases, a little over 2 dozen where charges were brought and a little under two dozen convictions. Compare that to 561 shot and killed in 2018 alone and 2948 (Chicago PD #'s) wounded that same year against 48 accounted for and you can, with a straight face, claim that our justice system is not the problem. Also you claim that I have offered the "absurd opinion that highly lethal military style weapons aren't a problem" I defy you to prove that I have ever made that statement. My defense of the second amendment has NEVER addressed that issue and you are making reckless, slanderous statements when you claim I am! DEFEND YOUR STATEMENT!

  • William Dwyer Jr. (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 9th, 2019 7:06 PM

    It's a list of successful prosecutions of criminal cases against people using guns illegally, not a laundry list, Simpson. Your suggestion that the federal courts "refuse to convict" is ludicrous on its face. As is your absurd opinion that highly lethal military style weapons aren't a problem, yet somehow the authorities are at fault for not being able to deal with the problem adequately.

  • Ray Simpson (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 9th, 2019 6:42 PM

    This laundry list would be great if it were ten times longer and represent the last two weeks instead of the last two years. If all Dwyer says is so wonderful why is there still a problem in Cook county? I hear a lot of carping, but absolutely no practical, workable solutions.

  • William Dwyer Jr. (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 9th, 2019 1:03 PM

    For those seeking to find the truth behind Ray Simpson's distortions here, ask Trump-appointed US Attorney General for Northern Illinois John Lausch. . And this doesn't include the other two federal court districts in Illinois . The link. . . AUG 30: Felon Charged with Possessing 50 Firearms in Chicago Home . AUG 27: Source of Firearms for Violent Chicago Gang Sentenced to 4 Years . AUG 19, 2019: Felon Charged with Possessing Semi-Automatic Rifle at Veterans Affairs Hospital. JULY 18, 2019: Felon Sentenced to 6 Years for Possessing Loaded Rifle on Train Platform . JULY 15, 2019: Felon Charged with Possessing Loaded Handgun in Old Town . JUN 5, 2019: Felon Sentenced to 7 Years for Possessing a Loaded Semi-Automatic Handgun in Chicago . MAY 29, 2019: Self-Described "One Stop Shop" for Drugs and Guns Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison . MAY 22, 2019: Mother and Two Sons Among 11 Defendants Charged in Federal Drug and Gun Investigation in Chicago . MAY 3, 2019: Federal Jury in Chicago Convicts Suburban Man of Conspiring to Straw Purchase Handguns . MAR 26, 2019: 10 Defendants Charged in Federal Drug and Gun Investigation Centered on West Side . FEB 14, 2019: Felon Found Guilty of Possessing Two Firearms in DuPage . FEB 11, 2019: Four Indicted on Firearm Charges as Federal Investigation Disrupted Missouri-to-Chicago Gun Pipeline . DEC 17, 2018: Chicago Man Sentenced to Six and a Half Years for Selling a Dozen Firearms . NOV 16, 2018: Felon Sentenced to 7 Years for Possessing Two Loaded Handguns in a Chicago Park . OCT 26, 2018: Leader of Chicago Street Gang, Several High-Ranking Members Charged with Multiple Murders After Joint Federal and State Investigation . OCT 18, 2018: Felon Sentenced to 5 Years for Possessing a Loaded Handgun in Western Suburb . OCT 12, 2018: Woman Indicted in Scheme to "Straw Purchase" Guns in Indiana for Felon in Chicago . SEPT 13, 2018: 20 Defendants Charged in Drug, Gun Investigations Centered on Sou

  • Ray Simpson (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 9th, 2019 7:10 AM

    Isn't transporting an illegal firearm across state lines already a federal crime? If the federal courts refuse to convict both the buyer and seller, how will we ever get a handle on this.? Both the buyer and the seller are breaking the law - not the product they are selling!

  • William Dwyer Jr. (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 7th, 2019 12:35 PM

    For anyone except the most mindless gun apologists, it is a well documented fact that a large percentage of guns used in crimes in Chicago come from outside the city, and outside Illinois. Don't take my word for it - ask the US Attorney for Northern Illinois and any local police chief. Gun pipelines from states like Indiana and Tennessee, Missouri, etc, are a constant focus of federal, state and local law enforcement. And they're a focus of this current Republican led DOJ, just like previous administrations, specifically because guns ARE the problem. . The US military doesn't allow just anyone to traipse around their facilities carry a weapon without permission, again, for the simple reason that they know that guns are dangerous and need to be regulated and controlled.

  • Steve Bankes (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 7th, 2019 12:21 PM

    I love the subtle racism and the narcissism in Emerson's piece. The bragging, the condescension, the picture shooting an AR that he supplied. Priceless. So much love for guns, so little about solutions. He takes toxic masculinity to the next level.

  • Emerson Bolen from River Forest (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 6th, 2019 4:16 PM

    I did not "imply" that one life was more important or less important!! On the contrary, I was pointing out that the media focuses more on the events like the shootings in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH yet treats the weekly carnage in Chicago like "business as usual". Mayor Lightfoot isn't helping the situation by pointing her finger and assigning blame outside the city of Chicago. When they passed the ludicrous zoning laws to make it impossible for a gun shop/range to exist within the city limits, what the hell did they think was going to happen? It's not Indiana, the suburbs, or the GOPs fault that Chicago has a massive drug trafficking and gang violence problem. Lightfoot needs to take a deep breath and a step back and realize that HER party has been in control of both Chicago and Crook, er Cook County all this time, ran up an $838 million debt yet can't manage to fix the problems in these broken neighborhoods...yet they spew the same anti-gun platitudes over and over. I say again...guns ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!! Enforce the damn law, arrest the criminals, clean-up the neighborhoods, bring in businesses and give the people who live in these decaying communities A DAMN LIFE!!

  • Bruce Kline (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 4th, 2019 11:50 PM

    Mr. Cassidy. I am sure various guns can and will be outlawed. It remains to be seen. But under Heller (2008), handguns - solely defined as a broad category - can not: "Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid." That, whether you like it or not is the law of the land.

  • Kevin Cassidy (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 4th, 2019 11:18 PM

    All the problems you wish to explore can and should be explored without destructive weapons remaining legal. Handguns and AR15s can be outlawed and drug abuse can still be treated. Why pretend it is "Either/or"

  • Brian Slowiak (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 4th, 2019 5:56 PM

    Mayor Lori Lightfoot has stated that 60% of the firearm used in Chicago are purchased, obtained from outside of Chicago. The question that needs to be asked is the town(s) that the firearms are purchased in have the same crime problem as Chicago?

  • Ray Simpson from Oak Park (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 4th, 2019 4:04 PM

    Has the liberal left progressives ever considered that responsible gun owners want gun violence eliminated, because they/we have a vested interest in a solution? Every gun violence incident brings hand wringing do-gooders out with impractical simplistic actions that will not impact the "outside of society" criminals actions. Those of us who participate in marksmanship, hunting or home security have fought our way through bureaucratic minefields to participate in our activity. Tell me of any activity that requires FBI background checks to participate. I have observed news reports for several years and have yet to hear of a single incident where a FOID Card, NRA membership card or copy of a 4473 form can be found. Project Exile ( seems to be an effective way to reduce firearms violence. I am starting to think behavior altering young kids behavior in school with drugs might be a factor we should explore. There are answers that do not require removing constitutional rights, but do require a honest appraisal of our society, schools, churches and family responsibilities. Keep in mind that we all want a workable solution!

  • Emerson Bolen from River Forest (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: September 4th, 2019 3:33 PM

    You are quite incorrect. That is not the problem. The problem is a County, Crook, er Cook and the city of Chicago that can't deal with or fix the problems that lead to all the gun violence. Funny how none of these gun crimes are committed by responsible gun owners, many like me who own numerous firearms and are no threat whatsoever to commit gun violence. Be offended all you want, but that's a fact.

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