Weather Updates

Letters to the editor

Updated: February 4, 2013 6:45AM

Limit guns, treat
mental illness

The recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn., while all the details are not yet known, has highlighted two issues nation-wide. The first would be the need to limit access to high-power, large capacity automatic weapons. These weapons belong in the hands of trained military or law enforcement personnel, not the average citizen, no matter how patriotic.

The NRA’s solution to place armed guards in every school is simplistic, impractical and self-serving. There have been shootings in theaters, shopping malls and beauty salons. Should we mandate armed guards at these and every other public building?

This is a public health issue and should be treated as such.

The second issue is mental illness and how we deal with it in our society. The stigma around mental illness keeps two out of every three persons afflicted with this disorder from seeking treatment.

Until we start thinking of mental illness as a biological disorder of the brain that it is, and until we get serious about prevention and early intervention, our society will not change for the better. While the great majority of the mentally ill are not dangerous (and much more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators), the notorious few that are will garner all the headlines and attention.

After decades of reducing funding for community mental health services, closing mental health clinics and incarcerating the mentally ill instead of treating them, it is time to get serious about funding mental health services as we do other health issues like cancer, diabetes or obesity.

Jerry Murphy

Sugar Grove

Lawrence ideas admirable

I don’t reside in the city proper, but I like Alderman Lawrence’s basic ideas on governing. Low taxes, small government are admirable credentials to run on. I should add rare.

Sherry Paul in her letter of criticism of him, would have served the public better had she provided us with her record of achievement, that is, as a compassionate volunteer.

Emerson said, “The only true gift is a portion of thyself.” Ms. Paul’s belittling letter of Lawrence fails to include her personal stake or involvement in alleviating the problems of homelessness.

Responsibility is not a negative word, nor is commitment. Lawrence has given years to public service.

Next, Dr. Eric Ward’s letter on mental health needs to be analyzed.

I do not disagree that there are many persons out there who are mentally dysfunctional. The problem is, there are solutions. Unfortunately, they will not profit the medical industry

The cause of mental illnesses is without a doubt a complex problem, but we have made it thus. There are professionals who predicted this downward spiral in mental health starting as far back as the ’60s. The breakdown of the family, overuse of prescription drugs, over-vaccination of infants, tolerance and acceptance of immorality and so on and so forth to name a few of the devils. Spokesmen for the Right to Life movement warned of it, but had their mics shut off. Regulations were enacted that handicapped their practices and that of social agencies. Did you speak out Dr. Ward? Do you refer any of your patients to clergy counseling?

Morality isn’t costly, it is not being suggested... Drugs are bad, smoking is bad, but never judge a person’s lifestyle.

Joan Solms


Thanks to volunteers

I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the wonderful volunteers at Holy Angels and Hesed House.

Your work is awesome. Bless you all

Franz Lais


© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.