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Opinion

Suburban Life Sound Off: March 26-April 1

Do something about vacant strip malls

I'm calling because of my sincere concern over the years of the abandoned and vacant strip malls that Westmont has. Mostly, they're throughout the community, but on 63rd Street and Cass Avenue, as well as a little bit more south. I think that vacant and abandoned strip malls are an outward sign of a community's reversing fortunes and that property values now are going down in the suburbs, as well as crime is increasing in these areas due to these. There is also an increased risk to health and welfare, along with the plunging property values and escalating municipal costs, making them problems of themselves, contributing to the overall community's decline and disinvestment. I know that we have an economic developer that we're paying taxes for, and I think we need to reevaluate this and learn how vacant and abandoned properties can be turned into things such as playgrounds or rezoned for housing. Something definitely needs to be done.

Never quit

To the students who spoke out, who cared enough about the 33,000 gun deaths in this country a year, I commend you. To the school administration who felt the need to punish to teach the kids a lesson on consequences, your silence and failure to support our student victims are worthy of condemnation. Students, in order to win this battle, you must organize. Please study Saul Alinsky. His lessons are needed. And remember, never, never, never quit.

Background checks already in place

At the rally against gun violence on March 24, people demanded background checks for prospective gun purchasers. We already have this by federal law all over the USA. In addition, in Illinois, nobody can even own or buy a gun without a state-issued Firearm Owners Identification Card. There are currently 2,262,000 FOID card holders in Illinois. Every single day of the year, computers in Springfield check each of these names to see if any have been convicted of gun crimes or been subject to orders of protection issued by a judge. In which cases, police seize their FOID cards and their guns. Law-abiding citizens are doing their part, but there are still crooks and crazy people out there who do not obey laws.

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