Chicago ignores cultural causes of violence

Re: "Why isn't gun control working in Chicago?" Editorial, Jan. 31

Gun control doesn't work in Chicago for the same reason that the city's public schools perform so poorly. The problems of persistent violence and underperforming schools won't be solved until the underlying cultural problem is recognized and dealt with.

Today in Chicago, 84 percent of African-American children, 57 percent of Hispanic children and 39 percent of white children are born to unmarried women. One can debate the cause of this phenomenon over the past 50 years. Did otherwise well-intentioned government policies insulate people from the implications of their actions and so produce this unintended consequence?

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Did good jobs disappear because greedy manufacturers fled from unionized Illinois in search of cheaper labor? Or did taxes, over-regulation and corruption drive those jobs away?

What role has the secularization of society played? Is racism to blame?

What is beyond debate, however, is that children born to and raised by unmarried women of whatever ethnicity, race, or even socio-economic class are on average are less successful in school, more prone to addiction, and if boys, are more violent, or if girls, more promiscuous than their peers raised in two-parent families.

Until Chicago is prepared to confront this fact and do something about it, too many of its students will fail and the city's streets will become even more violent.

-- Bob Foys

Chicago, Ill.

County employees should stop complaining

Re: "Fairfax workers fight proposed pay overhaul," Jan. 3

When Fairfax County employee union leaders threaten a mass exodus of employees are they arrogant, ignorant, or both?

County Executive Ed Long proposes that taxpayers continue funding pay increases for county employees every year. But they would get a cost-of-living increase every odd year and a performance-based pay raise every even year.

Do union leaders recognize that federal employees have not had a cost-of-living adjustment this decade, or that federal agencies have a hiring freeze? Do they realize that major regional employers are losing billions of dollars and cutting jobs?

No. They cited Long'ssustainable strategy forfuture pay increases as evidence that Fairfax County only cares about its budget, but employee compensation is a large portion of it, second only to the transfer to public schools.

-- Will Radle


Blame both parties for immigration mess

Both Republicans and Democrats are to blame for the great mess that illegal immigration is today. Laws and programs already exist to deter illegal immigration, but they are not enforced.

In the U.S., citizens are expected to treat each other as equals irrespective of race, and not prioritize the interests of noncitizens of their own race or ethnicity over the interests of their fellow Americans.

When we come together in our halls of government, we leave our racial differences at the door.

However, members of both parties are using illegal immigration to pander to people's unconscious proclivity toward racial solidarity and drive a wedge between Americans. In particular, President Obama and the Democrats are using the promise of amnesty to pander to Latinos and goad people into putting the interests of noncitizen Latinos above the interests of their fellow citizens.

Ultimately, this will destroy one of the bedrock values of our democracy.

I adopted my son from Guatemala, so I'm not a bigot. But advocates for amnesty are led by those who actively stoke the fires of bigotry.

-- Robert Fireovid

Secretary and treasurer, Help Save Maryland