Letters to the editor from Grayslake, Deerfield and Tower Lakes.
Despite heavy snow and slippery roads, many people continue to drive as though the pavement is dry. As recent news broadcasts indicate, the result is an increase in collisions and vehicles sliding off the roads. While driving home one recent evening, I encountered police assisting a motorist whose car had slid into a ditch.
Drivers, please slow down!
— Raymond J. Strauss, Grayslake
Our gun culture
It seems like every day there are more shootings, more killings.
Where are we safe? Not in schools, not in stores, not in public places, not in places of entertainment, not in our homes and not in the workplace.
Young and old are victims.
The innocent are victims.
Our gun culture has produced more homicides and more long term disability than it has prevented. What is our image to the rest of the world?
Are we safer than any other industrialized country or even a host of impoverished nations? Do people around the globe just shake their heads when they see the carnage on the evening news? Do they wonder why a dynamic country would allow such slaughter?
We are becoming too accustomed to the slaying of our fellow citizens. The shocking nature of these deeds is losing its vehemence.
— Samuel Solomon, Deerfield
I applaud the big tobacco companies for their innovative way to allow smokers the enjoyment of smoking while diminishing the risks involved due to certain ingredients used as well as the effects of smoke on the lungs of the smokers and their surrounding companions.
Countless former smokers have attested that e-cigarettes were what caused them to stop smoking, while preventing them from feeling the itch for the nicotine or tobacco. I believe that they can be a stepping stone to cut the addiction for many. Yet, just because they are a great advancement compared to regular cigarettes does not mean that they are good.
Inhaling water vapor is certainly a safer alternative to inhaling smoke of carcinogens and tobacco leaves, yet safer and safe are two distinct qualifiers. We want the water vapor to be absent of toxins. With restricted access to the potentially dangerous substance, scientists (preferably a third party researcher commissioned at the expense of tobacco companies) can uncover the truth without waiting for the damage to affect a large part of the population.
The big issue at play is the political move/accusation that Chicago's City Hall is regulating first, asking questions later. For some reason, that is offensive to many people involved in this debate. To me, that principle, known as the precautionary principle to practitioners of environmental activism, is something that we need to encourage more in the United States to support the consumer and stop protecting the corporations putting out potentially harmful products.
Chicago is finally doing something to help the consumers instead of protecting manufacturers and big corporations.
But banning e-cigarettes use indoors will not push users back toward traditional smoking. It will simply ensure that no innocent by-standers indoors do not have to suffer from any unknown consequences associated with the tobacco-infused vapor.
Once research has shown with certainty that e-cigarettes, in fact, are as safe as or safer than proponents are saying, these restrictions on their use can be removed or cut back. It is always easier to loosen legislation than tighten it after that behavior has passed without conflict for some time.
By applying the precautionary principle, Chicago aldermen made a smart decision to protect consumers from any unintentional or unknown health risks associated with the use of e-cigarettes in confined spaces. I fully support the decision to restrict their use until further research has been executed to prove otherwise.
— Sarah Voska, Tower LakesCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun