Source: Chicago Sun-Times 
Pubdate: Jan. 11, 1998


A gang shooting in a drug turf war again makes front-page news ["Charges
filed in shooting of toddler," news story, Dec. 29].

This time a 3-year-old boy, trying out his Christmas present, a Big Wheel,
was shot in the back by a bullet intended for rival gang members.

The Rev. Charles W. Lyons said of the shooting, "That neighborhood has been
a drug store since I've been there, and I arrived in 1974."

Is anyone else infuriated? Of course. But at whom? At what? The shooter?
The shooter's gang? All the gangs? Directing our anger there accomplishes

In my book this horror story will be listed under a growing list of "drug
war tragedies." We should be pointing our finger at themost responsible
player: a drug war out of control.

Can this mindless "save our children" drug war continue to riddle kids with
bullet holes without someone in authority saying, "enough drug war. We must
stop the violence, stop funding the gangs with drug profits, stop putting
guns in the hands of kids as an unitended consequence of a misconceived
drug war."

Prayer vigils, another prison and enhanced penalties for gang bangers
picking off toddlers is not answer enough. I demand an end to drug wars.

James E. Gierach, Oak Lawn