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Letters: Chicago Violence, 3-D Printing


It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last week, we talked about violence in Chicago after the death of Hadiya Pendleton, the teenager shot and killed just a week after she visited Washington for the inauguration. Gun laws in Chicago are more restrictive than it its suburbs and in surrounding states like Indiana.

Joshua Walters wrote from nearby South Bend to say: Myself and many other residents of Indiana resent the notion that Chicago's gun problem is even remotely impacted by Indiana's gun laws. Indianapolis is just a few hundred miles away from Chicago with nowhere near the problem of gun violence, as our several smaller cities such as South Bend, Bloomington and Fort Wayne. If Indiana's gun laws were to blame for Chicago's problem, wouldn't these cities be having the same problems? Chicago and only Chicago is to blame for the culture of gang violence that results in the massive bloodshed. To suggest anything else is just insulting.

That same day, we also discussed the new medal to be awarded to cyberwarfare soldiers and drone pilots. Cornell Pediford(ph) wrote: I think it's ironic that prior to talking about the military's establishment of a medal for using drones that inflict violence, the discussion was decrying the violence inflicted by guns in our society. How can the leaders of the country be taken seriously by young people when they deify the military and its violence, but then tell them to be nonviolent in solving their problems? The government's behavior is telling people that violence is an acceptable problem-solving method that can only be used governments. Many members of society choose to follow the government's violent behavior and don't accept the lip service given by government leaders encouraging citizens to be nonviolent.

We also discussed religious exemptions. Dave Fields in Fairfax, Virginia, wanted us to clarify: As a United Methodist clergy, I pay taxes as self-employed professional, including income and self-employment taxes, much as doctors, lawyers or contracted consultants. While there are some clergy-specific deductions and exemptions, there are also restrictions and limitations that did not apply to me in my previous career as an occupational health and safety consultant, and the overall tax obligation is not too dissimilar.

During last week's discussion of the new possibilities of 3-D printing, Christopher Guystay(ph), a recent architecture graduate, wrote in to tell us how he uses the new technology: The last time I used the printers was for a drone design that would scan NYC and scatter seeds to bridge ecological gaps in the urban fabric. The drone designs were complex, double curvature shapes and 3-D printing allowed me to make them to scale accurately. Now, they're refrigerator magnets.

And we spoke with four of the five nominees for Best Documentary Feature in the weeks leading up to last weekend's Academy Awards, including the winner, Malik Bendjelloul, director of "Searching for Sugar Man." During that conversation, we incorrectly said musician Sixto Rodriguez was popular among liberal white Afrikaners. Rodriguez's popularity was not limited to just Afrikaners. But Rodriguez's popularity was not limited to just Afrikaners. He was popular among liberal, white South Africans, in general. In any case, congratulations to Bendjelloul on his Oscar. If you missed this year's Oscar doc series, you can listen to all of our interviews with the nominees at

If you have a correction, comment or question for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address is Please, let us know where you're writing from. Give us some help on how to pronounce your name. If you're on Twitter, you can follow us there, @totn. And we're not going to pass an opportunity to hear from Sixto Rodriguez. Here's "Sugar Man."


SIXTO RODRIGUEZ: (Singing) Sugar man, won't you hurry because I'm tired of these scenes. For a blue coin, won't you bring back all those colors to my dreams? Silver magic ships you carry. Jumpers, coke, sweet Mary Jane. Sugar man, met a false friend on a lonely dust. Lost my heart when I found it, it had turned to death black coal. Silver magic ships you carry. Jumpers, coke, sweet Mary Jane. Sugar man, you're the answer that makes my questions disappear. Sugar man, 'cause I'm weary of those double games I hear. Sugar man, Sugar man, Sugar man, Sugar man, Sugar man, Sugar man, Sugar man. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.