October 1975

Hyde and Mikva lecture
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   Representatives Henry Hyde (Republican) and Abner Mikva (Democrat) came to speak to Government classes the week before last and left Maine South students with a better insight as to how our government works.
   Both guests were asked to speak on how Congress works, but Mr. Mikva, having probably remembered his government classes when he was in high school, spoke instead on gun control, claiming that he thought the students would be bored with a speech on congressional workings.
   Representative Mikva has sponsored a bill now in congress proposing the prohibition of the manufacture, sale and distribution of all handguns. Between 1963 and 1973 more Americans died by handguns in the United States than all of the American soldiers killed in Viet Nam. Northern Ireland is one-third more safe than the U.S. and when someone is shot there at least we know why.
   Mr. Henry Hyde did tell about congressional workings but it was not exactly boring. The Representative, when asked questions about energy replied that he would favor a bill lessening the restrictions of strip mining operations as the U.S. has over 60 percent of the world's coal supply. He felt, as most congressmen do, that the federal government should not directly subsidize the City of New York but should give money to the state to give to the city.
   Marijuana is also a controversial issue and when asked if he would vote for its decriminalization in Illinois as in Oregon, Mr. Mikva replied yes. Decriminalization would mean that if a person had a small amount of "pot" with him the violation would be about the same as a traffic ticket. He also had some views on energy, disagreeing with Henry Hyde on the strip mining issue. He feels that money should be spent to find new sources of energy such as solar and atomic energy. Typifying the democratic stereotype, Representative Mikva feels that the large oil companies should have a higher excessive profits tax and that there should be a roll back on oil prices.