Letters to the Editor

December 31, 2012

Letters to the editor on ending killings, gun control, locking up guns, gift of glasses

All of us in this country are anxious to bring an end to the mass killings that have so devastated communities such Newtown, Conn. I believe we need a three-pronged approach.

Use three-pronged strategy to killings

All of us in this country are anxious to bring an end to the mass killings that have so devastated communities such Newtown, Conn. I believe we need a three-pronged approach.

First, further gun control is a good idea. Assault weapons and large magazines have no place in our communities. We should bring back the assault-weapons ban. We also should require background checks for gun shows and private gun sales. This will not stop all gun violence, but over time it may reduce the rate of mass killings.

Second, the mental health system does need improvement. Many people do not receive the services they need. However, we also need to break through the denial of families and school employees that someone they know or love has a mental illness. We need to educate people about the signs of mental illness and how they can help others get treatment when needed.

Third, and perhaps most important, we need to reduce the “culture of violence” in this country. You don’t have to go far to see it in movies, sports, television and video games. Violence is often depicted as the preferred method of conflict resolution.

Violence is not attractive. Let’s stop making it so.



Evil will exist

The school shooting was a tragedy, for sure. Now everyone is going off the deep end.

Banning guns is not the solution. If we ban guns and someone wishes to do evil, he still will find a way. He will strap a bomb to his body, use a car bomb like in Oklahoma City, poison food products and water supplies, etc.

Regardless of what is banned, evil will exist and evil will be done. The evil is not in the item used; it lies with the person who wishes to do evil. In retrospect, there have always been signs of instability in the person committing the atrocity – signs that were ignored. The fault is ours for not intervening before the tragedy, not with the item used.

It is so much easier to ban something than to take the responsibility to see that help is provided for the person who thinks killing is the answer to his problems. But regardless of what is banned, the problem still exists in the mind of the person, and he will think the problem must be solved.



Lock up guns

I’ve been reading different opinions about the tragic deaths of 20 children in Newtown, Conn. There is a point that many people are missing.

If the mother who owned the guns had locked them in a gun safe and kept the keys where her son could not get them, the 20 children might be alive. Also, if the principal and other key school people had weapons and were trained in self-defense, the minute the first shot blew out a window they could have put each class in lockdown and taken the shooter out.

People will get guns regardless of how much control is put on guns. They’ll break into houses or businesses and steal them.

I agree that assault weapons should be banned except for law enforcement.



Gift of glasses

My 11-year-old son broke his glasses about three months ago. We did not have the money to replace them. I asked the teachers to allow him to sit close to the front until we could get the money together to get him a pair of glasses.

A few weeks ago, one of his teachers called me and asked if I would give permission for her to take my son to an eye appointment. She said that one of her past students was now an optometrist and wanted to give my son an eye exam and a pair of glasses.

When I asked how much it would cost, she said, “Nothing. He is taking care of it all.”

There are no words to express my full gratitude.



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