Comments for: Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012: Causes of Newtown tragedy, tax cuts, assault weapons ban

Posted Dec. 26, 2012, at 12:24 p.m.

We have to change Much is being said and written about the catastrophe at Newtown. The right solution begs for identifying the right cause. The purpose of this letter is to share the view that our problem is the result not of a single cause, but of a concoction of …

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  • Anonymous

    Good letters all.
    I agree with L. Cote. The Sandusky perpetrated tragedy at Penn State does not qualify as a “sports” highlight, horrible crimes yes. The arguably unnecessary cuts in Pen State progams and voiding of won loss records are also misplaced blame.

    I’d vote for several aspects about the Olympics for top sports stories.

  • kcjonez

    Marie Lec–Of course you are right–the ‘trickle down’ myth was invented by the wealthy to serve their own selfish ends. Our “leaders” who continue to vote for tax giveaways to the wealth extractors also know that supply side economics doesn’t work but they are beholden to the wealthy so they will not vote to end the economic madness.
    We should certainly never vote for anyone that votes to give more wealth to the most wealthy.

    • Anonymous

      Ideas like yours are a threat to the notion that we are a government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.

  • It’s time for our society to stop romanticizing the ownership of assault
    weapons, glorifying the “Rambo” image to our children and describing
    their possession as “being cool.”

    While there was decadent violence in the later Rambo movies, the original was actually a pretty decent attempt at looking at society’s role in the creation of soldier, their own violent tendencies, and society’s rejection of what they helped create.

    Who were the monsters in the Vietnam war? The soldiers that fought in it, or the leaders that sent them to die in it? If one wants to talk about shameful and needless losses of lives, we certainly need to evaluate our foreign policy views as well. After all, the “American Exceptionalism” viewpoint (we’re always right and we’re always the “good” guys), is fodder for much of the violent entertainment. Though war has been glorified far before violent TV and video games.

    That said, I think you fail David, like most, to make a firm tie between the entertainment choices of tens of millions and the ownership of assault weapons. How many Rambo watchers do you think own assault weapons? 1%…maybe? How many players of violent video games do you think own assault weapons? 1%…maybe?

    If you and Paul disagree strongly with this type of entertainment, by all means boycott it. Though please leave your personal sentiments as personal sentiments and avoid urging our legislators to make any moves toward censorship.

    • Cecil Gray

      Our children are systemically indoctrinated to violence and its collateral damages from early on in their lives. People are shot on TV constantly without apparent physical indication. Soon it goes to video games and movies where guts shredded and faces being blown off is cool. We spend billions over seas fighting wars for Lockheed Martin stockholders and our citizenry has not a clue about the ugliness until they become involved in the military and watch John Wayne and John Rambo wash down the toilet of Hollywood. All this death and destruction suits the Gun manafacturers just fine but now it is becoming a main stream event on the evening news in this country. Yet when one makes a mention of backing off of the absolute EXTRAVAGANCE of something like a thirty round clip the NRA heads go ballistic. They, like all gun owners who support the over arming of the citizenry, are partly responsible for the collateral damage. Things can be done to at least to make it a little harder for the sick to carry out these mass killings while preserving common sense gun ownership. The knee jerk reactions to the otherwise by real Jerks like LaPierre, Nugent, and the rest of the stone cold neanderthals over at the NRA money machine, should be once and for all IGNORED.

      • Anonymous

        The places in America with the most violent crime also are the places with the most restrictive gun laws, whereas places like Maine are hardly war zones.

        • Anonymous

          More a feature of high population density.

          • Cecil Gray

            Not so 2.

        • Cecil Gray

          Not so.

        • Anonymous

          Most of the weapons used are illegal guns bought on black markets and in the secondary markets like gun shows, private sales, etc. and this is where the laws really need to be tightened up. People do not need machine guns with extended clips to hunt deer. You are trying to compare a very rural state with a long tradition of hunting deer to highly populated urban centers. There are vast demographic and cultural differences. You are trying to compare apples to oranges.

          • Anonymous

            I keep hearing this deer hunting argument. The second amendment has nothing to do with hunting. Read the writings of our founders on this. You’re right, though, that there are some cultural differences. If you grow up in a culture where life is cheap, where violence is an accepted response to any minor dispute, and where living to see 20 is considered a victory, then there will always be a disproportionate level of problems for those areas.

      • Well Cecil, maybe I’m wrong in my assumption, though you’ve watched more than a handful of violent movies in your time, am I right? You’ve not turned into a zombie void of compassion or empathy yet, have you?

        I think most adults have watched a great deal of “R” level violence, some starting from a young age. Certainly some have more of a taste for it than others, though the exposure is close to universal. Are enthusiastic action movie watchers in general less shocked by the these tragedies?

        I think most mature adults understand the difference between fantasy and reality and are sickened by real life violence. A CGI blowing up head in a movie or game might not make someone blink, though if they saw it happen in real life, they’d lose their cookies. It’s not the same. Even well trained police and soldiers are far from immune to the death and violence.

        Truly, if anything is desensitizing people, it is probably the media.

        I’ve no disagreements about what the NRA has allowed itself to become. They let their power and money go to their collective heads. Their original mission was decent and honorable. It wasn’t until they started colluding with weapons manufacturers that they crossed the line.

      • info@dennysriverguide.com

        Why are Nugent and LaPierre jerks?

      • maineiac123

        I’ve read a fairly large number of studies and I’ve never read one that showed a serious link between video games, movies and real life killing. Most people, including children, know the difference between fantasy and reality. When I was growing up war movies, cowboy movies, alien movies, and what is now considered violent cartoons were all the rage. For some reason few of us became uncompassionate or uncaring or devoid of feelings for lives of ourselves or others. This idea that it’s movies, etc, is simply a scapegoat the NRA and others are using to suggest things, other than banning certain weapons, needs to be done. I for one will not boycott violent video games or movies. I enjoy both and I’m 66 and don’t even own a gun..nor do I intend to buy one.

        • Anonymous

          Maineiac123 – For the most part, you are correct. But, there are those, although few and far between, that get hooked on the violent games and actually fantasize about walking through a mall or school blowing people away. Trouble is, these few-and-far-betweeners are hard to identify. There is no way to enact legislation that would prevent them from carrying out their acts of destruction.

          Banning violence in movies or video games is not the answer, as you stated. More gun restrictions are not the answer either. The criminals don’t follow the law.

          • Anonymous

            So we don’t even try.

          • maineiac123

            Banning certain types of guns is a part of the answer. Guns like those used at Sandy Hook have no place in the homes of anyone in this society. They’re not for hunting, they’re not for home protection, they are simply for the killing of many humans easily.
            Whether criminals follow the law or not is immaterial. What would have happened at Sandy Hook if those guns had been a 3 shot shot-gun and a 6 shot revolver? Do you like me, suspect more would have survived?

      • Anonymous

        So…Hollywood gets a free pass? What? Typical…..don’t mess with your tee vee and movies, go after the guns….

  • Anonymous

    !st letter automatic weapons are restricted

    2nd letter more gov’mint spending excellent idea,maybe we can hit 20,000,000,000,000 trillion by years end.

    3rd Gun related violence was higher during the ten years the ban was in place .

    4th letter don’t really care.All the hoopla over college and professional sports in my opinion is stupid.

  • Tedlick Badkey

    More people die from hands and feet than from assault rifles.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8

    When do we demand that hands and feet are removed from society?

    • Anonymous

      I guess the three people so far who have given thumbs-down don’t want to accept reality.

    • Anonymous

      People don’t need machine guns to go deer hunting. The gun nuttery is out of control, and this is coming from a responsible gun owner. Please get real.

      • Anonymous

        The second amendment is not about hunting.

        • Anonymous

          And it is certainly not about “need” or my Government deciding what my “needs” are.

      • Tedlick Badkey

        I am being real.

      • Anonymous

        Get real? Ask the nazis why they avoided Switzerland.

        Better yet, research this school shooting for yourself. The facts don’t add up…at all. Do you believe everything you see on the tee vee?
        Where has critical thinking gone? Unreal!!

        We have these weapons to protect against a tyrannical government. Period. Through out history people have been virtually slaughtered after gun grabs by their govts…

        Wake up

        • Anonymous

          The Nazis were not dumb enough to attack their banks in Switzerland. That is the only reason.

          • Anonymous

            Nope.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, right. A highly trained military with advanced weapons, which over ran Poland and France in a matter of days, then the rest of Europe, and actually invaded the Soviet Union, was afraid of a bunch of armed civilians? Right wing fantasy.

      • Anonymous

        Uhh, what machine guns? The Assault Weapons Ban did not change any regulations about actual machine guns, only weapons that looked like them.

    • Anonymous

      oh, okay let just ignore it all then and it will just go away.

      • Tedlick Badkey

        I’m ignoring nothing… I’m pointing out that the hysteria over assault rifles is meaningless drivel perpetuated by the media.
        You’re TWICE as likely to be killed by hands and feet as you are to ANY rifle or shotgun.

        • Anonymous

          So we should just nothing then? That is what it seems like you are saying. because there are worst things out there, we should just leave this alone?

          • Tedlick Badkey

            Pretty much, yes… we do nothing.

            If you must vent your hostility, point it at the memory of the killer’s mother who was so irresponsible that she didn’t secure the guns so that her mentally unstable son couldn’t get his hands on them.
            Makes as much sense as guards in classrooms or punishing law-abiding citizens.
            It was a tragedy… there will be more. In fact, the worst school massacre didn’t even INVOLVE guns in ANY way. That will likely happen again too. It drives emotion through the roof, but is no reason to lash out against law abiding citizens.
            They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

          • Anonymous

            No one is saying ban all guns, control them better. There are so lack rules and some loop holes that need closing. The gun show loophole being one of them. Law abiding citizens are not being targeted, if you are a law abiding citizen then you will still be able to get guns. This will inconvient law abiding citizen, but in no way, shape or form prevent them from obtaining guns.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            And will not stop criminals like this murderous guy down in Newtown from doing what he did.
            Won’t even slow them down.

          • Anonymous

            Oh, so you know that for a fact. Don’t even try then.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            Facts:
            * he passed no background check for gun ownership. They were not his guns (same with Columbine as well). * he was forced to wait for no “cooling off” period for the guns. They were not his guns (same with Columbine as well) * he attended no gun show to buy any guns. They were not his guns (same with Columbine as well)
            NOTHING you’re wanting to see put in place would have changed this.

            Not one thing.

          • Anonymous

            Spoken like a true brain washed sheep.

            You probably voted for Obama, again, right?

          • Anonymous

            Maybe do your own research when something like sandy hook happens. You believe the corporate media? You cannot be trusted. In fact, I question your intellectual ability if that’s the case.

            Way too many inconsistencies and discrepancies regarding the facts of this supposed shooting

  • Anonymous

    David, the FBI admitted that the 1994 ban had “no measurable effect on crime rates”.

    • Anonymous

      BUT, so many of these mass killings are done with assault weapons and extended magazines (Columbine, Aurora, Newtown, and MANY others). Tell it to the parents of the dead kids. ENOUGH of this shilling for the gun manufacturers so that they and their NRA lobbyist extremists like Wayne LaPierre can make tons of money and live a life of luxury. The “protecting 2nd amendement rights” stuff is just a load of HOGWASH and everyone knows it. Even most gun owners (including MYSELF) believe there are a few common sense steps we can take as part of a number of steps to help avert these incidents. One is to ban assault weapons again, which belong only in the hands of cops and soldiers, along with the needless extended magazines. These are for KILLING HUMAN BEINGS and NOTHING ELSE. Another is to also ban armor-piercing ammunition. We also need to have nationally uniform strict rules on background checks and gun registrations and we need to close the loopholes on these on the secondary gun markets such as gun shows. NONE of this, NONE OF IT, will inhibit any responsible gun owner’s ability to hunt or target shoot. I hunt, but I don’t need a machine gun to do it. GET REAL. It is time to stop the perversion of the 2nd amendment which was passed at a time in history when people owned weapons because we still relied on citizen militias to help protect the nation. Those days are LONG over. READ the 2nd amendment. The founders would never have meant for that provision to someday be about allowing unlimited owndership of machine guns with extended magazines and armor piercing ammunition..

      • Tedlick Badkey

        Facts prove that hands and feet kill more people than assault rifles.

        Ever lost someone to violence? I have… and it wasn’t an assault rifle.

        Yes we can and should monitor who owns these guns, but as in the case in Newtown… it would have made no difference. The guns were not secured properly.

      • Anonymous

        Worry about the actual event and the myriad lies, inconsistencies and bs told to us about this “shooting”….don’t believe everything you hear

      • Anonymous

        Like I said before, the 1994 ban had no measurable effect on violent crime. I’ve never heard of a violent criminal who cared about gun laws. The North Hollywood bank robbers sure didn’t. Those two convicted felons had fully automatic weapons, and this was during the ban. Timothy McVeigh didn’t use a gun, do we need “fertilizer control”? Depending on your definition of “armor piercing” ammunition, that could very well outlaw almost every rifle cartridge (including those used for hunting). If you read the writings of our founders, it is clear that they wanted us to be well armed as a last defense against tyrannical government. If you think the Revolutionary War ended the need for a well armed citizenry, you could try talking to a Native American or an immigrant from Japan who was thrown into a prison camp during WW2. How about the Patriot Act or NDAA? By the way, I have read the second amendment. Apparently, “shall not be infringed” must mean something different to you.

      • Anonymous

        Correct if I am wrong but Columbine massacre occured in 1999 and the former Assault weapons ban was from 1994-2004.

      • Anonymous

        You know you can’t just go buy a machine gun, right? If you insist on tightening my Constitutional rights for your safety, you don’t mind if I start tightening yours, too?

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Mr. Cote, there were no sports in the top “sports” story.

  • Anonymous

    Paul Charbonneau, I noticed that you didn’t mention adding anything to psychiatric help for those with mental illness. Of course that would require a lot of money and your taxes may go up.

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely we need to invest more in treating the mentally ill. If there is money for wars of choice and ridiculous endless job killing tax giveaways for millionaires who shelter their money overseas allowing them to pay half the tax rates you and I pay, then there is money for healthcare including better treatment of mental illness. It’s about raising taxes only on those who have had the party, even during the recession, which is a small percentage of the population, and it is about re-setting our priorities. Amazing how the TeaPublicans will rant and rave about taxes and spending, and then they will dance for joy over a massively bloated military budget riddled with no bid corporate contracts, and they will dance for joy over billions in tax giveaways to the oil and gas corporations, and they will dance for joy over every disgusting tax shelter the richest of the rich get that none of the rest of us get. TeaPublican hypocrisy is enough to make anyone want to vomit.

    • Anonymous

      Threatens big pharma.. Can’t have that..

  • Anonymous

    Lester Francis Cote. I agree. If the story involved a choir director molesting children, would it have been considered the top choir story of the year?
    Sandusky is a pedophile. It should have read the highest level pedophile caught and convicted.

  • Anonymous

    Paul Charbonneau – You forgot a couple of things. One: The school was a “gun-free zone”, and that made it a great target for killing innocent and unarmed people. Two: There is no way to prevent the mentally insane or Satanly determined from acting on their demonic intentions.

    Marie Lec – Your recollection of history has been obviously skewed by the historical re-writers at MSNBC and other major outlets. Conditions were quite different when Clinton was President. We had Republican control in Congress, and that instilled confidence in the markets and to those that had the resources to invest in the nation. That is not longer true. This president had two years where he owned both houses of Congress, and did great damage to the economy, small businesses, and the spirit of America. Now he has gridlock and will use that gridlock to do further damage. Raising taxes will do nothing. It’s not a revenue problem: it’s a spending problem.

    David Dowley – How would you word the assault weapons ban in order to make sure the criminals don’t possess them? There is no way. All the ban would do is punish legal gun owners. Why can’t the anti-gun screamers understand this simple logic? Oh, maybe because it is logic.

    Lester Cote – Top sports story of the year: “Obama recruits the uninformed to roll over the competition.” Top sports story of 2013: “America loses the freedom game.” Top sports story for 2014: “Obama plays golf while America burns.”

    We need God in America again.

    • Tedlick Badkey

      Nah… it wouldn’t make any difference.

      But if you insist, I guess we could impose Sharia…

      • Anonymous

        Not while I’m breathing.

        • Anonymous

          The far right Islamists want to impose their religion on their countries and you, a far right Christian, want to impose your religion on the country. Seems identical.

        • Tedlick Badkey

          But it’s religion in government… that’s what you want.

    • Anonymous

      It’s interesting that you take a wildly different stance with an analogous situation — voter fraud. Why is it that Republicans want to make it harder to vote, despite there being little to no evidence of voter fraud, but when all sorts of people are being killed in mass shootings, they want to make it EASIER to get a gun?

      Sounds like hypocrisy and lazy hypocrisy at that. You just hate and scapegoat without ever offering anything real or constructive.

  • Anonymous

    To all the letter writers. I couldn’t have said it better myself! Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Do you all really believe that sandy hook happened the way it was “reported”? I truly hope not. Anyone beleiving everything they hear from CNN, fox or NPR should stop at once. Things simply don’t add up. Do your own research. YouTube Robbie Parker supposedly talking to pres after the incident. Watch it. Then watch it again. Yup, he’s full of it. And laughing before he tries to “get into character” .or watch the medical examiners press conference. Unreal…

    No one survived? No pictures of bodies or shells? No CCTV footage, really? Not one survivor? The shooter didn’t miss? Come on..first responders denied access. Etc etc. as I said, do your own research. Stop listening to these corporate shills posing as sources of “news”.. They out on shows, not news, shows…

    Does anyone ever question what they see and hear these days?

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