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Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012: Violent video games, gun control and using troops locally

Violent video legislation

We are all struggling with the murders of innocent children and educators at Sandy Hook. We all know something needs to change and immediately our reaction is to further legislate gun control.

I cannot help but think that the answers rather lie elsewhere. Let me ask: How many of us have in our homes, or wrapped as gifts under our Christmas trees, violently murderous video games. The “heroes” and villains contained there execute hundreds in explicit, dramatic horror.
These games train killers in the same efficient training methods used by military training videos. These videos numb the trainee to reality and inspire them to become the shooters themselves.

We think that by putting suggested age ratings on the violent videos inspiring brutally will not occur. How foolish. Your children will aspire to “be like dad or mom” while watching adults enjoy the violence. Worse than that, parents may think it is “good family time” to share the violent games with children, praising the children when they successfully “eliminate.”

While we are thinking about inspiring executions as only games and fantasy, what about all the CSI-like TV shows and movies?

Are these games and violent films raising up cold-blooded killers?

Would we as responsible adults do more to stop killings if we removed from our lives these sources of killer-training venues?

Elizabeth Higgins


Guns don’t kill people

In the latest lurch to control guns, supporters have found another opportunity in the horrible tragedy of Sandy Hook. But opponents of gun control have nothing to worry about. Controlling guns just is not going to happen. Americans are incurably addicted to weapons. Nothing will change that. We know all the reasons.

Cigarettes do not kill people, tobacco kills people. Bottles do not kill, alcohol kills. Guns do not kill people. Bullets kill people. We control, restrict, and tax alcohol and tobacco. Why not ammunition?

Gun addicts will have their guns but they will not be able to kill without ammunition. Restricting ammo sales and taxing each round will both limit access and raise significant revenue. Let the experts tell us just how much the flow of ammo will be decreased and how much money will be raised. At this point it does not really matter.

Unrestricted access to a substance that is so universally dangerous is an insane policy. Not taxing users who freely feed their craving for more of their deadly dope is a wasted opportunity.

Control and tax, like tobacco and alcohol. At least some people will have a harder time getting their shot off. And the victims will have some funds for recovery and compensation.

Anthony Aman


Deploy our troops

School rampage killings are now a part of our lives and another will happen again. No gun law is going to prevent it. The strict gun laws in China didn’t save children and babies from the hammer and cleaver attacks of 2010-2011.

Instead of deploying troops to some country to fight a war that has nothing to do with us and kill people that have never attacked us, why not send our troops to our schools to protect our children? How far would Adam Lanza have gotten had armed guards been stationed at Sandy Hook? What more honorable use of our soldiers is there? We have a defense force, so let’s use it. That’s what they’re trained for and I’m sure they would much rather be deployed locally than to some foreign country. Isn’t that a better use of our military?

We need armed guards where masses of people, especially children, gather because crazed gunmen target masses of people. I know we might not like the image of soldiers at our schools and malls, but I’d rather see that than lifeless bodies of children. And this solution might cool the gun control issue.

Daniel Patterson

Presque Isle

Meaningful safety education

Clearly the time has come when the nation must undertake effective safety education targeted on gun use. The purpose of government is to protect “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

We value the states as laboratories to experiment with local ways of protecting these rights. The federal government should provide a five-year grant to each state, to be matched by that state, and given to local units (counties, cities, towns) to devise their own systems to prevent gun

violence, including domestic abuse. At the end of five years there should be a national conference to highlight “best practices.”

The NRA has demonstrated its effectiveness in protecting the right to bear arms. I call upon the NRA to now use its effective methodology to support local efforts to promote meaningful safety education that leads to a national culture change in regard to the proper place of guns in an open, democratic society.

Stanley Freeman


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