Dear Editor:

After the horrible events in Connecticut, the debate now begins to rage about gun control. If we are going to have this debate, it is now time to be completely honest about all of the factors that come into play, not just the weapons used to commit such a horrific act.

I believe that there are several root causes that come into play with all of these mass shooting situations. The first is that we as a society have devalued life, especially those of our children. It begins with abortion. Then our children are subjected to extreme violence by Hollywood, the music industry and by the people who distribute electronic games that glorify extreme violence. The result is that our kids and young people have become desensitized about death.

Next, the media has to accept a large amount of responsibility for these events and how frequently they are occurring. They are so eager to get the jump on other media outlets that they have numerous special reports, speculate wildly about what occurred, want to be the first to report who did it and why. In the ’70s, there was a fad called “streaking” that was happening on a regular basis at public events. It did not die down and pretty much go away until the media decided they were not going to show those idiots anymore. Most media do not cover law enforcement pursuits live anymore for the same reason. The media needs to report the “facts” when they are given to them and then refer to the perpetrator as a generic entity like “gunman,” “suspect,” “perpetrator,” etc. Don’t give these sick individuals the “15 minutes of fame” they so desperately seek.

Finally, I have heard the comment made, “How could God allow something like this to happen?” especially to something as beautiful and innocent as a child. Why should we be surprised? We have asked God to excuse himself from our schools and virtually every public event. We are having serious conversations about removing God from our currency and every other aspect of our public lives. We are a society that has spawned organizations like the ACLU and “Freedom from Religion.” Unfortunately, we are now reaping what we have sown.

I pray for the families of all the loved ones lost at the recent school shooting, and for all of those who have lost loved ones to a senseless act of violence. I also pray that we as a country step back and reevaluate the things that we teach our children, by our actions and words.

Andy Planeta

This story was posted on January 3, 2013.