Printed on: December 30, 2012

Training to kill

Received Dec. 21

I recoil in horror at the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. What is wrong with a society, community and family that spawn monsters like Adam Lanza? How can we prevent it from happening again? The immediate response by many is to ban firearms. This is treating the symptom and not the cause. If it was only a gun that caused the deaths, then the shooter would have stopped after killing the first or second child and seeing the blood, hearing screams and smelling the filth. These people are dead inside; mentally ready and hardened for the job. As a society we celebrate murder, death and mayhem in film, television and video games. Studies show the number of murders seen on TV by the time an average child finishes elementary school is 8,000 and the number of violent acts seen by age 18 is 200,000. The existing research shows beyond a doubt that media violence is linked to youth violence. One expert concluded "to argue against it is like arguing against gravity." Some experts state violent action video games are even more conducive to children's aggression. We are not just teaching kids to kill. We're teaching them to kill and like it. We must eliminate the training of individuals for mass killings perpetrated by the entertainment industry. Some will cry that limiting murders for pleasure an impingement on their freedom of speech. I ask; "How many people will the media and entertainment industries train to kill before we stop them?" (Word count: 250)

Tom Wood

Idaho Falls