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Letter: The Work of the Devil

The Work of the Devil

To the Editor:

When people worship at the altar of the National Rifle Association, they are selling their souls to the devil. That’s a Faustian bargain, and it always leads to the gates of hell.

If you wonder what hell is like, just peer through the doors of that elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Richard Schwemm

New London

A Sense of Privilege

To the Editor:

Alan MacDonald’s letter in the Dec. 24 Valley News (“Speaking of Entitlements”) summed up the “entitlement” situation very well. Seems our politicians are becoming pretty arrogant, behaving more like royalty than ever.

Frank Sanders Jr.

Lebanon

Safely Enjoying Violence

To the Editor:

In the wake of the shooting deaths of 20 first-graders and six school employees in Connecticut, the National Rifle Association unveiled its plan for a “national school shield,” which would put a “good guy with a gun” in every school in America. This good guy could also help out with unruly students who are bored with the slow pace of reading and writing in school, while they are withdrawing from the adrenalin rush of violent video games they play late into the night. Rather than causing mischief, these kids would happily substitute the adrenalin rush of witnessing a weapon brandished by a good guy.

If we expand the school shield to the sites of other mass killings in 2012 in the U.S., we could leap forward toward an era of increased safety. If there were a “mall shield,” shoppers could safely feed their adrenalin addiction and numb themselves to the sight of human carnage by buying and playing the latest violent video games to hit the market. With a “movie theater shield,” audiences would be free from senseless violence, and could safely enjoy their adrenalin rushes watching senseless violence in 3-D on the screen.

The many hours our children and youth spend watching violence on TV and movies, listening to violent lyrics, playing violent video games and online games like “Kindergarten Killer” leave little time for actual contact with caregivers and family, time needed for forming the secure attachments we humans are hard-wired to need to learn to regulate our emotions in healthy ways. Therefore, we will also need an increased effort by drug manufacturers to crank up the production of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, and especially anti-psychotic meds that help tamp down the rage we may feel when we do not get our need for personal closeness to caregivers and others met. Of course, read all labels carefully.

The NRA is probably serious and well meaning in thinking we need more rather than fewer guns, further evidence that we all need protection from how mass culture is changing our brains.

Steven Librot

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Norwich

Mourning All Children’s Deaths

To the Editor:

Listening to the president speaking sadly about the 20 children killed in Newtown, Conn., has made his usual hypocrisy dreadful beyond belief. As horrifying as the Newtown mass murder of small children is, how come Barack Obama’s heart does not grieve for the children around the world whose deaths, he, as commander in chief of the United States, has been responsible for — in numbers far exceeding 20?

Bombs, bullets, missiles, depleted uranium, starvation due to sanctions, lack of medical care, contaminated water, land mines, cluster bombs, white phosphorus and, now, drones — to name only some of the ways the U.S. kills children every day.

As long as a president can mourn for a few children at home while turning a blind eye to the millions of children whose killing is mostly the responsibility of the United States, there is little hope for children anywhere.

As Howard Zinn said, “There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”

Norman Emmons

Charlestown