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Letter: Mental Health Isn’t Only Problem

To the Editor:

While I do believe mental health is part of the violence problem, I don’t agree with Dr. Jim Filiano’s take (“A Culture That Nurtures Future Murderers,” Dec. 19 Valley News) that “gun control misses the core of the problem.” Yes, there “will still be knives, arson, explosives made from fertilizer and many more ways to kill,” but there’s more to it than this.

Most certainly, clinicians must find out why mass shooters go on their rampages, and we need to fund that effort. However, we still need to restrict access to the most efficient and deadly means — that is, rapid-fire combat-style military-assault rifles, armor-piercing bullets and huge ammo clips. The same day a troubled young man shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a deranged person in China assaulted students in a school there. The difference was the assailant there only had a knife. He stabbed 22 youngsters; none died. We know what happened here; the funerals continued for a long time.

President Obama asks all of us now — responsible gun owners and responsible citizens in general — to do “something meaningful” to stop the next tragedy and protect our children. If we put all of our eggs into the mental health basket, those weapons of war are still available 24/7 on the Internet, no questions asked, and our kids remain in the line of fire.

Bob Williamson

South Woodstock

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Column: A Culture That Nurtures Future Murderers

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lebanon We have known how to cultivate greatness for generations: expose our children — early — to an enriched environment with skilled and devoted mentors. Surround them with excellence; teach excellence, encourage excellence, reward their efforts and their successes. Excellence must permeate their environment in visual images, song, verbal explanations and the example of experts. In the Renaissance, Florence did …