Letter: Time to Confront Our Problem

To the Editor:

When children first started watching extremely violent shows and movies, I was sure that some members of that generation would not know right from wrong and not think twice about taking an assault rifle and gunning down people just for the thrill of it. Now we are reaping the horrors that such people create. Indeed, there have been news reports recently of studies that have found a link between criminal behavior and people who watched violent television when they were children.

Those who control the content of television shows, movies and video games need to act responsibly and leave out extreme violence. The movie shown during a recent coach trip I was on was t he new Sherlock Holmes . Unlike the television series, the movie was filled with blood, gore and violence, a prime example of current media violence.

Banning all firearms will not solve the problem of mass murders. As a former hunter I value the right to own firearms, but assault rifles should be banned. No citizen needs a firearm with that many rounds of ammunition. It is unconscionable that they are on the market and in the hands of criminals and people with severe mental health problems. Firearms should be registered and background checks should be required of buyers. However, I fail to see how such restrictions can be completely successful when people intent on doing violence and fly-by-night sellers of firearms cannot be brought under control. If anyone out there has ideas on how to accomplish this, I urge them to tell President Obama, Congress and our state legislators.

Mental health issues need to be addressed more promptly and effectively. We have a big problem and a long way to go, so let’s get on with it!

Lorraine Zigman