Letter: The Path Away From Violence
To the Editor:
I would like to commend Dr. Jim Filiano for his commentary about how our culture is nurturing violence in our children (“A Culture That Nurtures Future Murderers,” Dec. 19). In the virtual world of video games, lives are taken out with a click of the computer, desensitizing the players and giving them practice in rapid destruction. Violence and aggression on TV and in the movies normalize action that we couldn’t even imagine if we weren’t so subliminally trained. As an artist and an educator, I would be the first to support strengthening the arts for a renaissance out of these dark days. Engaging our kids in constructive and creative ways should always be the first line of defense against fear, isolation and boredom.
But I also believe that restricting the freedom of adults in obtaining semiautomatic weapons needs to be part of the solution we seek. In 1996, Australia imposed a strict ban on assault weapons and implemented a buyback of semiautomatic weapons after a mass shooting. In the decade and a half since, there has not been a single mass shooting in that country. Surely, we Americans are as serious about protecting our children and could come up with laws that are equally effective.