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Reader input: Tolerating weapons and media violence

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I have been reading the pro and anti-gun arguments in the paper for weeks since the horrendous and tragic Newtown shooting. I would agree we need to ban assault weapons, I used one in combat in Vietnam and they are designed to kill people. I don’t care if I never see one again.
As a former law enforcement officer I have witnessed the carnage on our streets for too many years from automatic weapons of every make and description in the hands of street gangs, drug dealers and mentally ill persons. Too often they were better armed than we were.
Far too many people have died from these hoodlums taking out rivals or even innocent people who just were in the wrong place when they opened up. Those we brought to justice never showed remorse.
There are good people who use these weapons for target practice who are safety conscious and caring citizens. Banning assault weapons is not the total answer, because when laws are passed, the law abiding citizens turn them in, but the lawless elements of our society do not. Therein lies the problem that is the greatest danger for law enforcement and safety of our homes, streets and schools.
There is a much bigger problem in our society than just the proliferation of guns and gun violence. We have allowed our children to play violent video games from an early age, and watch violent movies.
Too many people today love the gore and the violence and their sense of revulsion and conscience have been affected to tolerate it and want more. Is it any wonder we have so much bullying and violence in schools today? Hollywood has glorified violent behavior in songs and movies and the public has embraced it as entertainment.
The problem is, when some deranged person acts out one of these movie themes in real life, we are shocked, revolted and cry for change.
Look in the mirror folks, you have tolerated this violence in every aspect of TV and movies and not said a word for many years. Our ratings system allows this violence and there has been no hue and cry to change our society’s view of violence.
Our conscience as a nation has taken a big hit and we need to use this opportunity to work together to make some meaningful changes to stop this senseless violence.
Paul M Harman, Auburn