Colorado shooting: how can kids harbor so much hatred?I am...

Letters to the Editor

April 29, 1999

Colorado shooting: how can kids harbor so much hatred?

I am a parent of two elementary school age boys and, like many people around the country, I am deeply troubled by the tragic events in Littleton, Colo.

What haunts me is how two boys (and maybe more) can have so much hate at such a young age that they would not only willingly destroy their own lives but plan the destruction of others.

I would understand better if the perpetrators were older, and had developed their misguided resentment of others from life's hard and cruel lessons. But to have such hate at the ages of 17 and 18? It chills me to the bone.

What was missing from their lives? The proliferation of guns was not at fault here, although that certainly helped. Something else is very wrong.

If there were ever a time for parents to take notice of our children, it is now.

Colin R. Wilkinson

Towson

Children all over this nation are hurting because of peer pressure, lack of dialogue with parents and self-hatred. I don't believe the killers in Colorado hated just minorities; they hated people who harassed them, people who were different -- and themselves.

Children are harassed daily for being overweight, the way they dress, not playing sports or just for being different. Parents must teach their children not to belittle or make fun of their fellow students and peers.

They must also try to understand their children and listen to them at all costs. There are signs that will let a parent know that something is just not right.

There is just too much hate; I don't understand how a young person can hate so much. Maybe it is taught. From television, the Internet and video games, children are learning some evil things. With wars going on around the world, children are being taught to kill.

We must watch what we say and do. Children are watching and listening to us more than we think.

Cameron Miles

Baltimore

Shootings are a penalty for our failings

The reason those Colorado students could kill 13 rather than two or three kids is that they had guns and explosives. The banner under which they killed is emblazoned with the violent imagery that saturates our media. The spawning ground for their violence was parents too emotionally feeble to ban the guns and the violent propaganda from their homes and communities.

So, enough of this blather about the profound questions that society has to ask itself with each new atrocity. Let's call these events what they are. They are a tax that society has tacitly accepted for the right to keep lethally powerful weapons in our homes.

They are a tax for purchasing again and again TV, movie, and print images of explosive and lurid violence and accepting them for display to our children.

Finally, they are a tax for our abdication of parenthood itself.

John Scott, Baltimore

Guns, violent culture at root of the killing

Watching professionals try to explain still another tragic shooting striking school-chidren, I become so frustrated I fell like yelling, "Why are you so blind?"

Children today are no different from years ago when tragedies like the one in Colorado were unknown. What is different today is obvious: the TV violence kids are exposed to and the proliferation of firearms.

Television portrays guns creating excitement, but doesn't show the horror and devastation and bitter tears their use causes. To teen-agers shooting is fun; they don't consider the consequences.

In the wake of a similar tragedy in Dunblane, Scotland, in which 16 schoolchildren and their teacher were killed by gunfire, Great Britain has banned gun ownership. Will Congress have the guts to oppose the National Rifle Association and pass a similar law?

Based on their record on gun issues, that seems unlikely. But these tragedies will continue to occur until Congress wakes up to its responsibilities.

Morris Grossman

Baltimore

To stop the killing, get rid of the guns

In the Colorado high school shooting, we saw again children killing children with high-powered weapons.

Why? Because teen-agers are filled with angst and have easy access to guns.

What is the solution? There will always be angst-filled teen-agers. The first step should be to get rid of the guns. If that violates the Second Amendment, then let's repeal the amendment.

Gerhardt Meurer

Cockeysville

In Colorado, another group of kids with easy access to guns has decimated yet another high school and community. Another group of parents mourn another senseless loss. And it's so quiet at the NRA, you could hear a (firing) pin drop.

Charlton Heston and the NRA say we don't need gun control, we need criminal control. May I remind the gun crowd that these kids who have shot up their schools became felons when they picked up a gun.

Jeff Sattler, Baltimore

Schools must teach moral values to kids

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