Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Many Triggers to Blame for Violent Crime

The opinion-page article, "Murder: The Weapon Isn't the Question," (Oct. 10) stunned me with its insensitivity.

First, it does not acknowledge the absurdly easy access that most people have to weapons. Despite passage of the Brady law, gun dealers and gun owners are still not held to the same level of accountability as car owners, for example. This lack of accountability floods the market with guns, both illegally obtained and those bought legally and then sold illegally or stolen. Gun control alone clearly cannot solve the problem, but to dismiss it completely is irresponsible. Second, the author treats murderers as a species apart in a coldly clinical way. She cites studies of juvenile murderers, but never mentions the political, societal, and familial issues that surround the "long list of prior felonies" of these murderers. She says "murderers typically have mental problems that make them very different from the rest of us," as though "those people" grow up in a vacuum unaffected by their surroundings and the society in which they live. Certainly we cannot wait until this society provides a nurturing environment for its children to address the very real issues that the author raises. But neither can we focus merely on a single component of this complex problem, whether it be mental instability, gun control, or the lack of care the US shows its millions of children living in poverty. Stephanie Rico Imperial Beach, Calif. Bring back grass-roots politics Regarding "Influence Buying and Free Speech (Oct. 2): I must admit to having indulged in a fantasy. What if there were no spin doctors, speech writers, or motivational research consultants? What if there were no expensive television ads? What if there were no money-grubbing party machines? What if we had the opportunity to hear each candidate stand up and express his or her own ideas? What if the electorate were free to make intelligent, thoughtful choices without the destructive distractions of demagoguery and mudslinging? What if, instead of having a bunch of lawyers in Congress design rules to protect us from corrupt politicians, we simply voted them out if they were corrupt? …

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