What we are seeing in mass murders in our schools in nothing more than a form of terrorism.

We know that terrorists look for soft targets because there are so many they can use to make their statement.

I listened to Mr. La Pierre’s press conference in which he suggested arming people in schools. Yes, that would make schools a harder target, but with what we have learned about terrorists in the past 15 or 20 years, wouldn’t a terrorist then just go to a nursing home, hospital, day care or shopping mall?

Chiefs Rizzo and Fields and Sherriff Merry have some excellent and insightful suggestions for helping reduce crime and saving many of our young people ( “Reduce crime with quality early learning,” page A6, Dec. 21). As we implement more of their suggestions, we also need to reduce our children’s exposure to violence on television, video games and movies, too. This desensitization can only add to violence.

Likewise, in the years through high school, returning to the teaching of basic moralities, not religion, in school will help future generations better understand what many in the older generations take for granted.

We have heard many factions advocate stopping the sale of semi-automatic, military-style rifles and large-capacity magazines. With the number of these out there today, will that really stop their falling into the wrong hands? How did that work during the several years we had the assault weapon and large capacity magazine ban? Did we see a sufficient drop in crimes? Keeping guns out of the hands of mentally unstable or other irresponsible individuals is critical, but how?

Although most of the heinous shootings are done with legal and legally obtained firearms, at least require everyone to go through a background check prior to purchasing a firearm. Why in the world do we accept that a background check is mandatory at a gun store but not at a gun show?

The vast majority of the mental health problems in the United States do not spur violence, but there are many potentially violent people out there who do not get adequate treatment and who are not blocked from obtaining guns. As it is today, someone accused of domestic violence whose guns are confiscated by the police may not be put into the database preventing them from buying another gun — until they are convicted. Making this system easier to add and remove names would provide another means of slowing down problems.

And lastly, our press glorifies these tragedies.

Yes, the events need to be reported; however the depth and detail does not. Maybe we could reduce some violence by not planting an idea or offering those days of fame to a perpetrator, or going over every detail of shootings time and time again.

There is no magic cure for gun or other violence, as what we are seeing is a deeply rooted societal illness with no quick fix.

There are, however, many long-term solutions that we can start implementing to help curb this alarming trend.

JAMES BRIDGE is a resident of Brunswick.



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