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Letter: 'Find the Cause' Behind Shootings like Sandy Hook

'Find the cause behind these heinous acts, then and only then can we take action to prevent the further loss of human life,' the writer states.

Let me start by saying, I’m so sorry to have to submit this, and I know it may draw criticism, but in light of the mass gun hysteria created by the horrific events of 12.14.2012, I believe wholeheartedly it needs to be said. No one will question that the Sandy Hook massacre was a national tragedy the likes of which have never been seen before, and hopefully will never be seen again.  

That being said I am forced to ask why the gun owners of America are being subjected to daily harassment and threats of gun restrictions, public embarrassment and attempts by the media to make law abiding citizens, who have nothing to do with the events in Newtown feel like they are criminals and a hated part of society.

Why are law-abiding citizens who hold a pistol permit, being threatened their names will be made public and they will be added to a National database, but not the names of people who have consulted a psychotherapist, or are on mood stabilizing anti-depressants or some other prescribed drug? Is it because it may infringe on someone’s freedoms or right to privacy?

I am a retired professional law enforcement officer, with over 25 years in the law enforcement and security field. Based on my training and experience it is my belief that given the current condition of our nation’s anti-depressant dependant population, and loop hole filled reporting system, it is partially responsible for the events of 12.14.2012 , and unfortunatly you cannot stop someone intent on killing, until you can identify them. So what is to be done?

I challenge our legislators, law enforcement, the media, the medical and scientific communities to come together and actually do an in-depth investigation into the probable causes and possible interventions to these criminal homicidal actions before just de facto blaming the tools used. Firearms are only tools; they are inanimate objects incapable of harming anyone without being handled. If left untouched a firearm will never harm anyone. The tool is not the problem, nor is access to the tools.

I also question why the American people are under scrutiny and not the family of the shooter? Are they not the least bit responsible for any of this? Where is their culpability in this? The firearms used in Newtown where legally purchased and owned, they were stolen from his mother and used by the shooter.  His mother, although a murder victim, allegedly had knowledge that he was mentally or emotionally disturbed, and he was apparently obsessed with military style weapons (based on the description of his room as posted in the media) and yet she still not only made the conscious decision to keep the weapons in the home, along with large amounts of ammunition; She reportedly took her son to the gun range regularly to train him in the use of those firearms. Apparently she failed to provide an adequately safe and secure storage area for the firearms, since her son was able to gain access to them. Does this make her an, albeit, unknowing, accomplice before the act?

The shooter’s brother was reportedly aware the shooter was (allegedly) mentally or emotionally disturbed, and had access to firearms. I’m sure the shooter’s father, although divorced, had to have some knowledge that his ex-wife was a gun aficionado and surely as a parent he would know his child had mental or emotional issues, and an apparently unhealthy obsession with guns.

So I am forced to ask what steps the family took to prevent this shooting in the first place.

Was the shooter ever reported by any family member, friend, fellow student, teacher or any other person for odd or unusual behavior? Was he ever investigated? Was there a history of domestic violence at the mother’s house? Was the shooter ever actually diagnosed as having any mental, emotional or developmental problem? Was the mother really a doomsday prepper? What does this shooter have in common with the Colorado shooter, the columbine shooters or any other “mass killers”? There must be a common denominator linking these types of crimes. Some type of signal or trigger we are either missing or choosing not to see. If so, why are we not demanding to tighten and refine the mental health codes and rules and treatment options in our country?

The media should also be held somewhat liable also, they make these shooters into heroes, they give meaning to their life and acts buy sensationalizing them, thus giving an incentive for a mentally or emotionally disturbed individual to “make his mark” on a world wide scale. Where is any of the blame directed to any of them? Shouldn’t some responsibility lie there?

Violent video games, which are played over the internet, desensitize people to the act of killing, and train people that human life is meaningless. There is something drastically wrong when you play a game against other people to see who can kill who the fastest; including games where you kill zombies, it still rewards the player with the greatest number of kills the highest scores for shooting, stabbing or otherwise committing the act of murdering someone. Violent movies, Jack Reacher, REDS, the Bourne series, Die Hard(s), The Expendables all glorify killing.Yet we only target the tool a killer uses and not the possible catalysts to the behavior.

And yes, the greatest majority of people who view these movies and play these games have no issues divorcing fantasy from reality; there are those small percentages that do have a problem. It has become common in our current society to allow our youth to be essentially “baby sat” by viewing this type of “entertainment” and often this viewing takes the place or parental guidance and supervision. Therefore, little context is given to those who view these images and might have some problems in their interpretation of reality. You can’t legislate good parenting, nor is banning any form of violent entertainment an option, if you did where does it end, go all the way back to Bugs Bunny and Road Runner cartoons?

History has shown us that a determined psychopath will not be deterred by the availability of a tool whether a firearm, incendiary device, chemical device, homemade bombs, knives, or anything else capable of killing. Perhaps they will make deadly device, similar to the one used in Oklahoma City, using common and easily available items and directions readily found online. Let us realize that only a mentally disturbed individual would go on a killing spree to begin with, so to carry out their agenda, to them, the tool they use is likely unimportant.

The firearms used in Sandy Hook were stolen by the shooter. No amount of gun legislation or restrictions will change what happened, or prevent it from happening in the future. You cannot prevent these crimes by punishing people who had nothing to do with the acts of that day, restricting or banning guns, but perhaps these crimes might be prevented by understanding the warning signs, identifying possible future assassins and getting these people treatment. Our legislators and politicians are using this tragedy to push their personal agendas, that’s wrong.

Implore you for once do what’s right for America and find the cause. Legal law-abiding citizens should not be the subject of these daily attacks on our freedoms while the responsibility for the incident is publicly allowed to be misplaced. Find the cause behind these heinous acts, then and only then can we take action to prevent the further loss of human life.

 

Anthony Pizighelli
Bridgeport, Connecticut

Sandra January 15, 2013 at 03:59 PM
let's focus on improving our economy by figuring out how to get 47,000,000 Americans off of welfare. Get half the country to pay their "fair share" in taxes. The takers are outnumbering the workers. People vote with their pocket books so as long as the government hands out "free stuff" the government will continue to expand their control. Who cares that your free stuff will be paid by your children and the Chinese? YEP the Founding Fathers would never recognize our selfish give me entitlement society. God, yes God help us.
Nathan Hall January 15, 2013 at 09:19 PM
I completely agree with the need for tax reform and the need to encourage independence and reduce our entitlement-driven culture and government. I also agree that, per your comment above, Benghazi needs to be more fully investigated resulting in a full explanation with consequences for those who failed us. However, these are all red herrings and are irrelevant to solving the Sandy Hook problem - entitlement reform, tax reform, and accountability for Benghazi would not have prevented the Newtown tragedy, where as it is possible 1st amendment regulation (restrictions on media, movies, video games) and/or 2nd amendment regulation (private sale background checks, etc.) would have. We as citizens need to demand from our media, our government, and ourselves focused discourse without distraction, with all options on the table and valid for discussion, if we are to prevent this tragedy from ever occurring again.
Sheila January 15, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Little late for a public discussion. Read the national news gun laws are sweeping the nation and there has been not one public hearing, and the investigation into the mass murder in Sandy Hook has yielded nothing because there is a SEAL on the investigation for some unknown reason - must be some very strong armed twisting behind closed doors.. Ablechild over the years has impacted change, very little, but little signs of hope. There were reforms starting to happening after the Diane Sawyer piece on foster care; but obviously the media does not want to bite the hand that feeds them. Sadly not a fair process nor is this ethical. As far as the media, they receive 19% of the budget of the drug companies to keep pumping our kids with dope. Courage of one is all it takes. Maybe, just maybe someone will stand up in the media and stop this BS, and reopen the investigation to provide the public with the urgent data we are requesting and public open hearing before one gun law is passed. President Obama signing any of these laws in is signing away our children to two industries bend on their destruction, the psychiatric industry and the deadly products they peddle for the drug companies. We hope for some ethics to reappear.
Sandra January 15, 2013 at 10:27 PM
First amendment restrictions?That's scary. Political correctness is already causing a problem since people are afraid to speak up without being bullied. Perhaps if someone questioned Lanza's mother about her son around guns it might have prevented the massacre. Movies and video games are already rated so parents are responsible for their children not being exposed to violence. Background checks are a must to help reduce the number of guns sold to the mentally ill or criminals.
Nathan Hall January 16, 2013 at 02:57 AM
First amendment restrictions - that's pretty much what the author of this opinion article is, amongst other things, implying when he states "The media should also be held somewhat liable" and that violent movies and video games desensitize. I can't imagine his position is to blame these first amendment protected forms of speech, and then state we shouldn't do anything to regulate these forms - what, then, would be the point of even mentioning them in the article? The news media, movies, video games - those have all been held to be forms of freedom of speech protected by the first amendment. Like the NRA suggesting we take a look (and therefore regulate) at video games (which are already regulated), the common thread seems to be regulating and restricting first amendment rights is OK, but it is not OK to even consider doing the same to second amendment rights. The common thread SHOULD be what reasonable actions we can take as a country to reduce or eliminate the chance of this ever happening again. Our constitution and its amendments form a successful framework and should be the key waypoints of any debate, but they should not be considered inviolate and immune to further amendments to keep their relevancy against a forever changing technological and cultural landscape.

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