Background: Twenty children and 6 adults were killed on December 14th when a 20-year old gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and began shooting. Several assault-style weapons were found at the scene. These guns were registered to the shooter’s mother, a gun enthusiast. On the same morning, the gunman shot his mother before driving off to the school. People who knew him in high school described him as an “intelligent, but nervous” loner who avoided attention.
Discuss the following comments taken from the Internet with your classmates:
1. Guns save far more lives than they take. More lives are saved in a week by guns used by civilians, than criminals take in a year. Look up the facts!! The lives are on the shoulders of those who make it illegal for teachers to carry guns to protect themselves in situations like this. – ArmedAmerican
2. I think schools should have security entrances with armed guards and metal detectors similar to courthouses and airports. It is no longer acceptable for it to be harder to get on a plane than it is to walk into a school. – Scm
3. Instead of blaming guns, we need to focus on: getting better, more comprehensive mental health services and facilities; addressing these issues in their early stages when they first appear in childhood or puberty instead of assuming ‘it’s just a phase’ or ‘they’ll grow out of it;’ not lettingdrug manufacturers influence doctors into prescribing anti-depressants or whatever at the first sign of trouble; getting people to understand that they won’t be punished or labeled weird for seeking help. – brocore (adapted)
4. We have raised an entire generation on the theory that we must protect their self-esteemat all costs. Then, while mom and dad had better things to do, we sat them in front of Grand Theft Auto and completely desensitized them to violence. So, if we stop shielding kids from every possible disappointment in life, so that when they face one, they are prepared for it; if we take the XBox away once in awhile; and if we actually talk to our kids occasionally, we might prevent some of this… – Gesa
Lastly, an argument that has been (probably falsely) attributed to actor Morgan Freeman blames the media. The author states that these killings happen because we treat the shooters like celebrities. Media agencies like CNN rank each shooting statistically like a competition. Articles focus on the shooter and the terrible details of the crime because that’s what sells. Instead of killing themselves in their basements, gunmen carry out violent attacks in places such as schools so they can be remembered as horrible monsters. The author concludes that we should focus on remembering the victims, not the killers.