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Murder of the Innocents — What's Happening to Us?

Join the national conversation on the latest top stories.

This column is designed to offer a platform to discuss national stories on a local level. Share your opinion in the comment section.

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The most significant story of the week is clearly the Newtown, Conn., school shooting that took place on Friday. As journalists, we never expect to cover something like this, nor are we ever adequately prepared, even if it's just to write a short summation. All I will say is that my thoughts, prayers and tears are with the families. For in-depth coverage, visit our sister site, Newtown Patch.

Find out how to help families affected by the tragedy here. 

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Did you know that something similar happened in China Thursday, but with a knife? There were no deaths, but the horror is the same. 

The man attacked an adult, then 22 children in the early morning hours. 

There was a string of similar assaults in 2010, when a total of 20 schoolchildren were killed, and an additional 50 were injured. According to CBC News, most of the attackers were "mentally disturbed men involved in personal disputes or unable to adjust to the rapid pace of social change in China."

Is that the case here? In the media and in personal conversations, people have blamed violent video games and movies, a lack of empathy due to the constant "plugged in" nature of our society, and lack of gun control laws. 

Do you have a theory as to why we're seeing an escalation in mass shootings? 

Desertrat December 17, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Some mass murderers may well have been affected by various societal pressures. An example would be the man who opened fire on a school yard in California, using an AK-47. He was not a youthful sort. Young people who have done these assaults seem commonly to have a history of mental disturbance and have had some background with psychotropic drugs. It was reported that one of the Columbine shooters had gone "cold turkey" from some psycho-drug in order to be able to join the military. My own belief about many of these tragedies is that we have abandoned any pretense of proper funding and actions to help parents who have problem children. A shortage of facilities, and of qualified professional staffing to enable control, cure or (unfortunately) warehousing. However, it's more politically correct to blame the thing for its misuse by a person instead of dealing with reality. Laws of whatever sort rarely if ever prevent crimes; they merely provide a method of punishment after the fact.

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