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Letters to the Editor

September 02, 1999

Cruel kids learn on animals

To the editor:

As the beginning of the school year approaches, we need to address a serious problem: The correlation between early childhood animal abuse and later violent, often homicidal, acts against fellow human beings. The case histories are a staggering reminder just how grave this problem is.

Many well-known serial killers cut their teeth on trusting, innocent animals:

Jeffrey Dahmer killed and strangled neighborhood dogs and cats.

Ted Bundy tortured animals as a teenager.

Carrol Edward Cole strangled a puppy.

David Berkowitz, "Son of Sam," shot a neighbor's dog.

Recent school shootings are also sickeningly linked by animal cruelty.

May 1998/Springfield, Ore. - Kip Kinkel killed his parents and two classmates and injured 22 others. He had a history of animal abuse and torture, having boasted about blowing up a cow and killing cats, squirrels and other animals by putting firecrackers in their mouths.

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March 1988/Jonesboro, Ark. - Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden shot and killed four students and a teacher. A friend says Andrew "shoots dogs all the time with a .22."

December 1997/West Paducah, Ky. - Michael Carneal shot and killed three classmates at a prayer meeting. Carneal had talked about throwing a cat into a bonfire.

October 1997/Pearl, Miss. - Luke Woodham stabbed his mother to death, then shot and killed two classmates and injured seven others. In his diary, Woodham wrote that he and a friend beat, burned and tortured his dog, Sparkle, to death.

It's clear that this deadly cycle must be stopped before it begins. That, of course, is in the impressionable minds of our children. We are raising a generation of bad seeds whose only thrill from life is ending it and whose only emotion is anger.

There is a nonprofit charitable organization that is trying to help. Its ambitious goal is to have a humane education program added to the curriculum of every school in the United States. They desperately need our help before the start of the new school year. Who knows what heinous events shall unfold as the semester begins? I wonder, how many animals did the Columbine murderers torture and kill?

For more information and how to help: PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), 501 Front St., Norfolk, Va. 23510, 757-622-PETA, www.peta-online.org.

Remember, people who are violent to animals rarely stop there.

Lanny R.

Waynesboro, Pa.

Good show

To the editor:

You have to admit that with all the problems and troubles in the world it's nice to be able to sit and enjoy a television program that lets you learn of God's love and teach us all how to live in the best place in the world, the USA.

"Touched By An Angel" is the best program since Michael Landon's "Highway to Heaven." It's a program that shows no matter how big our problems are, God cares. It doesn't push religion on anyone, but shows us all how to live.

The angels portrayed by the three main characters are wonderful. If God is watching, that program should be on forever. It appeals to the young and old with morals and conduct that we should all live by. I believe there are angels all around us, and that program shows God cares for us.

He isn't prejudiced, he doesn't expect perfection in us, he loves us as we are, his children. That program can make you laugh and cry and make you proud to be a part of God's plan. Some people find it hard to believe in someone you can't see. Yet we can't see the wind, air, but they are there and God is everywhere. He made us all colors, nationalities, creatures and plants, it's all his, we are but the caretakers.

I believe television can reach the world of God's love and plans for our future. I know a lot of people are worried about the year 2000, but we should be worried more for our souls. The coming of Jesus is very near and that should concern us more. Where will we spend eternity? Will we be a part of God's family or lost forever in torment?

God gave us a mind to choose the right decisions in life. We often blame him for things that go wrong and forget to thank him when it goes right. Take an hour out of your day to watch "Touched By An Angel." Children like role models. What better choice than an angel. I thank God we live in a country where we have a choice of religion, beliefs. Pray for our people in Hollywood, government, medical professions, and religious leaders. God doesn't have a 1-800 number, He's just a prayer away.

It doesn't cost a dime, just some of your time.

Janice Spoonire

Hagerstown

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