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Letters to the Editor - Feb. 16

February 16, 2013

Will you be a hero to a child who needs one?

To the editor:

How do you contribute? How many of you make a conscious effort each day to make a positive contribution to our society? How many go out of your way to show kindness to and concern for the children in our community? 

As a teacher and citizen, I’m fed up with the direction of our society and country, especially the amount of children being raised in neglectful, abusive homes. I’m disgusted by the lack of quality programming and quality role models for our children.

Children come into this world innocent, creative, open, with an innate desire to learn, love and be loved. Every child has potential that needs to be nurtured and developed consciously. However, too many have their souls crushed by their own parents and feel dejected, unwanted and unappreciated.

Naturally, these children begin looking elsewhere for validation, self-esteem, encouragement, how to handle problems and how to be an acceptable human being. Unfortunately, where they’re looking doesn’t offer much. 

Today’s world paints a picture of mediocrity, entitlement and apathy. It glorifies the wrong people and things. People rarely make eye contact, smile or make an effort to show kindness to a stranger. No longer do our children have an abundance of quality role models to look up to, and it’s shameful. 

Recently, our minister discussed the influence of Mr. Rogers, who is completely unknown by most children today. He told of a boy who was terribly abused by his parents and how he watched “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” daily.  When this child grew up, he was asked what helped him overcome his childhood. He said that Mr. Rogers made him feel like he really was special to someone and that there were good people in the world. He said that Mr. Rogers’ show gave him hope. So, who in society or on TV reaches children in the same manner as Mr. Rogers? 

The American Psychiatric Association states “by age 18, youth will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence.” And “children spend more time watching television than any other activity, except sleep.” 

I think of the recent shootings. It’s not due to guns, but rather children growing up disconnected, desensitized, apathetic, not feeling special or valued, not being taught values, optimism, hope, etc. 

It’s not solely up to churches and schools to teach character, proper behavior  and empathy. It’s up to everyone. Mr. Rogers said, “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”

Will you be one of those heroes?

Becky Grosskreutz
Greencastle, Pa.


It’s time to discuss amending the Second Amendment

To the editor:

It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Gun control, in its many forms and characteristics, cannot be effective without dealing with the 800-pound gorilla — the Second Amendment.

President Obama said “something fundamental must change” if we are to deal with the gun violence that exists in this country. The fundamental limitation to any effective attempt to reduce gun violence is the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which provides that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Under current law, no significant action can be taken by the executive or legislative bodies that can counter the gun culture that exists.

When propriety and public safety were at stake, the 13th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 19th and 21st amendments to the Constitution were adopted. Newtown has fostered a sense that, from a public safety standpoint, guns kill too many people. New regulation of this deadly instrument must be enacted. But as long as the Second Amendment stays in its current form, does the word “never” come to mind when we ask, “When will relief come?”

I know — guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Just like heroin doesn’t kill people; the people who use and sell heroin kill people. If we cannot control the instrument of death, the deaths cannot be controlled. I do not favor criminalizing all guns, but the guns and their accessories that have no purpose other than killing as many people as possible ought to be subject to meaningful regulation and control for public safety.

It’s time to discuss amending the Second Amendment to provide for some form of regulation, but not banning some of the guns and their accessories. Without this, we will continue to see Newtowns and wring our hands asking, “How can we stop this?”

Murray Deutchman
Sharpsburg

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