Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Another teen with a wanton disregard for life

I look at the photograph of attempted murderer Daniel Gladden, and underneath the thin veneer of looking pseudo-tough, I see a young man who is seemingly angry with the universe ("Gladden pleads guilty in shooting," Feb. 20). I ask myself just when our society began churning out these conflicted youths who are totally devoid of guilt or compassion about stomping the life out of another human being. What bothers me even more than the anger, the hatred, is the aura of total indifference he has cloaked himself in.

This was the classic case of a young man who chose to ostracize himself from a supposed normal and balanced society. I get the distinct impression that at some point he made a decision to cut himself off from attempting to assimilate into society. Kids wear certain clothing in a desperate attempt to differentiate themselves. They then become labeled by their peers, perhaps ridiculed. Perhaps it has to do with maintaining an air of dark mystery.

The key to Daniel Gladden's choices was a lack of communication. Had he had the ability to possibly open up to someone, a friend, a neighbor, perhaps a professional, the incident at Perry Hall High School may have never occurred.

This wave of our society producing youth who have no self-respect, a terrible self-image, and a wanton disregard for something as precious as life itself, has to cease.

It is not an option to wave off youth like this man has done and take the mind-set that society is structured to occasionally churn out someone like him. It is our duty that this ungodly trend of heinous and at times incomprehensible behavior be righted.

And, yes, as we have an obligation as parents to take our children's tendency toward signals of indifference, joyless, anti-societal behavior very, very seriously.

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    • Trial of alleged Perry Hall shooter scheduled to begin Feb. 19
      Trial of alleged Perry Hall shooter scheduled to begin Feb. 19

      Robert W. Gladden Jr., 15, is accused of opening fire inside the school's cafeteria, injuring one student

    • Enough with the stuffed-animal memorials at sites of tragedy
      Enough with the stuffed-animal memorials at sites of tragedy

      The memorials that people build with stuffed animals, flowers, etc., are nice and a tribute to the people who died at the site. But truthfully, they are a waste of money. This money could be donated to the family for their use for food, clothing or paying the electric bill. If the family is not...

    • Maryland's psychiatrist shortage won't be easily solved
      Maryland's psychiatrist shortage won't be easily solved

      I read with great interest the article entitled "Health reform highlights shortage in Maryland of psychiatrists" (Jan. 27). I have been a practicing psychiatrist for almost last 20 years, and I fully agree with the article that there is a huge shortage of psychiatrists. Believe it or not, every...

    • Trade you oil for chicken manure
      Trade you oil for chicken manure

      I know people are worried that opening up the Atlantic coast to offshore drilling would pose a risk of a possible oil spill ("Getting the off-shore shaft," Jan. 28). In fact, it's inevitable that there will be some oil spilled and some environmental damage done. That's not pessimism, that's...

    • Rain tax: Noble goal, unfair execution
      Rain tax: Noble goal, unfair execution

      Kim Coble of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation laments that Maryland county officials are considering rolling back their stormwater remediation fees. ("'Rain tax¿ is rolling back," Jan. 26.) In 2012 the Maryland General Assembly passed HB 987 requiring nine Maryland counties and Baltimore...

    • Baltimore the 'Star-Spangled City'
      Baltimore the 'Star-Spangled City'

      A city motto is to woo tourists, conventions and businesses, not just shipping ("Baltimore: Gateway to America," Jan. 25). Most Americans don't know or care that Baltimore was an important port for immigration and commerce because Baltimore is 300 miles farther inland than any other East...

    Comments
    Loading