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Guns aren't the root cause of violence

The killing began with the squirrels. As a fourth-grader, Nikolas Cruz would try to bloody them with his pellet gun. Then he started going after chickens.

With age, I have learned the value of respecting other peoples' well thought-out opinions. Reality is not clear cut. It is complex.There is no one cause of any problem. Beware of anyone who talks as if a problem flows from one cause or only wants to address one cause of any problem. These people are more than likely either naïve, ill informed, emotionally involved or working for a hidden agenda.

Guns are not the only cause of violence in the United States. Getting rid of all guns, some guns or certain types of large capacity magazines will not end violence in America. It is caused by many things, too many to even list here. To open up your mind to see more causes of gun violence, I suggest you take seriously recent scientific studies on pornography. They tells us that people, especially youth, who are bombarded by constant or excessive porn are more likely to degenerate into behaviors that hurt self or others. I suggest that the same is true with violence.

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Being bombarded by scenes of violence, spending increased time involved in violent video games or sports, or being raised in a family where human life at all stages is not valued forms a person in violence (“A prize for thrillers without female victims divides opinion,” Feb. 16). Growing up in a society where violence to another life is accepted as the right of people, living where violence is an everyday experience, hearing news people or political leadership accept the deaths of a certain number of people as normal for today are all causes of a person's view of what should be accepted and what they can do. Abusive language, treating service people with disdain, bullying, making fun of people with lesser abilities or handicaps, telling children that they will never amount to anything or can do nothing right all add to a violent society. Non-reporting of abuse to protect self or because of personal gain, adults not confronting the violent behaviors of children, people in law enforcement not following up on reports of violent behavior or not doing their job to confront violent behavior in others are causes of a violent America.

In short, looking at a mirror will show you a person adding to the atmosphere of violence. More than getting rid of all guns is needed. I suggest starting with limiting First Amendment rights. Cut down on violence in all media and electronic forums. Cut down on how news media reports violent actions. Stop all movies where there is continuing gratification of violence.

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Rev. Michael T. Buttner, Bel Air

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