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Letter: 'Find the Cause' Behind Shootings like Sandy Hook

'Find the cause behind these heinous acts, then and only then can we take action to prevent the further loss of human life,' the writer states.

Letter: 'Find the Cause' Behind Shootings like Sandy Hook

Let me start by saying, I’m so sorry to have to submit this, and I know it may draw criticism, but in light of the mass gun hysteria created by the horrific events of 12.14.2012, I believe wholeheartedly it needs to be said. No one will question that the Sandy Hook massacre was a national tragedy the likes of which have never been seen before, and hopefully will never be seen again.  

That being said I am forced to ask why the gun owners of America are being subjected to daily harassment and threats of gun restrictions, public embarrassment and attempts by the media to make law abiding citizens, who have nothing to do with the events in Newtown feel like they are criminals and a hated part of society.

Why are law-abiding citizens who hold a pistol permit, being threatened their names will be made public and they will be added to a National database, but not the names of people who have consulted a psychotherapist, or are on mood stabilizing anti-depressants or some other prescribed drug? Is it because it may infringe on someone’s freedoms or right to privacy?

I am a retired professional law enforcement officer, with over 25 years in the law enforcement and security field. Based on my training and experience it is my belief that given the current condition of our nation’s anti-depressant dependant population, and loop hole filled reporting system, it is partially responsible for the events of 12.14.2012 , and unfortunatly you cannot stop someone intent on killing, until you can identify them. So what is to be done?

I challenge our legislators, law enforcement, the media, the medical and scientific communities to come together and actually do an in-depth investigation into the probable causes and possible interventions to these criminal homicidal actions before just de facto blaming the tools used. Firearms are only tools; they are inanimate objects incapable of harming anyone without being handled. If left untouched a firearm will never harm anyone. The tool is not the problem, nor is access to the tools.

I also question why the American people are under scrutiny and not the family of the shooter? Are they not the least bit responsible for any of this? Where is their culpability in this? The firearms used in Newtown where legally purchased and owned, they were stolen from his mother and used by the shooter.  His mother, although a murder victim, allegedly had knowledge that he was mentally or emotionally disturbed, and he was apparently obsessed with military style weapons (based on the description of his room as posted in the media) and yet she still not only made the conscious decision to keep the weapons in the home, along with large amounts of ammunition; She reportedly took her son to the gun range regularly to train him in the use of those firearms. Apparently she failed to provide an adequately safe and secure storage area for the firearms, since her son was able to gain access to them. Does this make her an, albeit, unknowing, accomplice before the act?

The shooter’s brother was reportedly aware the shooter was (allegedly) mentally or emotionally disturbed, and had access to firearms. I’m sure the shooter’s father, although divorced, had to have some knowledge that his ex-wife was a gun aficionado and surely as a parent he would know his child had mental or emotional issues, and an apparently unhealthy obsession with guns.

So I am forced to ask what steps the family took to prevent this shooting in the first place.

Was the shooter ever reported by any family member, friend, fellow student, teacher or any other person for odd or unusual behavior? Was he ever investigated? Was there a history of domestic violence at the mother’s house? Was the shooter ever actually diagnosed as having any mental, emotional or developmental problem? Was the mother really a doomsday prepper? What does this shooter have in common with the Colorado shooter, the columbine shooters or any other “mass killers”? There must be a common denominator linking these types of crimes. Some type of signal or trigger we are either missing or choosing not to see. If so, why are we not demanding to tighten and refine the mental health codes and rules and treatment options in our country?

The media should also be held somewhat liable also, they make these shooters into heroes, they give meaning to their life and acts buy sensationalizing them, thus giving an incentive for a mentally or emotionally disturbed individual to “make his mark” on a world wide scale. Where is any of the blame directed to any of them? Shouldn’t some responsibility lie there?

Violent video games, which are played over the internet, desensitize people to the act of killing, and train people that human life is meaningless. There is something drastically wrong when you play a game against other people to see who can kill who the fastest; including games where you kill zombies, it still rewards the player with the greatest number of kills the highest scores for shooting, stabbing or otherwise committing the act of murdering someone. Violent movies, Jack Reacher, REDS, the Bourne series, Die Hard(s), The Expendables all glorify killing.Yet we only target the tool a killer uses and not the possible catalysts to the behavior.

And yes, the greatest majority of people who view these movies and play these games have no issues divorcing fantasy from reality; there are those small percentages that do have a problem. It has become common in our current society to allow our youth to be essentially “baby sat” by viewing this type of “entertainment” and often this viewing takes the place or parental guidance and supervision. Therefore, little context is given to those who view these images and might have some problems in their interpretation of reality. You can’t legislate good parenting, nor is banning any form of violent entertainment an option, if you did where does it end, go all the way back to Bugs Bunny and Road Runner cartoons?

History has shown us that a determined psychopath will not be deterred by the availability of a tool whether a firearm, incendiary device, chemical device, homemade bombs, knives, or anything else capable of killing. Perhaps they will make deadly device, similar to the one used in Oklahoma City, using common and easily available items and directions readily found online. Let us realize that only a mentally disturbed individual would go on a killing spree to begin with, so to carry out their agenda, to them, the tool they use is likely unimportant.

The firearms used in Sandy Hook were stolen by the shooter. No amount of gun legislation or restrictions will change what happened, or prevent it from happening in the future. You cannot prevent these crimes by punishing people who had nothing to do with the acts of that day, restricting or banning guns, but perhaps these crimes might be prevented by understanding the warning signs, identifying possible future assassins and getting these people treatment. Our legislators and politicians are using this tragedy to push their personal agendas, that’s wrong.

Implore you for once do what’s right for America and find the cause. Legal law-abiding citizens should not be the subject of these daily attacks on our freedoms while the responsibility for the incident is publicly allowed to be misplaced. Find the cause behind these heinous acts, then and only then can we take action to prevent the further loss of human life.

 

Anthony Pizighelli
Bridgeport, Connecticut

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