Letters to the Editor

School shooters: Problem rooted in disrupted families

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News Tribune editorial page editor Matt Misterek explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.
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News Tribune editorial page editor Matt Misterek explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.

Re: “School shooting heroes inspire and diminish us,” (Leonard Pitts column, TNT, 5/15).

Punitive laws or bans on automatic weapons would not have prevented the rampage at Highland Ranch school near Denver. Both shooters used handguns, which they stole from one of their parents.

Both shooters suffered from mental or behavioral issues. The younger student came from a home disrupted by crime and abuse.

This scenario is becoming far too common. Families, the basic units of society, are destabilized by poverty, illness, grief, divorce, alcohol misuse or other traumas.

Hot-headed teenagers vent their distress through violence. They obtain weapons from friends, parents or grandparents. In past incidents, two incompetent mothers bought guns for their equally incompetent sons.

To prevent school violence, we must tackle the root of the problem: disrupted families. First, raise the age of adulthood from 18 to 21. Among other benefits, this measure would push states to give more supervision and education to orphans and foster children (like the Parkland shooter).

Second, flag households chronically involved in crimes or domestic violence calls, and allow officials to confiscate any weapons on the premises.

Third, increase on-site therapy programs for traumatized students.

Fourth, beef up public education about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Emphasize gun safety and portray violence as uncool.

Beth Woodbury Hart, Puyallup

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