The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 23, 2013

A long wait

I've finally read and heard about enough of this silliness with a child's behavior ("Bubbles shooter, 5, suspended," Jan 18) vis-a-vis supposed firearms and playful actions and many adult reactions and thoughts about firearms in general.

The article mentioned above goes on to indicate that a 5-year-old was questioned extensively sans parent, suspended and her action labeled as a "threat to harm others." All because, while playing with friends, she mentioned shooting one friend and then herself with her Hello Kitty Bubble Gun.

That's right, bubbles. And in order to return to school, she had to undergo psychological testing.

In Maryland, two 6-year-old boys were suspended from school for making gun gestures during a game of cops and robbers. Are you serious? As a child, I played cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians (and yes, it was Indians back then rather than Native Americans), and we used cap guns. Try to find a cap gun now.

Many adults are no better. Instead of having an expert panel or panels search for the root cause(s) of why there have been such an increase in the tragedies that continue to occur in such places as Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., and construct possible solutions, there's this knee-jerk reaction to do something, anything, and do it now without any empirical evidence that it will actually work.

As for firearms themselves, not much has changed, other than in some cases its style, for a long, long time. The last I noticed, you still point, pull the trigger and the firearm discharges.

May I suggest that our culture has changed in ways in which it breeds the type of violent behaviors you now see almost daily, whether it be with firearms, road rage, bullying, etc.

I'm not saying we need to return to the "good old days." Those days were never really that good anyway. But certainly there have been changes to our society that need to be addressed, and where they cannot be addressed, at least understand the changes so their impact is mitigated. I'll await any truly unbiased attempts at studying and addressing the true causes of our cultural ills concerning continued violent behavior in any form.

It may be a long wait.

Walt Hebda,


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