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Murder of the Innocents — What's Happening to Us?

Join the national conversation in the top stories of the week.

This column is designed to offer a platform to discuss national stories on a local level. Share your opinion in the comment section.

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The most significant story of the week is clearly the Newtown, Conn., school shooting that took place on Friday. As journalists, we never expect to cover something like this, nor are we ever adequately prepared, even if it's just to write a short summation. All I will say is that my thoughts, prayers and tears are with the families. For in-depth coverage, visit our sister site, Newtown Patch.

Find out how to help families affected by the tragedy here. 

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Did you know that something similar happened in China yesterday, but with a knife? There were no deaths, but the horror is the same. 

The man attacked an adult, then 22 children in the early morning hours. 

There was a string of similar assaults in 2010, when a total of 20 schoolchildren were killed, and an additional 50 were injured. According to CBC News, most of the attackers were "mentally disturbed men involved in personal disputes or unable to adjust to the rapid pace of social change in China."

Is that the case here? In the media and in personal conversations, people have blamed violent video games and movies, a lack of empathy due to the constant "plugged in" nature of our society, and lack of gun control laws. 

Do you have a theory as to why we're seeing an escalation in mass shootings? 

Debbie Gathmann December 16, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I can't help but wonder if it isn't time to have a reasonable discussion about mental illness--along with gun control laws. So-called "community treatment" that has become a popular way to view the total lack of funding for mental illness clinics has put all of us at risk. Many families in Georgia suffer silently while trying to manage a teenager with mental illness and the support is almost non-existent when things spiral out of control. So sad.
Kevin Madigan December 16, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I could not agree more, Debbie.
Brian Crowe December 16, 2012 at 06:08 PM
I apologize for the crude language, but consider this: What if there were a video game called "Call of Booty", where the object was to get laid as many times as possible? There'd be outrage. But if the object of the game is to shoot as many people as possible? No problem.

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