Sir — The recent shooting in an elementary school in Connecticut’s Newtown was gruesome and shocking (“US classroom wipeout feared after shooting”, Dec 15). It will take a long time for the parents of the young victims to come to terms with their loss. Less than five months ago, 12 people had been killed and 58 wounded by a gunman, who shot them inside a movie theatre in Colorado. The easy availability of guns in the United States of America is a probable cause of such debacles.
Both the carnages are also grim reminders of the rot within society. Youngsters are exposed to movies that portray — and even glorify — extreme violence. This, and the fact that parents can exercise negligible control over their children these days, will only cause such heinous crimes to recur. More innocent people will lose their lives in the process.
Another possible reason behind the agitation and violence in children is the atmosphere at home. Children learn from what they see. In households where the parents quarrel or indulge in violence regularly, children grow up in a restive and uncongenial atmosphere that fosters a rebellious attitude towards their parents as well as towards society.
Debolina Chakraborty, Digboi
Sir — History has seen numerous mass killings, including the carnages carried out by Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Hitler, Pol Pot and others. There are very few places that have not witnessed bloodshed. Violence is often the result of sociological and historical conditions that force perpetrators to act in cold blood. However, one cannot think of a possible motive behind the recent murders of innocent children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. It seems that the country that is the most ‘advanced’ in the world in terms of material fulfilment has made it easy to acquire and use guns. One is tired of hearing about these atrocities and almost expects another such incident to occur soon. The politicians in the US may argue that ‘guns do not kill people; people do’, but no one can explain why guns are available so easily in that country. The National Rifle Association and its supporters will argue that it is the fear of rampage and murders like these that justifies the possession of guns by ordinary citizens. One wonders whether each of the murdered children and teachers should have had guns to protect himself or herself from the gunman.
Trinanjan Mitra, Boulevard Pierre Dupong, Luxembourg
Sir — The murder of over 20 people by a gunman, Adam Lanza, in Connecticut was unfortunate. It made one recall the butchery at a gurdwara in Wisconsin earlier this year. The number of such horrific incidents is on the rise in the US. Still, there are few signs of efforts to deal with this menace on the part of the US government.
What Lanza has done is unforgivable, but it also needs to be noted that he was understood to have autism. There was a possibility of the bloodbath being averted had he not felt misunderstood and victimized by society. What is more urgent is the need for amendments in the US gun laws, which are often misused.
Janga Bahadur Sunuwar, Bagrakote, Jalpaiguri
Sir — It was shocking to hear about the the news of children slaughtered in the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The president has responded by voicing his condolences and by vowing to stop such massacres instead of taking immediate measures to repeal the Second Amendment in order to pave the way for stricter gun control laws.
C. Dasgupta, Calcutta
Sir — The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting incident was shocking but not surprising. Such incidents are only to be expected in a nation reportedly with a population of 315 million people possessing 300 million guns — nearly one for every citizen. It is strange that Barack Obama’s government has waged a war against terror, but seems not to notice that it is high time guns are made less accessible to mindless killers. The US government has to live up to its responsibility of protecting the citizens from threats generated within the country.
The slaughter in Connecticut is also an eye-opener for other countries where guns are a part of life. Stringent laws need to be in place so that such crimes against humanity are avoided.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad