What's really changed

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(Ed. note: The following is in response to a letter appearing last week; www.spartaindependent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20180522/OPINION03/180529985/-1/OPINION/What-has-changed?)

For the first time I’m in partial agreement with Eskil Danielson regarding his question/answer about “What's changed over the past 60 years?” with respect to violence in media and technology.

My boyhood, like his, was similar regarding guns. I was taught to shoot and handle guns by my father, but admittedly had no burning desire to kill anything. I too played board games and card games. I loved cars and girls and watched so much television that my father dubbed me the “TVidiot." However, in high school I joined the Rocket Club instead of the Rifle Club.

We had an office in the barn behind our house, that was once part of my grandfather’s farm, where my father kept his guns, but we never dreamed of taking them to school for any reason because we were taught that they are always loaded even when you think they are not. Their purpose is to kill and my father’s rule was that one only used them to kill what one eats. We didn’t give much thought to home defense because society back them had not yet been made paranoid. Of course we couldn’t go around shooting pests because we lived in a town on Long Island inhabited by people.

That said, today’s violence isn’t really precipitated by the violence in media. When we were young we watched a proliferation of war movies and TV westerns and played with toy guns. What we weren’t exposed to is today’s 24/7 ratings driven news media and its ad-nauseam coverage of horrific acts, which gives rise to a contagion.

I’ll add to that polemic duplicitous politicians and those who would keep guns loosely regulated and turn our schools into inside-out prisons and our teachers into armed guards, while someone searches for the deeply disturbed individual to predict the future. What’s really changed in sixty years is that, in itself, is not considered total insanity.

J. P. Curtis


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