Search for Answers to Preventing Violence

Regarding "After School Shooting, New Self-Examination" (March 26): It is truly astonishing the conclusions we reach when we attempt to find answers through "self-examination." Rather than looking to place blame for recent events on the Southern culture or conservatives, it may be time for this country to realize that it is beginning to reap what it has sown in its schools over the past generation or so.

How many teachers and students over the last six months might still be alive had schools not been subject to mandated political correctness and, instead, had copies of the Ten Commandments posted on their classroom walls? What might have been different today had we not, in our perverted attempts at being non-judgmental or multicultural, outlawed prayer in schools? Might things have been different today had we not feared the imposition of values on others in our society?

When prayer and the Golden Rule are absent from our schools, what remains to counterbalance the often harmful secular and cultural influences on our children? Self- examine that.

Hank Stanley

San Diego

It's amazing to me that people in the United States continue to ask, "how could something like this happen?" Besides children, there is one common denominator in these events - guns. Eliminating guns in the US will not stop disturbed people from committing senseless acts, but it will minimize the damage they can inflict.

But then, this is wishful thinking. I know the gun lobby will not accept such an infringement on their rights, politicians will not have the political will to enact it, and people will continue to die while the citizen wonders, "how could something like this happen?"

Mitch Bowman

Tunbridge Wells, UK

Importing talent is shortsighted

"Key Import: Keen Minds (March 23) not only has an insulting headline (does this country have a shortage of keen minds?) it's very naive.

Thirty years ago my dad, an electrical engineer, saw corporations laying off older, more highly-paid engineers (with families to raise, college to pay for, and pensions to fund), in order to hire kids right out of college who'd work for starting wages.

Obviously, being able to hire workers from overseas (who cannot, according to the H-1B visa deal, stay in this country for more than six years), is an even better way to maximize profits. Now they can hire at less than market value!

Frequently, foreigners do not even bring families over (it's too expensive to live here!) They live two or three to an apartment so they can send as much pay home as possible. They are not investing in this country's well-being, and neither are corporations.

It's tough even for those citizens who now have high-tech jobs to send their own kids to college if they're getting "early retirement" at age 58. How difficult must it be for lower-class kids who most likely weren't raised with the expectation of white collar jobs as a desirable, or attainable, goal.

If the government wanted to encourage Americans to get adequate educations, it could increase grants and aid, stop taxing tuition reimbursement as if it were income, and generally alter the tax code to encourage something besides short-term profitability.

But engineers don't fund political campaigns, their CEOs do. Those who struggle to stay in the middle class (why do you suppose so many wives work and start families later?) know where they'll be when the native middle class has vanished and their jobs are done by commuters from the third world.

Thomas G. Herendeen

Plymouth, Mass.

Jill Herendeen

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