Letters to the Editor

Readers respond to the Virginia Tech shootings.

After Virginia Tech, counter the culture of violence

In response to Jonathan Zimmerman's April 18 Opinion piece, "Facing up to violence in America": In the wake of this tragedy at Virginia Tech, people will be asking what, if anything, they can do to prevent this from happening again.

I offer this: If the only thing we can really control is ourselves, then let us all commit to nonviolence in our own lives.

Let us turn off the TV when violent shows are broadcast.

Let us refrain from purchasing violent video games for ourselves, our children, and our friends.

Let us refrain from watching violent films and from listening to music that advocates violence.

If enough people stop patronizing violent media, the market for it in America will shrink to nothing, providing fewer examples of deviant behavior for others to emulate.

If enough people made this simple commitment to nonviolence in their personal lives, it would be enough to create a society in which peace and grace are once again considered normal.

Ariane Pinson
Albuquerque, N.M.

Regarding the Opinion piece by Jonathan Zimmerman, from April 18, about response to the tragic school shooting at Virginia Tech: Our thoughts and prayers go out to the parents, siblings, kinfolk, and friends who lost a loved one and to the university community.

Following the tragedy we will again talk in length about gun control, gun registration, and the Second Amendment. We will hear often from the National Rifle Association.

Most likely, nothing positive will result from all the talk, and we will just go back to our routines until the next gun tragedy occurs.

Surely, this time, America can come up with some constructive measures to help reduce gun violence significantly.

We might start by trying to find answers to why we are one of the most violent nations in the world.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr.
Louisville, Ky.

Don't judge society based on Cho

In response to the article, "In South Korea, a collective sorrow over Virginia shooting," from April 19: Please tell the people of South Korea that we – or at least some of us – do not judge South Koreans or South Korea based on the actions of one man.

South Korea has no reason to feel any guilt because one man's mental state led him to commit a crime that is no doubt atrocious.

Seung Hui Cho could have been from any nation. Mental disabilities know no such boundaries, and probably, in the greater scheme of things, the man himself will not be found responsible for his actions.

The acts committed by such a person are not a reason to judge an entire society or nation.

Edward A. Tomchin
Kingman, Ariz.

Focus on heroes, not horrors

Regarding the April 20 article, "The Holocaust survivor who saved a classroom": The article's author did an excellent job writing about and researching the life of Professor Liviu Librescu. Too many news agencies are reporting on negative information from this tragedy at Virginia Tech. Some have reported almost solely on Seung Hui Cho's mental illness, his family, and the gruesome results of his rampage.

I prefer to remember the positive influence of the victims, what they accomplished in life or wanted to accomplish. Reports focused on the lives of caring, talented people give the reader hope and encouragement without giving fame to the gunman.

Karen Terrill
Visalia, Calif.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

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