Sandy Hook: Time to return to basic values and re-educate
If the recent massacre in a Connecticut elementary school doesn’t convince you that something is fundamentally wrong in our society, I don’t know what will. I’ve watched the changes that have taken place in this country. It’s time for action, for change, and it starts with you.
Each parent, grandparent, teacher, company and government member needs a return to common sense, to personal responsibility. We cannot legislate away our problems. We’ve given away the privilege given us by our Founding fathers. When [Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton said, “It takes a village to raise a child,” she was saying, “we are our brother’s keeper.” We come out en masse when a natural disaster occurs; we should be able to change the tenor of our country.
Do not buy violent video games, which can’t help but have an effect on young minds still forming. One of the things stated in the media is that this young man had to objectify these children in order to perform this grievous act. Companies won’t listen, for, unfortunately, money speaks. If you eliminate these games from your home, they will stop producing them. Violent rap music and Hollywood are other sources where we learn mistreatment of each other.
Teach your children they are responsible for their actions. Set an example by doing the right thing and not lying for them. Make them take responsibility even if they have to learn a hard lesson. Your example will go a long way toward their understanding. As my parents told me, “Whatever you do, remember your actions don’t just affect you, they also affect those around you.”
Teach caring and love by having a pet and insisting on proper care. That care transfers to concern for people. Teach proper manners. My son had a girlfriend who was uncomfortable because he warmed up the car and opened the door for her. I find it very sad that good manners make someone uncomfortable. We see teenagers entering church in shorts or with low-cut tops. You ask, “Why is this important?” Proper dress shows respect. Insist your children wear clothing proper for the occasion.
Whether you believe in God or follow a specific religion doesn’t matter. What is important is you belong to some religion or society; for that is where we are reminded of what is right and children begin to learn respect for life and each other.
We are a country founded on Christian values and freedom of religion. Do not tell us we cannot have our nativity scene in the park. Respect what you find here and add to it. Display our symbols when your holidays occur. Open your mosque, your synagogue, your temple and follow your beliefs with respect for those around you. We are an English-speaking country. If you come here, learn the language, just as all past immigrants have. Do not expect us to change for you — you came here.
When it comes to guns, it’s not less we need, but more. If that principal had come from her office, trained, with a gun in hand, she might still be alive and he [Adam Lanza] might have been killed before he could perform this evil deed. Someone of this mind-set will find a way, whether guns are illegal or not. Knowing that someone inside every school is trained and armed would be a deterrent to this kind of action, even for the mentally disturbed.
One change that must take place in the law is to find a way to enable help for people whose mental status is in question without taking away their rights.
Individuals who go to Washington go with the best of intentions; but one there, become the same arrogant, greedy, self-serving individuals as those in power. Our governing body should be leading by example. Our Founding Fathers did not intend for our leaders to behave in such a shameful manner.
Yes, we must accept change. I love to try something new. This grandmother is looking forward to going on a zipline. With that said, when something is not working, we need to go back to the old values — at least until new ones that work can be found. The various ways we teach respect, caring and love have to be our first line of defense against these heinous acts. You may not agree with all my thoughts, but let this be the start of a national dialogue.
Don’t let the deaths of these innocent children be in vain. Learn by example; be good to each other. Be outspoken and encourage your friends and neighbors to be the same. Remember many things have a subconscious effect that often is not obvious.
Susan Godell Peterson