The desensitization of killing

Dear Editor,
We have many problems in our country right now. I am a retired combat arms Army officer who has been around high powered assault rifles most of my adult life during my 23 years of service. There is only one use for them, and that's to kill another person. Nothing more. The civilian population does not need access to this type of rifle, especially teenagers and those who suffer from mental illness. I am also a middle and high school counselor, and have worked in public schools for 13 years since I retired from the Army. From my perspective, many parents are not adequately parenting their kids anymore. Many parents today want to be their kid's friends and don't want to be a real part of their kid's life when the going gets tough and they need to step in. Many of the kids in the community that I work in come from broken homes, and their sole parent is busy putting food on the table and a roof over their heads without much time to be part of their kid's lives. I see this every day. When you couple this with the desensitization of killing, that is an everyday part of every teenager's life through video games and the media, you have a problem. When you allow them to buy assault rifles without the proper and adequate checks and controls in place, you get potential school shooters that can kill in mass in less time than it takes to blink your eyes. We need to do something immediately and drastically to change this current trend in our country and our schools. Our nation leads the world in killing our kids in our schools. Times have changed, and our schools are no longer safe. I think about this all of the time when I go to work anymore. This is a very sad commentary on our society and our country. We as adults have let our kids down by not giving them safe schools to learn in over divisive politics. I applaud the young kids speaking out in Parkland, Florida. We need gun regulations that provide common sense laws to protect our kids and citizens from those who should not have firearms. We need parents to start parenting again, and be responsible for themselves and their kids. We need limits on the trash that our kids are exposed to and watch, and we need a robust national level mental health program (which was recently cut by Trump and the Republican congress). I am not a Democrat or Republican. I am an Independent voter, and will vote this fall for those who are strong enough and willing enough to make changes to all that is so very wrong right now.

Rick Williams
Log Hill