Preventable Violence

Written by admin on . Posted in Dewing Things Better, On Topic OTDT, Opinion and Column.


Again, too many newspaper clippings, press releases, observations and events that need airing to make life safer, saner (more humane!) and just. And someone just called to report another horrific shooting spree in an Orlando office complex. “At least one person killed and gunman still at large.” This, after the unspeakable massacre of 13 soldiers by one of their own at the Fort Hood army base. And recently, the beloved New Jersey priest, Edward Hinds, was stabbed to death by a church janitor. All three killers reportedly had job-related grievances, and I think how the “don’t get mad, get even” pop culture mandate permeates society, from youngsters’ cruel trashing of each other on the Internet, to revenge-based murder themes that even dominate once G-rated soap opera storylines. Decades of studies have warned in vain about the influence this has on certain individuals.

A recent SUNY study shows that the more 3-year-olds watch TV, the more hyper and inclined to misbehave they become. How ironic that just below this news item is one calling for Peanuts look-alikes, honoring the 60th anniversary of the benevolent cartoon series. Creator Charles Schulz is sorely missed. Other recent research finds violence ever more present on TV, with more of it directed against women. Would it were only TV.

TV news may not cover all the commonplace dangers that the government does too little to stop: the tragic deaths of three pedestrians this past week, again by motor vehicles turning into their crosswalk, the most dangerous crime of traffic. Newspapers reported the death of Seth Kahn, 22, of Mamaroneck, a beloved son and also Fashion Institute of Technology student whom a shocked and saddened classmate called, “The most unselfish person I’ve ever met.” Seth was run over by an MTA bus making a turn into his Ninth Avenue crosswalk. If only the institute would start a movement to stop this illegal “failure to yield” danger
to pedestrians.

Debbie Silva, 31, of Brooklyn, was crossing Park Avenue when she was run down by a car making a right turn on to 34th Street.

A 51-year-old woman, whose family has not yet been notified, was killed by a tractor-trailer turning on to Randall’s Avenue, which she was crossing. As usual, even in these deadly turnings, no charges are filed.

Incidentally, only the newspapers noted the turning factor. So much depends on actively supporting Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s Newspaper Revitalization Act of 2009 (H.R. 302), to allow newspapers to become non-profits similar to public radio. Maloney so rightly claims, “Newspapers are an essential component of our free democratic society. Studies show that [in] areas where daily newspapers have gone out of business, there’s been a rise in government corruption and a plummeting of civic involvement in politics.”

So much else we need to know will not be aired. Here’s to reading many more print newspapers, especially young people. Editors and columnists, be in the vanguard of such a movement—use your forums to warn just what will be lost if newspapers die. It’s not only self-interest, but in the best interest of the public, of a democratic society. And elder persons especially, do back this drive to save what we know from experience informs us the best—well, better than other media do. Also, newspapers bring us together where the Internet divides by special interests and surely by generation. Indeed, elder generation members often don’t have this connection at all. Maloney’s New York office number is 212-860-0606. And write a letter to the editor, too—please.

dewingbetter@aol.com

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