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Tuesday, Dec 18 2012 11:00 PM

We need fresh, serious ideas about gun culture

By The Bakersfield Californian

In the Dec. 16 Californian, I read with interest the letters to the editor regarding the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. One letter made the point that Newtown-type incidents occur throughout the world, so we shouldn't be surprised when they happen in America. The second asserted that the blame rested with the Hollywood community because it produced movies that glorified violence. The third letter claimed that the carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary may have been averted if the principal and staff had carried weapons.

School employees packing their own "heat" and blazing away at potential threats: Seriously? I cannot conceive of a more ridiculous idea than having a school principal and staff carry firearms. You'll never convince me that more guns would ever make for less gun violence.

The point is that our numbness to violence, the products of the Hollywood community, or guns at the ready in our schools are not the reason or the solution. I personally don't believe there is any one single solution to this problem. It may take meaningful gun control, better mental health services and who knows what else to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again. It will definitely take a real conversation, with serious people really willing to fix the problem, before we can move toward a solution. You folks who want to shrug and say it happens, that it's Hollywood's fault, or that we should just fill the schools with guns, you can't be in this conversation. We've listened to you long enough already.

Tom Irvin

Bakersfield

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