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Letters: The alleged shooter that shall not be named

July 26, 2012

Re "Calls mount to curb Colorado suspect's fame," July 25

You cannot prevent future massacres by ignoring the name of alleged shooter James Holmes any more than you can prevent future assassination attempts by erasing the name Lee Harvey Oswald.

It's the guns, stupid. In 2009, U.S. arms manufacturers sold 14 million of them. Holmes' assault weapons and 6,000 rounds of ammo were legally acquired and transported.

In the United States, per capita firearm-related deaths are 40 times greater than in Britain, where firearms are tightly controlled.

Fearful of the National Rifle Assn., politicians find it convenient to confuse infamy with fame.

Ernest A. Canning

Thousand Oaks

I recently tuned in to one of the major cable news channels to see two blown-up photos of Holmes arrayed behind the anchor as a backdrop for a conversation about whether we are focusing too much on the accused perpetrator and not enough on the victims.

Mere days after the massacre in Colorado, Holmes is probably the most famous "celebrity" in the country.

Would mass murders even happen if the perpetrators knew they would receive no publicity? Is it just a fluke that the recent proliferation of high-profile massacres seems to coincide with the rise of the 24/7 news networks?

Tony Masiel


We can wonder why all we like, but do we really suppose that if we "get into the mind" of Holmes or search into his past, we will better understand the July 20 massacre?

Do we expect to find a rational explanation for what Holmes is accused of doing?

Attempts to offer clues or even to affix blame beyond the killer seem sadly consistent with a society that has come to view people as victims of outside forces rather than as individuals who should be responsible, without exception, for their own actions.

Doris O'Brien



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