Wow, Pleasantly surprised by Statesman Journals Exec. Editor Bill Church

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Vantage, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. Vantage

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    "Strict gun control isn’t the solution to prevent another Columbine, Clackamas and Newtown."

    Church: Now is not the time to lose faith in people

    This was a sad, horrific week.

    Shootings at the Clackamas Town Center and a Newtown, Conn., elementary school again have sobered us to the realities of a mean, unstable world.

    Journalists are supposed to be ethically impartial when reporting and conveying the news.

    Of course, we grieve for those who died.

    Of course, we pray for everyone affected.

    But how can you not feel pain and anger for the heinous mass crimes that were committed at a shopping mall and elementary school? Shouldn’t we be able to stroll the mall without worrying about masked killers? Aren’t schools supposed to be safe havens?

    I feel pain for the children who came away frightened, confused and less hopeful of the world itself. The children who died in Newtown, Conn., won’t get to live their dreams.

    I feel anger and no pity for the shooters. Their actions reflect cowardly betrayals of humanity. They got what they deserved.

    Those are my raw feelings. I can’t change them. But I recognize them.

    Too often, though, people treat their feelings as all-encompassing antidotes. We’re angry that the crimes happened. We believe killers should get what they deserve. Therefore, state officials need to be tougher when it comes to prison sentencing and the death penalty.

    It may seem logical, but it isn’t.

    Yet, we’ve seen this scenario happen often enough.

    A tragedy captures the attention of our nation. Raw feelings turn into simplistic reactions about how to prevent the problem. The discussion then winds like an S-curve sign, zigging and zagging as it tries to find the right political path.

    We can’t let talking heads on the right AND the left play off our emotional fears. We need to recognize that sad, horrific situations don’t begat simple solutions.

    Strict gun control isn’t the solution to prevent another Columbine, Clackamas and Newtown.

    Tough-like-Texas death sentences won’t stop killers.

    Cost-be-damned programs won’t identify every mentally unstable individual and stop them from acting on their anger.

    Does this mean we should pack heat and isolate ourselves?

    Raw feelings aside, that’s not my plan.

    I plan to visit Clackamas Town Center.

    I feel just as safe at Salem Center as on the crowded streets of New York City.

    I believe area schools are the safest environment for our children.

    I have enough faith that Oregon can be tough on crime, assist the underserved and do so without creating its own fiscal Cascade Range.

    We grieve for the victims of two national tragedies. We also can’t overlook the assaults, abuses and senseless killings that happen hourly in our country.

    Yes, the world feels like a scary, solemn place.

    But we need to maintain perspective.

    Now is not the time to lose faith in humankind.

    Bill Church is executive editor of the Statesman Journal. His column appears on Sundays. Contact him at; P.O. Box 13009, Salem, OR 97309; or (503) 399-6712. Read his blog at Follow his tweets at

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