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Whatever it takes, we need to act now

The following in an open letter to “our federally elected officials, in hopes that others will be encouraged to do the same.:”

We am writing in the aftermath of the horribly tragic fatal shootings that happened yesterday (Friday) in Connecticut, and all of the unfathomable similar events that have occurred in the past few years.

Statistically, random acts of violence seem to be exponentially growing, especially in the United States.

While the deaths of so many, especially young, absolutely innocent children is beyond comprehension, we hope it signals the bottoming out of our societal violence issues, and triggers reform, action, passion, legislation, education. We hope it causes the frustrations to swell and our anger to be voiced by “the people” to “our” elected officials to focus their energies and our money on these problems.

We would happily pay more taxes, if they were/are used to improve and prolong the lives of our citizens, both young and old, rich and poor, sick and healthy.

Our personal “un-expert” beliefs as to the root causes of these increasingly, largescale and frequent acts of domestic terror and violence, which must collectively be addressed include (in no particular order):

n Violent and adult-oriented media content causing our youth and culture to be desensitized (TV/film/games/music/Internet)

n Absentee and uneducated parents

n Kids having kids before they are mentally, emotionally and fiscally ready

n A sense of immediate versus earned entitlement of happiness/fulfillment/success resulting in disillusion and hopelessness

n A broadcasting by corporations and media that you have to be a “star,” be somebody to be special; when “anybody” is special inherently

n Shrinking economic middle class, resulting in loss of belief in a better tomorrow

n Lack of school education resources, school counselors and mental health funding

n Handgun control (common sense)

n The lack of technology used toward gun control (such as a fingerprint sensor verifying the gun’s owner before being able to fire the weapon)

n Isolation from each other as neighbors watching out for those in need

n Lack of musical, mental, artistic and athletic opportunities for youth

n Too much time spent in virtual communities instead of physical communities

We urge you to take action, spend our money and your time to lessen the root causes as the primary focus (which will take decades to seep in and change our societal “norm”) and make quick fix, preventative measures (locks on schools, security, metal detectors) as a secondary front.

The Daniel and Deborah Work family (including our children, Zander, 13, and Danielle, 11, whom we still get to hug today) lives in Lake Oswego. As Daniel Work notes: “Music does makes a kinder, more gentle world.”