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updated: 1/17/2013 9:49 AM

Stronger families could limit violence

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Once again our nation is traumatized because it has experienced a major violent act perpetrated on innocent victims. In almost all cases of external violence you have internal turmoil. Laws alone cannot create a peaceful person especially if that person has not experienced it in his or her family; the peace and joy that is the hallmark of a happy and contented person. Without the tranquillity of soul, there can be no peace in the person, in our homes or in our nation.

President Obama, many politicians and the media are focusing on new gun laws, mental health services, school security, violent films and games which may be contributing factors, but one key factor that especially the news media are overlooking is the fact that the perpetrator in this case comes from a background of his parents being in a troubled marriage and subsequent divorce. His father's remarriage and the absence of his father may have affected the mind and heart of the deeply disturbed young man.

The statistics are clear. As an example, in Chicago 84 percent of African-American children and 57 percent of Hispanic children are born to unmarried parents. Looking at other marriage statistics we see that in 1980 only 13 percent of children were born outside of marriage among moderately educated mothers.

Societies rely on families built on strong marriages to produce what they need. Maybe our politicians and the media need to go a little deeper in finding out why this senseless violence seems to be occurring more frequently. Could it be that as more and more children suffer the trauma and the break up of their family that it has a much more devastating impact on their lives and the lives of those all around them?

Larry T. O'Neill


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