We were discussing this at work yesterday and someone made a good point - the increasing violence is a result of a lot of our own social actions and outlooks. While I personally think that stricter gun control measures should be a part of the solution to averting tragedies like Sandy Hook, I also agree that we as individuals play an important role in teaching our kids and youngsters the values of tolerance, respect, groundedness and social etiquette. We also have a role in keeping our kids happy, which I think a lot of parents these days are overlooking because of other pressures. Somewhere the family system and friends looking out for friends has fallen by the wayside. We also have this ever-permeating Hollywood culture that glorifies killing and violence like never before, and gory video games that kids freely access. A lot of those things have to change, and a sweeping social change is in order to reduce and eliminate acts of violence in this country.
I don't think the government has a role or should have a role in enforcing social change, however, they should set policies and actions to promote social well being and encourage individual responsibility... For example, I think there could be stricter controls on what comes out of Holloywood, and what's rated suitable for kids - that's something the government can enforce. Increasing entitlements beyond a limit is not useful, and is a tricky subject, since entitlements should be targeted for people that deserve or need them - that's a very broad and deep topic in itself.
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