Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Need for Dialogue

280 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition and a semi-automatic rifle. That’s what police in Englewood, Colo., say they found in a suspended high-school student’s possession.

They say he may have intended to "shoot up the school and take hostages." The statement and others, about Englewood High school, which the teen attended, were made in recent days. Today, he was arrested trespassing on school grounds. The gun was in the backseat of his car. The school is five miles from Columbine High School in Littleton and 40 miles from last Wednesday’s shooting at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colo.

Across the country in Nickel Mines, Penn., five Amish families are preparing simple funerals for their slain children.

All of us should be posing the question: what has sparked this violence? A national dialogue is needed to target this problem. We in the media should be part of the conversation to ensure we do not glorify these events only to encourage more like them.

It is not an issue to only be addressed by those affected. This is a national crisis. As demonstrated by recent shootings, no community is immune and a proactive response is needed.

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