THE MAY 21 tragedy in Springfield, Ore—the latest in a string of killings by gun-wielding children at their schools—has Americans wondering if an ugly public health epidemic is emerging.
Certainly zealots on both extremes of the political spectrum are using the shootings in Springfield, Jonesboro, Ark, West Paducah, Ky, and other places around the United States to promote their own agendas and fears. A search of Internet Web sites found socialists saying those dying are victims of a market society valuing only greed and violence, and ultraconservatives blaming gun control laws that leave students and teachers defenseless. Still others blame easy access to guns, violent images and messages in movies, music, and television, the media for promoting a "copycat syndrome," and an overall moral decay in society.
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