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No speculation on the teen killer

March 9, 2012
Salem News

Initial media reports of the school shooting that took three young lives in Chardon, Ohio, earlier this week followed a somewhat predictable path. The killer was a "loner" who had been bullied in school, a few people speculated - and the press ran with it.

Within hours, teenagers who knew the alleged shooter, 17-year-old T.J. Lane, said that was bunk. Lane had not been bullied. He had friends, though he was not particularly outgoing.

On Tuesday, Lane's attorney told a judge at his client's arraignment that, "This is not about bullying. This is not about drugs. This is someone who's not well ..."

That goes without saying. Anyone who would begin shooting at other human beings is not well, psychologically. The extent of Lane's problems remains to be determined.

But initial reactions to the shooting - again, including those of some in the news media - illustrate a serious challenge in identifying troubled youths who may become violent. Too often, we as a society tend to simplify such situations. We go for the easy, politically correct answers.

That is a naive and dangerous approach to violence by people of any age.

More - much more -needs to be known about teenagers who go on killing sprees. We need answers, not politically correct theories that place other children at risk.


Somewhere, over the rainbow ... That ought to be President Barack Obama's new slogan. "Hope and change" just isn't believable anymore.

Obama once again demonstrated his separation from reality last weekend, in telling Americans we really shouldn't be worrying about high gasoline prices.

Why, by 2025, cars averaging 55 miles per gallon of gasoline will be available in U.S. showrooms, Obama assured us - thanks to his administration's higher standards for fuel efficiency.

"That means folks will be able to fill up every two weeks instead of every week, saving the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump over time. That's a big deal," the president said in his weekly radio address.

But $4 a gallon gasoline is a big deal right now. And Obama, through actions such as blocking the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in new areas of the United States, is forcing gasoline prices even higher during the next few years. Never mind about 2025.

It also seems to have escaped the president's notice that ultra-high mileage cars such as the Chevrolet Volt are not affordable for most American families. They can't afford to save money on fuel, in effect.

A variety of actions, ranging from more domestic drilling to encouraging coal liquefaction, could ease fuel prices sooner than 2025. But Obama isn't interested. He would prefer unrealistic technologies that, at some point over the rainbow, may help.



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