Letter to the editor rtsa.png

Our various media have been filled lately with reports of people attacking police, first responders and firefighters when responding to cries for help. But they also witness car accidents, drug trafficking, murder, rape and other physical abuse. These reports are affecting people who are simply trying to do what training would have them do.

The Ruderman Family Foundation has learned that police and firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. And that, dear readers, should concern all of us, as we as a society continue to glorify, and our police are usually the people who must try to stop an escalating situation from becoming violent. For too many, they “take their work home with them,” and must deal, emotionally, with the after effects of truly terrible situations. Over time, this can take a terrible toll. In 2017, 93 firefighters and 129 police officers died in the line of duty in the U.S., but there were 103 suicides among firefighters and 140 among police officers.

What kind of a violence-loving nation are we becoming?

Not only do violent movies and games encourage strong physical (and sometimes violent) reactions, but they encourage a casual acceptance of violence in ever increasingly younger participants. Growing up with "screen violence" often leads to an acceptance to it in real life. Should we be surprised when depression or even suicide occurs?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that one death by suicide occurs in the U.S. every 12 minutes! It is the second leading cause of death among 15- to 34-year-olds and the 10th leading cause of death overall.

Yet, suicide is one of the most difficult topics in America to discuss. The combination of blame, hurt and grief make losses hard to process and talk about, but 80% to 90% of people who seek treatment for depression may see successful recoveries.

While the manufacturers and producers continue to maintain that the level of violence in their shows is not harmful, statistics tell a different story. Parents, watch what your kids are watching!

Meredith Berg



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