Teacher Training and Blame for the Arizona Shootings

Readers respond about education and the rhetoric debate after the Arizona shooting.

+ More

Teacher Training

After reading Mortimer Zuckerman’s editorial in the Jan. 14, 2011, issue of U.S. News Weekly (“Needed: The Best and the Brightest of Teachers”), I must voice my frustration. As a retired high school teacher, I have experienced firsthand the classroom challenges of educating our young. In all the discussions about what’s wrong with education and how it needs to be fixed, I have never seen any mention of the “teacher-training institutions,” many of which are still teaching too much useless theory and too little useful practice. Why are these institutions left out? What they are doing in the name of “teacher training” is a critical component in the equation!

PAULA BARRETT Ashland, Ore.

Blame for the Arizona Shooting

I believe the shooter was a deranged person, period (“Editor’s Note,” January 14). Maybe he will someday reveal his reasoning for this heinous act. And I believe that the discussion on political “rhetoric” is good if all parties will tone down their speech.

LOIS FLOYD Prescott, Ariz.

Unless one subscribes to the idea that all politics are irrational, which may have some elements of truth, the actions of an obviously disturbed person in Tucson cannot reasonably be ascribed to political and/or media rhetoric.

JACK SATER Eagan, Minn.

What I find most interesting is the flood of liberal politicians, news readers, commentators, etc., who are not only mindlessly regurgitating their long-standing opposition to the rights of Americans to “bear arms” as stated in the Second Amendment, but are now, apparently, also railing against the First Amendment in agitating for all kinds of new controls on the freedom of speech.

PAUL WEISS New York N.Y.

Today more than ever, communities are constantly exposed to inflammatory rhetoric. Radio stations in particular seem to be owned by corporations feeding audiences polarizing commentary. Even in larger markets, one cannot escape the propaganda of hate. Since marketers pay to get in our face and ears to repeat the virtues of products, clearly constant exposure to hate begets more hate, and unfortunately for some, this leads to violence.

LOU TOLIVER Buford, Ga.

Do not blame the tool (firearms), or the rhetoric. Both would be ignorant misdirection. Blame the young man who crafted the crime. Was he crazy? Well, yes, you have to be a bit nuts to be a criminal and do unlawful things. Let us look at the real issues. Why was he not put under medical observation long before this?

JEFF CARTER Honeoye, N.Y.

The immediate response by the hard-core left to the acts of a crazed gunman was repulsive. It smelled like the rotten political opportunism that it was. I don’t agree with the president on much, but he struck the exact, correct chord. Regarding the idea that a lack of civility in the political discourse had anything to do with the tragedy in Tucson, he said, “It did not.”

GENE DOMOWICZ Hillsborough, N.J.

  • See 2010: The Year in Cartoons.
  • See the month's best political cartoons.
  • See which industries give the most to Congress.