June 24, 2019
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

The really scary thing about the two 16-year-olds who shot two horses in a field (and possibly shot into the cab of a moving truck on a highway) is that in just two years these mindless young men will be eligible to vote. Ethel M. Schwalbe Steuben

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I am dismayed at the lack of punishment for the two young men who recently mercilessly shot and killed two horses and shot at a passing tractor-trailer. Their disregard for the sanctity of life is appalling. Yet, I am perhaps more concerned that the adults in their lives do not perceive this as an incredibly serious act. Much research has shown that adults who are abusive to other humans often have had a history of cruelty to animals as children and adolescents. Young people who commit cruelty against animals may grow up to abuse their own and others children, they may abuse their partners, they may sexually or physically assault other adults and some may perform the ultimate act of violence; murder.

If we are to begin curbing the ever escalating violence in our society we must begin with prevention. Young people who are violent towards animals must be given appropriate punishment for their acts and they must also be provided with adequate support to learn how to change their violent behaviors. Margaret Mead once said, “One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to torture or kill an animal and get away with it.” I would also say that one of the most dangerous things for society is to allow our young people to get away with violent acts against animals. After all, we do not want to see these young men create another Columbine. Tracy Haskell Hulls Cove


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