You SAY: LET­TERS To THE ed­i­tor

Austin American-Statesman - - VIEWPOINTS - Gi­u­lia Derocco, fourth-grader who wrote let­ter ask­ing for un­der­stand­ing of peo­ple with autism Gi­u­lia Derocco Austin Ed­i­tor’s Note: The writer is a fourth-grader in the Le­an­der school district. Juan­thomp­son Austin Mark Miller Austin Larry Frieden Lake­way R

Autism mis­un­der­stood

On one hand, I am very sad about the chil­dren who were killed. On the other hand, I am so mad at the me­dia for their cov­er­age and how care­lessly they used the word autism. There are so many peo­ple that al­ready think peo­ple with autism are con­ta­gious, dan­ger­ous and vi­o­lent, and have no place in so­ci­ety.

I do have a place, or I would not have been born. I am here for a rea­son. I have autism for a rea­son. Even though I can’t talk, I can do amaz­ing things in my life.

Yes, some­times peo­ple with autism have fits, mostly from frus­tra­tion of not be­ing able to talk. When we do we usu­ally hurt our­selves as we get big­ger, some­times we hurt adults try­ing to help us. But that is al­ways an ac­ci­dent. We don’t shoot kids, and most of us would not like how loud a gun is any­way. Too loud! I have autism, and I am not vi­o­lent! Please, me­dia, your words have con­se­quences, and you need to be care­ful what you say.

Thoughts with Conn.

I’m Juan Thompson. I am 17 years old, and I at­tend Austin High School. I am in Boy Scouts cur­rently at the Life rank and hop­ing to achieve my Ea­gle by the end of this year. I was read­ing your ar­ti­cle on the Con­necti­cut shoot­ing. I had not heard of it un­til I saw it on your web­site. It is very sad that some­one would do such a thing to in­no­cent peo­ple. I was baf­fled to read such an event. Hopes and prayers go to the peo­ple who lost fam­ily or who has been af­fected strongly by this event.

Na­tion too vi­o­lent

Re: Dec. 15 ar­ti­cle, “Our hearts are bro­ken to­day.”

Our coun­try is in a seem­ingly end­less spi­ral of nev­erend­ing, stupid wars, and awash in guns and vi­o­lence. If I had my way, the mil­i­tary would be brought home to go to work in our coun­try, and all hand­guns and au­to­matic weapons would be banned. Hunt­ing ri­fles are fine; any­thing else is pri­mar­ily for mak­ing it much eas­ier to kill hu­man be­ings.

We’re just sat­u­rated in war, guns and vi­o­lence, and it’s doubt­ful that any­one in any kind of po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship po­si­tion is go­ing to speak up and pro­pose we might con- sider try­ing some dif­fer­ent ap­proaches to main­tain­ing a more civil so­ci­ety. It’s per­son­ally em­bar­rass­ing to me to be a cit­i­zen in a coun­try where our ma­jor ac­com­plish­ments are pro­duc­ing weapons, in­vad­ing other coun­tries and putting peo­ple in prison.

Teach em­pa­thy

Gun-con­trol re­forms

Re: Dec. 17 ar­ti­cle, “Gun­man car­ried hun­dreds of rounds.”

When is enough enough? Our Con­sti­tu­tion guar­an­tees us the right to bear arms, but the Supreme Court has agreed that there are ex­cep­tions. Just like you can’t yell “fire” in a the­ater. The Repub­li­cans and the NRA need to start fac­ing re­al­ity. Let’s not for­get our found­ing fa­thers used mus­kets and fired one shot at a time. I pray that Congress has the guts to out­law the as­sault weapons, have back­ground checks at gun shows, and up­date the process to pur­chase guns.

Lead­ers, get se­ri­ous

As a mother and a grand­mother, I am scared for the fu­ture of all chil­dren in the United States. (The) mas­sacre in New­town closely fol­low­ing an at­tempted mas­sacre in Port­land, Ore., has me beg­ging our lead­ers to get se­ri­ous about gun con­trol. “Man up” and end your friendly re­la­tion­ship with the gun lobby. Our chil­dren and our coun­try are de­pend­ing on you.

Re: Dec. 16 ar­ti­cle, “Un­speak­able pain, but no an­swers.”

Mass mur­der­ers want big head­lines, which pro­mote fur­ther, sim­i­lar crimes. We must teach chil­dren, par­tic­u­larly boys, broad em­pa­thy: eval­u­at­ing thoughts, emo­tions and suf­fer­ing of oth­ers and per­ceiv­ing them. Boys and girls are very dif­fer­ent, but our cul­ture fails both, ac­cord­ing to the works of Dr. Leonard Sax. When fe­males think, there is much right-left brain con­nec­tiv­ity, re­sult­ing in aware­ness of so­cial im­pli­ca­tions. Males tend to­ward aso­cial and an­ti­so­cial char­ac­ter­is­tics (re­bel­lious, ag­gres­sive, risk-tak­ing, un­car­ing), and their think­ing is more left-sided, ab­stract, dog­matic.

“Us against them” think­ing and pur­su­ing hu­mans’ fas­ci­na­tion with vi­o­lence and cru­el­ties are nat­u­ral but un­eth­i­cal. Un­eth­i­cal thoughts, sex­ual and/or vi­o­lent, should feel shame­ful, dis­gust­ing, taboo — not ten­sion-re­liev­ing, never en­ter­tain­ing.

Even in “nor­mal” peo­ple, un­eth­i­cal thoughts re­in­force un­eth­i­cal propen­si­ties: par­tic­u­larly men may act out their fan­tasies in ex­tra­ne­ous cir­cum­stances, when iso­lated, en­raged and/or drunk. Our mo­ral cen­ter can­not han­dle mul­ti­ple truths.

Speak­ing of ploys ...

Re: Dec. 17 com­men­tary, “Right-to-work law just a ploy to hob­ble unions, Democrats.”

Barry Gold­man claims rightto-work law is just a ploy. Since he also claims to have been in the streets of Lans­ing, Mich., protest­ing, I think his act­ing as a neu­tral third party in dis­putes is also a ploy. The Austin Amer­i­can-States­man en­cour­ages email and faxes from read­ers. Please in­clude a full name, ad­dress and day­time and evening phone num­bers.We edit let­ters for brevity, gram­mar, style and clar­ity. Edited let­ters ad­dress a sin­gle idea and do not ex­ceed 150 words.Anony­mous let­ters will not be pub­lished. Let­ters be­come prop­erty of the Austin Amer­i­canS­tates­man. Send emails to let­ters@ states­man.com. Mail to: Let­ters to the Ed­i­tor, P.O. Box 670,Austin,TX 78767.

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