EDITOR: In the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn. shooting, many people have been quick to place responsibility for "rising trends" of violence on violent movies, videos and games.
C.R. Ryniewicz ("Violent media," Letters, Jan. 8) exemplifies a startling yet widespread reaction to the recent shooting. On the issue of regulation of violent media, Ryniewicz stated, "This type of media production goes far beyond freedom of speech." This view shows a blatant misunderstanding of freedom of speech and the First Amendment in general.
Freedom of speech is meant to guarantee the protection of all individuals, regardless of who they may be or what views they may hold. This freedom that protects makers of violent movies, videos and games is the same freedom that provides Ryniewicz with the right to submit opinions for the public.
The view represented in Ryniewicz's letter shows an ominous willingness to give up the protections that were fought so hard for by our Founding Fathers. This willingness threatens the protection of our right to independent thought, no matter how violent.
No room to fail
EDITOR: President Barack Obama's meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai wasn't necessarily reassuring in terms of the future of the U.S. role there and the stability of the Afghan government.
Let's not kid ourselves. If we fail in Afghanistan, we won't have any time or luxury for head-banging, mind-numbing soul searching. There really is an elusive enemy — we don't know where they are at all times, and they are harder to destroy than in previous conflicts. If we fail, the country will become a haven for terrorists bent on the destruction of freedom and democracy, not just America.