Why did this happen? What was the motive? Do we need to increase gun control? What will stop this insanity?

All are valid questions, but the media exposure by news anchors, consultants, on-site reporters - who all get paid to keep an audience watching their 24-hour news shows - focus on tragedies such as these for ratings. Aren't they also somewhat responsible?

Motive does not matter, as we have seen from so many of these massacres. All the perpetrators are mentally unstable. But why did this happen?

Look at the violent video games, the popularity of the violent crime dramas on TV, the violence in movies - these all desensitize people to violence. Kids grow up playing these violent games. Killing on video is not permanent - they just win and go to the next game. Killing on TV and in the movies appears to be commonplace - and the show ends with the perpetrator dead or going to prison.

Will gun control stop this? Sure, all the good guys won't have guns and the bad guys will find a way to get them. That does not make sense.

What will stop this insanity? Our society is filled with rage because it does not believe it has any control over the current economy, battles raging all over the world, even improving local problems. The past elections were filled with ugly, angry slurs, not positive purpose on how to make a difference.

More laws will not stop this. They can pass all the laws in the world but the unlawful will still do whatever they want. I, personally, do not want more government control over my life. I want humanity to wake up.

This will only stop when we stop it. Stop the violent video games, the violent movies, the violent TV shows. Stop settling disagreements with rage, anger and violence. Stop political back-stabbing.

Stop the 24-hour media focus on violent, horrible, tragic news. Has anyone else noticed how difficult it is to find good news on TV, in the newspaper, or enjoyable television or movies to watch?

I love our rural community. I see wonderful things happen every day. No, I do not live in a rose-colored glass house. But I choose to look for the good, the kind, the beautiful, and the love in each of us.

I cannot change what is happening across the globe, or in Newtown, or anywhere else, except by living a good, kind and generous life here and reaching out to those around me with that love.It's called the ripple effect.One person at a time, one life changed at a time.

Each of us has the same effect on those we touch.How do we treat people? Are we angry? Do we put them down?Do we yell and scream at our children? Do we verbally attack, threaten, or abuse those we do not like? Can we pass laws that stop anger and rage? We can try, but then it just goes underground - then erupts in violence.

This is Christmas. No matter what faith, or lack thereof, this is the season of hope. Every religion has its celebration of hope at some time of the year. Even atheists have hope.

Stop. The next time someone makes you angry, think about what it is in you that is reacting, and try to find a better way to dissipate that anger than lashing out. It starts with me, with you, with our community. We must have hope or there is no purpose to life.

Melissa Blackburn is a resident of Big Flat.