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Getting to the root of Net murder

A reader writes: The only solution is a change of motivation, a change of heart--not more Internet legislation.


Getting to the root of Net murder

In response to the May 24 Perspectives column by John Dickinson, "Blaming the Net for a young girl's murder":

I just finished reading your piece about advancing parental controls in light of the 13-year-old murder victim. I just wanted to support you in your position of placing the crux of change on the parents. I do not blame the parents for their child's murder. The blame rests solely on the head of the intolerable soul that murdered her. But look closely at what psychologists and psychiatrists alike have completely failed to acknowledge. You don't have to teach children to lie. You don't have to teach children to manipulate. You don't have to teach children to seek their desires above everything else. It's innate in all of us.

You DO have to teach them what is right, what is wrong, and how to choose between them. The Internet is not the cause of this girl posting erotic images of herself and having sex with men she met online. Follow the example of the person who has had too much to drink. Their foolish actions are not because of the alcohol. All the alcohol did was lower their defenses and they did what was already in their hearts and minds. But society (and much of our government) would say, "It's because they've had too much to drink." And the alcohol legislation wheels start to turn.

It's the same with the Internet. This girl's actions were because of the motivations of her heart and mind. The Internet simply made it easier for her to do what she desired. The only solution is a change of motivation, a change of heart--not more Internet legislation. This solution costs. It takes sacrifice and discipline and our "as long as it makes me happy" society is very unlikely to make such sacrifice. The same root problem is behind the man that murdered her and the same solution applies. That being said, more software packages that feature "kid-proof" code would serve the industry well.

Terry Cokenour



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