Ariana Cubillos, AP

The Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy has broken my heart and caused me to reflect on the causes of this senseless violence. While we may not know or understand all the factors that played into Adam Lanza's decision, we can at least identify one.

We need to acknowledge the terrible toll society pays for allowing a culture of violence to permeate our environment, especially young people's. Violent video games that reward the best shooter; war simulation games; music lyrics that lionize violence; TV, movies and other media that portray death, injury and destruction as commonplace all contribute.

Some suggest there is no connection between acting violently and watching violence or playing video games, yet we recognize the influence of the media (Sesame Street, for instance) in teaching our children to read, count and practice social tolerance.

While the discussion about gun control is an important one, if we continue to focus on the symptoms rather than the cause of the illness, we should expect these terrible tragedies to continue. Let's be more selective in what we expose our children to on their cell phones, computers, TV's, movies and other media.

Stuart T. Matheson

Salt Lake city