Regarding “After Shooting, Bush Calls For Life Ethic” (March 18-24): I agree with Mary Beth Bonacci that “a desire for attention” leads youth to follow through on their feelings with violent behavior.

As a writer in the secular press has recently pointed out, we are more than ready to give these young criminals all the attention — and even sympathy — they could desire. Your own front-page article names the perpetrator in the second paragraph, but never gets around to mentioning the names of any of the victims, dead or alive.

Surely the victims need remembering — in prayer, especially — as much as the criminal. In fact, in that second paragraph we hear through the journalist from the boy's friends; their testimony to the teasing he endured is a subtle appeal for empathy for him. All well and good, but what about the others — the slain and the survivors? What about their needs at this time?

But the article most upsets me for this reason: Though our pro-life president made a very cogent comment on where the tragedy should lead us, your writer feels it necessary to quote a priest whose comments mitigate Bush's point.

While Father Peters admits that Bush “struck a good chord” and that our country needs “to throw into the garbage can the culture of death,” another priest cautions us about being too enthusiastic about championing Bush's words.

I think enthusiasm is called for in support of a leader who correctly points out that teen violence is a by-product of the culture of death.

All the other talk about the need for God and moral instruction in the lives of youth is true, of course, but when the main culprit, abortion, is staring us in the face — let's address that monster first!

DENISE J. CLARKE Eaton Rapids, Michigan

Many reasons have been given for the March 5 school shootings in Santee, Calif. President Bush was quoted in the Register: “When America teaches our children right from wrong and teaches values to respect life in our country, our country will be better off” (“After Shooting, Bush Calls For Life Ethic,” March 18-24).

In the article, two priests who comforted the victims disputed Bush's statement, saying he endorses capital punishment. A third priest blamed the shootings on violence in music and the media.

Others blame public schools, which play a large role in the formation of children, for their Godless milieu. Also, many schools mislead children by teaching that, facilitated by condoms, promiscuity is the norm; abortion is the ultimate contraceptive when condoms fail; therefore, human life is valueless.

Each year over 1 million preborn babies are sliced to death and thousands of babies have their brains suctioned from their heads as they are being born. Their body parts are sold to increase the profit from killing.

Many parents tolerate, accept and even encourage this carnage, which is protected by legislators and judges. Parents are thus teaching their children to devalue human life, and our schools, legislators, media and judicial systems reinforce the culture of death.

President Bush is correct: The anti-life ethic that pervades our society results in youngsters killing youngsters. This lack of respect for human life first manifests itself at the abortuary. Parents must teach their children to value human life from conception to natural death, or our society will self-destruct.

JOHN NAUGHTON Silver Spring, Maryland