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For week ended October 31, 1999 Posted 14 Nov 1999

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High school students grill Hatch on violence

Summarized by Kent Larsen

High school students grill Hatch on violence
Raleigh NC News & Observer (AP) 29Oct99 N2
By Holly Ramer

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Students at New Hampshire's Concord High School got a chance to grill presidential candidate (and LDS Church member) Orrin Hatch on school violence, asking Hatch what he thought the main causes of violence are and what he would do to stop it. In response, Hatch gave the students a story of his own childhood and how he delt with violence.

Hatch told the students he thought violence "comes from the heat of passion - people who haven't learned how to control their emotions." He said that as a child he was beaten up by a bully. Determined that he wouldn't be beaten-up again, Hatch determined to fight back the next time, and eventually threw his opponent in the mud. "I was ashamed of doing that, but proud of standing up for myself. Had I not had the religious training I had, and the kind of parents I had, I might have turned to a life of crime. It was that tough of a neighborhood."

He also took on violence in television, music, and video games when a student asked if they contributed to violence in school. After asking the students what they believed, and finding that only five thought that violence was a factor, he told the students they were wrong. "There's no question there is a correlation," he said. But Hatch said he would only work with Hollywood to get them to tone-down the violence, rather than try to force them to stop.

On Thursday Hatch debated fellow candidates Gary Bauer, Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes and John McCain, telling the audience that he was the only candidate with enough experience to be president. "I think you ought to be elected to something else before you run for president. I think Gary Bauer and Steve Forbes did a good job, and I love Alan Keyes, but let's face it, these guys have never been on the firing line."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information