Like so many others, my thoughts these past two days have been on the horrible school shooting in Connecticut, as I think about the innocent children & the families all affected by this tragedy. Unimaginable, horrifying, heartbreaking, sadness … to name just a few thoughts.
At the same time, I do not think that gun control is the answer to stopping these tragedies from occurring. To me, that is like taking an Advil when you get a headache; it’s just dealing with the symptom. What about focusing on what could potentially be causing the problem or at the very least, contributing to the problem? While I don’t think there is one answer, I do feel confident in saying that violent games, computer apps & TV shows are a very big contributor to the situation.
Just earlier this week I was in Massachusetts visiting family, and my 10-year old nephew spent close to an hour playing some shooting game on the TV. I’m not sure if it was a Wii or Xbox or what it was, it was just loud and there was lots of shooting. My own son was in there for a while watching him play, and unfortunately, this is not the first time he has seen people shooting guns. Just watch TV at night and you’ll see it on many shows. So many movies have violence in them, people shooting each other without ever seeing the consequences.
It’s not only TV or movies, it’s also the shooting games, whether it’s an Xbox game or video game in an arcade, or an app on an iPad. It’s all there and it’s violent. Kids play these games, watch TV and movies and just see people shooting others, yet never see what happens after that — like hysterical parents, screaming people, ambulances, funeral homes or even court rooms, jail cells & cemeteries being full of these shooters. Nope, that doesn’t happen. People shoot others and no one knows what happens after that. We teach them that these murders are acceptable on these video games and there are no consequences or emotions that go along with it.
Over the next several weeks, the topic of gun control will come up again and again. That’s not the answer, it goes way beyond that. We need to take a step even further back, however I’m not feeling all that confident that these violent things will go away. Kids need to see that after shooting someone on a video game, that the family & friends of those killed on the games are left grieving. They need to see funerals, they need to see jail time on these videos. However that will never happen, no one would buy a video game if you were able to shoot someone then go to jail. That would take the “fun” out of it. But it would also make it a little more realistic I think. We just need to get rid of these games everywhere. It’s not about gun control, it’s about digger deeper to the source of the problem.
It’s just so unbelievably sad.