Last night, full of curiosity about violent video games, I decided to google them. Needless to say, I was outraged!!!
In one video game, there was a man with many different weapons at his disposal, including high power machine guns, hand guns, knives, you name it. He roamed through a public building, kicking in doors and massacring people. The games were very graphic and realistic.
The player in the game is a violent man who takes vengeance on people like targets, while spewing obscenities. I cannot help but wonder if this type of game desensitizes young people to the true nature of violence? As I sit and wonder about Newtown and the horrible tragedy, and how anyone could do such a thing, I cannot help but speculate the murder's mindset was like a video game.
That he literally became the violent figure in the games he played incessantly in dark room, day after day, after day. Along with gun control, we need to be discussing these games. It is a slippery slope, free speech and all, but those games are really awful! We as a society should seriously question why we would accept these games, and or buy them for young adults for that matter.
The common thread for school shooters are, upper middle class white males. This brings another question we should ask. What is the common thread here? Could it be these kids grow up in a world where they get everything they ask for? Be it violent games, guns, hours of free time to sit in a dark room doing nothing but re-enacting violence? Maybe we should require more of our children. Like getting up and out of the house and doing something productive in the world. Instead of throwing money and things at them, how about engaging them?
Engaging them with family responsibility, like chores, real chores that makes them break a sweat and appreciate people and things, appreciate life and family. It seems to me the common thread that the shooters have is a lack of respect for life in general. An apathy that goes deep... A darkness so vile that only a bright light from all of us can stop it from ever happening again. We need to get more old fashioned. By that I mean children need to learn how to be productive citizens, not mindless consumers with too much free time.
We need to require more from them and teach them to respect life. To teach this respect they must learn by doing. Instead of allowing kids to sit in front of tv screens, shopping or even carting them around to this or that, how about having them volunteer and contribute to their communities and families? Children have a lot of energy and a lot to give. We as adults owe it to them to teach them how. As a parents and adults, we are more than a means for them to get what they want.
We are the means they have to learn respect and how to grow up to be productive citizens. Even if a child has mental illness, or any non life threatening illness, they can give of themselves. This is where self-worth comes from, not from violent video games, mindless consumerism, too much idle time, but from good old fashioned hard work. This is good for all children.
Newtown is part of all of us, this is a tragedy that we as a community must address, and we as a community must honestly look and see where and how we can all change to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.