Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Is It Really The Media's Fault?

The recent debate over gun control laws and violence in today's media has got me to thinking about what really makes people decide to shoot up schools, malls, movie theaters, and military recruiting offices. First of all, I am a survivor of a school shooting myself so I understand where the victims and the ones victimized by these outrageous acts of violence feel. The question I first asked back in 1998 was "Why didn't the parents know their child had homicidal tendencies and thoughts of murder on their mind?" The second question I asked was " Why is everyone blaming the movies, video games, and music?"

Let's start with my second question first. Ever since the beginning of time we, as humans, have always had the need to be entertained through music or some sort of story telling. Musicians and playwriters throughout history have always had violent content that was taboo for their respective time periods. Did the patrons that watched these plays go kill or ruthlessly murder someone they disliked or hated because they witnessed it in their entertainment and thought it would be fun? No, people in those times killed out of necessity or the simple fact they had no respect for their fellow man or the value of human life.

Printed media have always contained countless amounts of violence, whether it is someone being a complete asshole or a necessity. The most famous of books comes to mind, the Bible. How many people have attempted to replicate the stories of violence in the Bible just for fun because it would be cool? Don't get me wrong, I know there is people out there that are twisted and psychotic enough to do these things for fun but why is that?

I'm not a psychologist and don't pretend to be but I believe the answers lie in the way they were raised as a child. If a person is raised in violence, being taught that violence is the only way to get what you need and want then that is how they will act as an adult.

I know today our movies and video games are saturated with violence but does that really mean that they are to blame for our actions? Personally I have been playing video games since I was 4 or 5 years old. I grew up on some of the most violent and controversial games like Doom, Mortal Kombat, Grand Theft Auto, Duke Nukem, and Postal. Those were the games and entertainment of my generation and most of us never made these games real because for the most part our parents had sense enough to tell us that the games were a fantasy.

I'm not denying the influence that our media has on the population, but once again if that is what a person is raised on with no guidance as to what is real and what is not, how are they supposed to know?

Now to address my first question,"Why didn't the parents know their child had homicidal tendencies and thoughts of murder on their mind?" Which brings me to my next point, why does no one stop and blame the parents of the kids that commit these crimes? Honestly they are the ones that are responsible for molding and shaping their kids, they are the ones responsible for teaching them the skills they need in order to deal with this thing called life. Why does no one question the parents? Where were they when their child was hurting? Why couldn't they take time out of their busy days to show interest in their child? Why were they not there to teach them right from wrong? Granted once you become an adult you are responsible for your own decisions and actions, stop being a little bitch and ask for help if you need it. By refusing to seek help you only add to the problem instead of fixing it.

Now I know not all the shooters in recent events have been children, but again how was they raised? Adults lacking in respect for human life was either emotionally, physically, and/or mentally abused as children. Without a positive role model and direction in their life they spiral into insanity, enjoying every moment of it because they are king in that twisted world.

So why do we blame our media? The answer is simple, we do not want to accept responsibility for our shortcomings. As long as we point the finger at someone else we can never fix the problems within our hearts and homes.

The truth laced lies we tell ourselves are still lies nonetheless. If we do not realize that we are the problem then we are doomed to repeat our history's greatest calamities.


Jim Dick said...

Perhaps more importantly is how violence is portrayed as an answer in our society. Kicking someone's ass...making someone disappear... become logical methods to solve our problems...as they do on the video games, movies, etc. As a society of instant gratifcation, we have individuals who go over the top when things do not go as planned.... resulting in them going out in a manner where they had control for that brief horrific moment.

Gary said...

The people in our society that feels they must go over the top and create a situation in which they are in control is a direct cause of someone some where not taking responibility. Whether that responsibility is that of a parent, teacher, medical professional, or most importantly the perpetrator of the incident. Oh, one more thing to remember is how do the children(minors) get their hands on the violent movies and games?