will we never learn?

In light of the news of the school shooting in Connecticut that I woke up to this morning, I have decided to repost an article I wrote earlier this year about the Colorado theater shooting in July. I hope my readers don’t mind. It just seems… appropriate.

gunPeople are stupid.

Just look at today’s headlines. Dumb-ass woman slays boyfriend, calls 911. Barbershop standoff leaves 1 dead, 2 wounded. Scoutmaster admits he molested boys. 20-year-old kills 26 in school shooting in Connecticut.

Okay, I added the “dumb-ass.” But you get the point. The list of stupid people goes on and on and on and on . . .

One of the most stupid recent headlines happened this past July. This was the Colorado theater shooting, when America‘s Biggest Dumb-Ass opened fire on an audience as they watched “The Dark Knight Rises,” killing 12 and injuring 58 others. (James Holmes, you disgust me.) The youngest of these victims was 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, and, actually, rather than focus on Holmes (we all know he’s an idiot), my question today is this:

What was a 6-year-old doing in a PG-13 movie in the first place?

This is not a criticism. It is a question for all responsible parties out there.

While child development theories vary, it is widely accepted that young children have difficulty differentiating between fantasy and reality. Children learn from and imitate what they see, including TV programs, computer games, news, movies, and people. If this is so, and if youth violence is increasing across the nation (Holmes is 24; Adam Lanza, the killer in today’s shooting, was only 20), could it be that there’s a connection between what our children are seeing, and what they are doing?

map

Map of recent school shootings in the U.S. (Image credit: squidoo.com)

In 1999, the world was appalled when two boys took guns to school and killed 13 people before killing themselves. Since Columbine, more than 100 school shootings in the Unites States have taken place. Many people argue that, in addition to media violence, gun control is to blame. I think we need to dig deeper. We’re never going to eliminate guns. Violence abounds in foreign countries, too. Just look at what’s going on in Syria.

The difference is that, in Syria, people are fighting for freedom. For values. For things that many Americans seem to have forgotten.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain, inalienable rights, that among these are LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Declaration of Independence

Because why are Americans blowing each other up? Because we own a gun and feel like using it on you?

America, what the f- is wrong with you?

15 thoughts

  1. Provocative Jessica. You’re definitely onto something. What is going into kids heads has to find it’s way out in good or bad ways but not indifferent. Ken and I watch Dexter. You know the show about a psychopath killer, who only kills bad people. I’m sure it has an effect on Ken and I but since both of us are, well, not kiddos anymore we’re not quite as malleable and lost are innocence more then a few years back. But, when we saw they were marketing the video game “Dexter” we couldn’t believe this would get into the hands of children, or worse some deranged teenager. I believe hugely in gun control. Who needs automatic weapons anywhere? Maybe, to shoot wolves from helicopters in Alaska? People say it’s a slippery slope and soon all of our freedoms will be taken from us. Talk about “Dumb Ass!” As you say we will always have guns, there will always be terrible things done with those guns. In my mind when I dig deeper I see a society that is unwilling to put money and hard work into their children. Social Work and Services are being drastically cut and with those cuts mentally ill kids and adults will not get counseling, foster care, after school programs and in some cases food. Just trying to dig deeper.

    • I agree. And I think that that was what I was trying to say. All of these violent episodes stem from something, and it isn’t gun control. Even if guns didn’t exist, we would still be seeing violence like we are today. The question is, “Why?” And that’s where I feel that every person in this society owes it to himself and everyone else to take a good look inside and exam what kind of person he himself is portraying to the world. The biggest influence on kids today is not the media. It is their parents and the people closest to them.

  2. You hit the nail on the head Jessica. There must be a certain measure of maturity in parents to decide what sort of entertainment they are catering to their kids! Children are like wet clay, you can mould them as you like. Parents need to be more cautious. This is a disturbing trend and America must wake up before it is too late.

    • Thanks so much, Sonika. I’m glad someone else out there agrees with me. Too often people like to point fingers without being conscious of any personal responsibility the way things are in our society today. It *is* disturbing. And disheartening.

  3. Social problems, lack of mental/physical health care, media etc. Frankly it makes me glad to be living outside of the US with my little kids. But at the same time, many other countries also have unbalanced kooks, we just make it easy for them to acquire extremely lethal weapons in the US. Certainly there is much to be done, but gun control is also part of the equation.

    • I do agree that gun control is important. As Terri stated (above), why does ANY ordinary citizen need automatic weapons? To shoot wolves in Alaska?… Gun control, the media, video games–all of these play a part. But I still believe responsibility starts within ourselves.

  4. Interesting point of view; however, it was just batman. I mean, batman is kind of for boy’s fantasies. And the violence in the show is directed toward the bad guys. Batman (the good guy) seeks peace and order through force. This is an important principle to keep in our young boy’s minds as they grow up. Young boys who, themselves, may be asked to maintain peace through force later in life. Having challenged your specific example, I still do think that you are on to something with your general point.

    • Hey, I am SO sorry I never responded to this. Somehow it got lot amongst the crazy rush of day-to-day life. My apologies!

      I totally agree that boys (and everyone) need to be taught right from wrong and to defend right against wrong. But, clearly, taking a gun into a theater or a school is not right… Somewhere in there something is getting messed up. I don’t have the answer. I’m just tired of people blaming outside influences and never looking at themselves.

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