Who’s To Blame? The Answer May Surprise
It’s hard to believe, but as commentators, radio and television reporters, anchors, entertainment moguls, and dozens of others whip themselves into a frenzy pointing fingers at everything and anything which is even marginally related, we come to the unenviable conclusion that nobody is to blame in the Columbine High School shootings earlier this month in the Denver, Colorado suburb. You heard right — nobody but the killers themselves. Let’s go through the usual suspects…
Outside of a great deal of media speculation and pure opinion (based not in fact, but in guesswork), we have no evidence that the parents of the children who committed these murders are to blame. By all accounts, the parents were pretty typical suburban parents, no more or less in touch with their kids behaviors than any other parent in the community.
Give me a break. While I’m no gun supporter, only a gun-control advocate could find a link between the availability of guns and this tragedy. The kids obtained the guns from a variety of sources, the restriction of which would not stop kids in the future from obtaining guns as needed for such a massacre. Parents and other adults who legitimately purchase and keep firearms cannot be forced to safely store them, no matter what laws are passed. And that’s where the system breaks down.
Same with explosives. Home-made pipe-bombs are not exactly the easiest thing to ban. The ingredients for pipe bombs are wide-ranging, and would be nearly impossible to track through their sale. These kids didn’t walk into a gun store and buy these bombs — they made them from scratch.
Video games, just like books or television, can’t make someone do something they don’t want to. While playing endless hours of Doom may have made them more immune to violence, and help hone their shooting skills, it cannot be said to be the cause of their irrational behavior. Millions of kids play these types of video games everyday in the U.S. 99.9999% of them do not go around killing their classmates because of it. If video games were the cause of these killings, they would be happening every day, not once a year.
Just as impractical. If video games aren’t causing children to kill (throwing away all the morality and ethics they were taught by their parents while growing up), it’s just as impossible for us to point the finger of blame at Hollywood or TV in all seriousness. Children can read lots of books (I know I did as a teen), but you don’t hear any of these commentators suggesting the banning of all books which may depict an act of violence or aggression. It’s silly to assume that a teen is so easily influenced, that their ideas of morality and absolute right and wrong can be manipulated just by watching a TV show. Most teens are more intelligent than that. Otherwise, again, kids would be killing kids daily. That just isn’t happening.
If anything, the Internet could be seen as an appropriate emotional release mechanism for pent-up feelings of violence and anger. Sites like www.hsunderground.com understand that and are working to provide an outlet for teens to express themselves.