Included in President Obama’s heart wrenching message to the country on Sunday was this statement, “We need to take meaningful action, regardless of politics.” My guess is he’s likely referring to increasing gun control laws. And if so, this is certainly a shortsighted approach. Despite Chicago instituting the strictest gun laws in America, it has the highest gun homicide rate in America.
Like a lot of folks, we’ve been watching the 24-hour cable news awaiting the next press conference to learn more about the murderer of children and his motive. And while listening to the never ending discussion by news commentators, law enforcement officers and guest psychological experts, nobody has yet mentioned what we both believe is the underlying cause of such murderous conduct.
How about violent video games in which kids with their hand-held devices kill lots of people indiscriminately as a game? The more they kill, the higher the score. These video games are so graphic that they de-sensitize the kids that play them. Also, these same kids can go online and watch YouTube videos showing actual gory incident.
When we were growing up, over 60 years ago, both of us could remember going to the county fair where our favorite venue was the rifle range, shooting real bullets at moving targets. The targets were metal ducks, not people. Today’s video games don’t include duck targets, they show real people targets.
So when our politicians start looking for meaningful causes of today’s mass murders, here’s hoping there isn’t just a knee-jerk reaction from the naïve, agenda driven anti-gun progressives looking only at gun control. Hopefully, they will explore the technological nonsense that we put in the hands and minds of our youth today. And let’s hope they likewise look at the violence shown in movies and television programs. That just might result in “meaningful action.”
Bill Stanley is a substitute teacher at Wheeler High School in east Cobb. Bob Lanzotti is a retired teacher at Green Acres Elementary in Smyrna and now supervises student teachers at Kennesaw State University. Both flew helicopters in Vietnam and both are on the board of the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Association.