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Archive for December, 2012

Firearms: How to breed a fear monger

We all heard of the recent events on Connecticut. We all now hear how both sides of the fence are creating a schism. But what is the real issue here? Many people blame violent video games, violent movies, and violent cartoons… but are these the real issues?

As A child, I was raised on Loony Tunes. I watched Elmer Fudd fire his shotgun at Daffy Duck with no consequences. Here were anthropormorphic people being shot, blasted into oblivion, and falling off of cliffs; yet no one was hurt in the long run. What did this teach me as a child? Cartoons are funny. My parents took the effort to show me that in life there are real life consequences.

In my childhood, I was also introduced to games like Corridor 7, Doom, and Rise of the Triad. In these games you shoot your way through monsters, nazis, and a plethora of other nasties and be labeled a hero. What did this teach me as a child? Games are fun. My parents took the effort to teach me that games were not real life.

One of my favorite movies growin up was The Shining. Here you get to watch Jack Nicholson go crazy… classic. What did this teach me as a child? Movies are fun. My parents taught me the difference between reality and fiction.

Way back when, I remember playing Cowboys and Indians. We would go around and fire cap, rubber band, and water pistols at each other. What did this make me think as a child? Playing with friends is a great time to be had. My parents taught be how to be careful with real weapons and how to protect myself.

Did I grow up to be a violent psychopath who went through Malls, Schools, and other public places with a few hundred rounds of ammunition? Those who know me know the answer to that… but the answer for the rest of you is NO. I am a relatively useful member of society, I pay my taxes, I am married, and I am a pacifist my choice. Furthermore, I own a firearm and so does my wife. For V-Day one year I bought my wife a fully functional crossbow. She herself was raised in many of the same ways I was, but without the video games. Is she a violent psychopath? Not as far as I know.

Simply put, a craftsman does not blame the tool for his mistakes as society should not blame the gun for a mentally ill person going on a killing spree. In China, on the same day as the Connecticut shooting, went through a primary school and slashed 22 children. The point being that if someone wants to hurt someone, they will find a medium to do so. Why don’t we try educating our children rather than placing them in front of the TV so we can play on our phones? Why don’t we nurture our children with social interaction?

Is any of this too much to ask? I don’t think so. Maybe we should start focusing in on the real issues by making mental health not such a stigma. Maybe we should start making education a priority. Let’s stop teaching our kids to be victims, let’s make this world better by making our children self sufficient and intelligent.