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.
So here’s the skinny. It’s one of the last few beautiful days we are going to have here in the land of 10,000 sompnerothers, the sub is shining, the birds are singing, bees are trying to have sex with the birds… or so I’ve been lead to believe… when I hear the unmistakable sound of a child either tantruming or in crisis. I see the kid up ahead, she’s throwing herself against a van and wailing incoherently. I’m still a block away but my eyes and ears are getting better trained at finding distress.
I watch as some people walk past, barely casting a glance in her direction. Immune, apparently, to people in need of immediate aid. I continue unimpeded toward my destination, already deciding to find out what might be the malfunction. Quarter block to go and two twenty something girls walk right past barely sparing a glance at the girl. What the fuck? I get maybe 25ft from this kid when a car pulls up right beside her and a woman gets out of the car and heads directly to the child and the words I never thought I would hear someone beat me to asking pop out of her mouth, “What’s the matter, can I help you?”
To say I was floored by this is an understatement. The little girl wails something that my non parent ears seem unable to pick up, but the woman knows exactly what to do. While she walks the little girl to the shop where her idiot mother is, I stand by her still running car to make sure nothing unseemly occurs. I thank her for beating me to the punch, and she thanks me for minding her car and we part ways.
Let me ask you this. Did that sound like something difficult to do? Simply asking a distraught and alone child what was the matter seem like a death defying stunt? Does simply being a humane human hinder your fragile little world? I mean DAMN! I watched half a dozen people just walk past and ignore the problem. Is that what we have been reduced to? <sarcasm> Looks like there is a problem over there, well it’s none of my concern to take a miniscule fraction of my time to waste effort and try to make the world a better place because SOMEONE ELSE WILL TAKE CARE OF IT!</sarcasm>
Ahem… Thank you, young woman in the red tank top. Thank you for reinforcing my hope for humanity. Thank you for not being like the dozens of selfishly entitled little brats that seem to be taking over the world. Thank you… even though I know you’ll never read this… for being human.
The moral? Maybe if we put a little effort toward bettering our surroundings, we might see a little change for the better. Maybe if we see someone who is truly in trouble and take the time to just try to put a little hope in their lives, we might not all be so damned shitty toward eachother.