There’s absolutely nothing funny about this.

17 04 2007

kefka.gifThe Virginia Tech shooting is truly sad. It’s not often I get to call something the “worst shooting in US history” and not be exaggerating. But this isn’t about the shooting. Obviously there are victims, but probably a lot more than most people are willing to consider. Jack Thompson up there proves that. As Kotakuleader Crecente examined, Jackson’s argument is rife with bullshit.

But really, who’s surprised by that? Gamers, movie goers, music listeners, and most of us “violent media” watchers have been either blamed directly for these acts, or been described as guppy yes-man jelly fish who are easily swayed by the things we see on TV, movies and games. It doesn’t help that for every study conducted in order to prove a causal relationship between viewing and committing violent acts, there’s an equally as viable study that proves the exact opposite. Who’s to say that, because my favorite part of God of War II was ripping out a cyclops’ eye with my bear hands, that I’ll be persuaded to go all Demolition Man and rip out the eyes of the dude beside me?

Of course, before anyone even talks to this killer’sparents, they’ll probably rip through his laptop or home computer, his game/book/movie/music collection, his last viewed websites, and then judge accordingly. Who knows if this kid even liked any of those things? What if his collection was filled with Sponge Bob and fuckin’ Care Bears? I can almost guarantee that the parents will have “never seen this coming”, or something along those lines. And that’s exactly why some people will say that it is probably 90% their fault.

Now, usually I agree with that assessment. But as more of these things happen, the more I begin to reexamine that perspective as well. I think about myself, my family. My family hates that I watch violent TV, that I play games where people die and that I listen to rap music. These elements have been part of my life since I was about 12-years-old. So what does that make me, a ticking time bomb? Should I blame my parents? Well, no, though I’m pretty sure if I killed someone it’d be easy to blame them. But that doesn’t make it their faults. They’re loving parents, they give me a lot, and they are open to me asking them tough questions, even if they’re kind of passive about it. If I unloaded on an entire campus, I’m pretty sure they would never see that coming.

I guess all I’m saying is that nothing this crazy is black and white. It’s not games, it’s not parents. It’s not gun control. It’s a bunch of factors. So instead of going to the simple solution, try to think a little. It’s not that hard.

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