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Newtown is Part of us All, a Tragedy We Must Address as Community

Questions about violence in schools, and the role of video games and the community.

Last night, full of curiosity about violent video games, I decided to google them. Needless to say, I was outraged!!!

In one video game, there was a man with many different weapons at his disposal, including high power machine guns, hand guns, knives, you name it. He roamed through a public building, kicking in doors and massacring people. The games were very graphic and realistic.

The player in the game is a violent man who takes vengeance on people like targets, while spewing obscenities. I cannot help but wonder if this type of game desensitizes young people to the true nature of violence? As I sit and wonder about Newtown and the horrible tragedy, and how anyone could do such a thing, I cannot help but speculate the murder's mindset was like a video game.

That he literally became the violent figure in the games he played incessantly in dark room, day after day, after day. Along with gun control, we need to be discussing these games. It is a slippery slope, free speech and all, but those games are really awful! We as a society should seriously question why we would accept these games, and or buy them for young adults for that matter.

The common thread for school shooters are, upper middle class white males. This brings another question we should ask. What is the common thread here? Could it be these kids grow up in a world where they get everything they ask for? Be it violent games, guns, hours of free time to sit in a dark room doing nothing but re-enacting violence? Maybe we should require more of our children. Like getting up and out of the house and doing something productive in the world. Instead of throwing money and things at them, how about engaging them?

Engaging them with family responsibility, like chores, real chores that makes them break a sweat and appreciate people and things, appreciate life and family. It seems to me the common thread that the shooters have is a lack of respect for life in general. An apathy that goes deep... A darkness so vile that only a bright light from all of us can stop it from ever happening again. We need to get more old fashioned. By that I mean children need to learn how to be productive citizens, not mindless consumers with too much free time.

We need to require more from them and teach them to respect life. To teach this respect they must learn by doing. Instead of allowing kids to sit in front of tv screens, shopping or even carting them around to this or that, how about having them volunteer and contribute to their communities and families? Children have a lot of energy and a lot to give. We as adults owe it to them to teach them how. As a parents and adults, we are more than a means for them to get what they want.

We are the means they have to learn respect and how to grow up to be productive citizens. Even if a child has mental illness, or any non life threatening illness, they can give of themselves. This is where self-worth comes from, not from violent video games, mindless consumerism, too much idle time, but from good old fashioned hard work. This is good for all children.

Newtown is part of all of us, this is a tragedy that we as a community must address, and we as a community must honestly look and see where and how we can all change to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.

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Darrell Lucas January 13, 2013 at 03:11 PM
-------------------------------------- He had the nice family unit growing up. Even did the whole church thing. Did fantastic in school. The video games he player were not an FPS (first person shooter) but role playing. World of warcraft. Basicly fantasy games with faries and goblins. This guy had a metal breakdown. Looking into his story the CO medical director of student mental health services saw him and contacted the University Police. But nothing Mr. Holmes disclosed to Dr. Fenton rose to the threshold set by Colorado law to hospitalize someone involuntarily. Its not the necessarily the family, its not the video game. People loose control of their minds. It has happened in the past before violent video games and movies. It will happen again.
Darrell Lucas January 14, 2013 at 05:31 AM
The man who committed the CO theater shooting.... James Eagan Holmes was born to Arlene and Robert Holmes on December 13, 1987 in San Diego, California. His mother is a registered nurse, and his father is a mathematician and scientist. His father has degrees from Stanford, UCLA and Berkeley. Holmes was raised in Castroville, California, where he attended elementary school, and San Diego. Holmes played soccer and ran cross-country in high school. He attended a local Lutheran church with his family, according to the church's pastor. Mr. Holmes’s only criminal history had been a traffic summons. Mr. Holmes earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in neuroscience in 2010 from the University of California, Riverside, and once won a prestigious grant from the National Institutes of Health. Like many of his generation, he was a devotee of role-playing video games like Diablo III and World of Warcraft — in 2009, he bought Neverwinter Nights II, a game like Dungeons & Dragons, on eBay, using the handle “sherlockbond” (“shipped with alacrity, great seller,” he wrote in his feedback on the sale) --------------------------------------
John Kilian January 14, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Great post. The roots causes of this phenomenon are doubtless complicated, with multiple co-factors woven together. I am not sure the parents of these shooters necessarily neglected their children, although we all should be careful about letting visual stimuli baby-sit our children. It is our job as parents to get our children engaged in our community, or they won't have one, and they will be worse off for it.
Darrell Lucas January 14, 2013 at 07:29 PM
If there is something that appears to be common is that the ones who do this feel alone and have no support or friends.
John Kilian January 14, 2013 at 09:54 PM
I would look at this and see if a common thread might be prescription drugs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26e5PqrCePk

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