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Archive for Friday, December 28, 2012

Letter: Violent culture

December 28, 2012

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To the editor:

Leonard Pitts, the columnist, dismisses the notion that violent video games played a role in the recent killings. Certainly, video games were not the cause of the tragedy in Connecticut. Not even games such as “Call of Duty,” which the U.S. military uses as a recruiting (and desensitizing?) tool and the Norwegian mass murderer used as a training program. The constant violence on TV and in the movies was not the cause. Nor were our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nor was the rise of disrespect, demonizing and paranoia as national character traits. But put it all together, and we have a culture of violence, which surely affects how we all react to the stresses and disappointments of life.

Banning assault weapons and restricting access to guns would limit damages to some extent. Re-funding our mental health system would prevent some of these tragedies. We need more. We need a society in which murder, both state-sanctioned and not, is seen as inhuman and unacceptable, a society in which differences and frustrations are expected to be settled peacefully and with respect.

Don’t allow our government to resort so easily to war. Don’t pay for movies that offer little more than graphic violence. Complain to networks and sponsors about TV shows that do the same. Don’t allow your children to grow up with violence and murder as daily entertainment. Teach them to deal with each other peacefully (this necessarily includes teaching by example).

This must start with us. Let’s start today.

Comments

verity 1 year, 3 months ago

We can and need to look at history to see how various strategies worked out, and we can predict the future, but we can never know for sure until it happens. I will not give up and be hopeless.

Maybe even Brownback's tax plan will work to jumpstart our economy. (Yeah, I know that's delusional.)

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Gotland 1 year, 3 months ago

Statists,like the ones that desire to disarm the poplulation, have committed the most violence in history kiling over 100,000,000 . I don't know if they like video games .

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Laus_Deo 1 year, 3 months ago

Speaking of history.

"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.”

Thomas Jefferson

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Gandalf 1 year, 3 months ago

One fact the anti-gun crowd seem to ignore is history. Every civilization runs in cycles. They start with anarchy, then dictatorship, then thru revolution to freedom. Then apathy sets in and the civilization will fall and the cycle starts over again. Anyone who thinks the US is immune to that fact has already made the first step to the last stage. It will happen eventually, whether it's a hundred years or two hundred is illrelevant.

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Crazy_Larry 1 year, 3 months ago

A culture of violence breeds violent citizens. . .

"Is that lack of thinking far into the future the reason that we hear of adolescent shooters? Why is that?

To some degree. Because adolescents do not have the perception of time that adults do. Thirty years in prison, to a person who is 15 years old, is far more abstract an idea than it is to a 35-year-old. An adolescent who has not been incarcerated does not relate to court procedure and the criminal justice system the way a mature adult weighs the events to follow a homicidal attack. Homicidal impulses may therefore confront adolescents as well as adults. Adolescents do not have the same experience to steer them away from acting on those impulses, even though they recognize the enormity of mass homicide and the illegality of it. Adolescents also are more likely to be drawn into the allure of masculine identity through homicidal violence.

Is that why we don't see female mass killers?

Absolutely. There is nothing in our society that would elevate a woman's identity or her femininity through her ability to destroy. This truth reinforces my opinion of how important it is for us as a society to repudiate the connection between destruction and masculinity in order to develop the values we want our young people to carry with them even in times of emptiness and despair.

Dr. Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist, has examined several of this country's most well-known mass killers. He is chairman of the the Forensic Panel, (forensicpanel.com), a national forensic science practice of psychiatrists, pathologists and toxicologists. He is an associate professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and special consultant to ABC News. Welner is also developing an evidence-based test to assist criminal sentencing , the Depravity Scale, (depravityscale.org), which invites Americans to participate in surveys that are used to form a legal standard of what represents the worst of crimes. "

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TheYetiSpeaks 1 year, 3 months ago

And the people will point their fingers, from their perches of plenty and piety. For the people are a tricky creature, quick to assign blame, but loath to settle on a topic of any import....Rather, they built their walls and buttresses on the battle lines of there sociopolitical make believe, where there, their pointed fingers could roam free and never, never be pointed at themselves.....for as any true thinker knows, only through introspection and taking responsibility does any real change for the better take place.

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Gandalf 1 year, 3 months ago

I’m getting real tired of people claiming that the culture of the US is worse than other cultures! I’ve been to England, Scotland, Brazil, China, Japan, Philippines, Greece, France, Malta, Mexico, Vietnam, and Australia. They all certainly have different culture’s and there is not one of them I would choose to live in over the US. I have to admit though that both the Republicans and Democrats have eroded our personal freedoms to the point where I'm starting to be upset.

Japan? The only country to stage an act of war on American soil in modern times. I’m sure everyone in the US would embrace their sexual morals. I suggest you all do a computer search to find their historical views on incest, then see if you really want to emulate them. I took a train trip from Yokosuka to Mt. Fiji at no time was I ever in the countryside. It was wall to wall cities. Nor would I ever bow my head to any Emperor!

England and Scotland are the most similar, and are far more class conscious than the US. You have the Royalty the rich and then everyone else. The freedoms guaranteed by our constitution? Forget it. Nice places to visit, but I would never bow to a King of Queen either!

Australia, extremely racist especially toward the aborigines.

I could go on, but by now you should be getting my views. The idea that the US is more violent than countries like Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, . . . Is laughable.

But I’ll tell you one thing that would make me violent. Try to take away my constitutional rights!

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tange 1 year, 3 months ago

Geez, didn't we just address this the other day?
Here's the link I just pulled from my comment history, inflammatory video concluding...

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/expert-on-msnbc-demolishes-mythical-link-between-violence-and-video-games-movies/

You want to reduce violence? Reduce social and economic stressors by facilitating inclusion and social and economic justice.

/ or over-arm yourself and prepare for the bunker hunker

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verity 1 year, 3 months ago

I agree with the letter writer. There is no one answer, but our culture is filled with unnecessary violence and we can make choices not to support it.

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verity 1 year, 3 months ago

Maybe we should look at those areas/communities in the US that have little violent crime and see what they are doing. (Yes, they do exist, I've lived in a few.)

Obviously not everything could be replicated everywhere, but it might give us some place to start.

It does take involvement by people in the community and the ability to realize that self-interest sometimes lies in putting the interest of others first.

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beatrice 1 year, 3 months ago

If the violent culture (video games, movies, television) is the fire, I would argue that our gun culture is the lighter fluid that can make it grow out of control.

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KiferGhost 1 year, 3 months ago

Are culture is violent, that's what we used to create this country. The head of Colt said his product was used to tame the west. Yeah, a culture that used guns to wipe out the Native Americans and now we want to pretend it is a freak thing only recently seen in our culture?

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tomatogrower 1 year, 3 months ago

Well, I never can get a picture to appear, but it says, "Help me to understand the logic of this: Watching 2 hours of violence in a movie has no effect on our behavior, but 30 second Super Bowl ad is worth 3.9 million dollars, because it will make us run out and buy a product?"

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Brock Masters 1 year, 3 months ago

Chicago just hit 500 murders. Illinois bans assault weapons and large capacity magazines.

These measures are not workin gin Illinois so why would we expect them to work anywhere else?

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WristTwister 1 year, 3 months ago

The world is in chaos and turmoil everywhere. The United States has not been left out of this world wide upheaval. There are many factors working together other than violent videos which may confuse, frustrate and anger the mentally ill and emotionally distraught among us. I believe that violent video games pre-dispose our children to violent behavior and may model inappropriate actions as possible options for the mentally unbalanced to express their pent up anger. However, I believe there are many present day stressors that lead them to act out the carnage they see in the videos. Rather than Violent Culture, it may be time for an LTE entitled Cutlure in Decline. The violence is only a symptom of deeper problems . I believe it began with the break down of the nuclear family and the stabilizing influence, support and values that the family group provides.

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biggunz 1 year, 3 months ago

The politically correct crowd, corrupt government, media with an agenda, a society of entitlement and no personal responsibility. These are the big problems with this country. Banning guns will not fix the problem.

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50YearResident 1 year, 3 months ago

Joe is making some very valid points and I agree with them. We need to get to the heart of the situation in order to correct it. Start here: Eliminate the "Free Pass" until 18 years old, that we give to all our kids raised in America today. Why allow them to commit crimes without consequences? Teach them responsability for following our laws. These young people are the same ones growing up and commiting the horrible crimes we are reading about. It is not the weapon they use that is the problem. If guns were not available they would use other weapons. We need to start teaching our kids that they are responsable for their own actions. By the time their free pass until 18 is over, it is too late.

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streetman 1 year, 3 months ago

Amazing that anyone can claim -- with a straight face -- that assault-type weapons, huge clips of ammo, frag-type bullets have sporting and/or self-protection uses. Equally amazing is doubting that the considerable coarsening of our culture the last 30 years isn't a factor in these mass killings and in our decayed general social interactions. Violent video games, gratuitous violent movies, coarsening TV shows, legal approval of killing near-term babies in (or just out of) the womb, general lack of parental control of their kids, large-scale entitlement mentality -- hard to believe these things didn't all contribute to our decline.

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beatrice 1 year, 3 months ago

I agree with the concept that consuming less violence as entertainment would be a good thing. Leaving the "blame" for mass murders (and yes, when more than 20 people are killed it is a "mass" of people) at the doorstep of games without seriously looking at the availabilty killers have to an arsenal of weapons is falling woefully short of the problem.

In other nations, people watch virtually the same television programs, listen to the same music, watch the same movies and play the same video games. What is the difference between us and other nations? Guns. Guns, guns and more guns. That is the difference. It is far too late to change this and we will never, ever ban guns in our country even if we wanted to. Only thing we can do now is try to limit the damage one person can cause with access to guns. Limited magazine and clip sizes is a reasonable move that would likely save future lives.

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Bob Harvey 1 year, 3 months ago

I recently saw a cartoon that I found interesting. It stated that 4 hours of playing violent video games have no effect on the player, but sponsors pay $3.5 million for a 30 second ad on the Super Bowl in the hopes that people will run out and buy their product.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

Yes there is a ton of violence on television and in the movies no question about it.

Of course it would be kinda cool if movies and TV would glorify people who commute to work and play on bicycles or glorify those who are able to walk as a means of travel to work and play.

Or glorify green industries as a way to new prosperity.

Or reveal how many of our legislators are making big bucks sending USA jobs to China and Mexico. Based on facts.

Or show how how the FBI finally decided to bust our elected officials for allowing themselves the privilege of insider trading.

Or turn all of the CEO's into bad guys that are killing USA jobs instead cutting their own packages which could save a lot of USA jobs.

These would be fun movies to watch.

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disappointed_regressive 1 year, 3 months ago

Watching union rioters in Wisconsin and Michigan should not be allowed by parents either. When that footage comes on, send Billy and Suzie to get you a bowl of ice cream.

Why the other day, I walked into the family room where they were showing footage of the Michigan union rioters and it literally took me a minute before I realized it was not Cairo Egypt rioters.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

Abortion numbers have dropped considerably over the past few decades which is always left out of the hateful rhetoric. Even since 1990 abortion numbers have dropped 25%. 41% of children are born to single moms which is another indication abortion numbers must be dropping.

These same voices campaign against birth control. What's up with that? Birth control is a plus for their cause yet constantly campaign against such practical measures. These voices rail against Planned Parenthood which provides info on Abstention as a means of birth control like at the top of the Planned Parenthood list.

What is their campaign against? Are these voices against having sex?

Are these voices living in fear that the white population is becoming the minority group?

Again these voices slam Planned Parenthood which provides information and services that which prevent pregnancies which is a plus for their nasty campaigns.

At least 97%-98% of Planned Parenthood Budget goes to a wide variety of health services for those who might not be able to afford otherwise. Mens and women's health services in addition to providing a program to educating teen-agers if parents find some matters difficult to discuss.

--- http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/

--- http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control-4211.htm

I know of know one or of any organization that campaigns for abortions. I'd say a ton of misinformation is out and about.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

Joe Douglas is a thinker who is right on the money. The USA is the largest weapons dealer in the world. Which means to say wars need to be active to keep this industry profitable.

Which begs the question why is the CIA constantly involved in destabilizing governments around the world?

This week on radio news it was disclosed that the USA government violates weapons treaties and weapons bans with a good deal of frequency. In fact it also begs the the question of why the USA government allows sales of weapons to dictators?

We arm the world which means a lot of dictatorships.

--- http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/4120/we_arm_the_world/

--- http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0208-05.htm

--- http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/walsh/execsum.htm

A Bush family member/banker supplied the Nazi movement with weapons. http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

The Carlyle Group is a weapons dealer among other things. BOD - http://www.angelfire.com/indie/pearly/htmls/bush-carlyle.html

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Mercy 1 year, 3 months ago

Joe, did not mention the most frequent act of violence performed, the killing of our children through abortion. This voilence is killing our families and in reality killing the mom's and dad's who give their children over to this violence. Lord have mercy on us!

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grammaddy 1 year, 3 months ago

I find it funny how everyone wants to blame video games now.In the 60's and early 70's we had VietNam in our living rooms every night at dinner time on the news accompanied by the number of casualties for that day like it was a badge of honor. Seems like"real" violence would have sent more folks over the edge than the "pretend violence" of a video game. I guess the NRA has to blame someone. NRA= Not Responsible for Anything.

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Gandalf 1 year, 3 months ago

And you say the US has a violent culture? Feb 2012 Cairo (CNN) -- Egyptians, angry at reports of inadequate security at a soccer match where 79 people died Wednesday in a riot, clashed with police, leaving two dead in the city of Suez and at least 900 injured in Cairo, officials said Friday. The injuries occurred near the Interior Ministry headquarters in Cairo, said Dr. Adel Adawi, a health ministry spokesman.

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