After tracking the ongoing debate about gun control and gun violence ever since the latest bewildering tragedy claiming the lives of innocent victims, Flaming Bag of Poo wonders why the finger isn’t being pointed at the real guilty parties.
In its first public statement after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the National Rifle Association this past week blamed “blood-soaked films” and video games as a large part of the problem of gun violence in America. “And they call it entertainment,” said NRA VP Wayne LaPierre in a public statement.
But it’s too easy for our society to point the blame on lenient gun regulations. Or blame everything on what the NRA stands for. Or blame those overly righteous Republicans. Or blame the media. Or blame movies and TV. Or blame violent video games.
Because individually, none of those directly can cause something inconceivable such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Even collectively, those influences cannot justify massacres in elementary schools, movie theaters, college campuses, or children’s camps.
Instead, we should start blaming these senseless killings on bad parenting by good parents.
Because really, the real blame should fall on the parents. No, not just the parents of the killers. THE PARENTS OF KIDS WHO PLAY VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES NON-STOP.
Alright, maybe good parents aren’t breeding Natural Born Killers.
But parents certainly help raise potential killers when they ignore the countless hours spent by their kids playing games that turn humans into target practice using high-powered assault weapons.
Alright, maybe it’s true: there is no evidence that exposure to violent video games leads to violent behavior.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) took a stab at violent video games last Sunday during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”
Growing up, yes, I shot “Space Invaders” and “Asteroids”.
Nowadays, with the exception of being peer pressured to play Wii Dodgeball, I avoid video games like drugs and MTV’s “Jersey Shore”. I don’t want to get addicted to violent video games. (Flaming Bag of Poo would rather be addicted to reading and other bad reality TV shows.)
Ever heard of the term “First-Person Shooter”?
Within the Action Game genre, these “First-Person Shooter” subgenre games allow players to see through the point-of-view of a trained killer. First-Person Shooter games allow players to experience very realistic, fast-paced, bloody firefights using models of real assault weapons—with none of the ramifications or conscience from real life.
First-Person Shooter games where kill-rates matter a lot, but lost loved ones do not.
And unlike real life massacres, these First-Person Shooters don’t experience any reduction in speed or mobility while carrying multiple weapons. Even when the police and SWAT teams are chasing them down.
Guaranteed, if you know a boy between the ages of 6 and 21, he owns one or both of the most popular First-Person Shooter games:
The standards of realism may vary between the CALL OF DUTY and HALO. But in real life, the standards of realism are always the same.
Video games glorify bloodshed only because irresponsible parents do little to dispel it. That is, until their own child falls victim to it.
How tragic, that even in the wake of Newtown, there are probably millions of parents gifting millions of gaming consoles, CALL OF DUTY, and HALO to their elementary school-age children this Christmas and Hanakkuh.
More homes probably own those games, than they own Bibles.
Violent video games like CALL OF DUTY or HALO shouldn’t be dismissed as harmless toys. The days of OK Corral-style single gunshot duels are about as old school as VCRs and flip phones.
Instead, publishers like Electronic Arts and Activision work with videogame developers to make the videogame experience seem more glorious and life-like. Life-like imagery. Life-like explosions and firepower. Life-like automatic assault weapons. Life-like humans for target practice. In a life-like real world.
Real-world situations. Without any of the humanity associated with the real world. Video games aren’t supposed to be responsible for teaching humanity and morals. Good parents should.
When was the last time that you, as a parent, sat down to explain how only cowards would shoot people as if they were playing CALL OF DUTY or HALO?
Instead, parents have shunned their responsibilities by allowing video games to babysit their kids. From the nine-year old in your basement. To the vulnerable twenty-one year old in his college dorm. To the depressed 30-year old alone in his apartment contemplating one final newsworthy suicide mission.
Yes, typical parents, you are to blame! You may not be pulling any triggers. But when you allow your kids to play these “First-Person Shooter” games freely for hours on end–without any supervision…without any discussion about the lack of humanity involved with killing for the sake of high-point total…without any discussion that there is no glory behind mass murder…then you may be raising the next Sandy Hook Elementary School killer.
Do you think it’s amusing to allow your two-year old to point his fingers like he’s shooting a gun whenever he’s around other people? And all you do is tell him that he’s being cute?
The parents for Adam Lanza, James Eagan Holmes, Seung-Hui Cho, and Anders Behring Breivik may have thought so, too! (Flaming Bag of Poo really hates printing their names in this blog. Why remember the names of these murderers–more so than the names of their innocent victims?
These are the same typical parents later wonder how someone else’s child could grow up to become such a cold-blooded killer at a Connecticut elementary school in Newtown.
At a Colorado movie theater in Aurora.
At a Virginia college in Blacksburg.
At a Norwegian children’s camp on Utoya Island.
I shudder to think some of my closest friends don’t supervise their own wonderful kids who spend countless hours playing those First-Person Shooter games. Even good kids can grow up to become depressed or suicidal.
Flaming Bag of Poo remembers playing with a plastic toy rifle. And several bright neon-colored squirt gun toys. But I never looked good in camouflage. (At least not until Banana Republic comes out with camouflage ties next fall).
And dare I say, I love my fellow man too much to shoot any of them. Funny how I was raised that way.
During this gift-giving season, seriously re-consider how you are raising your child when you leave him or her alone with these first-person shooter video games.
Every hour you leave him/her unattended playing these games, you’re essentially training the next cold-blooded, calculating, and conscience-free murderer.
Or else, you better start practicing your speech for CNN. The public statement where you deny knowing that your child was ever capable of this sort of depraved violence.