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Why the killing?

January 13, 2013 - John Stack
The recent talk of gun control seems to have gotten out of what is actually needed. What Americans are looking for is to see how we can make ourselves safer, and how to possibly slow the number of mass killings. There have been a number of “answers”. Sec of NRA Wayne LaPierre has decided that bad people will have guns, and the only way to stop them (on school campuses) is to turn our local schools into Gestapo like garrisons where all students and visitors are deemed dangerous, and a literal police state is the only answer. Others blame rap music, video games and Hollywood movies. Seemingly, the easy accessibility of guns is no problem; it’s the easy accessibility to entertainment that is causing these people to kill. I don’t see it that way. I see the attraction to violent games and music as a symptom, not as a cause. So far, there has been no reliable evidence whatsoever that exposure to these elements have been, by themselves, an indicator of later violent behavior. I’ve listened to my share of rap music and watched plenty of Rambo movies in my life. The last time I was in a fight was 1979 in Gary Urich’s driveway when we both objected to just a little too much physicality playing some 1 on 1. Most all of the ‘shooters” have something else in common. They felt very marginalized from society. They weren’t as fast/smart/tall/white/Christian/outspoken/athletic/normal as their neighbors or other students. They then sought solace in the escape of rap music, violent video games and violent movies. Not the other way around. Why do so many people feel alienated? Really?

Today you can estrange people much faster, easier and effectively than ever before. My sister is a guidance counselor, who tells me a tremendous amount of the kids coming to see her to complain are about current Facebook posts. With smartphones and Facebook being ubiquitous today, even in Jr High, students find out someone is trashing them or making fun of them to a very large audience almost instantly. This ‘breakthrough’ in advanced communications sure isn’t helping at all on this matter. People already somewhat insecure can go downhill much faster than ever before. What have we done about this? Well, mostly to make it worse. This week, Greta van Sustern from Fox told Gwen Ifils that what we need to do "You know what, we should take a look a little bit more at ourselves, from top to bottom. I mean, we have so much violence surrounding us that we think is ok.. I mean, there's no sort of effort for us to sort of looking at ourselves and how we're so -- we're so -- we're numb to violence in our culture.". Really Really missed the point. I don’t know of anyone who is actually numb to violence against us, our families or our friends. Things on TV don’t shock us like it used to. That doesn’t mean we are immune to the violence around us. Plus, Great, what does it mean to ‘look at ourselves, from top to bottom?”

I don’t think Greta realizes her employer is the biggest progenitor of alienation in American society. Fox carries Rush Limbaugh who says that women who use birth control are sluts. Time and again, their commentators tell their viewers that to just be a Democrat means you are a baby killer, an abomination to God if you have an alternative lifestyle. Other than higher ratings, what other outcome do they expect? If you are not a Christian, look at all of the hatred spewed towards anyone who does not follow Christ? Or, if you are a Christian, all of the awful things they tell you that you are (gay, black, hispanic, pro-choice, single parent, etc etc). And their normal answer to complex problems dealing with bullying and the like? Buck up. Stop whining. Deal with it. Guess how these people choose to “deal with it?” In Indiana, a mother, upset the school hadn’t done enough to stop student from bullying her cross-dressing son sent him to school with a stun gun! How many times have we heard stories of people killing themselves when they have been “outed” as being gay? One recent school shooting killer (another cross dresser) admitted in a note left for police that he had tried everything – turning the other cheek, relying on the system, etc. none of it worked, so he decided to take care of it the only way he knew how – go to the school that bullied him so and kill those he felt responsible.

Our society still does not accept many of those not like us. The use of therapy and the like is still not only roundly derided by many, but is among the first things institutions cut when faced with budget problems. Saranac Lake High School doesn’t have the mental health professionals that were here just a few years ago, victims of budget cuts and the lack of uproar over cutting mental health positions. In a time when these professionals are needed most, they are being cut more than ever.

Our violence problem is not caused by liberal Hollywood. I claim it is more because of the current ignorance of the many, and the absolute desire and willingness for certain media to foment the continual hatred for those different in the cause of making more money.


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