The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in America was a massacre of 27 innocent people last month that rocked a country and the world, but the aftermath of the incident has sparked the usual range of debates over gun ownership, and now it appears as though ‘violent media’ content has been brought in as a prominent discussion point.
While the SouthingtonSOS community group, formed to serve the Connecticut town of Southington (USA), has tried to distance its headlining proposal from the 14 December shootings, the ‘Violent Video Games Return Programme’ is being seen by many as a direct response to the tragedy and its relatively close geographical proximity. The support group, who launched the service this week, are now encouraging residents of the town and surrounding area to hand over any ‘violent media’ they own (including video games, music, and DVDs/movies), in exchange for a $25 gift certificate.
The SouthingtonSOS statement announcing the plan reads: “The group’s action is not intended to be construed as a statement declaring that violent video games were the cause of the shocking violence in Newtown on 14th December. Rather, SouthingtonSOS is saying is that there is ample evidence that violent video games, along with violent media of all kinds, including TV and movies portraying story after story showing a continuous stream of violence and killing, has contributed to increasing aggressiveness, fear, anxiety and is desensitising our children to acts of violence including bullying.”
Southington’s school superintendent Joe Erardi added that after last month’s events, he advises parents to: “[Engage in] real, sound conversation with their children about video games. There are youngsters who appear to be consumed with violent video games. I’m not certain if that’s a good thing. If this encourages one courageous conversation with a parent and their child, then it’s a success. We’re suggesting that for parents who have a child or children who play violent video games, to first of all view the games. We’re asking parents to better understand what their child is doing. Have a conversation about next steps. If parents are comfortable [with their child's gaming habits], we’re comfortable.”
‘Violent video games’ were noted by the NRA (National Rifle Association) as a singular potential factor for the shootings (after finding that the killer had ‘liked’ numerous games including Mass Effect 3 on his Facebook profile), though arguments for preserving the status quo include studies that suggest violent games can help to serve as a safe outlet for venting aggression.
If we at World TV PC can agree on one thing relating to this tragic event, it is that while Americans shouldn’t lose their right to gun ownership over the actions of one person like the NRA are claiming (as it will most likely lead to even bigger problems), it also sounds utterly ridiculous for them use the same reasoning to blame ‘violent media’ that affects just one in thousands, because even in those cases there would probably be other factors in play behind the life choices of such a reckless psychopath.
Are the above issues to blame for the incident, or is gun ownership and violent video games two of the arguments that are just hashed out at every available major ‘opportunity’ by their anti-advocates? Comment below: