The United States is facing an epidemic of seriously violent crimes in middle schools and high schools across the country. At least fifty people have died due to a series of high school shootings. These shooting rampages have occurred across the United States in 13 cities ranging from Pennsylvania to southern Mississippi and to western California. Just when the murder rampages seem to be subsiding, another tragedy occurs. Preventive measures have been taken by the government and school systems. For instance, in 1994, Congress passed the Drug-Free Schools and Community Act, which provides for support of drug and violence prevention programs. However, these programs have not been effective in taming the ferocious dispositions of the particular young kids who have participated in these shooting rampages. Therefore, parents, school officials, and the government are still left wondering what is the cause of the horrific violence and how can they solve the problem.
A widely accepted cause of the murders committed by children is violence in the media. The parents of three students killed at a high school in Padukah, Kentucky filed a $130 million lawsuit against the entertainment industry because they believe that violence in the media inspired the boy, Michael Carneal, who killed their children ("Media"). To some extent, these parents are correct in their assumption. On average, children watch television 16 to 17 hours per week, beginning as early as age 2 (Strasburger 129). Furthermore, when video games are added, some teenagers may spend as many as 35 to 55 hours per week in front of the television set (Straburger 129). Within these many hours of television viewing, there are many violent scenes. The National Television Viole...
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Singer, Mark. "Viewing Preferences, Symptoms of Psychological Trauma, and Violent Behaviors Among Children Who Watch Television." Journal Of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 37 (1998): 1041-8.
Strasburger, Victor. "Children, Adolescents, and the Media: Issues and Solutions." Pediatrics 103 (1999): 129-55.
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