On December 14th 2012 Adam Lanza killed 20 children and 6 staff members of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut. He also killed his mother before the shooting rampage, and ended the day by killing himself. James Holmes, a Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience, entered a movie theater in Aurora Colorado and killed 12 people and injured 58 others on July 20th 2012. On November 5th 2009 Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan murdered 13 people and injured another 29 at Fort Hood army base in Texas.
These unfortunate shootings have left Americans wondering what, if anything, could have been done to prevent such horrible crimes from taking place. The reasons behind these killings may evade us, but we have to attempt to somehow curb the urge for this type of violence. There are several factors that could have contributed to the reasoning behind why a well-educated man, an army psychiatrist, and a young boy all chose to pick up assault weapons and use them on innocent people in shooting sprees that look like something out of a movie. In fact, the root cause could very well be that as a nation we are subjected to graphically violent imagery on television almost on a daily basis. Sex sells, and so does violence. Should we attempt to eradicate such scenes from movies and tv? Should we also be concerned about how our children will grow up becoming more desensitized to sex as well? Is there any truth to the idea that perhaps seeing these images splashed across our screens could somehow lead a person to think it is OK to act these out in real life?
A recent study published in the December 2013 issue of Pediatrics states that there is more gun violence in high earning PG-13 m...
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Even the American Academy of Pediatrics states “exposure to violence in media, including television, movies, music, and video games, represents a significant risk to the health of children and adolescents.” They go on to explain that it can desensitize children to violence, and potentially contribute to aggressive behavior.
With facts like these it is obvious that we need to invest more into protecting our children from risk factors that can desensitize them at a young age and lead them down potentially dangerous paths to violence. Much the same way we teach them about the problems associated with drug use and early sexual experiences in grammar school. As with drugs and sex, early education and preventative measures will help to curb their appetites for more gratuitous violent imagery and hopefully prevent atrocities like these from happening again.
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