Thursday, April 19, 2007

Our Culture of Violence

I have been unable to watch the news this week, mainly because of the wall-to-wall coverage of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. CNN alone sent 100 people to the campus, and NBC/CNBC etal keep running the video and still pictures the killer sent in between his rampages. The media has given this individual everything he felt deprived of in life: notoriety and celebrity. More than that, the media, as it did in Columbine, has provided other troubled individuals a blueprint and an anniversary to get their own 15 minutes of fame.

America has to face the fact that we tolerate and even celebrate violence. From the war in Iraq to Hollywood, violence is the solution to every problem. One "expert" being interviewed in Virginia believed, along with the NRA, that everyone should be armed. But here are some grim statistics. Every year more than 3,000 children are killed by gun violence in the United States. That's one child every three hours, and 50 children a week. Compare that to other countries. No children were killed by guns in Japan, 19 were killed in Great Britain, and 57 in Germany. Clearly we have a serious problem.

We have to become intolerant of violence, and make it very difficult to obtain handguns in our nation. We have to hold the media, especially Hollywood and the television networks accountable, just as we did Don Imus. Europeans are bewildered by our culture, which glorifies violence, but is offended by nudity and sexuality. If we don't allow graphic sexuality on our airwaves (and rightly so!), we shouldn't allow graphic violence. It's that simple. And let's stop airing the Virginia Tech shooters pictures and video. Let's deny him the fame or infamy he so murderously desired.


Blogger Stan said...

"... and make it very difficult to obtain handguns in our nation."

As in "Amend the Constitution to eliminate the 'right to bear arms'"?

(I think you're right about not endorsing a culture of violence. I question the ability of our nation to eliminate handguns.)

9:26 AM  
Blogger Scribe said...

I don't believe changing the Constitution is necessary. Just enforcing the laws we already have would be a good start. Getting a gun should be a difficult, heavily vetted process. Hunting weapons like shotguns and rifles, are a different matter.

It may indeed be impossible to eliminate handguns, but something has to be done. Perhaps restoring the ban on automatic weapons would help.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

I have read, and of course all media is true, that the sale and use of automatic weapons went up in the United States during the ban. Don't know where to go with it from there, but, well, ....

7:21 AM  
Blogger Stan said...

See Principled Discovery's Developing a culture of docility". It's interesting that two Christians can come to such two different solutions.

(By the way, I wasn't suggesting that an amendment change would be necessary. I was simply pointing out that the American mindset opposes such a limit.)

I would also like to point out that external measures like "eliminate guns" or the like won't change the nature of Man and, therefore, won't solve the problem. A society that endorses so much sin can't pick and choose about which immorality will be okay.

10:31 AM  

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