Printed on: January 22, 2013

What killed those children?

Received Jan. 16

We understand that a gun, on its own, cannot cause injury or death. It has to be manipulated by a human in a manner that causes injury or death. The actions that resulted in those deaths in Newtown, and other random shootings, were behavioral rather than mechanical.

What spawns such behavior? Every few weeks, Hollywood offers us another brutal, blood-splattering movie, and we enthusiastically take it in. A segment of the music industry produces songs that call our daughters vile names and suggest it's cool to shoot cops, and we purchase the hate-lyrics and dance to the music. The video game industry produces violent games that reward good shooting and more killing, and we allow our children to practice with them every day, for hours. Together, Hollywood, the music industry and the video game industry have created the most potent and compelling public killing-field training in the world, and we buy it and serve it to our families. And it is from these home-based boot camps that capable mass-murderers increasingly emerge.

Unfortunately, we won't address the bad behavior that caused those deaths and will cause future deaths. Whenever we experience a tragedy such as Newtown, we don't consider our poor parenting as a contributing cause. And Hollywood, the music industry and the video game industry skulk away and hide behind the skirts and coattails of their purchased politicians and an adoring news media who shield and protect the true villains by pointing their crooked fingers at only the inanimate gun. (Word count: 250)

C.L. Jacobson

Idaho Falls