Adam Lanza and James Holmes Copycat Shooters Are the Result of One Thing: The Media
I was never a video game or Hollywood thriller fanatic. However, I will admit to owning three Call Of Duty games and I do enjoy shows such as 24 and Homeland. (Honestly who doesn’t watch Homeland?) Yes, these games and shows are graphic and violent but the image of an animated gun “killing” another “person” or Abu Nazir with a container of explosives does not remotely compare to the images of weeping mothers, trunks filled with ammunition, or stretchers being carried in and out of schools.
The coverage of mass shootings by the mainstream media is far more graphic and leaves a deeper emotional scar than someone clicking buttons on a controller or sitting on a couch every Sunday night.
Whether it was the two first responders who were shot in a “trap” on Christmas Eve in Webster, NY, or the on-and-off student who shot an administrator on Tuesday at the Stevens Institute of Business & Arts in St. Louis, it is getting very hard to keep track of the number of shootings since the Sandy Hook tragedy just a month ago.
Another statistic too large to keep accurate count of: The amount of news segments, articles, videos and editorials on the subject of guns and violence since the Newtown massacre. Truly, this is where our problem lies.
Why do critics say video games and movies cause a more violent generation? Because the violence is just too real and leads to hostility outside the game. Wait, what’s on the news these days? On the front page of the New York Times? On the radio? Real human-on-human violence.
The country’s problem is not video games, movies, or flimsy gun laws; the problem is the media hype.
It is evident that the media portrays Adam Lanza, or any other mass murderer as “un-human.” So possessed by rage that it is hard to consider them part of the human race. Other troubled souls see the glorification and attention the killers get as a result of their actions. This leads them to follow in their footsteps, and the cycle continues. There is no denying that the mental health care in this country is lacking and is another main cause of mass-slaughter. But the media attention the killers receive is without a doubt another.
Instead of asking if Adam Lanza played a Call Of Duty game, we should be asking if these killers watched real-world violence unfold through news segments or pictures in the paper or on the internet.
To quote many on social networking sites over the past weeks: Pencils do not make mistakes. Cars do not cause accidents. Spoons do not make people fat. Games do not kill people. And guns most certainly do not kill people. But I will argue that the media does.