I am a mass murderer. At least that’s what the media would have you believe.
I play violent video games. I watch violent movies. I have read tales of fantasy, violence and destruction most of my life. I also listen to rock music – the harder the better – and have for most of my life.
Various media outlets and commentators have identified all of these things as contributing factors in the violent outbursts of the unhinged. Given that I participate in not one, but ALL of them; given that I have participated in them for thirty years; and given that I am a guy who spends much of his day in front of computer and TV screens, I should be a powder keg just looking for a spark.
But despite all of that, I have not once opened fire in a shopping center, taken up arms against an employer, or gone on a school rampage.
I do own guns. I hunt with them. That’s it.
I work, a lot. When I have time, I play video games…. with friends… and with my kids… None of them have opened fire at a mall.
So it amazes me to see so many people blaming the games, the movies and the music for the acts that horrify us on our TV screen. They call for video game content restrictions, or labels on moves, music and games. And yet the senseless tragedies continue because all of our handwringing is applied to the wrong question.
Rather than ask “what outside influences caused that guy to be violent” we should be asking the question “why does one person exposed to that level of violent content show no tendency toward actual violence while another does.
That variable – for all the talk of guns, and high capacity magazines, and violent games/movies/ music – is what we must endeavor to identify and address.