Wednesday, April 18, 2007

There can be no doubt, what happened Monday at Virginia Tech was awful.
There can be no reason, no justification, no excuse to decide to wander purposefully through a crowd of strangers while spraying bullets all around.
So why would people try to give this murderer one?
Jack Thompson turned up on Fox News almost immediately (taking a break, I suppose, from preparing for his disbarment trial) to supply the killer with Thompson's own favorite scapegoat -- Video games.
I've played a lot of video games.
I've played Quake and Doom and Unreal Tournament, as well as the more realistic variations of Half-Life.
I've also been angry and depressed and bitter. Sometimes I played violent video games while being angry and depressed and bitter.
I have not, to date, gone on anything that could be identified as a killing "spree".
Mr. Thompson regularly enables violent behavior by attacking the media instead of the actual suspects.
And he is, of course, not alone in this.
Dr. Phil McGraw said this on Larry King the evening of the massacre:

“The problem is we are programming these people as a society. You cannot tell me - common sense tells you - that if these people are playing video games where they’re on a mass killing spree in a video game, it’s glamorized on the big screen, it’s become part of the fiber of our society. You take that and mix it with a psychopath, a sociopath, or someone suffering from mental illness, add in a dose of rage, the suggestibility is just too high. And we’re going to have to start dealing with that. We’re going to have to start addressing those issues and recognizing that the mass murderers of tomorrow are the children of today that are being programmed with this massive violence overdose.”

I'm not a doctor, but if you take anything and mix it with a psychopath, a sociopath or someone suffering from mental illness the outcome is as bad as the illness makes it.
Maybe if lawyers like Mr. Thompson weren't pushing lawmakers to give public schools the right to demand that children with mood or behavior issues be medicated through their entire childhoods (not by Dr. McGraw, who is a psychologist) fewer people would grow up so unable to cope with the everyday stresses of being a grown up.
In my opinion, the issue isn't how many hours some kid plays Grand Theft Auto. It comes down to personal freaking responsibility.
Mr. Thompson and Dr. McGraw seem to have no issues downplaying that.

1 comment:

Pamela Moore said...

Amen! Psychopaths don't mix well with drugs, games, television, sleep, other psychopaths, animals, pretty girls, cake, grandparents, ropes, or fart jokes. I say keep playing your video games and use enough responsibility to recognize that the lines on the road aren't Pac Man pellets.