Violence begets violence
If there’s anyone left who doesn’t believe we live in a very violent society, I don’t what else will convince them.
Once again, some ‘Looney Tunes’ wacko went berserk – and instead of blowing out his own twisted brains – instead, massacred innocent people just sitting in a movie house.
Chillingly, the sicko who recently shot 12 people dead in Aurora, Co., including a 6-year-old little girl who was out with her daddy, and injured more than 50 others, did his dirty deed just a dozen, or so, miles from Littleton, where two other mentally deranged young adults massacred 13 at Columbine High School in 1999.
What’s going on in Colorado? It’s hardly the same “Rocky Mountain ‘High,’” immortalized by John Denver. I lived in Denver from 1975 to 1984, and while just about everybody but me owned a gun, most violence, that I can recall anyway, was restricted to barroom brawls, and jealous lovers.
But as my college-student son reminds me: “That was back in the olden days!”
He could be right. In just 25 years, I have witnessed much change in American society – and a lot of it has not been for the better. Back then, cable TV was in its infancy, so there wasn’t much to influence kids yet. In fact, I remember when MTV first came on – very innocent by today’s standards. Those were the days when “Star Wars,” “Superman,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Rocky” were the big blockbusters. Not much there in the way of violence, other than Jack Nicholson’s frontal lobotomy or Rocky’s punched out face. And the only computer game available was “Pong,” which wouldn’t hold the attention of today’s teens for a nano-second.
The point is, we have become the most violent society in the civilized world. American daily life is saturated with graphic, bloody and gory, constant violence. Whether it’s movies, TV, video games – or even 24-hour news coverage – violence has become as natural to us as the air we breathe.
We seem immune to the sight of bloody bodies lying dead in the street, or to the terrible violent acts we see on the news – be it gang violence – or even at a neighborhood movie theater.
Sadly, perpetrators of violence become instant celebrities, and the jerks who “star” on those battling, screaming reality shows have become people we admire and try to emulate.
Viciousness and vulgarity are the twin ‘buzz’ words today. And what about guns? Well, guns have been around for quite some time – not so for the abundance of wackos we seem to be producing these days.
While I’d love to see every gun disappear, I’m not naïve enough to believe the criminal element will be turning their weapons over anytime soon, if ever.
So, what to do? Should I actively join the campaign for gun control (in the misguided belief that will end violence?), I ask myself. But now denied an ‘equalizer,’ what happens if I come face to face with some low-life intent on doing me harm – or who’s on a mission to massacre as many people as he can?
I don’t know. Then again – maybe the outcome would have ended differently at that movie theater in Aurora if someone else would have had a gun.
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