An acceptance of violence

We pause to feel and express our disgust. At the shooting of the children in Connecticut.

We machinate about the guns stashed and brandished around us.

Our politicians rail about those guns. They promise to pass new laws to take millions of them off the streets and out of the closets of America.

We thrash about ideas for identifying insanity in people. Before they strike others.

After all this and more…we return to the business of violence. The buying and selling of violence. The promoting of violence. The acceptance of violence.

Yes, I refer to the violence on our televisions. And the violence in our movies. And the violence in our computer games. Ho-hum. ‘Tis business as usual. We support violence with billions of our dollars.

How many of us wept at the footage of the children’s funerals, then took in a film filled with carnage at the mall?



How many bought a few more computer games of mayhem for the kids for Christmas? How many spent the evening soaking up grisliness from television shows? How many bought more rap “songs” that glorify violence upon women?

People travel a thousand miles to protest a pipeline. They join causes left and right. But will they reject violence in the marketplace? They boycott the fast food chain whose president favors only traditional marriage. Will they boycott theaters that run films with a massacre every five minutes. Yawn. Instead, they will go gaga over the movie stars and rap singers. The ones who make millions from the gore and violence.

In the 1930’s Japanese researchers studied children immediately after they watched films. They learned that kids who saw films with violence were more violent in playtime. They were more likely to punch and kick other kids.

In many studies since, researchers found the same links. They concluded that – duhh – kids exposed to violence were more likely to commit violence.

Did such studies bring about a lessening of the violence? Well, Congress held a few hearings. Politicians performed for the media. Did they – or did we the people – change anything? Well, we added a few more security locks at schools. And went back to watching the marketing of violence grow ever larger. And we bought ever more of the products that featured it.

The kid who murdered the innocent schoolchildren in Connecticut was apparently obsessed with his violent computer games. So let us now spend a few million for new studies. To learn if violence in films and shows and games affects the behavior of demented people.

We don’t need more studies. Nor do we need more jawboning. We need a dose of common sense.

In myriad ways we allow kids and adults to be exposed to thousands, countless acts of violence. We glorify the actors who star in and grow rich from this violence. We buy the stocks of the companies that deal in this lethal garbage.

We have come to accept that all this violence on various screens is normal. All too often, when we peek behind those screens … it is.

From Tom ... as in Morgan.

Find Tom on Facebook. For more columns and for Tom’s radio shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

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