Home, Sweet Home...

It should be rare that you turn on Fox News and see an article about my home town (Knoxville, Tennessee) unless it is about football.

Twice in the past 30 days there have been violent acts in safe places that garnered the attention of the national media. A man walked into a "church" (Unitarian Universalist type) about a month ago and killed several people. Then yesterday, two kids at Central High (famous graduates include Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies)were arguing, one pulled a gun out and shot the other in the chest. He died before getting to the hospital. I write this as my seven year old is slaughtering countless little Lego-men on the XBox 360- the irony is not lost on me. I received the book "Stop Teaching our Kids to Kill" a few months ago. The premise is that we are, through video games, movies and stories, making it very easy for our kids to make the jump between bullying/ playground fighting to pulling the trigger. I will be off on the facts here, but not by much- The kid who shot and killed 7 people in Paducah, Kentucky several years ago had never once fired a gun or rifle in real life. He had fired them hundreds of thousands of times on his video game in the 1st Person Shooter games he played. (Jonathan just blew away about 25 Storm Troopers- Go Jonathan!). When the kid started firing from a semi-concealed position, he fired 10 rounds- 7 of which were head or torso shots. The average law enforcement officer (including CIA/ FBI/ US Army) does not hit more than 3 of 10 under duress (firing when it counts).

My point is convoluted. Having guns in the house does not matter (Paducah boy went next door and took the gun out of the neighbor's house). Teaching children to deal with their problems without resorting to violence is important. Also- letting children repeatedly kill on games and watch killing on TV desensitizes them to killing. They do not see the person on the other end of the front sites as a person, but another pixel on the video game- and they now have an easy way to solve their problems.

5 comments:

Carmom said...

We've been dealing with this issue in our house for a while now. Matt had inroduced a army game to Gabriel several months ago and I started noticing behavior in Gabe I didn't like. We have since banned him from the game. I know boys will play guns and I'm fine with that but think there is a time and place for that kind of play. Gabriel didn't seem to understand when it was ok to play that way even though there were many warnings and actions taken. Thanks for posting on this.

Kimberly said...

This gives a parent such a huge thing to think about. Though we have girls who don't play as many shoot 'em up type games (Hannah Montana and HSM2 for the Wii only have microphones and awesome dance moves), they are allowed to play some of those types of games and I always wonder how is that affecting them. But it also makes me a tad bit frightened about those kids that they come in contact with at school and such who might be allowed to play way too many "shoot 'em up" games. I'm thinking now is the time to start covering them in prayer not only for their minds and hearts but for their protection as well.

Jane Anne said...

This is such a good thought provoking post. It is easy to imagine that shooting video games desensitize our kids but it is pretty challenging to put limits in place when the games seem harmless (such as shooting at little Lego men).

Anonymous said...

Whoa...the stuff we think about. How can you teach your two year old not to hit by spanking? That's what Traci and I are dealing with right now. Advice?

Email me brother, its been awhile.
Trent

Anonymous said...

"Church"?

-Kristen