Published in The News-Dispatch of Michigan City, IN & The Herald-Argus of La Porte, IN

Americans love their violent entertainment, which is why many are quick to dismiss or ignore the possibility that having exposed so many young kids to extreme violence in the media-whether it is TV, movies or ultra-realistic video games over the years-may have served as a contributing factor to school shootings. Media violence, in my opinion, has led unstable kids towards increased aggression and desensitization to the point where they see the world as their own personal shooting gallery. When I grew up and in prior generations, there were kids from troubled homes, kids that were bullied, people owned guns, and yet these kinds of school shootings were an extreme rarity, and not a daily occurrence. We also weren't exposed to the levels of violence in media that kids are today.
So what are the solutions? There are many-they just require the will to implement them. Yes, banning certain assault weapons would decrease the number of fatalities, which is great. However, that same unstable individual will find some other weapon to use.  The will to do it is still there. Closer monitoring by the FBI (and actually following up on leads) would also help. Making it easier to commit mentally unstable people who have made threats to mental health facilities is another solution, as is increased security at schools, with bullet-proof classroom doors, or even figuring out a way to provide or permit kids to have some kind of bullet-proof protection with them at school would also help. Finally, the entertainment industry needs to start being responsible in terms of the stuff they are putting out there. Ever since the industry decided that so long as they slapped a label on their shows or games, it excused a race to the bottom in terms of content. School shootings are simply a by-product of cultural degeneration, sad to say, and Americans need to stop pretending that it isn't and take a good look at themselves and what kind of a culture they have created.


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