I find it comical when the argument is made that violence shown in the media and in entertainment is the cause for violence in real-life.
Entertainment has been around forever. Before modern technology the Romans had Gladiators and Matadors but people did not walk away trying to fight each to the death or wrestle bulls.
Instances like the Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Century 16 shootings were tragedies and were completely unrelated to violence as depicted in entertainment. We are talking about two psychos; one killed children, and the other decide to attempt a massacre during the greatest movie in 2012. To put the responsibility of the insane on the shoulders of the entertainment industry is asinine. Even attempting to blame the mass volume of murders in Chicago on entertainment is ridiculous.
People are not dumb, we are able to differentiate reality from fantasy. The only thing I am against is how certain video games glamorize war and are seemingly used a recruiting tools.
The blame for violence is the same as it will always be: mental-health, gangs, and poverty. That is it. No one gets done with a Grand Theft Auto marathon and decides to go on a crime-spree. If that is the case why is it that only “violent” entertainment that is so influential?
And don’t be mistaken, I’m not blaming the NRA or wishing to ban firearms. It is not as cut-and-dry as just banning firearms. But entertainment definitely isn’t to blame. I am completely addicted to shows like The Walking Dead, Justified, and Breaking Bad where aimlessly kill and my way of defending them is acknowledging that they are just entertainment; no different from a James Patterson novel. Entertainment is here to help people escape from the strain of their everyday lives.
I heard an argument comparing people imitating/idolizing their favorite celebrities fashion choices to these murders imitating/idolizing the violence depicted in movies, video games, television, and music. It is a fair argument but I strongly disagree and the reason is because the media and the entertainment industry does not have parenting responsibilities. I grew up during the peak of hip-hop culture; a huge Biggie fan. But after all the violence erupted leading to the deaths of 2Pac and Biggie my parents made sure I understood that what some of these artists were talking about wasn’t all positive and that I shouldn’t mirror them. I had a poster on my wall of Biggie with a blunt in his mouth and I would play “Ten Crack Commandments” as loud as my stereo would allow but my parents made sure I understood the difference between right and wrong. It is a parent’s job to teach their kids what is right or wrong, don’t ban something from the kids because then they’ll be hungry to disobey, but explain to them that the entertainment world is not real life.
Charles Barkley said it best: