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When horrors like the Columbine High massacre erupt, the instinctive human tendency is to seek reasons for the madness. If it was an honest desire to understand the true causes and prevent such tragedies, at least some ray of good would emerge from the dark void of wanton evil.
Alas, all too common it degenerates into knee-jerk finger-pointing at easy targets and rear-guard manoeuvres (ie. CYA - Cover Your Ass).
The media misfire has centred on alleged violent computer games as a contributing factor. Evidence - one of the TrenchCoat Mafia kid played Doom. Can we please spell out Non-Sequitur ? Which fun-loving testosterone-high teenager does not engage in virtual blood and gore ? This is normal, not maladjusted, behaviour.
Politicians have been eager to jump on the bandwagon and shoot off their mouths for that precious 15-seconds of fleeting spotlight. Just pounce on computer game violence and forget about omissions in gun-control. Legislating games content is easier. Besides, no opposition from powerful gun-lobby groups like the NFA (can't kill the cash cow for campaign funds).
It is a mockery of those brutally slain that cardboard-thin scapegoats are offered in penance for allowing irrational absurdities to flourish.
The key stupidities are :
1. Gun Amok (250 million guns in USA)
Teen angst is not unique to America. What is terrifying 'tis the ease of obtaining mass destructive weapons. Mixed with volatile hate-twisted egos, it explodes into wild carnage.
Guns don't kill, people kill. True, but they can't kill so many, so fast without them. And, who in his right mind, thinks that semi-automatic guns that pump out hundred of bullets a minute are safe in civilian hands ?
Consider the stark fact that the overall firearm-related death rate among US children under 15 is nearly 12 times than in 25 industrialised nations combined. Oh, what great American leadership ! (choking with sarcasm)
When war-like tools of death roam the streets, in homes, is it any surprise that the blood of innocents is spilled ?
2. Hate Overflow
America prides itself on being a liberal, freedom loving nation. Freedom of speech has been enshrined to near godhood status.
Some hold the view that hate groups should be allowed to propagate their divisive ideologies so long as no harm is inflicted on others. A folly of Hitlerian proportions.
Hate is a seed that can only grow and devour all it touches. It must be denied soil to germinate or we risk the blossoming of murderous monsters like those spawned in Littleton. Tolerating hate as respect for freedom of speech is the ultimate betrayal of the ideal itself.
Hate is an intolerable element that has no right of abode in civilised society.
To critics of computer game violence, it is wise to remember that when pointing, there are 3 fingers directed back at you. Reflect on oneself before casting the first stone.
Let us learn the right lessons or the lives lost at Littleton are truly wasted.
Vorlon (Starcraft pen-name)
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