What can we learn from Newtown shooting?


A shocking, unexpected tragedy that struck Newtown on December 14, 2012, has become the cause of public pressure on both sides of the issue of gun control. Newtown parents themselves are leading the movement towards a ban on assault weapons and clips.

The fear of such an event happening close to home has prompted a local public school system to consider hiring armed guards to protect schools from intruders like Adam Lanza, who murdered the school’s principal and psychologist, teachers, and children from the ages of five to ten, before turning the gun on himself.

Lost in the discussion is the long-term effect of graphic and violent media. According to personal sources, Lanza was obsessed with playing violent video games, such as Call of Duty, in his windowless basement. He rarely spoke or associated with people in the community, had an obsession with guns and the military, and could not feel pain.

So what is there to say about these life-like war video games?  Could it be that some players become so addicted to these games that they become disconnected from the reality of violence and the reality of the pain and death that violence causes?

With focus on the heated debate over gun control, should the nation focus more on media that exposes people to hate and  violence? Or should it focus on arming our schools and fighting bullets with bullets?  Or should we ask why is it easier to purchase a gun in the United States than in any other country?

Although video games may be to blame for violent behavior, we still cannot ignore the need for some form of gun control. Civilians should not be legally allowed to purchase assault-style rifles in this country. Civilians do not need these powerful types of guns for protection.  These guns allow the shooter to fire multiple shots automatically towards one victim, which is inhuman and unnecessary even for self-defense.

Lawmakers need to take action to prevent more loss of innocent lives and heartbreak from assault weapons.  Along with legislation for gun  control, parents may want to limit or cut out violent video games from their children’s lives and ensure that they develop healthy, happy relationships with other people.  Isolation in a basement room with violent games is not a healthy activity.  What ever happened to playing outside with friends?