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OPINION: Blame Video Games, Movies, and Social Media for Violence in America

After the horrific terror attack in San Bernardino California that killed 14 innocent people and injured 21 others, the doors of debate over gun control and radical Islamic terrorism have swung open again. The Left will always blame guns and the Right will always defend the Second Amendment, just as the left will tiptoe around the words “Radical Islamic Terrorism,” the Right will be the first to suggest it.

These hotly debated topics seem to rollercoaster between the Planned Parenthood Debate and white on black Officer involved shootings.

This week, Victoria Sidlauskas, our Liberal contributor, and her counterpart from the Right, Jason Marshall bring us their views on violence in America.

Opinion: By Victoria Sidlauskas
Let me start this op-ed by saying I hate guns; I hate everything about them. I don’t think there is any reason to carry a gun unless you are either in the military or law enforcement but sometimes I have to question that. I learned to shoot as a child growing up in CT. We shot cans off a fence and later I learned Skeet but it wasn’t something I particularly enjoyed.

I am realistic enough to know that guns exist and people are very protective of their rights. The Second Amendment is misinterpreted and overused to justify keeping guns and I doubt that gun control is the answer. Taking guns away from law abiding citizens won’t stop criminals from getting them. And I don’t necessarily agree with the theory that arming everyone would make us safer.

I’ve given this a great deal of thought during the past couple of weeks.  The victims of the Planned Parenthood murders were just being buried and when a husband and wife walked into a company Christmas Party and viciously murdered co-workers, who just a few months earlier had given the couple a baby shower. It was an act of terrorism and is being investigated as such by the FBI. It’s all too fresh in everyone’s mind to completely process a lot of it. All we can do, once again, is offer prayers to the families of the victims. And that shooting – that horrible, senseless, despicable, inhuman, cold-blooded mass murder – made me realize something that should probably have been obvious for a long time.

We don’t need gun control in this country – we need to control the violence. Everywhere you look – movies, television, video games – violence is prevalent.

I grew up in New England in the 50s. We played cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians and pirates all the time. We used curtain rods as swords and always had caps in our pockets for our pistols. On Saturday mornings we watched Roy Rogers, Wild Bill Hickock, The Lone Ranger, The Cisco Kid and the good guys always won. In the evenings we watched Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Dragnet, The FBI and the Untouchables and even though they were adult programs, the good guys always won and the shows were non-violent. Movies weren’t rated but neither were they really violent; families were able to enjoy them together. We knew that what we saw on the screen wasn’t real; they were actors playing a part.

We had friends – we played outside. We rode bikes, played ball, had picnics, had sleep-overs and spent a lot of time together. We did things as a group and we had fun.

When video games first burst on the scene they were fun for families to play together. But through the years games became violent and the kids who used to play outside were sitting in front of a screen finding more and more ways to destroy the characters on each level. Kids stopped playing together because they no longer needed to leave a chair to communicate. They had computers and cell phones – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Social Media took over and we had a generation of isolationists. As the games became more violent and the kids spent so much time alone we began to see – and accept – violence as a way of life. We have drive-by shootings, road rage, bullying and a laundry list of problems that we created by taking away the very programs in school that allowed kids to interact. Without PE, music or the arts there is no socialization. Home schooling or online classes keep children isolated and they see violence everywhere.

I don’t have any answers. I hate hearing about mass murders on a daily basis. I hate knowing that the movies that get the best rating are the violent ones. I hate the fact that social media is actually anti-social and we have a generation of kids who don’t know how to communicate with each other. I don’t have the answers but I honestly believe that somehow we have to control the violence before it completely controls us.

Later today we will bring you Jason Marshall’s views, where he focuses more specifically on Sayed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the San Bernardino terrorists.

The views and opinions expressed in RNRF Op-Ed Columns are those of the designated authors and do not necessarily reflect those of RNRF or any of its affiliates.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2015 Real News Real Fast, Inc.

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  • Is it bad I know 50% of the people commenting on this opinion?its a small,small world(or county,perhaps.)

    I want to address several points

    1)calling this man a liberal is,in my opinion incorrect,as per the definition of a liberal in the classical sense;perhaps left wing would be more suitable.

    2)darn near every male I know between the ages of 13 and 30 plays violent video games and/or movies,and to my knowledge none of them have become mass murderers.i don’t think it would be wise to participate in that kind of media if you have violent tendencies,much the same as it may be wise to abstain from alcohol if you have cumpolsive tendencies.i personally think modern American society is too sheltered from violence,at least compared to the Americans in the past;watching farm animals die or be slaughtered makes ADULTS cry.(but they still eat the burgers)

    3)as I see it,this problem comes from two locations,mentally ill people who are going to be small in numbers but difficult to stop until we improve the mental health situation in this country (which is currently”have a problem?theres a pill for that”),and from Islamic terrorism,which is a much more systemic and deadly problem that has the compactly to destroy our nation and our religious and political beliefs if we allow it.but so far our leaders seem only interested in lecturing us about how we must be more tolerant,as though that is an answer to this nightmare.

    Thursday, 10 December 2015, 11:08 pm
  • Sarah, I’m aware of the meaning. I was responding at his level of understanding. Do yourself a favor and look up all those government conspiracies that turn out to be true. Let me give you some help. Here is a list of 33 of them below. Gave you this one since it is very detailed. If people didn’t bother to question the official story line, all those conspiracies would not be proven.

    http://www.infowars.com/33-conspiracy-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-true-what-every-person-should-know/

    What are you going to say now it’s not a legitimate source since it’s not coming from a Liberal media source. If you bothered to click on the links on Sam’s link, you would of seen that it came from the UK. You know what, I think Trump got it wrong. I don’t play the Left Right paradyne game but I think Liberals are more dangerous than Muslims since they have been demanding for a flood of them to come in this country in the first place. Also helps when you have a Muslim as president.

    http://mobile.wnd.com/2015/05/democrats-call-for-flood-of-muslims-to-u-s/

    Here is the source link since you have a hard time clicking on links.

    http://www.rcusa.org/uploads/pdfs/members/Senate%20Syrian%20refugee%20resettlement%20letter%20to%20Obama%205.21.15.pdf

    http://www.rcusa.org/members

    Thursday, 10 December 2015, 11:06 am
  • Sam, your quote

    “I also believe in the second amendment for when it was written. It was written in a time when the country was at war between the north and the south”

    The 2nd amendment was written in 1791 you mentioned a war between the north and south at the time the 2nd amendment was written, again I ask, what war was that?

    Wednesday, 9 December 2015, 5:02 pm
    • OMG! I was quoting Donna , that is why I put it in QUOTES! Go back and read it again, you can’t possible be that dense! My point was to tell Donna there was NOT a war between the north and south at that time! PS Read Donna’s post above mine! Do you understand the reply feature on this site???

      Wednesday, 9 December 2015, 7:03 pm
  • Hernandoguy, tell me how did you come up with your conclusion? I bet you just watched the prapaganda on the news and accepted it as fact without a shred of analyzing the event, reviewing all sources, going through all the pictures and videos from both the media and youtube accounts regarding the subject, analyzing the agenda of the media and government during the event, analyzing the reactions of the people during the event and afterwards, locating the exact site via Google maps in order to analyze the scene, comparing notes with other researchers and so on. Analyzing, Applying Standards, Discriminating, Information Seeking, Logical Reasoning, Predicting, Transforming Knowledge. These are Critical Thinking Skills you lack Hernandoguy. If this is what you call conspiracy then I rather be called that then a mindless drone like yourself that don’t bother to look into anything but just consume the daily sh%t that is put on your plate by the lamestream media. People like you don’t get it and will never get it.

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 10:17 pm
    • 🙂

      Wednesday, 9 December 2015, 4:11 am
    • Dell, I guess you got me. I didn’t realize the extensive time and effort you put into your active investigation.
      Your response answered most of my questions. THANK YOU

      Wednesday, 9 December 2015, 5:45 am
    • Funny, you do all that research but you don’t bother to look up the definition of a conspiracy.

      According to Merriam-Websters – http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conspiracy

      –a secret plan made by two or more people to do something that is harmful or illegal
      –the act of secretly planning to do something that is harmful or illegal

      And the definition of Conspiracy Theory – http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conspiracy%20theory
      –a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators

      Doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong, you still think it’s a conspiracy.

      Wednesday, 9 December 2015, 2:05 pm
  • I think it’s about time we all play the game of Americans and terrorist.

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 9:48 pm
  • Sam, what war was the north and south fighting in 1791 ?

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 8:19 pm
    • I never said they were fighting any war! In fact I never mentioned the YEAR the first 10 amendment to the constitution were ratified! So read my response to Donna again, if you can!

      Wednesday, 9 December 2015, 4:09 am
  • OMG! I actually agree with most of your opinion. See liberals and moderates can find a way

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 7:51 pm
  • maybe the amount of parents that ignore their children bc they are busy being self absorbed and when they act out for attention they put them on dangerous brain altering medications that have warning labels in reference to behavior, suicide, and violence but yeah we wont talk about that. We will look for a scape goat instead.

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 6:58 pm
  • The assertion that video games make people kill is a joke. Yes we played cops and robbed and Cowboys and Indians and we “killed” each other. There are a number of factors that have contributed to gun violence increase in this country. To narrow it to media a is short sighted and poorly thought out. A decline in the family structure and the mainstreaming of homosexuality as if it is the norm when in reality homosexuals comprise merely 6% of the population has young people thinking it is “normal” behavior. There are other factors but I think this type of mainstreaming of fringe cultures has something to do with it. However, there are myriad of other factors as well.

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 6:32 pm
    • Narrowing the issue to the media is, in your opinion, “short sighted and poorly thought out,” but blaming it on a “decline in family structure and the mainstreaming of homosexuality” is a good conclusion to come to?

      Homosexuality is “normal.” “Normal” does not = “Majority.” Homosexual behavior is seen in nature all over the place, not just in humans.

      I agree with you that it’s not video games, and I agree that there are a number of factors that contribute, but I think you’re going in the wrong direction with your conclusions.

      Wednesday, 9 December 2015, 2:07 am
  • Well said! A NATION DIVIDED WILL NOT STAND!

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 5:45 pm
  • Some interesting thoughts… however… misplaced. As far as I can see, none of the issues or concerns you have expressed have anything to do with the shootings that we are currently discussing. At some point we in America have to start honestly addressing what the real issues are and stop pointing the finger and using horrific acts of violence as as political talking points.

    We need solutions.

    The problem here is not gun control. It’s not the lack of socialization of our children. And it’s not video games, movies, or TV.

    Can we discuss radical Islam?

    Can we discuss failures in our mental health care system?
    … and the social stigma associated with mental health problems?

    How about the extreme polarization of the country
    … or the divisiveness of our current political landscape?

    Or maybe we could talk about how the media sensationalizes violence in the 24 hour news cycle?

    Can we quit pretending that “stricter gun laws” or “less violence in video games and movies” will solve anything, and talk about something real and significant? Something that might actually bring about change?

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 5:26 pm
    • Spot on, Sarah.

      Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 7:16 pm
      • You agree with me?? Haha! Thanks!! 🙂

        Wednesday, 9 December 2015, 2:18 am
  • Ms. Vicki, Not too bad! However, our Federally run education system is suppose to educate! Yup, “Without PE, music or the arts there is no socialization” which is not their job! You miss the point that they eliminated Industrial Arts where kids were taught skills for a productive life in the future! All kids are not college material! As for socialization, it is the parents responsibility not the government’s! Liberal views and government interference have help destroy our family units! This country has lost our moral direction!

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 3:35 pm
  • Dell thinks its a conspiracy!! I won $5 bucks!!

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 3:28 pm
  • First of all the Second Amendment is not misinterpreted and overused. It is there for a reason to keep government in check from becoming tyrannical.

    https://youtu.be/kjNwMOLulUQ
    https://youtu.be/-GwIbyp4xBU
    https://youtu.be/WxNenz7q_eY

    Second FBI statistics already shown that the more armed the population gets the lower the crime. And the states that bands guns are always the highest in crime.

    http://www.ijreview.com/2014/11/200671-fbi-now-know-record-numbers-gun-sales-means-gun-crimes-america/

    I agree this was an act of terrorism but after analyzing all the media, witness and video of this event since it happened, I have come to the opinion that this event is what many call a false flag event just like many other events that have been used to push the gun control agenda.

    http://www.wanttoknow.info/falseflag

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/a2/d8/44/a2d844f32ff7e3a0c42e2457224857e1.jpg

    https://youtu.be/d7l6inpH4a8

    Advise not to consume the media prapaganda and do your research. There are many questions with this event. People there is an agenda behind everything that is happening and it is up to the sleeping people in this country to awaken. Something that comes to mind is the Hegelian Dialectic. Here is a good explanation of it.

    https://youtu.be/ZPKxI4xkfl4

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 2:01 pm
  • Question
    How come California did not go under a state of emergency or any other state like Paris is still
    How come other countries get tough on terrorism we seem to welcome it
    How can the good ole USA allow mosques to pop up near terrorist sites
    Where is the freedom that we fight so hard to keep is given away by the government so easily
    They let terrorist into the country, then they lose them , then they attack, then tell us they think is was terrorism, then they say we have it under control. But wait we need to let some more in we are getting a little low
    Cant wait till Prez Trump gits n office if we live long enough

    And yes I agree 100% on her opinion but there has been violence on this planet since cavemen according to the history.

    The mentality of mankind has turned on itself

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 1:12 pm
  • I am not for or against guns but I do feel if you own a gun you have a responsibility in owning a gun and if you are not responsible in owning a gun you deserve to be punished and the gun rights taken away especially taking innocent peoples lives. I also believe in the second amendment for when it was written. It was written in a time when the country was at war between the north and the south it was to bring a solidarity of one militia and for defense of others coming to this country to take it over.I know it was not meant to run around like a horses ass to play with. Back in the day when I was being raised we played those same games cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers etc but we were also raised in a different era the key word back then was Respect and Discipline now its the kids ruling the parents and not the parents ruling the kids.Many of the kids today don’t even know what the word Respect means. I agree the violence epidemic in this country is out of control and the lawmakers and law enforcers are the reason. The laws are for everyone not the select few and everyone’s interpretation of the law is different. I think no one should be immune from prosecution which includes elected officials. I do not have the answer to the problem but I do know the Government is not making things better they are making it worse and The NRA being deep in the pockets of Politicians needs to be looked at and those who are being paid should be prosecuted. Lives are more important than Money. This is just my opinion but everyone has one

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 1:00 pm
    • When did you get your constitutional law degree to know that it was not meant to “run around like a horses a** to play with”?

      Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 2:17 pm
    • “I also believe in the second amendment for when it was written. It was written in a time when the country was at war between the north and the south ….” Is this revisionist history? The First 10 amendment were add in the 18th century while the civil war occurred in the 19th century!

      Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 3:17 pm
  • The gun lobby is so heavy in the pockets of Republicans, reform will never happen. I am a huge supporter of 2nd amendment rights BUT understand it has limitations. As far as I know, I am not allowed to have anti aircraft missiles, hand grenades or nuclear weapons (all classified as arms) because I GUESS they would be unsafe in my hands. You see, a line has already been drawn. The line needs to be moved “a little” to limit assault weapons.

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 11:53 am
    • So, “shall not be infringed” means that it has limitations?

      Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 2:16 pm
      • And what about that whole well regulated militia thing?

        Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 4:25 pm
        • As was pointed out by someone in a conversation on this subject last week, I highly doubt that our founding fathers, who fought a bloody battle to rid themselves of the tyrannical monarchy of England, intended to limit the rights of a new nation’s citizenry. It makes no logical sense whatsoever.

          Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 5:15 pm
          • So then why would they explicitly include the wording “a well REGULATED militia” in the 2nd amendment. If they didn’t want limits to our right to bear arms then they would have included language to express that.

            The founding fathers knew, as does anyone with common sense, that the big guns that were needed to beat the British were better off in the hands of the Continental Army and not your average colonial Joe. That logic still holds true today.

            Friday, 11 December 2015, 12:43 pm
  • Most of our politicians like to use simple sound bites to fool the voters in to thinking they have the simple solution to terrorism. If it were that simple to fix, terrorism would have been eliminated long ago.

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 10:51 am
  • We allow our young children to play and view violent games, movies, and enjoy it ourselves. Heck, there are great babysitters! We have to work to make ends meet and even work weekends to make our bills payments on time. Now we have over-weight kids, grown young people who do not know any skills due to watching TV,movies, and often no parent at home. Guns? Why not? We lost all “family ” values , and adults are now depress, and angry at themselves AND BLAME everyone BUT themselves! So, guns OR no guns…..it does not matter. Its every man, woman, and young adult, is out on there own, in this world. Laws are hardly supported, due to poor pay and overwork cops. So there is no way out but PRAY we all make it till old age, and hope our own family does not turn on us, first !

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 10:36 am

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