I was listening to CBC Radio One the other day and I had to turn it off. The discussion was about the increasing gun violence in Toronto, especially among younger people. The discussion stemmed from the recent shooting at C.W. Jefferys collegiate. As usual some idiot was trying to blame movies, television, video games and other popular media (including Stephen Harper in camouflage-pattern clothing in Afghanistan) on the increase in violence among youth.
As a person who watches ridiculously violent movies, plays amazingly violent video games and generally enjoys hearing about death, destruction and mayhem, I find it hard to believe that these activities have an impact on my violent tendencies. I’m by no means a violent person. I have no intention of ever owning a gun and even less of using one to kill somebody. My friends all play the same games and watch the same movies and TV as I do, and none of us has killed anybody. Yet.
I’m also concerned that community groups seem to think that governments must step in to resolve the communities’ gun violence issues. And in the grand scheme of violent crime maybe they should. However, in my opinion, there must already be some issues within the communities if the use of violence for settling differences is condoned, or somehow apparently condoned. There’s very little that a government can do to resolve specific issues. At the same time, the governments’ will need input from the communities, so it would seem to me that the communities will still end up having to resolve the issues themselves.
And finally, where is the community or family in accepting some responsibility for these issues in the first place? Only very rarely have I heard of crimes that can be traced back to video games, movies or television. And I can’t actually tell you when that happened. The underlying reasons are usually community-based and should have a community-based solution.