An eight year old boy shot and killed his 90-year-old grandmother last Thursday in her home in a mobile home park in Slaughter, Louisiana. The East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Department, said that the boy told them initially that he accidentally shot his grandmother while playing with the firearm but that they now believe that he had just finished playing Grand Theft Auto a few minutes before, leading them to suspect that the boy intentionally shot the woman in the back of the head as she watched TV.
This is an explanation that is raised more and more often in these cases. The theory that there is some sort of correlation between violent video games, music, TV and movies and violent anti social behavior has never been proved yet some seem convinced that it has been settled. There is plenty of speculation but studies that have been done, depending on which one you choose to look at, you may find one that shows there is no effect for every one that finds it may have a contributory effect.
Basically what it all comes down to is: we do not know one way or the other. I tend to be a doubter, violent entertainment is not a new phenomenon, it has been with us for centuries. Some of Shakespeare’s plays are filled with violence and I am sure that at the time some saw a link between his plays and real violence in the real world. When I was growing up, and that was many years ago we had a steady diet of westerns and crime drama on TV and at the movies and we did not become a bunch of raging mass killers.
I think that a more probable contributor to the violence of so many children and young adults might be the way we are raising them. We don’t keep score at the soccer game because it “harms the self-esteem” of the losing team. We tell kids that no one should ever hurt their feelings and if someone does that person will be punished for it. In the real world people get their feelings hurt nearly every day and if you can’t handle that you will either fail miserably or become a mass killer.
I think that the elephant in the room is the fact that every source I went to gathering information for this piece had all of the same details and questions but the what was missing was what I consider to be the most important questions. How did he come to be able to get hold of his grandmother’s gun, and did he have to load it or was it already loaded? These are the important questions along with any new questions raised by the answers to them, yet no one is talking about it. It is like everyone has decided that once again it is the evil entertainment industry that is solely to blame so case closed. They completely overlook the fact that another “responsible” gun owner has been added to the statistics which show that you or a family member are more likely to fall victim to the gun you have for self defense than you are to actually use it to defend yourself.
Watch the video courtesy of CNN: