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Mass Killings: Solutions: Culture


glintofpewter
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I'm not done thinking about the mass kilings and whether there are any workable solutions which would improve the situation. I do have my arguments but will put them aside. I also have doubts that there will be any really useful results in the political discussions and legislative actions. There is little agreement about the way forward and almost no collective will to accomplish any thing that will take work, commitment and sacrifice.

 

But forward...

 

Not my favorite opinionator, Charles Krauthammer, sees that solutions may be sought in three areas:

The Weapon,

The Killer, and

the Culture.

 

The roots of mass murder

http://www.washingto...9029_story.html

 

The NRA is suggesting a fourth area: the Target.

 

I am starting four topics for brainstorming about solutions. Please be specific. "Stricter gun laws" and "better mental health delivery systems" and "less violence in media" are not specific.

 

Under brainstorming rules you cannot attack another's idea. Also you cannot say it won't work because I already said it in the first paragraph above. You can ask questions for clarifications or to investigate intended and un-intended consequences.

 

THE CULTURE

 

Krauhammer says "we live in an entertainment culture soaked in ... violence". Is "entertainment" the only element in our culture that should be addressed?

 

Dutch

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I feel our dominate Christian society can attemt to attack the cultural problem with the path of discovery. In solitude, silence, contemplation and meditation Christians can find their compass. It keeps the living components of body, mind and soul in balance and can sustain people through every crisis. I think philosophy, theology and self discovery can help people find their way without negating the world, but can put it into focus. As a Christian I am indebt to the people of different faiths including Christians for putting me on the right path to become a better Christian. Young people need this guidance and it is our duty to guide without preaching. We can attract them to the spiritual nectar with our actions, words and example of spiritual experience.

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In relation to violent culture, I think it is important to consider pro-violent views in religion. Much of evangelical Christianity heavily promotes violence as a holy act. All the classic hymns have very violent and graphic lyrics about fountains of blood and praising the torture of Jesus as a holy sacrifice. The language used by many evangelical Christians during communion places a high emphasis on blood sacrifice as a virtue and images of hell are always portrayed in very graphic and gory images to scare people into following the beliefs of the preacher. Most evangelical Christians also seem to try and tone down the anti-violent teachings of Jesus and in some cases they use the teachings of Jesus to justify war. Yet while evangelical Christians have no problems judging Hollywood, few of them will ever rethink the pro-violent language in their own theology. I'm not quite sure what the point in bringing up the ACLU is in the article.

Edited by Neon Genesis
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My suggestion is that I think evangelical Christians need to change the language of their theology to place more emphasis on the grace of God than on violence and sacrifice. We have seen a trend in that with modern praise worship placing more emphasis on the love of Jesus than on violence and sacrifice but evangelical Christians continue to over-emphasize the death of Jesus over the life and teachings of Jesus and they need to move away from this language of sacrificial theology.

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What can we do personally? First, we can practice what we preach in our lives. We can not practice violence. We can avoid violent language. We can not patronize violent films. Second, we can practice political activism in support of reasonable gun laws and mental health services.

 

George

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George's suggestions sound good to me.

 

Curbing entertainment violence might not be possible legally, though some Hollywood celebrities call attention to it. I recall a couple months ago one film critic reported that he walked out on “Compliance” –for its misogynist abuse of a woman probably.

When I was taking driver ed, we had to watch some cautionary films. Maybe a brief course or seminar could be required in high schools, to make kids more aware of the influence of violent movies and video games, of the personal, heartbreaking consequences of violence. Maybe they could feel a degree of detachment from the culture that surrounds them rather than blindly internalizing it. Maybe show some alternative role models for young men, that maleness doesn’t have to be identified with destructive power but with the power to build, to help others, to create, etc. Just a few thoughts…

Edited by rivanna
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I like what Neon said about Chrisianity emphasizing violence and may I add the arrogance that makes them better than others. It seems this sets up the culture to make violence acceptable. I feel Christians can bring that up when appropriate instead of bashing Muslims or when Christians bash Muslims. I feel Muslims need to step it up in their culture that accepts violence also.

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I do feel somewhat conflicted about my video game purchases this year. On the one hand, I've never played a first person shooter before and Call of Duty Black Ops 2 for the Wii U looked really cool and I was impressed by the graphics. On the other hand, I would feel somewhat guilty buying a shooter game, at least so soon after the shooting.

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The author of the article specifically brought up ordinary men who play video games (why only men? women play games too) which he admits has no consequences on anyone else, then suddenly he brings up a complety unrelated person that kills someone else, as if he thinks either all killers play video games or else he must think video games somehow cause violence. But he offers no proof or explainiton for this link. There was a story awhile back about a woman who attacked her husband for not voting for Romney. Since the violence occurred after they voted, does that mean voting for the president causes violence and that we should stop voting less an already mentally unstable person that just voted attacks her husband? I still want to know why he's blaming the ACLU for the shooting.

Edited by Neon Genesis
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It may be that the constant availability of news media affects people just as much or more than violent movies, videogames and TV shows.

But my intuition is that the attitudes absorbed from one’s family are by far the deepest influence.

It just seems like education is the one chance of modifying that input, before kids go out into the world.

A class on excessive violence in culture doesn’t have to focus only on entertainment. It could point out how American western expansion glorified guns. It could talk about the limited historical context of the second amendment. It might compare statistics in the US with other nations, showing it doesn’t have to be this way. If there are weapons in the household make sure young children can’t get at them. Encourage kids to report signs of mental illness in others, etc.

Edited by rivanna
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It could point out how American western expansion glorified guns. It could talk about the limited historical context of the second amendment. It might compare statistics in the US with other nations, showing it doesn’t have to be this way. If there are weapons in the household make sure young children can’t get at them. Encourage kids to report signs of mental illness in others, etc.

------------------------------

 

I like these suggestions. There is a current commercial by JPMorgan & Chase that is good. Without much tweaking it could include some of what you mention. Material would have to acceptable to gun rights people.Limited context for 2nd amendment might not get by them.

 

Whether or not violent entertainment is causally relater to killing is not relevant. Suggesting that it is not good to think about killing others would help change the culture.

 

Dutch

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Krauhammer says "we live in an entertainment culture soaked in ... violence". Is "entertainment" the only element in our culture that should be addressed?

 

I read Krauthammer's column in the Washington Post on a regular basis, and in my opinion, his embracing of the gun-loving, conservative movement is in line, ironically, with his comments in this article. By his own admission, over the course of his journalistic career, he has embraced the testosterone-soaked hubris that describes liberalism and social generosity as a weakness and the ruination of American society.

 

Krauthammer's hypocrisy aside, I think that most people can intelligently consume television and motion picture violence without "acting" it out in real life. There are no studies to date of which I am aware that show a causal link between violent video games or movies and actual violence in society. The consensus is that those who commit violent acts are violent of their own accord - they don't need outside stimulation.

 

I would be more interested in learning what makes the Dylan Klebold's of the world killers in the first place. I don't believe that spending afternoons fake-shooting people will lead to shooting people for real. I think that those who find such activity "enjoyable" may perhaps share a common gene (deviant or natural?) with Klebold and his ilk. But, I don't think that banning violent video games or films / television will have any impact on these killers. There are some who suggest that these types of games may be enough of a substitute for the real thing that might actually be preventing more such incidents.

 

I think that limiting access to military assault weapons would be much more effective on these types of individuals. Perhaps they would be just as homicidal with a knife or a baseball bat, but the carnage would naturally be far less.

 

NORM

Edited by NORM
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I do feel somewhat conflicted about my video game purchases this year. On the one hand, I've never played a first person shooter before and Call of Duty Black Ops 2 for the Wii U looked really cool and I was impressed by the graphics. On the other hand, I would feel somewhat guilty buying a shooter game, at least so soon after the shooting.

 

Neon, I am happy that you are conflicted!!

 

My son really enjoys these types of games, and I tried my best (as a father) to force myself to like them as well, so that I could share in something my son finds exciting. But, I always felt conflicted (good description) about the act of shooting people - even though intellectually, I know it is just pretend. The realism of these games only heightens that feeling.

 

My son is now receiving military training in the US Airforce. I hope and pray that he never has to find out what REAL gun violence is like.

 

There is something in my son that is different from me that I think may explain why some people can play these types of games without conflict, and others cannot. My daughter is studying evolutionary biology and thinks that there is an answer in our evolutionary past. (She, btw, absolutely HATES guns and would never play a first-person shooter type video game).

 

I've asked her to send me some scientific articles on this subject.

 

NORM

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I have to agree with Norm on one point. I think l would much rather have people express their love for guns through virtual guns rather than real ones. I also feel like we as a society are too quick to blame tv for our own faults and failures to raise children with the good values we want them to have. Norm, I'm curious about what you think about the Charlie Brown cartoons. On the hand, as someone who was bullied all through school, I always enjoyed them. On the other, Charlie Brown does seem to treat bullying as entertainment though it's not especially violent. And I still want to know why this author is blaming the ACLU

Edited by Neon Genesis
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It seems that the NRA diversion has worked in that we are discussing video game regulation rather than gun regulation. I think a good start would be for Churches to stop giving their blessings to automatic weapons of mass destruction and voice their concerns in the matther. Everyone needs to get up off their knees and speak up.

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Norm, I'm curious about what you think about the Charlie Brown cartoons...Charlie Brown does seem to treat bullying as entertainment though it's not especially violent.

 

Honestly, I never really thought about it. I read Charlie Brown cartoons as a child, but didn't care for the Charlie character - not a fan of bullying, and often thought the portrayal of CB was depressing. Even non-violent bullying can cause real pain. I played piano as I child, so I identified with the Schroeder character more.

 

And I still want to know why this author is blaming the ACLU

 

It is one of Krauthammer's favorite scapegoats. He truly believes that welfare is mostly undeserved and has very little sympathy for those on the other side of fortune. Despite his disability, Mr. Krauthammer is quite well off.

 

NORM

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It seems that the NRA diversion has worked in that we are discussing video game regulation rather than gun regulation. I think a good start would be for Churches to stop giving their blessings to automatic weapons of mass destruction and voice their concerns in the matter. Everyone needs to get up off their knees and speak up.

 

AMEN!!!

 

For the life of me, I just can't figure out why some (evangelical, mostly) Christians seem to be the loudest supporters of gun owner's rights to possess weapons of war.

 

And, here I thought Christianity was the religion of peace.

 

NORM

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