According to news reports, 15-year-old high school freshman Charles “Andy” Williams methodically shot and killed two classmates and wounded 13 others – smiling as he went and stopping at least once to reload the revolver he used in the attack – before being taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies. He is being held without bond and apparently will be charged, appropriately, as an adult with murder (“Tragedy At Santee” 2001).
Acts of minors killing minors across our nation is sadly becoming trendy and familiar. School shootings are tragic and yet that is all that is said about them. It seems as though words of action to stop such tragedies are just that. Educated experts study reasons why such crimes take place, but the findings are rarely put into action. The violence and content that the media of the United States displays to children causes hidden irreversible damage that most deny.
What it would take to minimize the spread of school shootings is simple and the results would surprise American society. The content of movies, music, and other forms of entertainment have a serious effect on children because media inadvertently trains their minds for violence and needs to be stopped. Almost two years has passed since the most brutal and televised school shooting occurred in Colorado at Columbine High School. Dozens of threats and killings have occurred since then and yet no action to prevent such out brakes has been taken. The great majority of people in this country are concerned and responsible adults who want a safe environment for themselves and for children. Even though adults and the majority of society are “concerned” it seems this problem is expanding and getting out of control (Charry 1998).
In extremely recent current events of this past week the spreading trend has come to pass yet again. In the suburb of Santee, California a 15- year- old high school freshman shot and killed two classmates and wounded 13 others. The shooter, Charles “Andy” Williams smiled as he reloaded the revolver with only revenge on his mind. Hopefully this event, among several others, will spark the call for more gun control for the sake of the children and future generations.
Because of the right to bear arms, it is possible for anyone old enough to walk to have access to destructive weapons. Andy had access in his own home with plenty of ammunition. The result is a breeder of violence has been released to the rest of America’s children (“Tragedy at Santee” 2001). “Threats of school violence surfaced in New Mexico on the wake of recent school shootings in other parts of the country” (“Several New Mexico Schools Threatened With Violence” 2001). Personally my heart breaks with the news that the schools my friends and family, work and learn in are filled with the fear of being killed. The article I read from a New Mexico news station where bomb threats and weapon reports in schools across our state alone proved the ripple affect that televised violence causes.
“Elementary students were even affected Wednesday when a man left a message on the answering machine at El Dorado Elementary saying he was going to blow up the school” (“Several New Mexico Schools Threatened With Violence” 2001). Statements like that create the fear in me as well as others that my younger brothers and their generation have to fear, simply getting an education that could cost them their life. “It scares me to death that I’m sending my child to a school and in light of getting an education, I may end up burying her” (Donohue 1999). Video games and Media Violence Essay may not appear to teach children to kill on the surface but, because of the way a mind develops, media is the leading cause. Media violence is being presented as entertainment for children and the hidden consequence of this fact is the catastrophic result of death.
Soldiers have to be trained to kill and in several ways this training is similar to the way a child’s mind is trained to kill through media violence. The training methods that the military uses such as classical conditioning, brutalization, and operant conditioning are the same methods media trains .