We're doing it to ourselves

The recent mass murders allowed all the pundits – including our president – to jump on the bandwagon of gun control and violent video games. This same reaction has occurred in the past and we have not improved one iota.

I am not an advocate for guns nor for gun control. However, I do not see a reason for anyone to own an assault weapon. We seem to be missing the basic cause for today’s violence. Guns and violent video games can contribute, but look around. We love violence. Professional sports, professional wrestling, Little League parents beating one another up – even a recent ad for Wendy’s has a hockey mom yelling for her son to “check ’em.” These are accepted as normal.

Watch the actions of the professional athletes and see how violent the “games” have become. Attend an Augusta RiverHawks hockey game and listen to the fans screaming for blood. Professional players in many sports are bulked up with steroids and sport overabundant muscles. Mixed martial-arts cage fights are almost a throwback to the Roman games. Pro wrestling sells out while too many other cultural events stagnate. We are basically teaching our children and young adults that this is acceptable.

All of us who simply watch television on a daily basis see and hear a constant barrage of violent behavior and consider this as a part of our society. Couple this with the availability of guns and violent video games and we can see fully well we are doing it to ourselves. We have made violence a part of our daily lives.

So don’t simply reach for each and every quick solution and the way out. We have made this world a violent place. We have to change our acceptance of violent behavior first. We have to change our society.

Richard J. Stuhler

Augusta

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