Monday, April 16, 2007


I guess it's not surprising, but I've gotten very caught up in the coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. I talked briefly before class about it, but many students hadn't even heard the news. Several didn't seem to be very impacted at all. I'm not sure how to take that. Maybe they'll deal with it later.

I am getting frustrated with so many people on tv saying that we as a society are programming violence into ourselves with our films, TV and video games. I have no evidence to support this, but it seems that, if anything, the people of the world now are more willing to not kill each other over their differences than in the past. What has changed is that we have more effective technology to carry out the violence that does exist. A small group of extremists can terrorize a global power. One man can destroy more life with a pair of guns than he could with a knife. The end result of this raging simply could not have been as horrific if he didn't have access to the pistols. I don't think effective gun control is possible or even practical in the US, at least in the foreseeable future, but I do hope this spurs debate leading into the election year.

That being said, it's naive to say that because one man can cause such damage that we as a society are inherently more violent. Movies and video games didn't give this man the idea to go out and kill people any more than watching Medea makes you want to kill your children or reading the bible makes you want to commit genocide. After investigation, we may discover that he played Grand Theft Auto, or watched 300 or Grindhouse. Many people will try to use this to push against these media. I hope they fail. I hope that we can see past such a simplistic argument, but I'm probably wrong.

To my friends and family, I'm not at Virginia Tech, but I'm ok, and I hope you are too.

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