Letter: The Ingredients of Civic Terrorism
To the Editor:
At the memorial service for the latest victims of mass murder, President Obama said that a society must care for its children, and “if we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right.” We control our society by our laws, but more importantly by our purchasing power.
Murder is a top seller, and our society cannot get enough of it. This is big business and we, as a society, get what we ask for. The resulting violence is manifested not only in shocking mass murder, but in heartbreaking domestic abuse as well. Call of Duty has been one of the largest selling video “games,” and as we celebrate the message of love and peace on Earth, we shop for one of the most violent and graphic video “games.” Its producer, ActivisionBlizzard, has genres that include “first-person shooter” that, through simulation graphics, help create an accurate marksman who is desensitized to shooting people, including children. They sell 37 first-person shooter games, half of which are marketed to children under 18. Television also caters to the public appetite with programs like CSI and Revenge. Even during early-evening family programs like football games, we are bombarded by advertising for movies such as This is 40, a “comedy,” whose trailer features a husband joking that he has considered killing his wife with a wood chipper.
There are many contributors to civic terrorism — mental illness and weapons among them. However, how hypocritical is it to cry and wring our hands after this unspeakable horror and then turn around and marinate our own minds and children in mayhem and call it entertainment? We forgo a degree of freedom by having highway laws so that we gain the freedom from fear of danger. Similarly, we can modify gun laws so that we don’t have assault weapons in neighborhoods. Furthermore, we can protect our freedoms by upholding a common sense of decency in a civilized culture: turn off, return and destroy carnage as “entertainment,” for the sake of our poor children.