The Sandy Hook Shooting

I just heard about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.  They’re saying 27 are dead, including 18 children.  The one known shooter, who is dead, was 24 and carrying 4 weapons.  Some of these numbers may be modified as the story develops.

I suspect over the next few days we’ll be treated to even more rants about guns.  A couple of weeks ago, Bob Costas used his time during an NFL broadcast to give an anti-gun lecture in the wake of Jovan Belcher’s murder-suicide.  This will undoubtedly stoke the fires of that debate.

Here’s what I don’t understand:

Why aren’t people screaming about the video game industry?  I’ve never been a gamer, but I see the new games being advertised on TV, especially during this Christmas season.  Have you seen the commercials?  So many of these games are all about killing.  And not just killing.  They’re about slaughtering.  They’re about shooting, cutting, slashing, and bombing as many people as possible.  And the graphics…they are stunningly real.

When I was a kid, our game of choice was Strat-O-Matic Baseball.  Or maybe Monopoly.  But mostly, we wanted to be outside playing baseball or basketball.  Nowadays kids sit inside with headphones on (effectively shutting out the real world) and kill as many people as possible as fast as possible for as long as possible.

Call me crazy, but I think this is part of why we’re seeing so many public shootings and massacres.  A big part.  We are raising up a generation of kids that have been completely desensitized to violence.  We do it by making violence a game.  We think that because it’s just a game controller the kid is holding and not a real gun, that it doesn’t count…that it’s all harmless.

I find it interesting that the shooter in this Connecticut massacre was 24.  I have no way of knowing, but I’d be surprised if he wasn’t a gamer during his teen years.

Let me be clear.  I don’t think a problem like this wave of public violence should be oversimplified.  There are surely many factors that are contributing to it.  But our video game culture is one I never hear people talking about.  It’s so much easier to argue about an inanimate object (a gun) than to address the deeper and more complex issue of how we’re shaping the minds of the younger generation.  The gun discussion is just politics; the mind discussion will have far-reaching ramifications that, frankly, I don’t think most people have the courage to face.

Please join me in praying for the victims and their families.  And for our country.


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9 Responses to The Sandy Hook Shooting

  1. Barb Paton says:

    Joining you in prayer. AMEN to your comments.

  2. keith mccaslin says:

    The game industry. Right on, Mark

  3. Rosan Germaine says:

    Mark, I’ve seen cartoons that are extremely violent as well. The head banging, heavy metal music I hear while driving home from work, these youngsters who roll down their car windows, stopped beside you, bopping their heads and looking at me (I guess for some sort of reaction). Even with my car window up, I can hear the lyrics very awful words and profanity. I feel for those parents and families.

    “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing : Albert Einstein

  4. Shannon Costanzo says:

    I can not imagine the pain the parents are feeling at this moment. I will be joining in on prayer.
    I too agree that video games are far too graphic. Society has become numb to violence.
    What are we filling our minds with?
    I do not believe it is a “gun control” issue but a domestic violence issue.

    Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world , but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… Romans 12:2
    I pray that many will seek and find God from this tragedy!!


    They start showing violence to kids as soon as they start watching TV. The poor kids don’t have a chance. The older they get the worse it gets in the violence market. It’s really up to the parents to stop placing kids in front of the TV to keep them quiet. They need more one on one with them from the beginning and teaching them to that life is sacred……
    All my prayers go out to the poor families of these shooting victims.

  6. Marg says:

    My heart goes out to the staff, children and family’s in that community! I agree with you mark on the games for sure. I was one who played on brownstone steps with monopoly for hours! I did enjoy the westerns, Roy Rogers, Cisco kid but never gave it a thought that the bad guy would win. I join you and many others in prayers going to all involved.

  7. Cindy Baker says:

    Video game violence immediately came to my mind as well. Recent reports are supporting your initial “intuitiveness”, Mark, that the shooter was a “gamer.”

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