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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions April 17, 2015

1/29/2013 9:57:00 PM
Letter: Videogame violence needs to be curbed


The President announced gun violence reduction executive actions focusing on keeping guns out of the wrong hands, keeping schools safe, and increasing access to mental health services; however, there are some key focus areas missing from these actions - violent video games, movies and television shows targeted to our youth without guidelines available for parental oversight.

If we are going to address mental health services, let's also address parenting standards, family values and the entertainment industry. When I witness a 4-year-old allowed to watch an animated video game with violence, I wonder if our society has become accustomed and, maybe, accepting of this violent age.

Alma Christine Howell


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: The NRA is CORRUPT!

Interesting article in the Rolling Stone (a liberal rag, true). At one time the NRA was supported by the folks and their little $35/year memberships. Today not so much. It's all about the gun companies, Cabellos, Walmart. Their board of directors is all about how much money they give. How they lobby is all about how much money you give. The CEO has been there since the 80s and he's changed his tune 100%. He's a total crook now, makes millions a year. And the profits are huge in the semiautomatic lines. They're not going to want to stop selling that stuff, it would be like banning SUVs and pickups for car companies. It's really a horrible organization now.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: ronald raygun

The only way to stop bad guys with video games is to have good guys with video games. You can have my video game when you pry it from my cold dead hand. This country was founded on the god given right to have and play video games Sometimes the tree of liberty needs to be watered with a little call of duty.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

Funny how people claim it's all about the videos and movies in the USA but other countries have as much of that or more and they don't have a problem with gun killings at all. The BIG THREE: Columbia, Brazil, USA. Nice to be in the company of the drug cartels isn't? Except our gun deaths having nothing to do with drugs. The big profit in guns is in the semiautos, the big clips, and the ammo for them. And the accessories. Follow the $$.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Lena Sanchez

Every mass shooter has been interviewed in regard to video games, violent movies, etc. and out of all only one was even into video games and he felt they nothing to do with his actions or thinking. They have not been able to connect any to violent movies to any of them… So I think we can rethink video games and violent movies as a cause for mass killings. The NRA is trying to divert attention away from unnecessary guns to video games and violent movies but history of these shooters already established not an issue! After all their political dollars come from gun manufacturers and if those manufacturers are unable to make those useless guns the NRA will be out a lot of money!
I call the unnecessary useless guns “city-boy-toys” as my two aging 50's sons are very into their “city-boy-toys” and we disagree greatly on their need, but they think they have to have their toys. Not only are they no necessary they are doing in our wild birds, which are dying by the thousands, because those same city-boy-toy owners do not clean up their messes left from there shooting fun and birds eat them then die...
Parents who have even slightly mentally ill or out of control children should not have a gun in their home and warn neighbors to keep theirs locked up…

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Dee Sensitized

"...violent video games, movies and television shows targeted to our youth without guidelines available for parental oversight."

Taken at face value, this portion of a sentence is at a minimum just plain wrong. Movies, television, and video games are all rated by groups that intend to do exactly what you believe needs to be done - provide parents with guidelines for determining whether the content is suitable for their children.

Furthermore, in the case of video games, the intent is that those games which are designated for "mature" consumers should be inaccessible for purchase in the same way that an "R" rated movie is at point of transaction. Neither is perfect in implementation, but this isn't a utopian world and nothing ever is perfectly implemented.

In the realm of television and movies at home, these ratings even allow parents to block access to programs and channels using technology that has been available for years and is now fairly standard.

Just to be even wordier, this appears to be largely a uniquely American problem. Video games, movies, and television are, in fact, available the world over. In most cases, the "objectionable" content is universally accessible.

When you witness a four-year-old allowed to engage in violent video gaming, you are witnessing lousy parenting if you are all witnesses to the activity. By your standards, anyway. I'm guessing that you've never witnessed those children looking at internet porn, which is arguably easier to access.

I remember running around as a kid shooting all my friends and they shot me back. We clutched at our imagined wounds and fell to the ground. Then we got up and had grilled cheese. We got the idea from television and movies. We replicated the most violent aspects. Yet we knew it was pretend. The notion espoused that video games "make you part of the event", unlike television or movies, strikes me as naively or deliberately omitting this reality that our "innocent" childhood fun wasn't all that different.

In fact, if you believe most of the people that lament today's lazy children stuck in front of the Playstation, internet, or television - they need to get out and do more of this "innocent" stuff that we all did as little boys and use their imaginations.

If they did, and five boys were running around pretending to shoot one another in the cul-de-sac, I suspect it would take seven minutes, tops, before SWAT arrived and the parents were led off in shackles.

Andy Taylor would lose Opie to CPS. And just like these kids that you describe, Opie would be in the same situation - the one that you really lament, not the video games - but the lack of a responsible parent passing along the common sense and accountability that is a requisite for operating maturely within society.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Remember This

Ms. Howell should remember that video games do not kill people. People with guns kill people.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: dog on

That would fall under the category of "bad parent" not "bad game".

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Gracie xx

Ms. Howell: I do not play video games, but the fact is that millions of young people and adults too do play violent video games, and the other fact is that playing or watching does not automatically cause someone to go out and slaughter masses of people. Another fact is that owning a gun does not cause someone to go out and slaughter masses of people. My suggestion to you is if you see some 4 year old watching a violent movie or game and you find that objectionable, you should say something to that child's parents. I'm sure such violence is not suitable viewing for children of that age, but it's the parents' job to control that, not the government's. And parental standards? You want the government to set parental standards for raising children? Really? I'm sure there are other countries that can help you out with that.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Really .

Another letter hand-wringing about the existence of things that have always be prevalent in America. With this logic, we should probably just go ahead and ban everything. That always works.

Animated video games with violence? You don't say! Maybe we should harken back to those golden years of non-violent animated cartoons, like Tom and Jerry! ...Oh, wait. Looney Toons? Mickey Mouse? Nope, violence there too.

Perhaps you should be questioning why this nation, which has harbored violence in our culture for centuries, constantly condemns sexuality and the use of legal and illegal substances, yet time and time again gives leniency to our inherent violent nature.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: O No Not Him Again

Funny how video games and violent movies are to blame for a whacko taking out a movie theater, or a elementary school. Certainly wasn't the fault of the gun. The gun had nothing to do with killing people, right? It was a video game that was played when the person was 10, or a movie they watched when they were 14. Sure, lets blame everything except the actual weapon that did the killings.Also, no one is taking your guns...you are just being limited to what you can buy. There is a big difference.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: More government, Or less government?

I vote less. Let me make my own decisions about what videos/ games I and my kids will watch / play. The government is far too much into our lives already without adding policing my kids cartoons to the list.

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