Feature: Soapbox Musings

How Responsible is Starcraft for Sandy Hook?

Author: James Walker
Published: December 20, 2012 at 5:41 am

memorial candleNo one can deny the loss suffered in Newtown Connecticut last week.  It was perpetrated by a disturbed individual with no regard for life, including his own.   His actions made more egregious than even Columbine or Aurora by his choice of victim.  Young children, whose lives had just begun, viciously cut short in an instant.  Survivors, whose innocence forever ripped away must now carry the weight of a memory that will never leave them.

There is no denying this single event is unrivaled in recent American History.  Unfortunately, thrown in with public outcries for stricter gun control is the tired rhetoric of the role of violent video games in this type of tragedy.    Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia has a bill in congress in the wake of Sandy Hook to study the impact of violent video games specifically targeting their impact on children. From his introduction of the bill on Wednesday,

"...some people still do not get it," he continued "They believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons. Parents, pediatricians, and psychologists know better. These court decisions show we need to do more and explore ways Congress can lay additional groundwork on this issue. This report will be a critical resource in this process."

The bill was prompted by reports that Adam Lanza, responsible for the Sandy Hook murders, "may" have played video games like "Call of Duty" and "Starcraft." 

Just as in the Columbine and Aurora incidents we again find video games at the center of controversy.  Frankly, as horrific as Sandy Hook was, it seems we're again searching for the easy scapegoat.  When we act out of emotion, reason has no quarter. 

It's more likely that the good Senator from West Virginia is the one who truly, "doesn't get it."

Just as in Columbine the perpetrator was an individual with a history of emotional and psychiatric issues.  In the case of Adam Lanza, his mother Nancy Lanza (also a victim) was seeking to have him institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital.  Lanza's conflict with his mother, not video games, is a leading theory to explain Sandy Hook.

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: James Walker

An IT professional for the past two decades I've been both cubicle dweller and independent consultant for a number of companies. I enjoy writing about a range of topics but know that I only post articles when I think I have something important to say. …

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