Are We Living in Our Own Killing Fields?

eastwood

How long are we going to endure the shootings taking place in schools, universities, movie theaters and on the streets? Like you, it causes me pain to see the parents who are left with empty chairs around their tables because of something senseless and meaningless.

I don’t even want to get into the gun control debate. I don’t know how trying to control something that is already proliferated our world is going to work. The horse is out of the barn. It’s the hearts of the people of our nation that concerns me most.

I know this theory has holes in it … but people my age and under have grown up watching people solve their problems with a gun. I’m not talking about self-protection, I’m talking about vigilante justice…. or even just striking out with anger. I have cheered while Clint Eastwood hunted down people and killed them without conscience. Maybe some of them deserved it, but that’s in a controlled movie environment where the story leads us in that direction. In the real world people are seldom so one-dimensional. That’s why we have a criminal justice system.

We play games where it is expected and even rewarded if we kill people … we watch movies over and over and over with every kind of violence glorified to the greatest degree. Up close. You can almost smell it, the graphic nature of it cannot be graphic enough for the consumers. I stopped watching Criminal Minds for that reason … in spite of liking the characters and actors.

I do believe every person is responsible for their own actions. But I also believe our sensitivity to the value of life has been numbed by the 24/7 entertainment / news / movies / games that are always on a screen in front of us. I always have a screen in front of me… computer … iPad … phone … tv … and the world passes before me at rapid pace. What has this done to our thinking … the way we perceive the world around us? I wonder if we can even ascertain how numb we really are to loss, murder, death, violence, and hatred? I doubt most of us believe it has any effect on us at all.

If the zombies on The Walking Dead were real people who looked like their former selves, would we be ok with the brutality that is so glibly splattered across our screen episode after episode? I like the Walking Dead. I think it is a great story. But is it numbing us even more…just because we replace people with zombies, now we can kill them in any horrific manner possible … without regret or remorse? Does it change US and make us more accepting of killing?

Are our college campuses becoming killing fields … and God help us, our elementary schools and movie theaters? I’m rambling … mostly because I do not have any answers. As long as we keep looking advertisers will keep financing. I don’t see it ending. I am not moved to pick up a gun and go on a rampage, but apparently some people are. Maybe I grew up in a culture of death. How many people have I watched die on a screen in front of me? Thousands? No connection to them at all. So a news flash comes across… people are dead … do I regard it as coolly as the latest movie about some freakish killer?Violence escalates. It’s a global problem. Culture against culture. Spousal abuse, sexual abuse, and child abuse remain among us.  I don’t want to sound apocalyptic here, but every single newscast seems to carry these endless stories. Who ever came up with the ideas to hurt one another as we do?

Something has gone terribly wrong. I think I know when it started. Thanks for hanging in there if you read all of this.

John

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