Shalimar resident: There are many other reasons than guns for today's violence | Guestview

·3 min read

I do not belong to the NRA. I see many other reasons than guns for the atrocities happening today: Teenage killers, 12-year-olds robbing homes and hijacking cars, social media full of hate sites, mass killings almost every day, often focusing on innocent children and now juries must decide if they can execute a child who commits murder.

My brother and I grew up in the 1930s and ’40s with 24-hour access to nine guns used for hunting, skeet shooting and target practice. Most homes had guns but there were no mass shootings and children acted like children. Only military and police should have AR-15-style weapons, but banning them is useless when they can be bought illegally or 3D printed. Murder is already against the law so I don’t see more laws helping.

What changed? Technology beyond our imagination happened. Television was a wonder to the world, but it was the beginning of advancement in entertainment that changed our culture and our personalities!

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Television quickly became affordable and every home had one. Then violent video games emerged. These vicious games desensitize young minds and watching incessant murder and other forms of violence warped children’s view of life. Scientific studies show desensitized minds tend to become depressed often leading to violence. When accused, manufacturers of video games did studies and claimed their games did not cause violence in people. But who paid for these studies? Often studies are done by the very people making the product.

In the 1960s, pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock’s book on child care changed the way Americans raise their children. Both are necessary but he stressed love more than guidance and punishment for wrong doing. Children constantly ask for things and parents want to show their love by giving them everything they can, creating a false sense of entitlement. The child wants to be “cool” with the latest gadget and parents rush to comply. Now schools give winning ribbons to all participants in contests and races. This robs the child of any incentive to do better — again the child feels entitled. Today we have generations of young people with a strong sense of entitlement. Then the government got involved in parenting and today some parents are fearful their children will be taken away from them if they slap or spank them.

With the invention of the cellphone, children became addicted, further desensitizing their minds. The average child spends four to eight hours a day on the phone. Today you see babies in cribs with cellphones gazing at bloody violence for entertainment. Before the child enters first grade they have witnessed thousands of murders and mayhem that appear to them to be a normal way of life.

Throughout history, cultures changed with time and I see little hope of reversing ours. Maybe a change in parenting might help if parents give their children unconditional love but combine it with indisputable authority to combat technology. Could that reverse the change in our culture and personalities? I don’t know, but it seems like the only possibility.

Dorothy Wilson is a resident of Shalimar.

This article originally appeared on Northwest Florida Daily News: There are many other reasons than guns for today's violence | Guestview