Paula’s Post #14 Some sober reflection.
We 5writers have deliberately made a collective decision not to politicize this blog. This is a decision I whole-heartedly support. But I am a dual US- Canadian citizen and a grandmother (a young grandmother) and the tragic events in Newtown Connecticut have rocked me to the core. As a writer, I feel compelled to write something about the issue of gun violence.
I am not today, going to join in the debate over the proper interpretation of the Second Amendment. That is an issue for another day, for another forum. But I must raise an issue that has weighed on my conscience since learning of the circumstances surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, and that is the suggestion that ‘media’ in all its many forms, may have acted, in part, as a ‘catalyst’ for these tragic events.
The past few years have been particularly horrific. Columbine, the attack on Congresswoman Gabby Gifford, the mass shootings at Virginia Tech, in a crowded theater in Aurora, Colorado and a shopping mall in Clackamas, Oregon. Now the crushing blow of the slaughter of 20 young children and 6 adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut,.
We are all asking one question?
Since Friday, I’ve watched the ‘talking heads’ provide commentary on CNN, the BBC and NBC. One fact seems clear: each of the young male shooters responsible for this carnage had been, to one extent or another, deeply disturbed. In some cases, mental health professionals have made suggested psychosis.
Many commentators have also decried the role of violent media on the minds of these assailants. Video and role-playing games, have, in particular been singled out as a potential trigger for these attacks. Whether an actual link can be established is still a subject for debate, but something that must be examined.
What about books?
What about fiction?
What about murder mysteries and techno-thrillers? What about the incredibly violent, (particularly Part III), of the Hunger Games Trilogy, a Young Adult Novel?
Did Agatha Christie worry about the impact of her novels? Did she worry they might provoke copycat murders?
I don’t know the answer to these questions. But I can’t help thinking about them.