Media Violence is Not the Problem - The Problem is in Our Homes, our Schools, and our Communities

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There are many examples that Americans commonly associate with growing up and coming of age; getting a driver’s license, seeing an R-rated movie, registering for the draft or to vote, buying guns, killing classmates… Indeed, the dramatic increase in school shootings during the 1990s, in conjunction with the technology boom, drew much attention to mass media violence. Does media violence perpetuate aggressive behavior in its viewers? If so, to what extent? Do viewers retain models of behavior from their exposure to media violence? Do these models resurface later on during their coming of age? These are hard questions that may not have definite answers; however, a clear analysis on many studies reveals that we’ve only begun to scratch the…show more content…
Who’s to blame? The Culprits Many Americans, particularly parents and politicians, were displeased with the amount of violence depicted in the media. In terms of violence in music, many turned around and blamed shock-rockers such as Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, and KMFDM. This, despite the fact that Harris and Klebold were not Manson fans, is a rather selective judgment. As Brooks Brown, a close friend of Harris and Klebold, and Klebold’s childhood best-friend, wrote in his book he co-authored with journalist Rob Merritt, No Easy Answers, “Music creates an emotion, whether it’s anger, sorrow, thoughtfulness, happiness, or humor. What people do with their emotions is up to them. But music doesn’t tell people what to do” (17). As for video games, it was common knowledge that Harris and Klebold were video game fans of the first-person-shooter genre, such as Doom and Duke Nukem. Again, Brown writes, “Video games may have given them a place to direct their rage—but something else caused their rage in the first place. Something caused them to cross the line of fantasy and embrace imaginary worlds like Doom and Duke Nukem as an alternate reality” (Brown and Merritt 39). On the other hand, statistics show that the average American child will view approximately 200,000 acts of violence on television, which includes 18,000 murders, by the time that child reaches eighteen (Schooler and Flora 277). With so much exposure, it would be foolhardy to totally

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