Family environment and the press are two major influences resulting in the recent tragic school shootings. As much as society continues to focus the killing rampages on factors such as television and music, what children are exposed to in reality contributes to the violence.
The most recent school shooting in Michigan involved a six-year-old first grader who killed a classmate with a .22 caliber pistol. The news coverage had vanished after two or three days, and I was left wondering what had happened. Considering the fact that the media wore the Columbine incident out, I wanted to know why they did not pay more attention to this school shooting. As evidence did arrive, it was discovered that the child lived in a household where cocaine, heroin, and many other illegal drugs were commonplace. Also in this “home” guns were easily accessible to the child. Children growing up in this type of environment certainly are likely to be held accountable for future violence. Even though I am against the news media presenting too much school violence, Americans should have been deeply disturbed by this shooting because of the child’s young age. The Michigan shooting should have enlightened Americans to the dilemma we face in this country.
Two weeks after the Columbine High School shooting, information on the mass murder was still being broadcast on television. The press was feeding young viewers ideas on how to kill their classmates. News was reported how the teenage murderers acquired information regarding building bombs, obtaining guns, smuggling guns into the school, and proceeding to kill their classmates. A mentally unstable teenager could simply watch these news reports and write a book entitled, “How to Slay Your Classmates”. This onslaught was ridiculous and the news coverage should not have been permitted to continue for countless weeks.
Society has determined three reasons on which to blame the shootings. First, the nation blamed it on television’s violent programs. Following that, Americans gave the music recording companies the evil eye as well as attacking the gun manufacturers. All of these reasons involve material objects that are unable to think for themselves. Televisions and CD players do not control themselves, people control them. Finally, boundaries controlling the television programs children view should be set by the parents. The same explanation applies to firearms. How can it be a gun’s fault that a person killed another human being? We try to blame the way our young generation is behaving on inanimate objects. Parents need to accept the responsibility for their children’s actions.
As we look around at other countries, we see that the United States is the only country with this problem. Additional discipline is needed in order to stop this madness. We need more discipline in the family, in school, and even in public. We need to educate children that their actions do have consequences. As our country’s morals keep declining and the murder rate continues to rise, we will still be blaming our problems on anything but us.