The Culture of Violence and Mass Murder(ers)
In the aftermath of the Newtown school shooting, there are two sides blaming two different things as the cause of the massacre. The left points to guns as the problem, while the right is focusing on the “culture of violence” in America.
Plenty has been said about how guns don’t kill people to those on the left, but they still want to ban guns anyway. I’ve said plenty on the subject and am not going to say more here.
The right is blaming the entertainment industry for the rise in mass shootings. Let’s examine this claim a little closer.
- Movies are rated to give parents a good idea of the content of a movie.
- Television shows are now rated for violence, language, sexual content, and if it is there, nudity/brief nudity.
- Music is rated with “explicit lyrics” stickers so parents are aware of what is on a given CD.
- Video games are rated for content (E for Everyone, T for Teen, and M for mature audiences)
- Television boxes now come with parental control codes to block access of channels to children.
In all of these cases, the entertainment industry is full of ratings to allow parents to know what they may not want their children to see. If children are being exposed to this much violence, is it the fault of the entertainment industry, or the the parents?
Why are mass murderers predominantly white males? Since 1982, there have been 62 mass shootings, according to Mother Jones. In only 1 case, was the mass murderer a woman. In 44 of the others, the shooter was a white male.
Why is that? Is it because females somehow are not exposed to the same types of entertainment that males are? I’m pretty sure that’s not the case.
My wife loves to watch Sons of Anarchy and Justified, both pretty violent shows. We watch Dexter, a show about a serial killer who only kills those who escape justice. We don’t live in the times of the Brady Bunch anymore.
But these are adult shows, with adult language and themes. Don’t want your kids exposed to them, don’t let them watch. Don’t allow them access to channels that show them. Don’t let them watch anything that Quentin Tarantino makes. It’s not difficult.
My wife and I are not about to go out and murder a bunch of people.
So why are most mass murderers male?
Could it be the unthinkable, the thing we are told repeatedly that does not make a difference?
Could it be the absence of positive male role models in the lives of boys as they make the transition from teenagers to men? We are told repeatedly that families raised by single mothers are perfectly okay. However, mothers do not understand the psyche of male teenagers, and can’t fulfill some of the needs that males need. I know, I was raised by a single mother, but I had some very strong male figures in my life, most notably my grandfather. My father was nowhere to be seen.
I’m not suggesting that every male who is raised by a single mom is going to end up a mass murder, but I think it increases the odds. Women don’t know what it is, or what it is like to be a man, just like men don’t know what it’s like to be a woman.
I think this is just one link in the chain, and I certainly don’t think it is the be all, end all answer. However, I think we need to examine the effects of this more closely, and do what we can to bring better role models into the lives of young men as they begin the transition to manhood, bring people into their lives who can help them deal with that transition.