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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Violent video games, movies, music affect young minds

I feel that John Eggers' column from the May 27 Pioneer requires a response. Mr. Eggers makes claims that appear quite fantastic. I'd like to see further proof of those claims.

Mr. Eggers claims that there have been 288 school shootings since 2009. Name them. What is your source of information?

The Internet harbors a long list of shootings that may be claimed as “school shootings.” However, very, very few are the type of shooting that involves one or two individuals seeking to inflict injury to the student body and staff. I don't consider two professors getting into a disagreement and one shooting the other a “school shooting.” Shootings between gang members on or near school property should not be considered a “school shooting.” There are many other instances where a single shot is fired, sometimes accidentally, few or none injured, yet this is called a “school shooting.”

Mr. Eggers, being an educational expert, doesn't appear to believe that repetition is an effective teaching tool. If he did, he'd be willing to admit that violent video games, violent movies, and violence-espousing music does indeed have an effect on young minds. Remember flashcards? Seven times three is 21. Over and over. The same repetitive approach was used in spelling. Write each word 10 times. When we see and hear violent acts again and again, we become inured to the gravity of it. It becomes “normal.” Lies become truth and wrong becomes right.

He agrees that shootings are a societal problem. However, he conveniently shifts the blame to firearms. Firearms are not an active element of our society as much as videos, movies, and music. Firearms do not have the power to influence as do these other elements.

If we were more serious about parenting children, took responsibility for what they absorbed through eyes and ears, taught responsibility for our actions, perhaps we would move society toward more positive results.

Finally, Eggers can't help but take a cheap shot at the National Rifle Association. I wonder if he's ever looked at the Eddie Eagle GunSafe program or the School Shield program that NRA sponsors and funds? Tell me, what “safe child” programs have you seen coming out of the movie, gaming and music industry? In fact, what programs do our very schools, of which Mr. Eggers is an expert, promote to keep children safe from firearms?

Sam Christenson

Bemidji

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