Are you still reeling from the senselessness and brutality of the movie theater massacre in Colorado? I know I am. Unfortunately, they seem to be increasing, and that has led me to do some thinking about the causes.
Most of these perpetrators are mentally deranged, as well as filled with irrational hatred. One really does wonder how people can become so twisted they can plot for months on end to slaughter people they don't know.
You might disagree with me, but I honestly think there is a connection between the obscenely violent films and games that are so popular and many of these murders. I know it's not fashionable to say this, since so many so called "experts" tell us that it's absurd to think so.
But it's far from absurd. If you have young people exposed to violence from the time they are small, you cannot tell me they don't become desensitized to suffering and murder. I believe that these pornographically violent films and games affect brain chemistry in an insidious way and to prove my point I cite the very well documented " internet addictions" to these games.
Why would any parent allow a child or teenager to watch any film or play any game that revels in torture and dismemberment, bondage and sexual abuse of women and murder? Why do we even consider this "entertainment"?
Yet, every time there is a new film or game in this genre, adults and youngsters alike flock to see and buy it in droves. The effect of this constant exposure is a disconnect between the reality of torture and murder and the murky fantasy projected by the film or game. In a developing mind, this must have a deleterious effect. We know that these films and games stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain. In some unstable and mentally ill people, this can lead to "acting out".
Just the fact that this most recent massacre occurred in a theater showing an extremely violent film and was committed by a man who dyed his hair bright red and declared he was "The Joker", proves there is a connection. He may be as crazy as a bag of squirrels, but the films gave him the idea. It's also astonishing how the film company extended some tepid condolences, canceled their opening festivities and then said that they wouldn't publish the box office numbers until Monday "out of respect for the victims". ARE THEY KIDDING? People are dead. Really dead.Who gives a damn about their box office?
The decent thing to do would have been to pull the movie and release it later, but it seems money is much more important than human decency.
Of course the clamor for gun control begins with every one of these terrible killings. There are too many guns being bought by too many unstable people. Nobody needs an AK-47, nobody should be able to buy thousands of rounds of ammunition without any oversight. But the intention to kill must be in place before the gun is used against innocent people. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible, decent citizens who would never dream of using their weapons against fellow human beings.
We may never be able to prevent these few insane individuals from committing these terrible killings. Norway has total gun control, yet the monster who slaughtered all those children at camp in Norway obtained his guns and bullets illicitly for months before his heinous crime.
I think a good place to start is at home. If you are a parent, don't allow your child to watch ugly, violent films that glorify the torture and suffering of other human beings. Same goes for games.
Are there other factors involved here? Of course. Schizophrenia, illicit and prescription drug use and other forms of mental illness are definitely in play. But feeding our worst impulses with sick, violent and obscene images, can only contribute to mental degeneracy.
Let me put it this way. You wouldn't allow someone to come into your home and defecate on your floors. Don't let the purveyors of this violent filth defecate in your children's minds.
Dr. Kleine regrets she cannot give advice by phone or e-mail. To make and appointment call 631.472.8139 or e-mail us at Drfootsi@myway.