Media Violence? A Bunch of Junk! Media violence is not the sole and direct cause of producing the influx of violence in our children recently in society. Though lately it has received the brunt of the negativity directed towards this violence, especially the recent school shootings. People are so worried about what their children watch now all the sudden. Some parents think that video games, rated R movies, newscasts, and graphic TV shows are morphing their children into killers. By doing a little research, watching TV, being a movie fanatic, and also being a teenager (that is supposedly so susceptible to media violence) one could easily formulated some ideas of their own. To take it a step further one could easily gather some expert opinions to show that media violence is not what society s problem is ;at least not directly (Marks). The government and the people associated with it have to stop blaming violence on the media and stop some of the real sources of the problem that they can have an impact on. In the United States, approximately two million teenagers carry knives, guns, clubs or razors. As many as 135,00 take them to school (Grossman). Why in the world does not the government put some more emphasize on stopping this? Because by putting blame of the media, and drawing the blame away from themselves, they can use their ideas to campaign for high offices on our government. By promising to fix the supposed media violence problem they gain offices, but never get to the real core of the problem. Without guns in the schools, school shooting could not take place. Teenagers are able to by enough weaponry to arm a small country if they desire. The government needs to stop using their mouth so much and use a little muscle to lead a major and successful campaign against the accessibility of guns to children. Children going up have and need role models. These role models are to whom the kids look up to, watch so very closely, imitate, and want to be like. When children look for a role model they look for a glamorous role model similar to themselves and that similarity is important. In Basketball Dairies, Leonardo DiCaprio of Titanic fame, and probably the most glamorous actor alive in the eyes of the young, white children, went into a schoolroom and shot numerous children and teachers (McCain). People directly correlated this with some of the recent school shootings, but a man responded with a very good point and that was this: One young man, clearly disturbed, who sees this film and lashes out - there s clearly more at work here than a single film ..Hundreds of thousands of people saw that film and go about their lives as good citizens (McCain). The models seen in movies are more dream-like than reality based, so children tend form more close to home role models. Usually the role model is their parents, maybe a teacher, babysitter, or a coach. Parents are doing a lousy job in raising their kids now a days. As both parents are usually in the work field they are less and less often home constructing good morals, ideals, and standards into their children. Parents blame the increase in violence in today s kids on the media. However parents prompt violence just as much as any TV show does. Americans spend over $100 million dollars on toy guns ever year (Grossman). A gun is used for shooting or killing something. The media is ridiculed for making things to life-like and parents turn around and hand their kid a toy gun and tell them to go outside to play with it. TV shows are already strictly monitored on what they can and can not show on television, and violence shown is usually not explicit or graphic (Marks). Parents have drastically lowered their amount of attention they give to their kids. In doing so they do not notice the tell-tail signs that their child is struggling with life and its conflicts that it presents. They do not have the time to sit down and talk about right and wrong, sex, drugs, and other things that every person will come in contact with during their time here on earth. The media is actually doing these parents a favor by constantly showing commercials that pertain to life s struggles with marijuana, drugs, alcohol, violence, and further telling how to deal with them. It also encourages the parents to spend some time with their kids to explain these things, but still parents neglect this easy task ;then throw the blame on the media. Mr. Scott Broyles, the spokesman for the National Cable Television Association, emphasizes that parents must play a role in what their children watch (McCain). He is exactly right. It is not the violence in the media that causes children to confabulate evil acts. A child that is constantly ridiculed at school, beat up on, not involved with sports, not out for extra circular activities, or has a low number if any friends, is very susceptible to the slightest aggravations that each and every person faces on a day to day basis. If a person has built up years of anger inside them, and is already mad at the world they are just like a bomb waiting to explode. To ignite a bomb there has to be a spark. The spark without a bomb would have a very minute affect on anything, and when compared to the complexity of the rest of the bomb is rather insignificant. This can be easily associated with violence found in the media to form an interesting yet true analogy. For a child already is distress and teetering on the edge of insanity, it may be the final little umff that is needed to project that young individual in a negative direction. However, it is not the sole cause or even an extremely relative one. Obviously the violence in the media is not what is causing kids to lose it and carry out gruesome acts like the recent school shootings. Rather than blaming everything on the media and scrutinizing them so bluntly for these hideous crimes against humanity, we as people should shoulder some of the burden and blame upon ourselves. Only in doing this can the human race begin to gain back some of its respect for each other and the value of human life as a whole. A world or even a nation without respect for the people that make it up will not succeed for long and that lack will lead to that nation s demise. Bibliography Grossman, David. VIOLENCE in Mass Media. Christianity Today. 10 August 1998: 30. Marks, Alexandra. Media Violence: A Target in Wake of Jonesboro. Christian Science Monitor. 27 March 1998: 4. McCain, Robert. Media Violence Plays a Part in Shootings ;Ex-Army Ranger argues TV, Films Affect Children. The Washington Times 10 November 1998: A2.