Of Shooters and Schools

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Of Shooters and Schools

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Why must we pay the price
For others sins and vice?
As I lay dying here, I cry.
I wonder, <i>Why, why, why?</i>
~Joseph M. Skipsey, April 23rd, 2007

<b>Of Shooters and Schools</b>

Can video games make kids more violent? A new study employing state-of-the-art brain-scanning technology says that the answer may be yes.
Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine say that brain scans of kids who played a violent video game showed an increase in emotional arousal - and a corresponding decrease of activity in brain areas involved in self-control, inhibition and attention.
Does this mean that your teenager will feel an uncontrollable urge to go on a shooting rampage after playing "Call of Duty?"
-Excerpt Taken from the MSNBC On the Level article, "Does game violence make teens aggressive?"

It&#39;s the same tired old stories, over and over. These are but entertainment, without meaning. So, they make you more violent? No, I believe the article is suggesting that playing violent video games simply makes you more more "emotionally aroused."

You can&#39;t blame games, the ESRB was put there for a reason. If you&#39;re unaware that video games are under a strict ratings system, you don&#39;t deserve to speak on such an issue. Movies don&#39;t have anything on the incredible vista of the ESRB. You can&#39;t find a medium of entertainment with a more defined set of guidelines than the ESRB, and the ratings are there for a reason, and deserve enforcement.

Pardon me, but just because you can scan and find emotional arousal, does that mean positive emotion? Negative emotion? Neutral emotion? What exactly does this arousal mean? Until it can be discerned, all these statements are inaccurate. You need to prove then, that emotion is the link. Or, is it? After all, these killers are described as being cold and emotionless, right?

What makes people do the violent acts in the first place? So far, most of these cases have shown mental illness, rage/anger issues, hate, race, and of course, suffering. Where are the cases of sane, rational, normal individuals playing these games and deciding to go kill people? None. All the school shootings? Most were angry youth, youth with guns, youth who were outsiders, the weak, the defenceless, the bullied. Not a single average Joe picking up a gun after a refreshing game of "Kill People" and blowing away innocents.

What we fail to see is an actual connection between motive and games. I see motive in one way, and games in another, because they are NOT the SAME! There are very well-defined lines between motive and what someone does in their spare time. You see, when it comes down to it, you need motive to commit, and without a motive, there is no crime.

Motives like, oh say: Abuse by parents, abuse by peers, bullying, loneliness, delusions, hatred, religious beliefs, monetary issues, and many more.

What needs to be examined is the link between society and killers like this. What makes these people? Look, and you shall find, and it will surprise me not, but shock you beyond your comfortable world of minor tragedy.

The breakdown in society comes not from video games, but from the way we treat some people in it. No one can imagine what horrors some have gone through. I have lived through what I can only describe as sheer torture, for a lack of wanting to dredge up the painful memories. I have come through, and come through well, and I am now working on becoming someone to change the ways these things go about. "Boys will be boys." A bitter, and cruel memory of a tear cried long ago.

I came through my own trial that was childhood, and emerged matured beyond my chronological age. I have stared a coming death in the eyes, and welcomed it with relief. Never does one grow so quickly than when faced with their own life, about to be snuffed out. But I did not die, thanks to one boy who saw others throw me into a dumpster like so much trash, unable to move my arms from the beating they gave me first, bare seconds before a garbage truck came by to collect the garbage, to compact it... and me. One boy, who defied apathy, and saved my life. Live through the worst pain you could ever feel, for six years, alone, different, and scared, then claim that "Boys will be Boys."

For some, the burden warped them, destroyed them, and turned them into beasts, murderous and violent. Killers. But, thanks to several factors, including loving, caring parents, kind teachers, books, and counselling, I stayed human.

It&#39;s an odd feeling, to know you have lived through what broke others, what turned them into bitter, meek, but ever defiant individuals, right down to when they killed others and then themselves.

It&#39;s hard to take when others blame playthings, hobbies, toys, and useless, un-important junk and lay the cause of guilt onto simple objects. Hard to take, to know that someone spent their life in pain, ends it, and yes, they made a bad choice, but it was also a lesson. One which went ignored. Rather than try to fix what is broken, we find ways to avoid examining it. It&#39;s hard to believe, that when a young man kills his peers, takes his life, and writes in a note left in his house about just how horrible a life it was, that others simply dismiss it as vanity, preening, a bid for publicity, rather than take in stride that there is a problem in the echelons of societal form. No one understands them. And that&#39;s one of the worst parts.

I am alive. I am well. I live my life, and rejoice in the pleasures of taking breath, looking at the natural beauty of the world around me, the cool caress of the wind on my face, with the glow of the sun. I live content, confident in a future, bright in possibilities. But I will always remember what it took to make me see the way I do, to have the very thing that makes me different, and the humiliation and indignities I lived through. But the past is the past, and I look to the future, looking to speak, be heard, and change the system that nearly destroyed me, the system that is supported by the strong, the system that propagates stereotypes, and the system that creates the very things it fears most.

I lost my childhood when I was but six. I grew up too fast, in a hard system, and have learned some very hard lessons. These lessons have taught me what you&#39;re still struggling to comprehend. There is no deep mystery to why the school shooters do this. It is simply misguided vengeance, striking against what they feel is the cause of their misery. Their school, their peers, and themselves. They hate their existence, and others for what they did to make their existence the kind they hated. Therefore, they attack both at the same time, and martyr themselves to their ideas of justice, of vengeance, and of retribution. They do it for themselves, for other victims, for the weak, the defenseless, whatever they want to.

Because they are without hope. They are without pity, for they have received none. They have no mercy or regret, as they have learned from those who showed them nought. Their consciences are but husks, destroyed by oppression and injustice. They looked into others eyes as they were hurt, as they were abused, in pain, and all they saw were the malice of their attackers, and the apathy of the crowd, staring into their eyes, and seeing nothing. They have walked where few have dared to tread, but where several are forced to walk. Alone, feeling only the worst things, falling into darkness, with healthy shoves from ignorant and callous peers.

This is why. This is what no one will say. This is not your pretty glossy CNN coverage, not your heartening fiction of fantasy, nor your peppy college psychology lecture. This is hard, gritty truth, this is a revelation of knowledge, and a desperate cry to end the pain, the bloodshed, the sorrow.

Kind of sad, don&#39;t you think, how a 17 year old just told you exactly what countless people have been searching for. The answers to why School Shooters do what they&#39;re named for. And do you know what the saddest part will be? When this goes ignored, because this couldn&#39;t possibly be it. And I will watch and cry, as more and more people die while we look for the answer that is right in front of our noses, as we assign blame to scapegoats, and as we lower the bodies of innocents, and heroes into the ground.

--

<b>Author&#39;s Comments</b>

I hate the way the world is working these days. All violence and bloodshed, killers and crazies, all over school shootings. The latest Tragedy is now becoming a Travesty, and all we can seem to do is blame peripherals.

Monsters aren&#39;t born; They&#39;re created.

--

Original submitted to deviantart.com on April 23, 2007:
href="http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/53886930/">http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/53886930/</a>

Licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/">Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License</a>.

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Joseph M. Skipsey

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2007-05-24

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Brent Jesiek

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eng

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Joseph M. Skipsey, "Of Shooters and Schools," in The April 16 Archive, Item #233, http://april16archive.org/items/show/233 (accessed September 2, 2014).