Personal Thoughts

Editorial Section

Victims of the Victims

After sitting here, watching an evening of television, it is clear to me what happened in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Little Drew Golden and Mitch Johnson are victims themselves; guilty, perhaps, of murdering innocent school mates, but none the less victimized themselves by hour after hour, hundreds of hours of violence, as witnessed on their parents' televisions. Those who died in this tragic event are the victims of the victims, all of them victimized by a television and movie industry totally out of control.

I have heard some reporters say that the parents of these children had done everything right; supposedly locking up their guns, and yet these boys still managed to get their guns. However, this is NOT true.

According to an article in Time Magazine, April 6th, 1998, the guns that were locked up were NOT used. Try as these young boys tried, using a sledge hammer and torch, they failed to gain access to the guns that were properly secured!! It was the guns that were not secured correctly that they used in the school yard shootings.

Any day now I expect to hear President Clinton announce that the federal government will take the initiative to remove guns from society. Any day now I suspect we will be told that we no longer have the 2nd Amendment right to protect our homes, families, and our very way of life. What do you expect them to do, since some of us choose not to properly secure our weapons from our kids? And yet, how sad that intelligent men and women put emotion before National Security, before the U.S. Constitution, before common sense.

The Real Problem

Ask yourself one question: What do we have in common with all of society from the Pacific to the Atlantic, from the Mexican border to Canada? The answer: Television/Movies.

There are those who will immediately say; "But, I have a mind of my own, and I don't go around killing people after watching a violent movie or television show!" Indeed this is right, most of us have enough moral fabric left inside of us that we don't act on everything we see. But, what about the long-term effect on society by witnessing so much violence each and every day?

Those who do not agree, let me ask you another question: If you, I, and the rest of society cannot be swayed by what we see and hear on the television set, then why do you suppose corporations spend MILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars each day, overall, to advertise their products on your television? Could it be they know something you don't know? One thing is for sure, they don't spend that kind of money out of the goodness of their heart just so you and I can watch these shows!

Okay, so what do these 30- and 60-second spots in between all of this violence do for them? Well, it shapes peoples' buying habits..... and to do that, they have to change their minds about what they buy when they go to the store. If they can do that with short 30- and 60-second advertisements, what is an hour-long movie filled with violence doing to your inner psyche? Movie after movie after movie after movie, day after day after day after day?

Okay, perhaps you and I can resist the latent affects of all that violence we see and hear on our television; but, what about our children? I sat and watched some of the cartoons my grandson watched and I finally brought all the violence he was seeing to the attention of his mother. The violence being shown and demonstrated to our children via seemingly innocent cartoons is staggering. And yet we let them watch this trash.

If you ask me, it was not the guns those two boys had that killed those kids. It was day after day after day of witnessing violence on their parents' television. If their parents are guilty of anything, they are guilty of trusting producers and writers to put wholesome and honorable programming on their televisions.

One more question. If learning how to handle firearms is all that bad and it allegedly contributed to what these two boys did in Arkansas, then why hasn't tons and tons of other gun-respecting, gun-knowledgeable kids acted out the very same scene that occurred in Jonesboro?

I think I know the answer to that one... Thanks for listening.

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Alicia Colombo, 1995The Beginning or End
By Alicia Colombo


Copyright©1999 Allan B. Colombo