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Letters to the Editor

Violent video games promote ‘callousness’

I grew up during Vietnam in a small town where all my friends had guns and hunted a lot. For my friends, getting a deer meant lots of jerky; I never once heard them talk about the kill, or how it was fun, or exciting.

There was the occasional schoolyard “rumble,” but weapons were never introduced.

When some of my friends came back from Vietnam, most didn’t want anything to do with guns, and in many cases would not talk about their service.

I knew folks who worked in slaughterhouses. They all said after a few days, these “carcasses” were no longer animals – they were just meat.

The level of callousness regarding these living creatures and how quickly it developed always amazed me – I am not a bleeding heart!

I have struggled mightily to understand why the school carnage is now and not then?

Parents still work long hours, kids still get in trouble, kids still play sports and do kid things. There are still good parents and not-so-good parents. There are still a bunch of guns.

However, there is one glaring difference.

I shopped at Aldi recently. A 5- or 6-year-old boy was sitting in his mom’s basket. His mom told him twice to turn down the “machine guns noise on his game,” as he killed whatever he was after.

I may be completely wrong, but one glaring difference is the desensitization of our kids through violent video games. Has playing these games week after week made our kids callous to violence? The games are very, very real.

Almost all, if not all, school shooters are avid video game users.

You have to ask, is this the difference between then and now? Or a big part of the callous behavior regarding humans?

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