The blame game
I didn't see the program, nor did Mike Alessi, the author who blogged the post, but he did catch the promo for it:
DATELINE HOST STONE PHILLIPS (voice-over): It's one thing to shoot at a static paper bull's eye, quite another to pull the trigger while aiming at a human target. But Muhammad apparently had this figured out, too.
(on camera): Sources close to the investigation have told DATELINE the duo had access to a popular Xbox video game called "Halo."
(voice-over): The game is a chillingly realistic simulation of what it's like to peer through a telescopic sight, line up an unsuspecting victim in the crosshairs and pull the trigger.
DATELINE has also learned that investigators are looking closely at this 1998 feature film, "Savior," about a man who loses his family to a terrorist bomb and takes revenge with sniper shootings. Sources say the movie likely inspired Muhammad and Malvo.
Ah, yes. The old media-made-him-do-it trick. We've heard this a million times before, from back when parents blamed Ozzy and Judas Priest for the children's suicides to Columbine and beyond.
Either way you look at this, it is bad for all the industries involved. On the one hand, we can end up like some of those nations in denial who have banned all sales of video games.
On the other hand, if people of reason look at this the way I, and many of you do, it could turn out just as bad.
See, I believe that if a person commits suicide while listening to a Marilyn Manson song, the thought had to be in their head to begin with. Startling, eh? A normal, healthy person does not switch on their stereo and say "Oh, a song about suicide, think I'll do that too!"
If a person shoots up his fellow students after playing Doom a couple of times, the violent tendencies and hatred that were instrumental in performing this act had to be in his head to begin with. A normal, healthy person does not look at a violent video game and say "Oh, they're shooting people, think I'll do that too!"
You see where I'm going with this, right? So, in this age of all kinds of correctness and protecting our children and making the world a place full of fuzzy bunnies and pretty rainbows, video games and violent movies will be treated pretty much like guns. Scenario:
A young man walks into Best Buy and picks up Grand Theft Auto or some game like it. He brings it to the cashier.
Cashier: Ok, sir. You know there is a three day waiting period to purchase this game?
Cashier: Ok, I just need your license and social security number, and you have to fill out this form in triplicate.
The man does just that and three days later comes back to pick up his game.
Cashier: I'm sorry, sir. You've been turned down.
Cashier: Well, when I plugged your name and SS# into the Total Information Vast Databank of Everything Everyone Ever Does, Says or Buys, it showed that you are currently under the care of a mental health professional. It clearly says right here on the label of this game, Warning: This game cannot be purchased by sociapaths, psychopaths or idiots.
Man: Which am I?
Cashier: Well, according to our database, you are all three.
Man: Why am I flagged as being an idiot?
Cashier: Well, I'm not supposed to tell you, but it says here that you watch MSNBC news regularly and frankly, that labels you as an idiot. Also, you recently purchased the book "To Kill A Mockingbird" from the Borders Book Store on Fifth Avenue.
Cashier: I'm sorry, but we can't allow you to purchase a violent video game if you own any book, movie or game with the word "Kill" in the title. May I interest you in one of our many Bob the Builder video games for the Playstation? That seems to be all you are allowed to purchase at the moment.
Cashier: Oh, wait! You can't buy that either. It says here that you once got into a fight with a construction worker back in college.
You get the point. Soon, they will just need to slap a label on every form of media saying, You must have clearance from a licensed psychologist, your teacher, your parents, grandparents and the nice old lady down the block before you can purchase this item.
Instead of looking at the real reasons why people commit crimes, blame is being placed everywhere but on the perpetrator. It's the guns, it's the video games, it's the tv shows, it's the music.
It's never the upbringing or the parents. The criminal him/herself is never to blame. Of course not. Someone is always digging deeper, looking for the root cause and coming up with pure bullshit in the process, allowing us to become a society where no one is ever held responsible for their actions.
It's McDonald's fault that your kid is fat. It's the tobacco company's fault that you are coughing up your lung. It's the bully's fault that you can't do your math homework at night. It's dairy industry's fault that you have zits. Go ahead, blame away. We have become a nation of finger pointers and the finger is never pointing at the right person. It's so much easier to blame a big business, to blame the media or anyone that can be sued for millions of dollars, thus easing the pain of the carpal tunnel syndrome you got from jacking off to computer porn all night long. It's the girl's fault for being so damn pretty. It's America's fault for being so damn progressive.
This is what we have to look forward to. A time when every single thing you want to do is legislated and regulated and sterilized, because we cannot accept that a person can be held responsible for their own actions.
If we don't start teaching our kids now that the world is not their fall guy, that you just can't point a finger at someone else and make your negative actions go away, we are in for a real dismal future.