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Coping with the Tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings.

User avatar
CaitR

Post: 58
Location: Commack, 11725

Coping with the Tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings.

17 Dec, 2012 4:17 p.m.

When faced with tragedy, as the Newtown, Connecticut community is today, as they lay to rest the first of the 26 victims of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, one question comes to everyone’s mind – “How could we have prevented this tragedy from happening?”

As a country, we all mourn this senseless loss of life – which included 20 kindergarteners, their principal, teachers, and school faculty. Countless media outlets have posed the question – “What could have been done differently to prevent this?” Answers range from stricter gun laws, to bettering the mental health care system in the US, and everything in between – there simply is no one answer to the proverbial “Why” when something so awful, and heinous happens.

As we reflect on shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, let us use this as an opportunity to discuss how we, as a nation, can prevent, and be better prepared for situations of unprovoked violence. Let us know what you think, Long Island, and you think future tragedies can be prevented.

User avatar
RobertO

Post: 2
Location: East Islip, NY

Re:Coping with the Tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings.

18 Dec, 2012 10:47 a.m.

I don't know how I feel about the gun control issue. I don't believe in guns, but I do play video games, so that makes me a violent nutjob, I guess. I think it's important for parents, educators and policymakers to understand that entertainment (books, film, games) are not to blame for violence. That's the prevailing wisdom whenever something horrible happens, but realistically, being a parent (good or bad, doesn't matter) and monitoring what entertainment your children are consuming goes a long way in explaining that whatever they are watching or playing isn't reality. Distinguishing between fantasy and reality and doing one's part in not passing the buck onto entertainment is key to understanding violence and crime in this country.

User avatar
amyg

Post: 33
Location: ----

Re:Coping with the Tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings.

18 Dec, 2012 2:30 p.m.

I don't think video games are the number one cause of these recurring events, but there is something disturbing about blowing people up or gunning them down in virtual worlds -- which every year look more and more like our own as graphic designers continue to raise the bar. It's not as easy as pointing a finger at the entertainment and gaming industries, and yet there is something to be said of the desensitizing effect of seeing violent imagery for hours and hours on a daily basis. That being said, I think there are many factors that play a role in this problem. First and foremost, the ease of purchasing a weapon that really is not practical for either self-defense or hunting, yet empowers someone who otherwise feels week and oppressed is an issue that needs to be addressed. There have been a number of really great suggestions from a variety of national leaders on this topic. Secondly, I think we also need to be cautious in our claims that particular mental conditions are to blame. I have a number of friends who are psychologists, social workers and counselors who are outraged at the characterization of people on the autism spectrum, and many of the media outlets have inaccurately portrayed people with this condition as having a "disease" that is harmful to others. While we should always pay attention to improving the lives of people with mental diseases and conditions, we should not be convinced that this is the only problem, and a viable solution to the gun violence epidemic as Mayor Bloomberg aptly described it. I think the examples set by legislation restricting the sale of military assault weapons in other countries, as well as our own expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban will be invaluable resources going forward.

User avatar
RobertO

Post: 2
Location: East Islip, NY

Re:Coping with the Tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings.

18 Dec, 2012 4:01 p.m.

But at the same time, being a parent makes you responsible for paying attention to what your children consume, entertainment-wise. If the "reality" of gaming is too much, then do not buy the game for your kids. It's really quite that simple. It's wrong to say an entire industry needs to shut itself down or police itself heavily because of a few horrible incidents. Those of us mature enough to handle the violence and ugliness of a game should be allowed to consume that particular media, be it film, novel or game.

Policing a child's entertainment is simple. Merely talk to them and pay attention to trends. That's it. You'll be able to have conversations that will bring you closer together, you'll gain a greater understanding of just what it is about the entertainment they consume that appeals to them and you'll be a better parent for it.
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