ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Politics and Social Issues»
  • Social Issues

Possible causes of violence at Aurora Colorado

Updated on July 23, 2012

The suspected assassin

Source

What caused the violent behavior of James Holmes, and why are we becoming complacent about it?

The sad part of the senseless shootings in Aurora, Colorado at a midnight premiere of a Batman movie is that such incidents are becoming far too common, and Americans are getting used to it. We seem to be getting resigned to the fact that such isolated incidents of a crazy loner are part of today’s life and many of us appear to believe that there’s little any one can do about it. Really? Are you serious? Isn’t there some pattern to this psychotic behavior, and is it all that difficult to put in place long-term measures that would minimize the chances of apparently normal persons like James Holmes from committing such hideous acts of violence.

Various factors may be attributed as causing such behavior. However the major one would certainly be the escalating display of violence in movies and video games that kids, particularly boys, from a very early age can view for hours on end. What began as pure entertainment has now evolved into an increasing mix of nonstop violence and increasing doses of gory killings. Even more unfortunate is the glorification of violence and sadistic torture by the villains, who are gradually being idolized by an increasing number of young viewers. Reports of the Aurora, CO slayings suggest that the assassin attempted to imitate the Joker, the villain in the second of the Batman trilogy, a role played by Heath Ledger that was very widely acclaimed and even won him a posthumous Oscar. While it is difficult to enforce censorship on such issues, should we not press for more stringent enforcement of restricting access to young children that are more impressionable to such visual content? Proponents of our rights under the First Amendment should surely understand the limits up to which these rights need to be exercised.

It is also unfortunate that very little, if at all anything, is being done to control our country’s gun laws. How any one can justify the existing liberal laws that allows any civilian to purchase an arsenal of assault rifles and guns, combat accessories, bombs, booby traps, tear gas and a host of other items that are required only on battlefields, by walking into a store or ordering online should be beyond any one’s comprehension. Supporters of Gun rights have of course been quick to attribute this incident as an isolated incident of a crazy individual. But does the right under the Second Amendment allow such crazy individuals to possess such weaponry in the first place? More stringent restrictions at time of weapons’ purchases, particularly of high caliber ones, would be one way to begin. In fact, one wonders why many high caliber weapons should be available to any ordinary civilian. And surely, there can be restrictions on online sales of the various deadly items that Holmes used in the shooting and to booby trap his apartment.

If honest and sustained efforts are made to restrict the violence on screens and even more so in the video games that youngsters have access to, there will be less likelihood of bright youngsters like James Holmes evolving into the role he chose to play out that night. Deny him easy access to deadly weapons and there would have been a much higher probability that he may have just given up on his impulse to play the role of the villain that he is said to have idolized. He may then well have decided to continue his brilliant academic career, and dozens of lives would have been spared, while hundreds more would have been spared the trauma of the horrific events that unfolded that midnight.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Prakash Dighe profile image
      Author

      Prakash Dighe 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas, USA

      No doubt one cannot eliminate such violent acts. But anything that can be done to keep powerful weaponry away from psychopaths .......

    • manningnd profile image

      manningnd 5 years ago

      Agreed about the automatic weapons. Explosives are difficult because they can be made with normal household and farming supplies. Looking into anyone who purchases supplies capable of making bombs in bulk is an option but requires manpower that the ATF and FBI probably don't have.

    • Prakash Dighe profile image
      Author

      Prakash Dighe 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas, USA

      Make it more difficult for any ordinary civilian to walk in to a store and walk away with automatic assault weapons or bomb materials, or to order it online. Killing one person at a time with a hand gun is bad enough, but far less lethal than an automatic weapon. We have to put in place measures to reduce such mass killings.

    • manningnd profile image

      manningnd 5 years ago

      Take away his access to guns and he would have used the bombs he made instead, which would have actually resulted in more deaths. I'm not disagreeing that gun laws are are not stringent enough, I agree with that, just not with the premise that he would have given up.

      The video game that his friends report he was obsessed with was guitar hero, hardly a violent game. There are many books on the best sellers list right now that are very violent, yet I have never heard anyone point the finger at them. Probably because there audience is older, and even though every generation has had its share of mass killers, there always has to be a 'new' reason for psychopaths.

      Killers have been around for a long time, in every culture, religion, and political structure. The only reason mass killings have gone up is because of access to better weapons, otherwise the same people would be killing one person at a time.