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Possible causes of violence at Aurora Colorado
The suspected assassin
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.