What is the problem here in the United States with so much anger and killing? Pat, one of my readers, advised me of a terrible statistic the other day, and my research showed her to be correct. It's shocking to discover that there has been a mass shooting somewhere in America ALMOST monthly since 2009!
Not only that, but we are hearing more and more stories of children playing with guns and shooting someone. Then there are the drive-by shootings almost every week on the news, where bullets are shot into a home or car, by mainly young adults.
We also have those weird cases of road rage where someone gets shot or beaten up by an outraged driver. Usually these are caused by nothing more than someone pulling in front of another car and that person goes bonkers over it.
As I stated years ago, there's too much violence on TV and in movies. Even the video games that children play now are just too violent for me to watch. It seems to me that some of these games teach youngsters to shoot and kill people just for the fun of it. Blood comes from their victims as they mow them down and search for more to kill.
Sure, some of us had cap guns when we were kids and shot them at our friends as we played, but we knew that they were toys and wouldn't really hurt anyone. They were as safe to aim and shoot as our fingers, which we would use if we didn't have a toy gun.
There were always guns in the homes that I grew up in, but I didn't touch them or show them to any of my playmates. They belonged to someone else and I was taught at a very early age not to touch things that didn't belong to me. I had my own toys and possessions to play with, and I shared those with my little friends.
It would seem that today we are surrounded by violence and dishonesty of some kind in the newspapers, on TV and in movies. It's hard to find a movie or TV show that doesn't have something pertaining to violence except on the PBS channels.
The movies with the most violence gross highest money returns, and only a Disney production can come close to making as many ticket sales. Can't being surrounded day in and day out by all this violence have a negative effect on people? It sure seems that way to me.
Even reality programs show family members turning against each other with lies and deceitful actions. Morals seem to have been thrown out the window on them as well. Win by any means, is the message that those shows portray to all that watch them. Even the most innocent-seeming series have members telling others to trust them that they are their allies and then they turn against them a second later.
Most kids used to carve their initials into tree trunks or wooden park benches to leave a written legacy. Some turned to spray painting their names or gang logos on walls or fences. It seems that violence is the only way for a few of them to get their "15 minutes of fame," and the saddest part is the innocent people whom they kill or injure to get it.
I believe when we tried to bend over backward not to insult anyone and their beliefs by taking God out of everyday things in America that evil took over. What do you think?
A native of Minnesota, Carol Olson grew up in South Dakota and Walnut Creek and now lives in Pittsburg. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.