Teddy Bear Boy Strikes Again

It happened again. The Enquirer has published another letter from my co-worker. The topic this time is about violent video games.

I can’t blame him and his narrow, ignorant views. Instead, I blame the Enquirer for the absence of a true editorial department. Brian over at Cincy Blog has aired the very same complaint. I guess we can’t expect too much from a paper that continues to allow Peter Bronson to air his grievances on a regular basis.

A truly strange part of the letter has to be where he says, “Our country was founded with firearms, and the ultimate check and balance of our government is through an armed citizenry.” This is news to me. It used to be that we maintained a free society through open and fair elections and freedom of the press. I know that we can say that both are being threatened right now, but does he expect change or a revolution through a firearm? I need to remind him that his handgun is no match to an attack helicopter or tank. The last time I checked, the government wasn’t too keen on civilian militia groups.

The rest of the rant is factually incorrect. First of all, he is implying that the Virginia Tech killer played video games and therefore developed violent behaviors. For someone who watches Fox News on a daily basis, this may seem sensible, but the truth is that the killer did not play video games. In fact, there is no research that shows that violent video games are a basis for violent crimes. By saying that they are, you are also admitting that it was the Beatles, “White Album” that caused Manson to go on a murderous rampage.

His letter is just a fine example of how people on that side of the pro-gun argument need to find something to blame for the problem, no matter how ridiculous it may seem.

In fact, you cannot pinpoint one thing to blame this on and move along as if the problem is solved. There are many factors to what causes gun violence and it’s not video games, or liberal views, or one of the greatest albums in the history of rock-n-roll. To say that we can completely rid ourselves of violence or violent behavior is just fantasy, but to curb violence and violent behavior is something that can be achieved.

Whether it’s mandatory background checks for criminal behavior and mental illness or changing the gun culture to responsible gun ownership through education, we can keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have one. But, it’s not only gun control that is needed – we also need affordable and accessible health care, including mental health care. Mental health care is a big part of the puzzle.

We also need to get away from this culture of fear that has been forced upon us. When people live in fear, they buy something to protect themselves and their family and the results of that could be devastating.

Now, being the nice co-worker that I am, I shared these views with my co-worker. My reasonable argument was interpreted as criticism of his creative writing.

My challenge to him is still on. I have told him to let me know when he plans to write a letter to the editor and what the topic would be so I can counter his argument. The goal is to see which letter gets published. My guess is that I will lose.

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