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Teachers and parents:
     Shootings and other violence
in our communities are created by
violent TV programming and movies.
                      "The data is irrefutable."

     Virtually all of the talk about violence in our communities ignores the real culprits responsible for the violence: the producers of violent TV programs, movies, and video games that promote and glamorize murder and mayhem. They saturate viewers, particularly the young, with around the clock violence, then shed crocodile tears over the savage brutality their productions perpetrate in our communities. Meanwhile glib politicians sanctimoniously rail against guns and wring their hands over shootings in reports aired by news media owned by the same corporations that make money promoting violence -- and then make more mSee BSoney decrying it. Their politician-accomplices make no reference to the culture of death created by corporate media and contributing to the monstrously evil acts now too common in our communities. Perhaps these observations by former Lieutenant Colonel and West Point Psychology Professor David Grossman can shed  light on what is happening to us -- and motivate us to do something about it:

     "Data linking violence in the media to violence in society is superior to that linking cancer and tobacco. The American Psychological Association (APA), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Surgeon General, and the Attorney General have all made definitive statements about this. When I presented a paper to the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) annual convention in May, 2000, the statement was made even then that: 'The data is irrefutable. We have reached the point where we need to treat those who try to deny it as we would treat Holocaust deniers.'

     "Classical conditioning is like Pavlov's dog in Psych 101. Remember the ringing bell, the food, and the dog could not hear the bell without salivating? In World War II, the Japanese would make some of their young, unbloodied soldiers bayonet innocent prisoners to death. Their friends would cheer them on. Afterwards, all these soldiers were treated to the best meal they've had in months, sake, and to so-called 'comfort girls.' The result? They learned to associate violence with pleasure. The media is doing it to our children. Kids watch vivid images of human death and suffering and they learn to associate it with: laughter, cheers, popcorn, soda, and their girlfriend's perfume.

     "Today the media are providing our children with role models, not only in the lawless sociopaths in movies and in TV shows, but in the transformation of these schoolyard killers into media celebrities. Thus we get the effect of copycat, cluster murders that work their way across America like a virus spread by the six o'clock local news. No matter what someone has done, if you put their picture on TV, you have made them a celebrity and someone, somewhere, may emulate them. This effect is magnified when the role model is a teenager, and the effect on other teens can be profound.

     "The American people need to be informed. Every parent must be warned of the impact of violent visual media on children, as we would warn them of some rampant carcinogen. Violence is not a game, it is not fun, it is not something that we let children do for entertainment. Violence kills. The media are selling violence, and we do not have to buy it. An educated and informed society can and must find its way home from the dark and lonely place to which it has traveled."

     Can anything be done about the sociopathic corporate media creators of violence? Yes. Stay tuned to CityDesk.us for more -- and for what you can do about it. -- John Gile

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