A loud cry goes out to ban guns because of increasing violence in America. But guns are not the cause of violence.
According to the FBI’s annual crime statistics, the number of murders committed annually with hammers and clubs far outnumber the number of murders committed with a rifle. So if we can’t blame guns for violence in our society what can we blame?
Violent video games? Violent TV programs? Insufficient guidelines for violent entertainment to protect society from misguided individuals? Broken families? Media attention to murderers and violent acts? A morally bankrupt society? Drug usage?
Considering the impressionable minds of young people in our society as well as the mentally challenged, is it possible that our constitutional right of freedom of expression has become our own worst enemy?
When the freedom of expression was first established did our founding fathers envision a world such as we have today; a world of mass communication at the press of a button? Did they envision freedom of expression in the form of violent video games, for the purpose of entertainment and the effect it would have on impressionable minds?
We are all well aware of the effects of visuals on a captive audience. We have fought to eliminate cigarette ads that entice young people to smoke. We are concerned with the junk food advertisements aimed at children; and after watching and listening to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital video is there any among us that are not motivated to donate? What we hear and what we see has an influence on what we do. Yet with the growing violence in America the only cry that goes out is for gun control.
It reminds me of another problem resulting in death that by far exceeds the number of people who die from gunshot wounds. Obesity currently results in an estimated 400,000 deaths a year in the U.S. and costs the national economy nearly $122.9 billion annually. It makes as much sense to ban guns for the purpose of saving lives as to ban forks to fix the obesity problem.
Unless we look at the real cause for growing violence in our society we will never be able to overcome it.