Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

January 6, 2013

These ‘games’ are serving to train killers

We live in a society that glamorizes violence.

Jamie Foxx is shown in a commercial for “Django Unchained,” a Quentin Tarentino movie, telling a bound man as he kills him; “I like the way you die, Boy!” I guess that violence in the movies is just cool if it has a great sound track and edgy actors.

The popular video games, Call of Duty and Battlefield 3, are of the most violent. These games are known as First Person Shooters. But when you think about it two and be honest with ourselves these games are combat simulators.

NASA used to train the flight crew for the Space Shuttle with flight simulators. It would seem logical that if NASA can use a simulator to train shuttle pilots these “games” can be used to train killers.

The idea that a prohibition on semi-automatic weapons would solve the violence problem in America is a feel-good measure that will be of little benefit, if any at all.

As we know, the Wehrmacht and the SS were not very likely to arm their enemy. During World War II, Russian partisans used empty vodka bottles, a thickened fuel, and a lit rag against German tanks, armored vehicles, and infantry on the steppes, streets and back alleys.

It was a very effective improvised weapon that killed and demoralized scores of German soldiers.

A person bent on taking the lives of innocent people for their own sick sense of righteousness can, with very little work, build deadly improvised weapons just like the Russian partisans.

We saw improvised explosives used by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City a few years ago. He used normal household chemicals and a rented truck for his evil cause, a firearm would not have the effect and make his statement.

His perverse idea of justice claimed 167 innocent lives.

There is only one person who is to blame for the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.; that is Adam Lanza. He alone killed innocents.

Responsible gun owners are not the ones who are causing the tragedies we see today. Blanket bans and increased regulations on those citizens will not have an appreciable effect on gun violence or keep guns out of the hands of mentally unbalanced people.

We can keep weapons out of the hands of people with mental difficulties only when doctors are required to report those patients they feel are a threat to themselves or others to the appropriate authorities.

If the family members have reason to be concerned over a person’s mental health, shouldn’t any weapons held in the household be secured in a safe or storage locker?

It would seem to me that taking those actions would be part of any due diligence one should take if they were contemplating conservatorship or other legal actions for that person.

Shouldn’t personal responsibility extend here as well? Shouldn’t the psychiatrists and legal professionals recommend this type of action? This was a safety issue that sadly was not contemplated.

I can forgive Mrs. Lanza, as she had a cross to bear that many of us cannot comprehend, but I cannot forgive the doctors and lawyers. They should have known better and asked, “What if ... ?”

In this sad chapter of American history we need to remember that the simplest weapons are often the most dangerous. Any tool is only as dangerous as the person behind that tool.

A few lowly box cutters, just a common tool you and I have in our toolbox, have killed more Americans in one day than any other weapon in recent history.

That wretched day was Sept. 11, 2001.

Jeff Robinette

Cumberland

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