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Let’s Stop Violence With Violence

Violent video gamesA good, old tradition here, in the U.S. If someone uses violence to get something, he/she must be answered with the motherload of violence. That`s one of the first lessons we learn ever since we`re kids. Someone`s bullying you? You`ve got to break his face to make a point. Twenty kids get shot in a school? Gotta burn violent video games to prove violence is wrong.


Video game
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According to The Guardian, this is how a Connecticut community, Southington SOS, wants to “hold an amnesty of violent video games in the wake of last month’s mass shooting in Newtown.” (


The event will take place in Southington, on 12 January. They`ve already prepared a dumpster to collect the items and here`s the best part: they offer gift certificates for whoever “donates” video games to the fire.


“As people arrive in their cars to turn in their games of violence, they will be offered a gift certificate donated by a member of the Greater Southington Chamber of Commerce as a token of appreciation for their action of responsible citizenship” (


So first there`s the act of destruction that`s supposed to be an “action of responsible citizenship” in the battle against violence. Let`s label this as Fail #1.


Then there`s the gift certificates as incentives. Which kind of brings the “action of responsible citizenship” to 0 value. If you want to get people to fight against violence, you need to convince them to bring video games to the dumpster because they`re wrong for their kids, not because they get a gift certificate. Seriously, how many people do you think will take CDs and DVDs to the dumpster for the sake of their children and how many will “donate” them for the gift certificate? People literally stomp on each other to buy stuff on sale, so why wouldn`t they give away some old video games for a free certificate?


Maybe I`m wrong, but I have the feeling it`s just Southington SOS`s way of getting attention and checking a “successful” social campaign on their list. Social campaigns are often measured by the amount of people that participate in it and I`m guessing the gift certificate idea has something to do with it. So I`m going to go ahead and label it as Fail #2.


Somehow, when it comes to stopping violence, we keep failing over and over again. The statistics show it clearer than I could explain, so here`s a chart to show you U.S.A.`s position towards violence:

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U.S.A. is the blue line. The other lines represent other advanced countries.


Indeed, the U.S. has long surpassed the violent era that dominated the `70s and the `80s. But we`re still sky-high when it comes to assaults, bullying and murder. And I can`t help but wonder what is it that keeps us clinging to #1 in the top…


But if you sit and think about it for a minute, the answer is dead-simple. We`re just not used to NOT seeing, hearing or producing violence. Our history so far has got us used to it so much, it comes as an instant response. Even if our intentions are good, our methods of dealing with violent deeds are wrong… because we don`t know any other way around it.


That`s why we`re burning video games after a massacre that instantly brought us to tears. Even though a studies show there`s no direct link between video games and violent behaviours. Kids have been playing those games all around the world for decades, they`ve been watching action movies, where it`s all about kicking everyone`s asses, they`ve been listening to violent music and so on… but you can see what sets the U.S.A. apart in the chart above.


I strongly believe that, if we ever want to put a stop to violence in America, we`ve got to change the way we deal with it. We can`t go on burning games, books or CDs. We can`t forcibly take guns from people, because it`s “for their own good”. And we can`t turn public spaces into prisons, where everything and everyone is under constant surveillance, to make sure no “terrorist act” happens.


It`s all in education and understanding, not in domination and control. We should be educated to view violence as wrong, not have this view forced on us. But as long as the “traditional” methods will be applied, I`m afraid the blue line will just go up and down until a new peak is reached.


What`s your take on this? Do you think things will get better or worse? Any ideas and opinions are welcome, so feel free to share.


By Alec Deacon



3 Responses to Let’s Stop Violence With Violence

  • Hi Alec, Thank you for this site ... I found it through Bill Freeman. Very interesting site ... keep up the good work.

  • You are right. The parents should be turning in the games as a start to getting control over the lives of their children.
    Austrailia had a "turn in your gun" event. Here is a look at the type of impact it had on crime.
    Armed Robbery INCREASED by 69%
    Assault w/ a gun INCREASED by 28%
    Gun Murder INCREASED by 19%
    Home Invasions* INCREASED by 21%
    * The Judicial Branch of the government is in the process of defining Home Invasions because they had never had that type of crime when the citizens had guns as a means of self defense.

    I can't imagine any criminal or mentally deranged/psychotic individual giving up their gun just because they are told to by the government.

  • Most media doesn't want to touch the common thread in most school shootings and mass murders.

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