In today’s society, people are constantly trying to find scapegoats to justify or explain violence. Whether it be video games or guns, we cannot blame simple objects for the actions of people. To generalize and categorize people and the causes of their reactions is a very common method of thinking; however, to think this way is to create a logical fallacy in the form of a hasty generalization. When one assumes that everyone who plays video games is bound to be aggressive, you also must be implying the same for other objects and toys. Children’s toy guns are not real guns, and they do not always equate gun violence later in life. Playing with a Barbie doesn’t mean a future career as a model.
Violence is personal, and it does not make sense to try to make a general root cause for it. Aggression and anger are primal emotions that developed to keep humans alive when fight or flight was necessary. Many aspects of daily life can induce these emotions and action such as a particularly bothersome student or an offensive comment overheard in the hallway, and this is a normal reaction.
Ph.D. R. Douglas Fields states in his article The Science of Violence: “Viewing violence narrowly from the perspective of psychological dysfunction shirks the larger truth that the biological roots of rage exist in all of us. The leading risk of death throughout the prime of life is not disease. It is violence. If you survive into old age you will most likely die from disease, but according to CDC statistics for deaths in the United States for the year 2014, life ends at the hand of another human so frequently, that from early childhood through middle-age, homicide is the third to 5th most common cause of death in all age brackets between 1-44 years.”
It is not uncommon to think that seeing violence might make someone more prone to act similarly, however this simply has not been proven and what evidence has been provided is irregular and insufficient at best.
Ph.D. Jesse Marczyk, author of Violence In Games Does Not Cause Real-Life Violence claims, “Seeing violence doesn’t suddenly increase the advisability of your pursuing such a strategy, as you are no more likely to be able effectively employ it than you were before your exposure.”
Currently violence has become spotlighted due to recent events specifically involving police brutality, and it is essential to understand the root of these problems. Often these problems are caused by fear. Fear is real and tangible; it is powerful enough to begin wars and also has been used throughout history as a method of forcing civilizations to perform large scale religious conversion. Fear can be the motivation for survival and also the key to someone’s loss. Simple objects and games are not the root of this fear, people are. Until this is understood by society and the inaccurate accusations against inanimate objects stop, violence will continue and social progression will continue to be held back by those people who fear what they do not understand. This change is unlikely to happen any time in the next four years considering fear is what elected Donald Trump. Hopefully, things will look up in the future but at the moment things are bleak.
Written by Clara Comparan, staff writer