20 children, 7 adults, and 1 horribly disturbed teenager. These were the casualties of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the most devastating shooting in American history. Just weeks later, there was another shooting at Taft High School, but thankfully, only one was wounded as teachers talked the 16 year-old perpetrator out of continuing to shoot. Why is this violence taking hold of young Americans? What encourages the perpetrators of these despicable crimes to do what they did? And most importantly, how can we, the American public try to stop it before it is too late?
According to a study done by Academy of Pediatrics, violent media is a possible contributing factor. The Academy of Pediatrics says that, “More than one thousand scientific studies and reviews conclude that significant exposure to media violence increases the risk of aggressive behavior in certain children, desensitizes them to violence and makes them believe that the world is a ‘meaner and scarier’ place than it is.”
There is no question that continued violence on television shows such as “Criminal Minds” or “Dexter” is extremely insensitive when it comes to current events. Why these shows are still getting a sufficient amount of viewers is a question one must leave for American society to answer. The fact that writers of these shows must integrate violence to even obtain viewers in the first place shows how desensitized American society has become. It is logical to see where the correlation between violent media and mass murder comes from. This connection is an integral part to understanding and possibly preventing future shootings like the ones at Newtown and Taft. Writers of violent television shows obviously need to tone down the violence in their shows and American society needs to stop watching shows that have violence in them in order to lower viewers and hopefully, drive the show off the air. The heart-wrenching stories of each child killed in the Newtown shooting is enough to make the American public realize that the violence must stop and going against violence in the media is just one of the many ways to do just that.