Thursday, June 23, 2016

Our leaders are shouting at each other and nothing gets done.


It's not true that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.  It has been (incorrectly) attributed to Einstein in the meme-dominated world of social media but it is too insipid to have come from such a smart person.  

Actually insanity is easy to define - even easier to witness.  

Just look at what is going on in our society today - we have a love affair with guns and violence in our entertainment.  Every form of entertainment: from TV shows to movies to video games all showcase death and mayhem from weaponized violence.  These forms of entertainment are exported all over the world (yes, that means we are tutoring incipient radicalized jihadists in Syria).   

But that isn't the crazy part.

The crazy part is when we wince at the brutal violence that is brought to our cities with these mass shootings.  We hold vigils for peace and then go play Assassin's Creed?  That's crazy.  A culture becomes what it is fascinated with.  A culture of death and mayhem receives death and mayhem.

But that still isn't the craziest part.

The craziest part is that we have leaders who are trying to figure all of this out and are acting like kids.  Last week our leaders voted down four proposals (two from each political party) to try to reign in gun violence.  Are you kidding me?

Both political sides voted each other down?

Yes, I get it - one side wants to establish universal background checks that allow the government to deny dangerous citizens the right to purchase guns (like those who are identified as terrorists and are currently on a list of not being able to fly anywhere).  Seems reasonable.  Just vote on it already.

The other side wants to make sure that we don't mess with the Constitution that made sure to include wording that says the government cannot limit a citizens access to weapons. They feared that at some point the government could turn evil and impose its will on a people who are unable to defend themselves.  I get it.  That is important as well.

But the way we are dealing with this is crazy.  Our 'leaders' are currently shouting at each other.  This is really sad.  Listen, those who think differently than you are not morons - respect each other and work together.

Those who say the solution is simple are adding to the insanity.  It is not true Americans from either party want to sell guns to ISIS.  Yes, a politician said that.  Yes, that is crazy.  But we can't let organizations with financial interests in guns convince us doing nothing is an option.  That is equally as crazy.

But let's not kid ourselves.  "Why is God letting this happen?" is not a valid question.  We have breezed past the teachings of Jesus long ago.  This is not His fault, it's ours.  You become what you are fascinated with.  And as we seek to find a way out of this mess, I hope we have the smarts to see that we can get out of this mess if we become a little more interested in God's rhythm of life than our own fascination with death.

Resources that link entertainment and aggression:

  1. Brad Bushman, Mario Gollwitzer, and Carlos Cruz, "There Is Broad Consensus: Media Researchers Agree That Violent Media Increase Aggression in Children, and Pediatricians and Parents Concur," Psychology of Popular Media Culture, July 2015
  2. Jeff Grabmeier, "‘Broad Consensus’ That Violent Media Increase Child Aggression,", Oct. 6, 2014
  3. Paul J. Lynch et al., "The Effects of Violent Video Game Habits on Adolescent Aggressive Attitudes and Behaviors," Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Apr. 19-22, 2001
  4. Dave Grossman, "Conditioning Kids to Kill," (accessed Sep. 16, 2015)
  5. Corey Mead, "Shall We Play a Game?: The Rise of the Military-Entertainment Complex,", Sep. 19, 2013
  6. Brandon Keim, "What Science Knows About Video Games and Violence,", Feb. 28, 2013
  7. Douglas A. Gentile, "The Multiple Dimensions of Video Game Effects," Child Development Perspectives, June 2011

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