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When considering recent mass shootings, we can't forget the potential role that violent entertainment plays



Yes, I wish guns had never been invented, indeed all explosive devices,


But they were, and I despair that the call to strictly control them after every mass shooting of innocents, fails to include defusing a culture whose entertainment and arts more and more glorify killings and maimings. Not to mention violent video games which reportedly were often avidly played by at least two recent mass killers.


A great many Americans haven't a clue about the incredibly cruel and vicious content of these wildly popular games. And how timely and appropriately placed is a video game story next to the November 18th Daily News' two page layout of photos and captions of the twelve innocent women and men victims of a mass shooter in the Washington Naval Yard.


The "Billion-dollar bonanza for violent games" report by Vera Chinese and Stephen Rex Brown should be read by everyone sickened by these unspeakable mass murders, and by violence, in general.


Much of the story will appear here for wider sharing and especially with elected officials and wannabees. They sometimes need reminding that government's first duty is to protect public safety and if they can't legislate against potentially toxic entertainment, at least, they should repeatedly warn against it.


"The game of Crime pays - even in the wake of another gun massacre," the reporters write. "The latest installment of the ultra?violent video game franchise, Grand Theft Auto will generate $1 billion in sales this month ? analysts predict ? despite Monday's massacre at the Washington Navy Yard which killed 12 people."


"And if he were alive today, the dead gunman, Aaron Alexis ? an avid game player - might have been among the thousands who lined up worldwide Tuesday to buy Grand Theft V which allows gamers to cause all manner of mayhem in Los Santos, a model of Los Angeles. There he'd find players can hijack anything from motorcycles to zeppelins and kill targets with a variety of weapons ? machetes, AK-47s, grenade launchers and sniper rifles. In one episode already becoming notorious, players are asked to pull out a victim's tooth with a pair of pliers. The British Mirror reports the players waterboard a victim."


Violent game influence on behavior is widely debated, the article notes, but I go with findings that "gamers do show signs of increased aggression after playing violent games." And why do they want to play these demonic games anyway? Gun access and mental illness are surely paramount factors, but how mindless to deny or slight the influence of violent games and entertainment and arts. Why were cigarette ads banned years ago?


This must-read Daily News story concludes: "In gaming circles, GTA V is being hailed as a masterpiece. Its over the top violence didn't bother gaming site IGN, which gives it a perfect 10, calling it 'preposterously enjoyable, breathtaking in scope and bitingly funny.'"


Read it and weep, yes, but then get up and shout out this often unpopular truth: "It's not only gun violence and metal illness which must be overcome!"


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