[Who/What's Responsible?

] When a violent action is reported publicly, there's a move to blame someone or something for what has happened. As people look for someone to hold responsible for the action, blame can be attached to a variety of objects: guns, knives, and other weapons; violent images on television and in movies; violent video games; and violent lyrics in songs.

Here are three ways that people talk about blame and responsibility for violence in American society. Think carefully about the ways that humans are represented in these ideas — (1) Guns don't kill people. People kill people. (2) Violent video games such as DOOM reward players for violent behaviors, and that behavior affects their actions in day-to-day life. (3) When students see violence glorified on television shows and at the movies, there's little wonder that they commit similar acts of violence. What does the "solution" seem to be according to each of these ways of assigning blame? To what extent are these reasons valid? Who is responsible? Write a paper that reconciles these ideas that are used to account for violence in our community. American society has been engaged in a "circle of blame" about media violence. The "circle of blame" results from a complicated web of ratings and economics that combine to create a system in which each party feels powerless because "somebody else" has created the problem and, therefore, "somebody else" should solve it:

•Viewers blame those who write and create the shows; •Writers/directors say the producers require violence in programs in order to get them financed; •Producers blame network executives for demanding "action" in order to get ratings. •Network executives say competition is brutal and blame the advertisers for pulling out unless a show gets high ratings; •Advertisers say it’s all up to the viewers! Another reason is that for those same 40 years, the "circle of blame" has been fueled by one unanswerable question: Does watching violence cause someone to become violent?

Although there is clear evidence that some children imitate Ninja kicks and that occasionally someone will "copycat" a crime scene in the media, we all know from personal reflection that for most viewers most of the time, the watching of violence does not itself cause people to commit criminal violence — or we would all be murderers!

to our souls? Is the long-term cumulative impact of violence as entertainment transforming our personal worldview? Our collective psyche as a community and as a nation? Children have always learned how to be and behave as adults from the stories of their childhood. what values and world views do these stories communicate? In the past two decades we have become deeply concerned about the physical environment we are passing on to our children. . important.Research indicates that the effects of viewing media violence can be mitigated in all age groups by learning and applying critical viewing and media literacy skills.But parents also have a right to expect that society and its entertainment industries accept responsibility for not harming children by allowing the creation of a cultural environment which can endanger children in their formative years. What can we do? Here are five ideas. 4. 1. 2. What kinds of stories are we entertaining our children with? Most importantly. there is no one solution to the problem of media violence in our time. waiting for "somebody else" to "do something. Mass media today are society’s storytellers. And it is easy to continue pointing fingers. if not more. And it is these questions that can help us break the "circle of blame" by encouraging each of us to accept responsibility for reducing media violence wherever we are.Thus it is easy to deny that media violence is a problem. 5." But suppose we asked different questions? What if we asked: what does watching violence — over many years — do to our minds? To our hearts? Yes. 3. It is these questions that now challenge us today as individuals. as parents and as a society.There is much denial about the impact of media violence because accepting it as a problem means we might have to make changes in our own lives and values.Parental/adult responsibility for managing media in the lives of children is fundamental.Finally. The cultural and spiritual environment they are inheriting is equally.

"I’m willing to be a pebble. cumulatively adds up to widespread social change. Unfortunately there is a healthy profit to be made by escalating fear and hatred into evermore sophisticated ways to maim and destroy human lives. from denial and blame to accepting responsibility for what each of us can do as individuals. "if I’m also part of an avalanche. It’s time to break the "circle of blame" by engaging millions of people in a national movement that leads from awareness to action. Accepting it as a problem means we might have to admit our own complicity in the greedy callousness that can corrupt the human spirit. as parents. from passivity to engagement. it is the accumulation of those individual actions that adds up to create an unstoppable force of public opinion. as in so many other movements. to reduce the amount and impact of violent entertainment in our lives and in the lives of children. along with others. The violent world was created not so much by Rambo films as by our own tax dollars which support multinational arms dealers and international corporations that make billions of dollars on military technology." says the poster at my nearby Ben & Jerry’s. as citizens in today’s media society.Accepting it as a problem challenges those adults who unconsciously — or consciously — take pleasure in violent entertainment. wherever we are. But there are many steps that each of us can take. . And." We will continue to have a problem with media violence until a majority of the American public understands why it is harmful and decides to change their own behavior — recognizing that their behavior. Just like we have all come to believe that every single pop can we pick up is one small step in saving the environment. Accepting it as a problem means we may have to face the shadow side of our human nature which most of us want to avoid.

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