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Wednesday, April 17, 2013
When I grew up, there was no television. As I recall, none of my school peers was a brooding time bomb. Normalcy, with minor exceptions, was the norm. You could walk the streets at night safely anywhere in my hometown.
Although we played with cap guns, none of us thought of them outside the context of cowboy movies. We weren’t aware of real guns. Nobody — nobody — carried murderous thoughts of using real guns on bullies, who existed then too. Why?
At first, TV was a black-and-white, fun thing. The hit shows were really funny. We all laughed. Black-and-white TV relieved our travails. We slept better.
Then came “Gunsmoke,” a big hit, gun justice that was spawned on radio. Everyone liked TV pictures added to sound. Marshal Dillon was a grand figure we millions rooted for.
But almost every weekly episode relied on a gun for resolution. As with nicotine, I didn’t notice the addictiveness, the conditioning of the mind to revenge by “Gunsmoke.”
But the young did.
Fortified by thousands of hours of watching “revenge is the answer,” how could kids not be influenced? Especially the ones not being nurtured properly. Eventually, it came to pass to the present day.
Here and there, some kids don’t know how to handle it. Divorce, business transfers, family fracturing, loss of mentoring removed kids from traditional emotional care. Bullies and loneliness overwhelmed.
And TV feeds them poison.
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