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Rebel Against Violence

This is a call for all to join an initiative to create a campaign that will rebel against the training of our kids to violence and killing. I pray and hope the leadership will be taken up by kids.

My name is Harry Shamir, of Plymouth County, MA.

I call on all readers of this blog to join an initiative I hope will go viral, to create a campaign that will rebel against the training of our kids to violence and killing.

Since  Jan. 15, I have been active with others, to act to reduce the amount of education towards violence and virtual killing. I am referring to the training in unbridled savagery and absence of compassion, from playing violence based video games.

We claim such games are actually training grounds for reducing the value of life to something of no greater value than a finger micro-motion, even if the so called life is but an image on the screen.

It implants the idea that killing is fun. That killing is an acceptable social action.  That killing is what one does when in even the mildest of conflicts.  It is not brainwashing, it is brainfilthying.

We are motivated by the Sandy Hook experience indeed. But also by all the other events of late of similar nature, Columbine included.

Games in which death can be inflicted at no pain to the killer, without remorse of any kind, as a matter of pleasant pastime, is not Judeo-Christian, is not in keeping with modern western civilization, is nothing but extreme bullying, and it needs to be curbed.

We are not naive. We know it cannot be extirpated. However, we also know from history that some of the worst excesses of our human predatory and bullying nature can be curtailed. As evidence I offer the abolition of slavery, the abolition of the color bar, our society's acceptance of women as co-equals, the abandonment of sex as a tool of control, and the advances of late towards the idea that not ALL is allowed in love and war, especially war.

We are individuals, mostly citizens of small towns in out of the way places, but not out of the time we live in. I say that NOT taking action to reduce the worship of violence, NOT reducing the training of our children to violence, NOT reducing our kids' apathy to suffering even if only of a stick figure image on a screen, constitutes training them for the devil may care attitude necessary to wantonly maim and kill. Consider the repercussions of this training in the near future when weapons will be wielded at distance, out of sight, by video, as drones already are in the military.

I say we need to take leadership, if only because it is our duty as citizens, as parents, as civilized humans.

Yes, we are fully aware that the NRA is prating a similar line to exculpate guns and gun ownership. However, ours is a separate campaign, not to be commingled  with the NRA.

We hope to obtain widespread informal cooperation of all citizens and officials , and most importantly, of kids having the inclination to be active in fixing the world we adults are messing up.

Specifically for town governments and school administrations, we propose action as already taken by the town of Melrose, as told the Globe by Mayor Robert Dolan.  In Melrose, violent video games, movies, and toys of violence provided by residents, would be exchanged for some type of reward coupons. I ask that towns all across the USA do something similar. For drama it was suggested that crushing ceremonies be held in conjunction with the periodic Firemen & Police get-to-know-you days. Please ask your own Town to enact this As Soon As Possible.

Thank you for reading this. Please discuss with your kids, and TAKE ACTION.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

H Shamir February 28, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Mr Langworthy, unfortunately you prove my point.
Casey Meserve February 28, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Mr. Langworthy's comment was deleted because it contained unacceptable language.
Thomas Sever March 02, 2013 at 03:56 PM
So you believe censorship is the way to go then? When there are many studies that say media violence does not cause real world violence? When many countries consume larger amounts of media violence and have a smaller violent crime rate than the US? That violence has been portrayed, even in some of the oldest texts known to man, and yet you want it gone all for the sake your belief?
H Shamir March 02, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Mr Sever, Censorship is a form of bullying. God forbid we impose that. My call is for voluntary abstention. Of course that takes character. As for your point that media violence does not generate real violence, that relates to passive viewing of fiction. As for the non-fiction, the sheer number of copycattings is proof it does. My campaign relates to the active participation of the player in the imaginary mayhem and killing. I hold it as self evident that what you train a person to do, may translate eventually into action, with high probability. As for the most violent portrayals of violence in history, that was the Roman arena entertainment. As you undoubtedly know, the Roman period was one of the most violent we are aware of. The "entertainment" was violent by design, as the Roman dominance was based on terror by government policy.
Thomas Sever March 03, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Nonfiction is things like biographies or real events. Removing violence from things that are nonfiction would censor the media, since everything that hasn't happened is labeled as fiction. Diehard is fiction, forest gimp is fiction, reservoir dogs is fiction. Argo is based on a true story so it would be censored. The definition of nonfiction is, and I quote, "the branch of literature comprising of works of the narrative prose dealing with or offering opinions or conjectures upon facts and reality, including biography, history, and the essay ( opposed to fiction and distinguished from poetry and drama.)" henceforth, like I said, your options would be forced to censoring the history books, newspapers, news media, biographies, and plots based on a true story. Furthermore, there is no copycating. That is a myth. There is no media that shows a man walking into a school and slaughtering children. The closest thing to any copycating from modern media violence is gang related music videos. As for history, read Shakespeare and tell me there is no violence within. Your crusade is a slippery slope that violates the 1st amendment. If a parent doesn't want their child to watch or play or listen to a specific thing, then they should be parents and say no.
Thomas Sever March 03, 2013 at 12:53 AM
PS : Who are you to say what I as a 30 year old adult am allowed to consume? I've witnessed some of the most violent things in media. In Books, Television, Movies, and Videogames, and I've never even picked up a gun.
H Shamir March 03, 2013 at 01:38 PM
Mr Sever, I reiterate: Censorship is a form of bullying. God forbid we impose that. My call is for voluntary abstention. I said that originally, but perhaps you missed this central point. Otherwise we are in agreement. I abhor imposed censorship. FYI: the media imposes upon itself voluntary censorship, by the simple means of selecting the stories it airs, and the amount and quality of what is portrayed, print and image alike. It used to be far more - up to the 60's. The mores were also different, with cultural bullying galore (who was always right, the white man or the Native American?). As for criminal copycatting, just ask any cop. You do have a point in that not everybody is affected equally. How can we? We are after all to some degree individuals with own moral beacons. "To some degree" I say, since when all the actions are analyzed statistically, herd behavior stands out flashing as a red beacon. Hence the call for self discipline in recognition of the influence on young minds of participation in violent videogames, where finger micromotion is sufficient to kill kill kill, dulling understanding of results in real life, and certainly reducing compassion. That training does not dissipate.
Thomas Sever March 03, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Penn and Teller once did a program called "Bull****", and they did a particular episode on Videogame violence. I suggest you give it a watch. Within it, they take a child who has played shooter games to a gunrange. The child fired a few rounds and then went sobbing to his mothers arms. Videogames may decensitise us a little, but there is no real connection between their violence in real world violence. Billions are sold, yet acording to the FBI's own statistics, Violent crime has been dropping steadily in the United States for the last 30 years. Coincidently matching the Rise of Videogames. Infact, the US isnt even in the top 10 Countries when it comes to Violent Crime. Dont believe me? Take a look at a MSNBC report with all the links needed to look at the Data. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/06/11/12170947-fbi-violent-crime-rates-in-the-us-drop-approach-historic-lows?lite Just because a crazyman shot up a school dosent mean our country is falling into a pit of everybody killing everybody. Further data even shows we are entering historic lows.
Thomas Sever March 03, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Ultimately, the studies show that there is no connection between Agression and Violence. Everything causes Agression. A Bad drive home, a bad day at work, your sports team losing, stubbing your toe, your children drawing on the walls, arguements with a friend, but there is no link between Agression and Violence. Infact, heres another study http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/ingame/link-between-video-games-aggression-untrue-study-689393 Videogames arent evil. Movies arent evil. Music isnt evil. Violence isnt evil. Ultimatly it comes down to the mental health of the man who picked up that gun and shot those kids. Dr's have said, even without videogames, he would have still done it, sooner or later.
H Shamir March 05, 2013 at 01:13 AM
no "thing" is evil. Unfortunately people are trainable to unsensitivity to the pain of others. Participative actions are particularly effective at this. The militaries of the world know this full well, hence certain aspects of boot camp (have you been through infantry boot camp?). I suspect you are confusing Aggression (an action) with Ire (a feeling). Everybody experiences the latter. Civilized people refrain from the former. Decivilizing a whole culture is a feat that can be done, and indeed was done - for instance in Germany between 1933 and 1945. They did not have videogames, but used other means.
Thomas Sever March 05, 2013 at 04:05 AM
I think you need to sit down and do some real research into history and violence before you can make such wild claims. Your view of what happened in Germany is incorrect. You have presented no real documented evidence supporting your claims or crusade. My claims have the evidence which I have shared only a fraction of. I'm not defending violence, I'm defending a freedom of expression. Eliminating violence from art would eliminate freedom of expression. We wouldn't have such great films as a clockwork orange, the outlaw Josey wales, silence of the lambs, or the godfather. We wouldn't have such games as the legend of Zelda, the walking dead, or mass. Either everything is allowed or nothing is allowed. If you want to do something, follow the ESRB and make sure your kids aren't playing something you do not approve of. Be a parent to your own kids. Share the ESRB with your friends as an educational tool and let them be adults and decide. Allow adult gamers to continue to enjoy their hobby without fear of censorship, which has built community and even charities that assist sick kids(child's play). Even right now, gamers are playing games and raising money for cancer research, and other disease cures. Be a parent in your own home. Let me be one in mine. And together we can focus on this nations real problem. It's terrible mental health industry that could have prevented all of this
H Shamir March 05, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Mr Sever, with all due respect, you read too much into the campaign. I am (we are) targeting solely the Participatory videogames that train to violence and dulling of compassion. Nothing else. And even that by voluntary action only (lest we tread upon freedom of speech). As for what happened in Europe perpetrated by nazis and collaborators, I happen to be a witness, so I suggest you define in what way my view is incorrect. By the way, violence is not an expression we are free to use or abuse. Civilization is founded on peaceful conflict resolution and abstinence from bullying in all its forms.
Craig Delatorre March 05, 2013 at 07:42 PM
not Judeo-Christian? that's a laugh, considering the bible is one of the most violent, sexist, pro-slavery books around
H Shamir March 07, 2013 at 02:33 AM
Yes, there is a lot of that in the Bible. But note the evolution of its thoughts over the time it covers, from 1800 BCE to the Roman period, then the Christian Testament expressing further evolution during the latter. That is the lesson it teaches, that we must learn: nothing is static, and good will with good actions generate results. Granted, it is a hard trek.

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