Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Colo thoughts..
Sat, 24 Apr 1999 11:01:43 EDT
I read a good analysis today done by the Boston Globe health & safety
reporter (not a BSA post <G>) who interviewed a psychologist who treated past
similar murderous children.
His findings were important: the major commonality in these kids are two:
One, they each are suffering from a major depression. This accounts for their
withdrawal, their lack of empathy with others (which makes it easy to make
them into dead people without thought), and their own self-hatred which
translates into hatred of others.
This has obvious implications for those dealing with youth, which I don't
think I need to expand on here.
Two, which I found the most stunning: they all had a huge amount of practice
in and investment in video games whose sole objectives are shooting as many
creatures, including people, as possible. They have a huge experience in
depersonalized killing and have been totally desensitized to the idea that it
has real effects (this also relates to the depression and depersonalization
of victims). ***They have a huge amount of training and practice in the
psychomotor skills necessary to target and shoot.*** This bears repeating, so
I'm going to repeat it:
***They have a huge amount of training and practice in the psychomotor
skills necessary to target and shoot.***
I want to emphasize that the psychologist found these to be major factors in
the development of the mental illness which was present in the children who
used guns against their classmates and family members. He felt that he could
not state more emphatically how bad such games are for the mental health of
developing (mostly) boys. Do many kids play these games and not become
killers? Sure. But why would our society cut ANY slack to purveyors of such
To me, this makes our recent discussion thread about whether laser tag or
paintball outings are appropriate for Scouts all the more relevant. I repeat:
what place does an activity that is practice for killing people have in the
Scouting program? You know the answer: none whatsoever.
Grieving with the community of Littleton,
SA T47 Sandwich MA
Cape Cod & Islands Council
Abake MiSaNaKi Lodge #393
NSJ 1997 Nat'l Health & Safety
I useta be an Eagle...
'The staff is old and feeble, and we can sing no more,
So we're getting out of Gilwell while we can!'