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TV Violence

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TV Violence

Television was invented as a means of providing entertainment and began with shows such as ?Leave It To Beaver? and ?Lassie?. Throughout the years, though, television, along with it's counterpart, the movie, has evolved into perhaps one of the most graphic displays of violence and is having a large effect on the children of our society. It is thought by many that television and movies are the leading factor in the violence and aggression that many children display in today's world.
During the past few years, there have been countless cases of children acting out with violence reported by the media. One of the most widely known and talked about acts is that of the numerous school shootings. These shootings began in Pearl, Mississippi, where a boy was accused of not only shooting his mother, but then traveling to school where he went on a shooting rampage, killing two students. They have also occurred in places such as Paducha, Kentucky, Springfield, Oregon, Jonesboro, Arkansas and most recently in Littleton, Colorado. In the Colorado shooting, two boys, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, opened fire in their high school killing 12 students and one teacher during their three-hour raid. They then killed themselves before the police could apprehend them.
So the question then arises what causes these children to commit these horrendous acts of violence. In an attempt to answer this question, many people have come up with a variety of possibilities.
Many experts believe that the violence of many Hollywood movies is to blame for putting such ideas as committing mass murders in schools into children's heads. Such a movie as The Basketball Diaries, where a student dreams of walking into his homeroom and shooting everyone, has a tremendous impact on every-day children. ?When children look for a role model, they look for a glamorous role model similar to themselves-that similarity is terribly important,? says Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a former West Point psychology professor and Army Ranger. In The Basketball Diaries, Leonardo DiCaprio of Titanic fame, probably the most glamorous actor alive in the eyes of white children, went into a schoolroom and shot numerous children and teachers. In doing so, he became a role model that other white males desired to emulate. (McCain 37)
It is not only movies that affect the action's of children, but also television. Children watch two to three hours? television daily from the age of three or earlier, and during childhood, they average more time in front of the television set than in the classroom. (Grossman 54) During this time, they can be exposed to many of the different graphic, violent subjects that make television appealing. These include sexually graphic scenes, scenes including violent deaths, bodily mutilations, and other disturbing images. Even the Saturday morning cartoons are not safe. It has been found that compared to the three to five acts of violence that are committed during an hour on prime time, there are 20 to 25 violent acts committed during the same time period on the cartoons. (McCain 39) The largest problem with this is that cartoons are least likely to show the long-term consequences of violence and in fact may portray them as humorous.
The news programs that are meant to inform society about the events happening in our world are also to fault for exposing children for violence. When a child's parent turns on the television to watch the nightly news, they are automatically told about recent armed robberies, shooting and murders. For example, the United States news shows spend more than twice as much time on violent stories as Canadian new shows and are much more likely to ...

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