A serious one today.
Ten years have passed since the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. 15 were killed, including the two gunmen. Many more were injured.
There have been similar attacks on predominantly young people across the world both before and since Columbine, with many questions still open to question.
One that interests me, and that everyone is likely to have an opinion on, is this.
Should the parents of the gunmen have been sued by the families of the victims, as well as those who actually sold them the weapons?
$2.5m was awarded to the victims’ families in 2001.
They also wished to sue the makers of violent video games, seeking punitive damages in the region of $5bn, as the gunmen had left home-made videos and journal entries claiming that their inspiration came from certain games.
Not surprisingly, the lawsuit was dismissed – because video games are not subject to product liability laws.
Should they be? Do you believe that games, movies, music, comic books or anything else that in some way glorifies violence, can make a person capable of inflicting such brutal acts upon others? Should the makers and distributors of these games have been held at least partly accountable for the massacre?
Parental negligence is one thing, but multi-billion-dollar industries peddling hate to impressionable youth is surely another matter entirely. Few would argue that continued exposure to violence results in de-sensitisation.
But then, aren’t the parents ultimately responsible if they don’t know what their children get up to when they’re out of sight (likely to be most of the time, with many parents running dual-income households and teenagers needing their space) or if they allow them to access inappropriate material (for whatever reason)?
I’d like to know whether you blame the parents in cases such as this tragic one, those profiting handsomely from the mass production of violent media, or society at large for generally failing the populace… and then encouraging us all to enthusiastically apportion blame and seek to be compensated at every opportunity, with absolutely no guarantee that doing so will change anything for the better.