Well I received notification today that there was an armed and suicidal person on the campus of OU. It struck me that as I see the effect of gun violence, teen shootings and craziness that we have going on today I wanted to give me thoughts. Well guess what that’s why I have a blog right! No Facebook promotions, no need for anyone to read, just a place where I can come and me candid; if you want read; if you never find me don’t care either.
So back to topic, violence, suicide and gun violence. In my experience which is not vast, but specific being the father of two teens and around their friends I see the effects of war. Yep war, we here the stories of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), we see the effects that the ugliness of war and of killing has on soldiers. They come back many times mentally as well as physically scared for a lifetime. No one wants to go to war or at least no reasonable person. A soldier elects to go to war, to fight for a right, a belief and to service others not just his or herself. They don’t go because they want to kill for fun or they enjoy risking their life. Listen to the interviews of the soldiers for the last 70 years since world war II, which was the beginning of the first modern war. From then to Vietnam to the Gulf Wars no soldier really enjoys the war part and it has a profound effect on them.
Some people are not as effected by blood, guts, violence and war. You can what a war movie or a suspense movie and then go right to sleep without bad dreams and mental anguish for a day or two. That is not to say that they don’t upset you, but that you compartmentalize them and deal with them differently than most or a lot of people. Now for the purpose of this blog post, stress and traumatic situations are what we want to avoid in life. Every little boy generally like to play war, I did, however it is bang, bang you’re dead and strategy to win or shoot the other guy. It is a game, you may play in the woods to pretend you are in jungle warfare, but it is your imagination and your creativity at work to rationalize and play the game to win the war. A healthy outlet you might say for a young man. However, when you play a war video game, it is intense, you are drawn in, the realism is crazy and you feel that you are in the moment in the war and you are fighting to survive! You have no stepped into a virtual reality or sorts! Your mind has taken you there, simulated the war, the emotions the adrenaline. You have been to war.
Now lets step out of the fake world and look at the young impressionable minds of pre-teens and teens that are immursing themselves in war games. War has profound effect on mature minds and supposed rational thinkers. Reference this quote:
War is Hell – General William Tecumseh Sherman
If grown men and women cannot deal with war very well how is it that we think that teens and younger with developing minds will deal with it correctly and act on it rationally. So lets take war games, demented movies and TV that show and demonstrate sadistic and pathological behavior and allow our kids to watch that as entertainment and as a baby sitter for several years. Where do we end up? A crossroad where the seared mind of someone cannot rationalize that the game, fiction, virtual reality that they have immersed themselves in for several years or maybe even a short period of time has changed them scarred them, given them a form of PTSD that they are not equipped to deal with and frankly don’t even realize they have!?
You can’t drink till you are 21, legally. You cannot buy cigarettes till you are 18 legally. You have to get parental permission to have an abortion in 38 out of the 50 states, you cannot be drafted until you are 18 and graduated or no longer attending school, but you can go to war, immerse yourself in sadistic movies and TV shows at any age you can turn on the electronic viewing device (phone, TV, movie, computer, tablet, ipad or whatever).
Clearly there is a problem and the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the greatest generation have failed to understand that somethings are better left to imagine unless and until you have to face them to save your life and freedoms or ones of the people you love. I am ranted out for now…I’ll let you proof this to find my mistakes!