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Letters: Is video violence responsible?

Video games seized by the law enforcement officials

Video games seized by the law enforcement officials are shown at the Wayne County Sheriff's office in Detroit. Credit: AP, 2005

Regarding ["First goodbyes," News, Dec. 18], how about passing laws to stop the manufacture of violent video games? Games that children play every day depict the killing of people, monsters and androids. These games desensitize our children to violence.

Kids play these games for hours on end, and killing becomes acceptable and the answer to all conflicts, even glorifying them by increased scores and levels of accomplishment. I'm appalled at the marketing of these games as entertainment.

This is not to say that assault weapons and large-capacity magazines should not be outlawed and loopholes at gun shows closed.

I am a retired Nassau County police officer with 32 years of experience. I can see the difference in the children today. Technology is wonderful, but should be carefully monitored for our children.

Frank Messana, Mineola

Why would the shooter not choose an alternate method, like driving his mother's car into a crowd of schoolchildren? We need to ask whether Adam Lanza was a fan of military-style video games such as Grand Theft Auto, Halo or Call of Duty.

These games have taught our youth how to use handguns and assault weapons and have desensitized them to killing. These games show killing as something that is easy and inflicts no suffering. You shoot people, and just move forward down the corridor to kill the next victim. The problem is that some users of video games cannot differentiate between a video game and real life.

Ron Palladino, Centereach

The root cause of the problem is that killers are simply acting out what they see in the movies and on television. Movies depict shootings and explosions, where people are blown away in a sea of gore and blood, to satisfy the violent imaginations of the audience, mostly impressionable youth. It shows them how to do it. It looks so easy. Anyone can do it to satisfy a grudge. And these movies make lots of money for the producers.

Just look at the clothing worn by today's mass murderers; it's either black or camouflage, with bulletproof vests. They want to look "bad." Apparently bad is to be admired these days, at least the box office says so.

Instead of showing them how to kill people, show them how to gain societal recognition by doing good and beneficial things. Be a hero and gain fame and acclaim.

We surely need a committee to weed out some of the most perverse and anti-societal films. It's not censorship, but good sense.

Benjamin Beekman, Woodbury

Video game "entertainment" allows us the vicarious experience of extreme violence without the true effects. We can re-enact our current wars without leaving the comfort of our couches, which is quite alarming. If we faced the true loss of life and limb, and the true horror of carnage, as our brave soldiers do, I wonder how these games and movies would sell.

Although most of us would never act in such a horrid way, the games and images exploit our natural tendencies of anger and aggression and blow them of proportion, as well as giving us a sense of justified harm to others.

Glenn Kaplan, Lindenhurst