My plan for the website today included a discussion of our weekend excursions, with some amazing images too. However, in light of the recent horrific shooting in Las Vegas, I am changing directions.
Before I begin, I admit I sobbed after watching the footage this morning. My family and I (together or separately) have been to many concerts in our lifetime and have visited Las Vegas on multiple occasions. It could have been me, a family member, or a friend in that audience. Recalling the most recent concert I attended with my husband and son, I can easily remember how happy and excited all the fans were. I am sure the Jason Aldean concert had a similar energy. The pure joy of pre-concerting (similar to football pre-gaming) and getting to know the nearby concert goers builds excitement. I can’t believe the cowardly actions of one person destroyed all that.
This element of sadness and shock makes me ask, “Why?” Why would someone hurt even one person at that concert? Have we been subjected to violence and hate so much that we are all desensitized to the beauty of living? The topic of desensitization spirals me into recalling one of my favorite Introduction to Sociology topics: mass media. One of the ways I kick off the mass media lecture is to ask students to contemplate this question, “Do you believe watching violence on television can cause violence in society?” Then, I continue lecture by showing the “Natural Born Killers” trailer and reading a small excerpt about the movie. Next, we review copycat crimes that occurred after the movie release. This certainly gives students something to consider. Although, I am all for freedom of speech, I also feel we have a responsibility to do more with our lives than sacrifice humanity for the sake of making money.
It has been over 20 years since that movie premiered. We are still seeing violent, senseless acts all the time. Of course, that movie isn’t to blame for every violent crime after its release. The issue of criminal intent is so complex that we can’t predict events like the one in Las Vegas. We can, however, make decisions that encourage the good in all of us and work toward protecting society instead of harming it.
I will end with a wish. For those impacted, I am truly sorry for your loss and hope peace finds you.
Townsend, C. (Producer), & Stone, O. (Director). (26, August 1994). Natural born killers [Motion Picture]. United States: Warner Brothers.