Navy Yard killer and the nation's culture of violence

Your editorial, "Rampage in Washington" (Sept. 18), was both well-written and absolutely right on. Our culture of violence has, indeed, spawned such horrific acts, culminating in the recent shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, and it is impossible to know where to start answering the inevitable questions.

You ask, "Would [Aaron] Alexis have been moved to kill had he not been influenced by the violent video games he is said to have been fascinated by?" You also describe "a culture that celebrates violence and allows so many to become disconnected." We cannot ignore the link between these facts of modern, technologically sophisticated yet relationally deprived life that has caused so many to become disenfranchised, disconnected and marginalized even as these violent video games continue to proliferate. Whether the killers of the last decades attack one person or many, the mindset is the same. To behave in an inhumane way requires a failure of empathy, a desensitization to pain and suffering, a disregard for life on all levels.

We must ask ourselves what factors contribute to this desensitizing. Is it foolish to long for a day when the human race itself is more evolved, when the very idea of allowing violent video games in one's home is unthinkable? Can we envision a time when the hours currently spent by children and adults alike at the controls of imaginary killing machines are spent instead on creative, pro-social endeavors? It may be an unattainable dream, but one worth keeping alive, that we will one day again focus our creative energy on the wellspring of all hope — a loving, supportive, committed family where violence is not the norm, not in any of its manifestations.

Myra MacCuaig, Towson

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad