Excess violence in the games that we play translates into real life

Saturday, December 22, 2012
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Excess violence in the games that we play translates into real life

Ever since the Connecticut shooting, people have given advice about what other people need to do to prevent another unspeakable tragedy.

Members of Congress, gun sellers and owners, the president, school administrators — all of them must do something, we hear. The one group of people that is not mentioned is you and me. Everyday people.

What can we do to prevent this from happening? Stop accepting and encouraging the violence in our culture.

The level of violence we allow our young children to see and hear is appalling. The level of violence in their video games or movies is sickening. What does this have to do with the shootings? If we train our children to be violent, they will be violent. If we train them to consider every person as someone of value, they will be less likely to hurt another person.

Look at the Middle East. One concern of the Israelis is that the young minds of their enemies are turned against them in schools with texts that make them sound less than human. Consider how the military trains young soldiers to fight; they first break down their spirit and then motivate them to kill. Think back through history: How was the enemy portrayed? Less than human, not worthy of living, breathing our air, taking our land.

Now think of what young children hear and see every day as they watch adult television and play Mortal Kombat. Looking at email responses from football lovers who were interrupted by a message of concern given by President Obama, I was saddened by the tone of the messages, and the level of violent disrespect shown. Maybe these fans have become so close to their games that they don’t know the difference between a game and real life.

How much better to have children watch movies where families share joy, not ridicule, where people care for one another, show respect for others and don’t bully them. Or better yet, turn off the television and movies and computer games, and reject the violence thrown at us by the “popular culture” of today.

Think of someone in your life that you care about, someone who makes you feel special and loved? Is this a person you might shoot like the zombie in a video game?

Let’s begin to treat everyone with respect and teach our children the same lesson. We can do something. We can work toward a less violent world — one person at a time.

Janice Walz


Gov’t needs to do more to help middle class

“Right-to-work” laws lead to more jobs, yes, but they allow businesses to hire for less-than-union-scale money, which in most cases make middle-class workers qualify for food stamps and Medicaid. Making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

The fiscal cliff dilemma may lie in state and federal governments. States have too many representatives in the federal government. Perhaps we could downsize government, such as businesses have downsized by eliminating employees.

Each state could probably survive with one senator and one congressman, and states could downsize by eliminating assistants to commissioners, their assistants to their assistants, thereby saving millions.

The Republicans on the federal level don’t seem to want to raise taxes on the rich. Guess what? Congress has an automatic pay raise system in effect, making each representative rich! Salaries well over $100,000-plus.

They are out of touch. Middle-class earners are pretty much tapped out — no interest on savings; prices through the roof on all necessities; paychecks, if you have one at all, stagnant!

Richard M. Tatlock


Turchi was a diamond in the rough, and fairway

Gino Turchi (Dec. 16 article, “Turchi, 96, dies; built golf course, aided Siena”) was a classy man to the end.

When I moved to this area in 1983, the only people I knew were my girlfriend’s (now wife’s) family. None of them played golf, so I found Northway Heights Golf Course by accident and made it my home course for many years.

My fondest memories were in the summer of 1985: I struggled to play the game that I was never taught properly, and one day I was playing by myself and hitting two or three balls at a time, hoping I wouldn’t get in trouble, when I looked up and here comes a tractor — and the guy is staring at me.

Oh, boy, I’m going to get kicked off the course, I thought. It was Mr. Turchi. He said, “Kid, you’re doing it wrong,” and he got off the tractor and gave me some pointers and followed me around for the rest of my round. I never forgot that to this day. And Mr. Turchi was always there to lend an ear or answer a question.

They just don’t make people like him anymore. He will be truly missed. Rest in peace.

Alan Boulant


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December 22, 2012
7:38 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Richard M. Tatlock if you taxed the top 10% earners at 100% tax we could not run this government for three months. That is just Obama and the democrats trying to divide the country, since when is being successful a bad thing? Since Obama, who want to label us and turn people against each other, we have not had "classes of people" in a long time but this is what we are getting. The answer is the republican answer, CUT SPENDING. If you are living from paycheck to paycheck, you don't borrow another 46 cents on the dollar every week, yet this is what our government is doing. It is not sustainable.

December 22, 2012
8:10 a.m.
gazettereader says...

I just did some math- if the average top 10% household makes $200K/year (which is a low estimate), and there are about 11 million of them, that's $2.2 trillion per year. That's a lot more than three months. And yes, we should cut more. Though most of the cuts should come from overseas spending - mostly military as we spend a grotesque amount of taxpayer dollars there. According to , about 50% of our discretionary spending goes to the Department of Defense. That's just not sustainable.

December 22, 2012
10:37 a.m.
wmarincic says...

The total expenditures this year are around 3.8 trillion so if your 2.2 trillion is right I'm not that far off.

December 22, 2012
12:32 p.m.
gina99 says...

Shh Janice Walz. The whole problem is guns and the NRA-no? Few want to examine the failures of our mental health system, violent movies/ video games that erode our culture. There has been an ongoing glamorization of gangs, thugs and violence that must be stopped.

December 26, 2012
9:48 a.m.
seawitch1313 says...

@Janice Walz.....
While I agree many of the games for young people today are violent, but I believe it is the individual not the games that they impact. My son and his friends have played the "violent" games for years, and none of them are effected enough to go on a killing spree.
I grew up ( as many of us did in the 50's/60's) watching "Combat", Westerns with shoot em ups, etc. and it didnt make me want to kill anyone.
I still feel one answer to this whole problem is patient disclosure from Psychologists, and doctors who have unstable patients.

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