The Blame Game

The complete guide to blaming: How to play and how to quit.

Slender Man

Twelve-year-old girls charged with first-degree attempted homicide. Unbelievable! Are they responsible for their actions or do we need to look for other causes? Should we blame the victim? The weapon? The parents? Religion? Politics? The media? The girls attributed their behavior to the fictional character Slender Man. Perhaps we should also blame him... Read More

You lost me

when you said the anti-gun lobby would say if you didn't have guns it wouldn't matter if people had the desire to kill (paraphrasing).

What?

Try running amok in a school with a knife and try killing 20+ people before someone gets you. The REASON for a gun is to have more power than those around you. I'm female and I'd risk trying to take down a person with a knife to save those around me. If I tried to take down a gunman, I'd be killed before I got close. Do people kill with other weapons? Obviously. But the ONLY weapon you can kill a LOT of people with QUICKLY is a gun. PERIOD. And, BTW, the guy at the WalMart in Las Vegas had a gun and tried to kill the other guy with a gun who had just killed two cops. He's now dead.

I know this isn't the point of your essay, but you didn't have to go there about guns. That is not what the "anti-gun" lobby is really saying.

It's psychologically easier

It's psychologically easier to kill with a gun, because you don't have to get close to the person.

It's also logistically easier. You don't require as much strength or dexterity and the victim has less of a chance of being able to stop you.

Now, I'm not arguing for or against specific kinds of gun control here--but the two points above are facts and should not be dismissed.

Personally, if someone came after me, I'd much rather they didn't have a gun.

12 is 12.

!2 year olds have no ability to distinguish reality from
fantasy. When I was 12, the culprit was television.
Today the culprit is the net. Both mediums promote magical
thought.
So much did I believe I could be like my favorite T.V. hero's
that I drastically attempted to slim down. When I discovered
it was to no avail, I had an emotional breakdown that I still
haven recovered from 44 years later.

Who is to blame?

It seems to me that most of the focus has been on: “What caused this? And how do we fix it?” To my ears, both questions imply a wish to return to some point in past, presumably when the problem didn’t exist.

I wonder whether, instead, we should be saying, “This is where we are; this is how we’ve evolved,” asking, “What do these circumstances tell us about who we are? And where do we go from here?”

I’m reminded of dysfunctional family dynamics, in which a single child may act out and be scapegoated; but in order to address the single child’s problem the entire family must be treated, since the family has created the problem which led to the child’s misbehavior.

There’s another blog today that asks whether we should be prioritizing individualism or community. In western society, especially the U.S., we lean heavily toward the former. But overemphasis on individualism ignores indisputable truth: All is interconnected and interdependent. I cannot exist without you [meaning: anyone who isn’t I]. I cannot exist without all that came before me. And we each have obligation to the whole.

And these circumstances tell us that we have, indeed, overemphasized individualism, to the detriment of our collective communities. And with that, I reiterate: Where do we go from here?

I say hang em' both. Hang em'

I say hang em' both.
Hang em' high.

It wasn't like this when I

It wasn't like this when I was young back in the fifties and sixties. I've often asked what has changed since then. The problem with that is most things have changed.

One of the most profound changes has been the amount of violence that people are exposed to on television, in games, and in the media.

Another difference is that we didn't sit in front of a TV or computer for hours on end. We were much more social (in real life), not over some internet based social network.

Television and the Internet, have drastically removed us from real life. If it wasn't for the school system, kids would never meet each other. Another thing I have noticed is that fewer kids show imagination and creativity. I believe the school system has much to do with that. Instead of fostering creativity and individual thinking, they force children to be more alike. The problem is that no-one is alike.

And another difference is that both parents (if there are two parents) work and so children are left to learn about life from their peers and many parents tell their children to watch TV because they are too busy.

These are all suggestions, nothing more. I'm sure other people have other insights.

Thank you for writing this

Thank you for writing this article. I am making a copy of it and I will send it to 400 elementary parents in sealed envelopes for each parent to contemplate as to how they should address these issues with their children. I did hear several students mention "Slender Man" several months ago. I was not aware of what they were talking about. Humm... I must be more informed too. Parents need to be aware, research, and make informed decisions as to how to guide their children. This school will do our best to inspire students to research positive aress of interest and/or business that is interactive and exciting. Who knows, maybe they can be the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or create a new field unknown to us today.

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Neil Farber, M.D., Ph.D., an Associate Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, is a member of the IPPA and the author of The Blame Game.

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