20130917

Violent Video Games, Alcohol & Guns Are a Bad Mix, Even for a Praying Man

Wow, nearly 24 hours since my last entry. Much has been learned about yesterday’s shooter. It seems he was a very disturbed man with a military background who loved violent video games, heavy drink, and guns. That’s a dangerous mix for any person. To exacerbate the problem he had obviously reached out for help after calling emergency services to acknowledge that he was hearing voices through microwave frequencies. I haven’t seen the news today, and gleaned this from a radio news report, but the fact that he called for help leads me to believe that any help he received most likely included SSRI drugs for PTSD.

While in grad school one of my last research papers focused on soldiers suffering from debilitating stress disorders, compounded by alcohol and drug addictions in many cases. Case study after case study revealed how behind closed doors wives and other family members are striving to live normal lives amidst returning soldiers realizing there are no signature jobs with their names on it, and returning to the stark quiet of a college classroom left them unable to function and focus in these settings, thus dropping out in many cases.

Professional counseling sessions left them with prescriptions for hard-core drugs that only compounded their problems, as most served as a numbing agent, forfeiting the ability to coherently address the root of their problems.

So, yesterday morning when I heard on the radio that there was a shooter at a military base in D.C., I have to admit I wasn’t shocked. Unlike previous occasions when a mass-killing event took place, I didn’t bother seeking out a television to watch the reel-in reel-out takes looping over and over. I noticed, too, that the morning show I was listening to did not even mention the event as it unfolded though it was live radio. At first I thought the show was taped, but discussion of current events let me know it was airing in actual time which left me to believe that the host simply chose not to fill her precious three hours of air time talking about something that has happened far too many times in recent months, years.

If anything can be gleaned from the most recent incident, is parents are responsible for what goes into their children’s ear and eye gates. Ironically, I also did a research paper on the connection between mass-shootings and violence in video games, as I am convinced that filling a mind with darkness will eventually penetrate into the light through malbehaviors. I learned in my research that the primary reason video-game manufacturers are not more scrutinized than they are, is because they are a multi-billion dollar industry and have enough money to win legal battles in major court cases.

But let’s face it, this guy knew he was in deep with anger issues, and whatever help he sought obviously wasn’t enough. In my field of counseling, sadly, most clinicians are required to have Ph.D.’s to address people with mental health issues. The statutes on counseling really need to change because in many cases, clients simply need an ear to listen, and compassion to know that the healing they are in need of involves the Great Physician, more than someone in a white lab coat, with a white prescription pad, scribbling Big Pharma drama as the solution.

I couldn’t help but think, what if he didn’t have violent video games in the equation, nor alcohol issues, how his problems might have been more manageable. Oh yes, I must not forget that he was hearing voices. In the days to come, I am sure he was on some anti-anxiety meds for post-traumatic stress.  This guy was a perfect example of what happens when you measure competency by degrees and licenses. One last thing: In my last post I mentioned the need for prayer to return to the public school. I stand by that belief today, despite the fact that I have learned that the shooter was indeed a praying man, as he spent hours at a Buddhist temple. I’m sure it was shoddy reporting, but I could have sworn that someone said he listened to Buddhist chants while playing violent video games. That doesn’t make sense, so don’t quote me on that. But, wow. There’s a lot more I want to say, but I’ll end with this: By now the guy has been given a chance to meet Jesus; Who has given him ears to hear and eyes to see that the way to the Father is by Him. Let's pray that as his knee bowed at this knowledge, mercy was granted, and he found an entrance into heaven's gates with the others who, most likely, lost their lives at the hand of a deranged sniper.