The Annoyed Man wrote:It was a good interview. I'm not so sure that the gun-related messages were quite "anti" gun, simply because the points made were mostly things that we can mostly agree on - and that was about the general need to keep guns out of the hands of (unsupervised) children, and criminals. The only thing that most people - 2nd Amendment advocates and gun-control advocates alike - disagree on is how society ought to go about implementing those things.... not whether or not they are necessary. Whether you take the most libertarian or most statist viewpoint, there is general consensus on the concept of keeping guns out of the hands of (unsupervised) children and (violent) criminals. One can argue whether or not a farm-raised 12 year old who takes a .22 rifle to go squirrel hunting on the property is unsupervised, or whether or not someone busted for possession of weed ought to have their RKBA terminated; but few people with brains would say that a child ought to be allowed to take their daddy's 9mm to school for show and tell, or that a convicted murderer with gangland ties ought to be able to buy and possess a firearm.
Even in the part where they talked about how Dylan Klebold's girlfriend bought the guns for them at a gun show, Diane Sawyer didn't really delve into the politics surrounding gun show purchases..... although it was subtextually implied to some extent that control over that is needed. So even there, it could have been far more pro-gun control than it was. Maybe I missed something, but I thought it was pretty even-handed overall.
Col. Dave Grossman has a LOT to say about the influence of violent video games - particularly 1st person shooter games - on the psychology of adolescent and young adult men. My own son was (and continues to be to a somewhat lesser extent) quite a gamer growing up, and he played a lot of those kinds of games. It did bother me a bit at first, but more because he was spending more time indoors than I thought he should. I tried to balance my duties as a father and guiding figure with some respect for his own decision-making abilities. My counter to those games was to A) drag him out of the house to do things with me like fishing, shooting, mountain-bike riding, etc; and B) to make sure that he stayed grounded in reality regarding those games. I even questioned him directly a few times about it..... "Son, you DO realize, don't you, that nothing in those games translates to real life, and that human life has a higher value than that placed upon it by those games?" Those kinds of questions led to some great conversations with him, which often ended up with him seeking mentoring from me and other older men on the responsibilities of a sheepdog - he having recognized himself as one.
My heart does break for Ms. Klebold and her ex-husband though. Like her, I would like to think that if there were something seriously psychologically wrong with my son when he was growing up, I would know. I'm sure my wife feels the same way. And we were very close, the three of us, and continue to be. But Ms. Klebold's experience does show that this "knowledge" of our own children can sometimes be a fantasy. I have seen any number of times where friends from church - good solid Christian families who raise their kids in the knowledge of Jesus Christ - painfully watch their children walk away from faith as they enter adulthood.... sometimes to return later, but sometimes never ....either becoming atheists, or descending into some really spiritually dark stuff. To someone who sincerely believes; who does everything they can to try and nurture that belief in their children; who believes that in death, those who believe will be eternally separated from those who do not; there can be no more painful thing than for a believing parent to face the possibility of eternal separation from his or her own children.
The Klebold's have lost one of their boys to something really dark, and we don't ever find out from the video what ultimately happened with their other son who struggled with drug addiction. It is not surprising that their marriage did not survive Columbine.
Well said TAM, I too had issues with my son playing violent video games, and I took a similar approach with him, we are very active in Scouting (he is only awaiting his board of review to make eagle) He was required to finish any and all chores and schoolwork before playing, we also had discussions regarding the fantasy/reality differences, He was also required to maintain at least a B average or the games were to be put away until his grades improved. ( I never had to carry out this threat, he has been an A honor roll student since first grade) and I had to let him beat me at least once a month on his game of choice (this was easy, I suck at everything but WII golf) but it did give us fun time together, and me an opportunity to evaluate the content of the games.
I have also seen the heartbreak of parents whose children have completely drifted away from their upbringing, and I have yet to really discover a common link, sometimes it's the influence of friends, sometimes simple rebellion taken to the extreme, and others there is no known causation. I hope and pray everyday that my son doesn't lose his way, he is very level headed, intelligent and caring of others, but I know how tenuous those attributes are when he has to take on real world issues.