Dr. Teddy Saddoris: ‘We are breeding mass murderers’

Teddy Saddoris

We have another school killing 19 children and two adults that also will affect those who survived for the rest of their lives. Some want to jump to a simple solution: If we eliminate the guns, there would be no more mass killing. Like all simple solutions to complex problems, they always leads to more problems. When we make emotional, rash decisions, we will always regret the consequences.

What we should really be focused on is, Why are there so many killings? There are a lot of responses, with each of them leading people to more destructive behaviors. First is the loss of community and support that we had going to church. People got together and interacted with each other. Children got to play with another person and learned how to treat each other with respect and dignity if they wanted to have any friends. When people stopped going to church, families started breaking down. Many people have children with no support or structure of marriage or marriages easily dissolved as conveniently as changing one’s shirt. People move away from other family members in pursuit of a career, isolating us from those who love and care for us.

This separation and lack of support places a great burden on the person who is trying to support and care for their children. They come home from an exhausting day at work and rush around trying to fix dinner, clean the house or apartment, do the laundry. They have no real time to spend with their kids. When the kids squabble, all they want is relief. They are exhausted and have no family nearby to come over and help. Yelling and screaming doesn’t work in order to get some peace and quiet.

In the past, the kids were parked in front of the television set to entertain them and allow the one parent to do all the chores needed for the family without constant interruption by one of the kids.

So what has changed?

I feel the problems we are facing today with kids killing other kids are more insidious than anyone thinks. Instead of parking their kids in front of the television set for some alone time, they are parked in front of video games to occupy the kid’s attention. In the video game, they are rewarded for killing other people or destroying buildings. Video game manufacturers are making the games more lifelike. Players advance to the next level where even more destructive behaviors are encouraged.

In the game world, they are rewarded. In the real world, they are ignored and feel unimportant, but in the game world, they are stars. The more time they play, the less time they interact with other people. They haven’t learned the skills of give and take needed in any relationship. They don’t have anything in common with other kids because all they do is play video games. They go on-line and “communicate” bragging about what level they have attained. This may be the only social interaction they have with another person.

The parent thinks their kid is doing great. He/she no longer demands any of their attention anymore. Other kids think this child is weird and they do not want to have anything to do with them. This child is lost in a make-believe world that is more important and real to them than reality. Yes, they have never hurt anyone … yet.

It is so easy to destroy and kill because they have been doing it over and over again in their games and have been rewarded for doing it. They start seeing themselves as the hero by being the destroyer. We are breeding mass murders, and should no longer be surprised by experiencing even more indiscriminate killings.