According to the U.K. Daily Mail, a 4-year-old boy in Saudi Arabia shot and killed his father when his dad refused to buy him a video game system.
Apparently the child asked for a Sony PlayStation, and when Dad returned home without it the boy took his father’s loaded gun and shot him at close range.
And then people started talking about guns, video games, and their respective links to violence.
The fact that this happened in Saudi Arabia, was reported by a British paper, and is being discussed on a website based in the United States shows that the issues mentioned above transcend borders. They hit home wherever home may be.
I don’t know what the actual link, if there is one, between video games and violence is, but I do know what we do in our home. We don’t allow violent games. That’s not to say that the boys don’t play games with action and, yes, in some cases shooting and fighting, but those games are generally cartoonish and filled with LEGO characters that are rebuilt the minute they fall apart. Yet maybe that’s a problem, too. Maybe kids think things that fall apart can live again with the flick of a wrist —like I said, I don’t know.
However, I tend to believe that games showcasing very realistic and brutal, bloody violence aren’t doing kids any favors. I don’t think that anybody needs to see that stuff, but what you do on your own TV is none of my business.
I have similar, albeit stronger, views on guns.
The thing is, when I hear stories like this, and sadly, they are not as uncommon as they should be, I don’t think about video game violence or gun safety, although in many cases such things, specifically the latter, may be valid, but rather about the basic fact that a man is dead and a suddenly fatherless child will go through life knowing it was his fault.
It’s heartbreaking stuff.
I’m not one to tell anyone what they should and shouldn’t do, but I am one to ask that everyone think before doing it. We have had enough stories like this.
What do you think?
Whit Honea can be found writing about whatever he feels like at his personal site Honea Express (Honea sounds like pony) and DadCentric. If you’re really bored you can follow him on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).
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