Voluntarily Giving Up Violent Video Games

Friday, December 21, 2012

A letter to my child’s principal,

My heart is so heavy regarding the Connecticut tragedies that I felt I would just reach out. I have talked at length with my children and we’ve discussed that there is no one solution to this problem of random acts of violence.  We’ve talked about the multifactorial problem including mental illness, ease of obtaining weapons, violent video game desensitization, etc.  I fully understand the extremes of opinions in this case.  Tragedy brings out strong emotions.  

My son doesn’t have Nintendo, Xbox, or wii with violent games.  He doesn’t have the most violent of the video games on his iPad.  He does, however, have a few games that involve guns.  Please understand that I am not anti-gun. Nor am I a gun advocate.

It may seem inconsequential, but I have asked him to voluntarily give up those games, in honor of those innocent children.  He was more than willing to do so.  He has plenty of other sports games, etc. to play on the time he is allowed on his computer.  

I wonder if we asked the kids at school, if they would be willing to do the same.  All, of course, voluntarily. Again, please understand that I believe asking for voluntary participation is the key.  You can’t force compassion or awareness. Law and force do not change the heart. I think it comes from one on one talks from parents and strong role models like yourself.  I don’t think a massive announcement would work. It needs to come from a place of tenderness for the lost lives.

It is just a small act of kindness that the children can actually ‘do’ to show they understand on some level that pretending to realistically assassinate others is not the best use of their time on this earth. If giving it up entirely seems drastic, maybe they could dedicate a violent video game free day a week and substitute the time with acts of kindness, community service, or tutoring. I do understand that the children do not play these games at school and it is fully under parental control.  I’m only asking for support from the strong role models at school. I think it would be amazing for our children to take a stand to honor the lost lives.  

Thank you for considering this voluntary action. While we are all hugging our children a little tighter this holiday season, maybe we can whisper in their ears as well.

Carlene Vital
Chattanooga

David Carroll: Cracking The Middle School Code

I was recently asked to speak to Ooltewah Elementary fifth graders, as they marked the end of their elementary years.  Now it’s off to the next step.  I believe middle school is the time in which kids either head in the right direction, or the wrong one.  Rather than make them endure a speech by a guy who last wandered the halls in the prehistoric era, I enlisted ... (click for more)

Approve The Humane Educational Society's Increased Budget - And Response

I am a Chattanooga resident and animal lover in Hamilton County. The requested increase for the Humane Educational Society’s budget should be approved.   If we cannot take care of those who have no voice, who will? HES team members and volunteers are very dedicated to making Hamilton County a better place to live, for everyone.   Commissioners, please help them by ... (click for more)

Board Of Regents Board Meets Wednesday To Approve New Chattanooga State President

The Tennessee Board of Regents will convene a special called meeting at  9:30 a.m. CDT next Wednesday to receive recommendations for presidential vacancies at community colleges, including Chattanooga State, and the director position at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Covington/Ripley.  The finalists to replace longtime leader Jim Catanzaro are: ... (click for more)

New CARTA Service To Enterprise South Industrial Park Has "Medium" Success So Far

CARTA officials said its new bus service from downtown to the Enterprise South Industrial Park is meeting with "medium" success thus far. Lisa Maragnano, executive director, said there have been 313 riders on the routes that began at the first of the month. That includes 241 getting aboard downtown in the early morning and 72 riding from Enterprise South in the afternoon. ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Girls Win Second Straight A-AA Track Title

MURFREESBORO – The Signal Mountain Eagles won last year’s Class A-AA state track title by a scant six points, but it wasn’t nearly that close this year. With Camryn Bowman and McKenzie Ethridge both winning two events, the Eagles had a one-point lead following the field events, but ending up scoring 96 points and winning by 24 over runner-up East Nashville. While Signal Mountain ... (click for more)

Baylor To Face GPS Again For D-II State Softball Title

MURFREESBORO – It will be another Baylor-GPS battle for the championship in Division II softball as Baylor advanced with a 10-3 win over St. Benedict while GPS later beat the Lady Eagles by a 2-0 final for the right to face the Lady Red Raiders again. This year’s D-II tournament was similar to last year as Baylor beat GPS on the first day before the Bruisers came back and beat ... (click for more)