Categorized | Local Perspectives

COMMUNITY VOICE: Newtown, We Wonder Why

When a tragedy happens, like what happened in Newtown Conn., words like horror, unspeakable, tragedy, and evil are used to describe it. All are appropriate but none are adequate to describe the murder of babies. We react with horror and surprise. Well I can understand the “horror” but not the “surprise”. We ask ourselves why. How could someone do such a thing?

It must be the guns, “Bad Guns”. It has to be the guns, what else could it be? The news media tells us this is so, so therefore it must be the truth. For the “anti gunners” that are reading this don’t stop reading just yet. I will try to explain my personal theory as to the “WHY”.

Never having children of my own I lost touch with what was happening with the younger generation. A few years ago I was visiting a friend of a friend who had 5 children. Their ages ranged from infant to 17.

As I was sitting in the living room I heard strange noises and turned to see where the heck they were coming from. Her 10 year old was playing a game on his lap top so I walked over to see what he was playing. I did not know the name of the game at the time but there was a guy running around on the screen. He would get in a car drive it away, and crash it. He would then get into another car and crash that one, get into another one and crash that one and so on and so on.

I noticed that this upstanding citizen in the game was carrying an axe in his hand. He wasn’t using the axe to break into the cars, and I could see no reason why he was carrying it, so I asked the kid why this guy had an axe in his hand. He avoided my question like the plague. This 10 year olds explanation was, “He just does”. Then I said, “There must be a reason”, his response was to shrug his shoulders. It was as if he knew telling me would reveal something bad.

Yesterday I relayed this story to a friend of mine who has children. He said, “Yea, that sounds like “Grand Theft Auto”. Turns out the axe is used to chop up anyone who gets in this guys way. Not only is there an axe but the child could arm this guy with a gun or a knife. Not only does this game have these wonderful things but it also has hookers so the guy can, well nuff said on that.

Never having played the game, (my video game experience ended with “Asteroids”), I can only relay what I briefly saw and what was told to me.

On another occasion I was working in a woman’s basement that had a 23 year old son who was living with her. He had a big screen TV set up on a table hooked to a computer. As I was going about my business I again heard these strange noises this time coupled with gunshots. So I turned to see him playing a game that involved shooting zombies.

All I heard was bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, as he was shooting at this thing. The graphics on this game were unbelievable. Blood and body pieces flying everywhere. On the screen was a gun, crosshairs used to aim the gun, and several clips with ammunition. I asked him what the object of the game was and he said “to kill the zombie before he kills you”. Sounds simple to me. Then I asked how you kill the zombie because you just shot him twenty times and he’s still alive. He responded, “you have to shoot him in the head”. Then I asked, “what happens when you run out of bullets”. “Then he kills you”. So my next question was why don’t you put the cross hairs on his head and shoot him. His response was a blank stare. My point being “spray and pray”, (shooting as many bullets in the direction of your target as you can and hope you hit something, a method seen in many gang shootings), seems to be the reasoning for this gentleman. After all these bullets aren’t real and you aren’t really dead if the zombie kills you. Now I know why so many innocent bystanders get shot at these gang related shootings, I thought to myself, if this is what our kids are being exposed to and how they think. To them life is just a big video game.

A few years back there was a movement to take Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Yosemite Sam off the air because they were too violent for children to view. I guess it was successful because I no longer see them, yet these games seem to be perfectly acceptable.

I seem to remember an organization trying to have these games banned because of the messages of violence they were sending to children. “You cannot do this”, was the outcry from many. It’s their constitutional right under the first amendment to produce this garbage. You can trample the 2nd and 4th amendments all you want, but don’t you dare touch the 1st. Too much money to be made I guess. So a rating system was the solution. Yea, that will keep these games out the hands of young children.

I was brought up with guns. My father taught me to shoot at age 7 or 8, I can’t remember. What I do remember is the training. Most of my friends lived in households that had guns in them, in fact I can’t remember a household in my immediate circle of friends that didn’t have firearms in the house. In those days guns were no big deal.

All of us were taught basically the same way. The first thing we were taught was safety and a respect for guns. About 10 percent of my training was the mechanics of the gun and how to aim and shoot, 90 percent was gun safety and respect for the gun. The first and foremost was to treat every firearm as if it were loaded, never point a gun at anyone ever, and guns were not toys. These and other safety procedures are taught over and over and over again till they become second nature. Never once did I entertain the thought of bringing a gun to school no less shooting anyone.

And thus it was for the rest of my life, to date. I just assumed that this train of thought was the status quo. Not having any children myself I lost touch with the “way of the world” so to speak. I couldn’t believe parents would buy these games for their children to play with for hours on end. Some would say they are just games. No they are not “just games”.

To the parents who have bought these games for their children I ask, did you ever sit down with your child and play these games with them to see what they were really about? If not you should. If you have and you approve you should have your head examined!

On another occasion a few months ago I was attending a political function at a local park in my neighborhood. There were local politicians and high city officials in attendance as well as business men and women. It was a festive occasion announcing some kind of donation to beautify the parks or some such thing. There were balloons and free food and lots of young children running around. There was also music.

There was a DJ set up to entertain the crowd. As I was walking around a song he was playing caught my attention. I’m not familiar with the song or group performing it but the lyrics, oh the lyrics. It talked of a guy laying up with his “female companion” and of being so wasted the night before. Now I’m no saint but it shocked me that he would play this crap with these young children present. As I looked around at the dignitaries standing around they all seem oblivious to this. No one, (including myself, I’m sorry to say), approached him to tell him not to play this crap in front of the children.

Now I’m sure some that were there will say, “I didn’t hear it”, to them I say, “Yes you did”, because this guy was playing his music loud enough to wake the dead. It’s more like you didn’t pay attention because this garbage has become the norm.

Again I seem to remember a movement to ban songs that glorified the degradation of women and the killing of police officers. Yet again came the outcry, “You can’t do that, they are protected under the first amendment”. Guess another rating system is in order.

Now I come to the final point. As I stated before I’m no saint and definitely not a religious person. When I was in school I remember beginning the day with 2 things, the “Lords Prayer” and “The Pledge of Allegiance”. Then the Lords Prayer went away. I guess I was in the third grade. What did I know? We just didn’t say it anymore and that was that.

Now religion and the talk of religion are banned in our schools. To say Merry Christmas is no longer politically correct. To put up Christmas decorations in public places is illegal in many places. Religion, the thing that teaches right from wrong and to do good by your fellow man, “BAD”. Birth control given to school children, family planning in schools, video games that depict graphic violence and music that promotes degenerate behavior, “GOOD”. What’s wrong with this picture?

So the next time a tragedy like this happens, and it will happen again just assuredly as Carter has pills, please do not be surprised or ask yourself why.

Merry Christmas to All

Joe Bayona

Perth Amboy

2 Responses to “COMMUNITY VOICE: Newtown, We Wonder Why”

  1. Bill Schultz says:

    I am not going to say I have an answer or a cause, but let’s look at the commonalities, I hear it over & over: “I didn’t think it would ever happen here,” “I moved here to stay away from such violence.”

    It’s not happening in the slums of NYC or Chicago or Newark or Perth Amboy, we still have the facility on Lee Street, and I believe most cities have something like it. Now let’s look at who’s doing it, in most cases it looks like people that would have been diagnosed if they had a decent mental health system.

    Remember we closed Marlboro, (a state mental health facility) put them in “group homes” with little supervision and minimal counseling or examinations by mental health professionals. Under the guise of financial constraints we have done away with many of the long term residential facilities. The idea is to reintroduce these unbalanced people into society, in other words get them out ASAP because there aren’t enough of even these inadequate facilities. Then we want to question what happened to them when they crack in small town USA, far from the needed assistance.

    I’m not saying we need to go back to the sanatoriums of the 40’s & 50’s where people got locked up & never saw the light of day, but I think the problem is more than take the guns & games away. We need a non-politically influenced study to begin a dialog on a reasonable course of action.

  2. aem says:

    I hope for peace for the families in Connecticut, and victims of horrible deranged acts everywhere. I do not know what drives people to hurt other people. I do not understand how the perpetrators perceive any gain, especially when they usually end up killing themselves as well.

    Are they acting out scenes from movies and video games? I am not so sure the answer is a simple yes or no. I don’t believe the ideas were placed there by the images seen. These nauseating ideas were probably in their heads already.

    It is hard to believe that no one saw these things coming. Sick people will do sick things. What is most unfortunate, and contrary to what the political and criminal justice systems have convinced the general public of, is two-fold:

    First and foremost: Criminals are a creation of social and economic realities, so only social and economic reform can reduce crime. We as a society need strong families, who are willing to interact, support, educate and entertain their children, and each other. Can we once again find a way to let children imagine things? To create their own images and playthings? Obviously video games and shows are not fitting this bill. I would like to think there is something that could be done to prevent this type of disease and greed driven behavior. We need to recognize people in need and give them the help they need.

    Second: Gun control laws do nothing to stem the tide of either illegal guns or crimes committed with guns. They penalize law abiding people. Police respond to crime, they do not prevent crime. Perhaps sick and greedy people would kill less people if we relaxed the concealed carry laws.

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