TV violence

By Brian Smith
March 16, 2006

Anyone with a TV has heard about the issues with violence on television. I personally have watched a large amount of television, so I’ve also seen what’s being done about it. The basic idea is to remove it from sight, but I have another theory about this-how about we just show kids the consequences?

One day, I was watching an episode of South Park with my 10-year-old brother who has to watch everything I do. It was the “anime” episode, where the kids brought weapons such as katanas, nun-chucks and throwing stars. They played with these weapons for a while, until eventually Kenny threw a star that landed right in the middle of “Butters” eye, complete with a line of blood going down his cheek. It was a very painful image.

At this point, I turned to my brother, who had a shocked look on his face (but not traumatized or anything). I asked him, “You wouldn’t do that to anyone, now would you?” and he replied “No.”

This was when I realized something, what if all TV shows showed the realistic consequences of violence?

Constantly cartoons such as “Looney Toons” or “Tom and Jerry” are shown getting hit with anvils, shot in the face and electrocuted, yet they all just recover in a manner of seconds. What if instead, when Daffy Duck gets shot in the face, instead of his beak spinning to the back of his head, he got his brains blown out?

Of course this would ruin cartoons, but my point is the youngest children may get the wrong impression from seeing these things on TV. A child that’s na?ve enough might get the impression that all these deadly acts may not be as dangerous as they actually are. These children just need to be informed and properly monitored by their parents.

Take wrestling for example. It’s often the blame of violence in kids and there are several cases where children have been hurt trying to imitate it. However, some kids might not realize the secrets the professional wrestlers use. The ring is basically a mattress, and the wrestlers are trained to do the all the moves and holds correctly, and even then they still get injured. I imagine that the people who get killed imitating these stunts are people that don’t think of the consequences or understand what they’re doing.

I don’t necessarily think that just removing violence from kids shows will solve this problem. Too many “TV-Y7” shows feature people getting hit hard without even getting a bruise. Some action shows even edit out blood in such a way that characters endure unbelievable and unrealistic amounts of damage without even getting a scratch. Wouldn’t seeing someone take high-impact punch without getting injured give an 8-year-old the wrong impression?

I just think kids would be okay if there were informed. Ideally, their parents should be there to tell them right from wrong, and the child should be smart enough to listen.

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Brian Smith

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