For the past few years, the media has been filled with fighting, hate and violence in many facets of life, from politics to crime to terrorism. I know people who refuse to watch the news on television anymore because they are sick and tired of all the negative news and how they portray good people as being bad and bad people as being good.
Frequently, the news is so focused on reporting the deeds of terrorists, criminals or mass shooters like Stephen Paddock and Devin Kelley, that they almost elevate these horrible people to some sort of celebrity status. To many misguided youth, the media treatment makes them appear to be some sort of heroes to be looked up to and emulated.
How many times do you see kids wanting to imitate other celebrities and be just like them? Kids are always dressing up like their favorite singers, actors, actresses, television stars, movie stars and characters. With Halloween only a month behind us, it’s obvious to see the effects of media coverage, television and movies which was very evident. Why else did we see little Donald Trumps, Harry Potters and zombies?
This phenomenon has been a subject of debate among psychologists, criminalists and parents for decades. However, there have been cases of teenagers repeating horrific acts they saw in a movie, video game or on television and we’ve seen countless numbers of younger kids re-enacting scenes from what different forms of entertainment media they’ve seen.
In the 1960’s, tens of thousands of teenagers cut their hair like the Beatles or surfers, the other fad that swept America at the time. Later on, thousands of girls got Dorothy Hamill haircuts because of the Olympic champion figure skater. Sadly, thousands of teenagers and even younger kids turned to wearing black with the goth and punk movements. When some musicians committed horrible acts on stage as part of their performance, many teens followed their example and ripped the heads off live chickens and worse. I recall one report where a rather vulgar musical group performed sex on stage during a concert, only to be repeated by dozens of teens, and they did it in public, just like the musical group.
With the media being filled with so much coverage of mass killings via shootings and acts of terrorism, it’s only a matter of time until some youngster desires to emulate them so they can become instantly famous.
I can’t help but wonder is this is the case of a 10-year-old girl in Louisville, Kentucky. She took the keys to the family’s pickup truck and took off down the street. She ran into another vehicle, hitting it hard enough to cause it to spin around several times. Then the girl drove the pickup truck into the front of a house.
There were five kids in the front family room, but fortunately, a love seat protected them from being inured and killed. The woman in the vehicle that was hit and spun around only received minor injuries.
When police arrived on the scene, they asked the little girl why she drove the truck into the house. According to Joshua Pate, the father of the family renting the home that was hit by the truck:
“(The officer) couldn’t believe what she said. He was like, ‘Excuse me?’ and she said, ‘I wanted to kill people,’ and he said, ‘I’m sorry, what did you say?’ and she said, ‘I wanted to kill people’.”
According to Fox News, the girl’s family said she has autism, but even so, she must have been influenced by someone or something, in order to want to kill people. Was she influenced by the media and all of the news about mass killings or was she influenced by something in her own home or perhaps both?