Something that’s been on Dr. J’s mind lately, that I wouldn’t mind discussing:
It seems to me that everyone is caught up in asking “Why” whenever something goes wrong anymore. School shootings are the best example; bad parenting, guns, Ritalin, and Marylin Manson are but a few of the evils that obviously cause this to happen to sweet, innocent youth. But here’s my argument:
1.) An extremely small but finite number of teenagers are simply innately sociopathic; that is, they would go shooting their classmates no matter what.
2.) Another small percentage (probably not as small) will be affected by movies, books, music, video games, etc. in strange ways. I mean, it’s possible (apparently) to read The Catcher in the Rye and get the clear message that you should kill a Beatle. So while the vast, vast, vast majority of Doom players will not shoot up their class as a result, it’s possible that some will.
3.) There are a lot of people out there these days. A lot more than there used to be. And probability tells us that the larger the sample size, the more often rare things show up.
So it’s not that these things are more likely these days percent-wise, it’s that there are more people at that unfortunate end of the bell curve. It isn’t guns, Marilyn Manson, or Doom that is responsible for the “current tide of violence”, it’s statistics.
And I demand we file a class-action suit against the makers of statistics!
PS: If I ever go on a murder spree, I’m going to claim that I was influenced by hours and hours of “The Andy Griffith Show”.