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Only Doom Lurks Ahead When “The Purge” Becomes Reality

In late August, reports of a “purge” seized the attention of Delaware County police. Unidentified teens expressed over social media their intent to recreate the violent plot of the film, The Purge. In this sadistic movie, all crime is legal for twelve hours in order to purge the society of criminal behavior.

It is unacceptable that a blockbuster compromised the security and peace of mind of the people of Delaware and other towns that faced the same danger. This media-inspired violence is a growing trend in American society. Movies and video games alike have planted seeds of aggression in the minds of youths, and when acted upon, we face shootings, domestic violence, and threats like this one.

This was no isolated incident and must not be treated as one. The Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, fueled his violent tendencies with constant video game use. This addiction coupled with Asperger’s syndrome and what his father believed was undiagnosed schizophrenia led to his disastrous–and murderous–breakdown. In addition, James Holmes, who opened fire on a movie theater, idolized The Joker, the villain of the Batman franchise. Holmes was also identified as mentally ill before the shooting.

Despite the negative effects of these brutal expositions, there is no easy solution. Limits cannot be put on directors and video game companies pertaining to their content, and citizens cannot be told what they can and cannot see. This creates the problem of maintaining “domestic tranquility” without infringing on the rights of Americans.

Does the knowledge that their profit causes disaster for others weigh heavy on the consciousness of movie and video game producers? Does it not seem impractical to continue making such extreme displays when mental disorders affect a majority of our population? Even so, as long as these productions bring in money, they will continue. The only hope for change is addressing the mental health problems.

Written by Maddie Vaziri’16


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