March 12, 2013 by esarsea

Peter Brown Hoffmeister

After the Huffington Post signed me on as a blogger and allowed me to write op-ed pieces on any topic, for two years, ranging from books to sports to reviews to pop culture, something changed in our relationship. It was sudden.
I wrote this piece for Huff Po in late December, 2012.  For some reason, the editors wouldn’t print it. Like every other article I’d written, I submitted the piece on their backstage for signed bloggers, but nothing happened. It didn’t go up on their site. I waited, and it didn’t happen.
A few days went by. Then a week. I contacted the editors, and they didn’t respond.  Then I contacted again, and they let me know that they wouldn’t publish the piece.
I asked why.
No response.
I emailed again.
No response again.
And now they won’t let me write anything at all. I’m off the blogroll.
So I…

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7 thoughts on “

  1. billie789 says:

    So what’s the deal-io, dude? Guy says he presented a story about me, basically, in high school and Huffpo didnt want to publish it because he ends up blaming video games, solely, for school shooters. Then he complains that Huffpo must have a different agenda than telling the truth or some dam thing.

    Here’s the deal, in my opinion: blaming video games as being the defining difference between A-unsettling violent thoughts we never acted upon as kids and B-a handful of goons who act on it these days, is more than a bit disengenuous if you consider one thing as you scroll down through the replies on Hoffmeister’s blog.

    Only one person (I didn’t read them all, they started sounding alike)who presents a logical counter to the video game-blame-game agrees with me: Why aren’t other, modern, civilized, media-drenched countries experiencing the same rate of mass shootings and killings that we are?

    No answer on Hoffmeister’s blog to that single question because it deflates the entire argument that video games cause our children to go serial shooting crazy.

  2. esarsea says:

    I don’t really interpret his statements, “Now I am not anti-video game crusader Jack Thompson. I’m not suggesting that everyone who plays a video game will act out that video game in reality.” and, “Please support the bill introduced Wednesday by U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, directing the National Academy of Sciences to examine whether violent games and programs lead children to act aggressively.” as blaming video games, solely, for school shooters…

    Sure he’s irritated that he got no feedback – good or bad – from HuffPO and was then summarily cut off. So he opted to post the article on his own blog. I get that.

    There is no one single cause for school shooters IMO, but rather a combination of circumstances which lead to these tragic events. It could be that if just one of the many dynamics at work were removed from the equasion, maybe some of these instances could have been avoided, and maybe – just maybe – the video games were one of those contributing factors in one or more of these events.

    It’s like the guy who is overweight, smokes, has a lot of stress, doesn’t exercise and eats a lot of red meat having a heart attack. Maybe he wouldn’t have had a heart attack if he just didn’t smoke, or just wasn’t overweight, or just wasn’t so stressed etc….but in combination, bingo.

    Who knows, but I think it’s a discussion worth having?

  3. Bill says:

    Well, I think I know, but it’s not a popular thing to discuss in mixed company.

    An Amercian and a Canadian are having a beer at a local sports bar as a local violent crime story finishes on the screen behind the bar. The Canadian takes a sip and shakes his head slowly and says, “You Americans…you’re crazy!” The American suddenly jumps straight up from his seat like a loaded spring and screams at the Canadian at the top of his lungs,”FUCK YOU! We are NOT crazy!. . .We’re violent and that’s different!”

    I believe the difference in our kids watching violent video games and kids in other countries doing it without producing the ridiculous number of mass shootings is in our traditionally violent, narrowly-focused and willfully-ignorant nature as Americans. Compared to other western civilizations, we’re the world’s teenager. We were only born 237 years ago, a paltry number of years, really, in the big picture.

    We flourished with immigrants of all flavors bringing their talents and intelligence to the US. We became a world power and leader in a very short amount of time.

    But like any teenager, we need to mature and learn and become much wiser adults someday.

    And like any teenager with too much freedom and time on their hands, we get into trouble. We’re spoiled, we have too much allowance to play with, we pick fights, we tell the world to do as we say and not as we do, and, we make deadly weapons extremely available to anyone with the money and curiosity, interest or paranoid fears, alike. We worship fake heroes like John Wayne or Clint Eastwood because they portray tough guys who shoot and kill bad guys and teenagers admire tough guys, even fake Hollywood tough guys.

    And like any teenager, we love guns, loud noises, going faster whatever it is, explosions, fire, danger, putting ourselves at risk, watching a high-risk sport to see if anyone will please get injured or killed, hating and distrusting authority, rebelling against concepts and ideas that are for our own good, borrowing money we can’t pay back and basically having a deep desire to flip off the older world when it says we’re behaving badly.

    I don’t think we can move to a better future until we stop and take stock of our current culture and society and work toward what kind of country we want to live in. That can start at home because no one is born that way, being suspicious and worried that someone is going to try to take your ‘freedoms’ away. I believe a large part of the reason we are where we’re at today is because the teenager has been allowed to define their own brand of freedom and like any teen-aged mind, that can change three times a day.

  4. esarsea says:

    The US may ‘lead the field’ when it comes to school shootings, but it’s not uniquely “American’…and no, I didn’t take the time to research the gun laws in these various countries (or the proliferation of violent video games). Just thought I’d throw this out there.

    March 13, 1996
    Dunblane, Scotland 16 children and one teacher killed at Dunblane Primary School by Thomas Hamilton, who then killed himself. 10 others wounded in attack.

    March 1997
    Sanaa, Yemen Eight people (six students and two others) at two schools killed by Mohammad Ahman al-Naziri.

    April 28, 1999
    Taber, Alberta, Canada One student killed, one wounded at W. R. Myers High School in first fatal high school shooting in Canada in 20 years. The suspect, a 14-year-old boy, had dropped out of school after he was severely ostracized by his classmates.

    Dec. 7, 1999
    Veghel, Netherlands One teacher and three students wounded by a 17-year-old student.

    March 2000
    Branneburg, Germany One teacher killed by a 15-year-old student, who then shot himself. The shooter has been in a coma ever since.

    Jan. 18, 2001
    Jan, Sweden One student killed by two boys, ages 17 and 19.

    Feb. 19, 2002
    Freising, Germany Two killed in Eching by a man at the factory from which he had been fired; he then traveled to Freising and killed the headmaster of the technical school from which he had been expelled. He also wounded another teacher before killing himself.

    April 26, 2002
    Erfurt, Germany 13 teachers, two students, and one policeman killed, ten wounded by Robert Steinhaeuser, 19, at the Johann Gutenberg secondary school. Steinhaeuser then killed himself.

    April 29, 2002
    Vlasenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina One teacher killed, one wounded by Dragoslav Petkovic, 17, who then killed himself.

    Sept. 28, 2004
    Carmen de Patagones, Argentina Three students killed and 6 wounded by a 15-year-old Argentininan student in a town 620 miles south of Buenos Aires.

    Sept. 13, 2006
    Montreal, Canada Kimveer Gill, 25, opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon at Dawson College. Anastasia De Sousa, 18, died and more than a dozen students and faculty were wounded before Gill killed himself.

    Nov. 7, 2007
    Tuusula, Finland An 18-year-old student in southern Finland shot and killed five boys, two girls, and the female principal at Jokela High School. At least 10 others were injured. The gunman shot himself and died from his wounds in the hospital.

    Sept. 23, 2008
    Kauhajoki, Finland A 20-year-old male student shot and killed at least nine students and himself at a vocational college in Kauhajok, 330km (205 miles) north of the capital, Helsinki.

    March 11, 2009
    Winnenden, Germany Fifteen people were shot and killed at Albertville Technical High School in southwestern Germany by a 17-year-old boy who attended the same school.

    April 30, 2009
    Azerbaijan, Baku A Georgian citizen of Azerbaijani descent killed 12 students and staff at Azerbaijan State Oil Academy. Several others were wounded.

    July 22, 2011
    Tyrifjorden, Buskerud, Norway A gunman disguised as a policeman opened fire at a camp for young political activists on the island of Utoya. The gunman kills 68 campers, including personal friends of Prime Minister Stoltenberg. Police arrested Anders Behring Breivik, a 32-year-old Norwegian who had been been linked to an anti-Islamic group.

    March 19, 2012
    Toulouse, France Mohammed Merah, a French man of Algerian descent, shot and killed a rabbi, two of his children, and another child at a Jewish school. Police believe he had earlier shot and killed three paratroopers. Merah said he was a member of Al Qaeda and that he was seeking revenge for the killing of Palestinian children.

    Source: Time Line of Worldwide School Shootings | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777958.html#ixzz2NRrk91S5

  5. Bill says:

    I appreciate your research efforts, I really do.

    You show 17 international mass shootings or killings over a 17-year period, Stu.

    We had 16 mass shootings resulting in 88 dead in 2012 alone.

    We are so over-the-top, it’s sickening.

    When some people in this country go to the lengths and drama they’ve gone to over buying an AR-15 and extended magazines and threats of armed revolution and we’ve had three Tea Party-type “Gun Appreciation”(not kidding!)rallies in the past month on our state Capital steps, a small town in Northern Utah just embarassed us, again, by passing a resolution last night reaffirming the town council’s support of the 2nd Amendment- I didn’t even know there was a problem in Syracuse, Utah, with the 2nd Amendment. I knew they, like most Utahns, have a real problem with the 10th and 14th Amendments and like to dance all around the Supremacy Clause when it comes to trying to steal federal land for mineral development, but I had no idea the 2nd was in jeopardy in a quiet, little, mostly white Mormon, enclave.

    And it isn’t and that’s my point. These godam hillbillies actually believe Obama is “Gunna Take Yur Gunz!” They even passed state law, unconstitutionally two weeks ago, that said any Utah sheriff can arrest any federal agent who tries to take anyone’s guns away in Utah… My god, the Feds in Utah must be laughing their asses off! The gun nuts got together at the Capital and chanted all that “From My Cold, Dead Hands” nonsense and “Don’t Tread On Me” flags and went down that silly road at the podium of what they would do if the Feds came for their guns.

    The next day, a letter to the Tribune about the latest gun appreciation rally and threats toward the Feds said it all, basically: If the federal government decides to make a sweep of an area and confiscate weapons they deem too dangerous to be in the hands of the public, like rocket launchers and machine guns, then they will. That’s unless you and your buddy Dave are really planning to take on a fully-equipped, motorized combat infantry unit, because that’s who would come, not Barack Obama or Joe Biden.

  6. esarsea says:

    Actually those are just school shootings in other countries, not all international mass shootings. If we looked at all international mass killings then we would have to include instances of ‘Democide’ as well, and look at what’s happening in Syria, and the history of The Soviet Union, Nazis, Khmer Rouge, Poland, Turkey etc etc…

    I was just saying it’s not unique to the US.

    That is pretty funny that a city council would pass a resolution affirming their support of the Constitution and The Bill of Rights!

    • Bill says:

      My point was that there were as many as you listed worldwide since 1996, just last year in America.

      Let’s not parse words about mass shootings, war, etc. and get our wires crossed. We were talking about why other countries don’t experience the rate of school (and mall and theater) shootings that we do here, commited by young, white boys. They have violent video games available, violent Hollywood movies, etc.

      Now, I’ve heard that it’s because “we took god out of schools” in America but I don’t think that stopping daily prayer to the Christian version of god would cause this, other than removing a boogeyman of sorts, used to make little kids behave.

      I am stuck with this belief that it’s the historical violent core of our country’s personality as my reasonomng for it.

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March 2013

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