Have you heard about the two 12 year old girls in Waukesha, WI, who decided they would kill a 12 year old classmate and friend?
Here, excerpted from Ellen Gabler\’s article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, are the ugly details:
The 12-year-old girls had been plotting the murder for months, police say.
Morgan E. Geyser was allowed to have two friends over each year for her birthday. This year, she\’d celebrate on May 30. That is the day she and Anissa E. Weier would try to kill their friend during a sleepover.
On Monday, the two Waukesha girls were charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court as adults with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, each facing up to 65 years in prison. Their victim, another 12-year-old from Waukesha, was stabbed 19 times by either Geyser or Weier or both, according to a criminal complaint. All three attend Horning Middle School in Waukesha.
I assume you are as sickened by this as I am. But there is more.
It turns out that these 12 year olds got the idea from…..a violent internet fantasy world they become obsessed with, to the point that fantasy became reality:
Both suspects explained the stabbing to police referencing their dedication to Slender Man, the character they discovered on a website called Creepypasta Wiki, which is devoted to horror stories.
Weier told police that Slender Man is the “leader” of Creepypasta, and in the hierarchy of that world, one must kill to show dedication. Weier said that Geyser told her they should become “proxies” of Slender Man – a paranormal figure known for his ability to create tendrils from his fingers and back – and kill their friend to prove themselves worthy of him. Weier said she was surprised by Geyser\’s suggestion, but also excited to prove skeptics wrong and show that Slender Man really did exist.
The suspects believed that “Slender,” as Weier called him, lived in a mansion in the Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin. The plan was to kill the victim and walk to Slender\’s mansion.
After school on Friday, Weier told police, she and Geyser went to Weier\’s house, where she packed a backpack with clothes, granola bars, water bottles and a picture of her mother, father and siblings. She didn\’t want to forget what her family looked like after leaving for Slender\’s mansion.
How sick is that?
And how clear is it that the impetus which drove these two 12 year old girls to attempt murder is the same impetus that pushed jared lee loughner in Tucson, Arizona, adam lanza in Newtown, Connecticut, ryan klebold and eric harris atn Columbine High School/Littleton, Colorado, and who knows how many more: an obsession with violent video games and/or internet sites, which they eventually acted upon.
Usually when things like this happen, guns are used, and the cries for stricter gun control laws come early and often. But, incredibly, little or nothing is said about the violent video garbage which pushed the killers along, and virtually no politician ever proposes legislation to in any way minimize the availability of such garbage…especially to younger, more impressionable people like these two 12 year olds.
Not this time, though: these two pre-teen girls did not use a gun, they used a knife.
And since it is highly doubtful that there will be any hue and cry to enact stricter knife control laws, maybe this time media – and, even more importantly, the entertainment industry – will be shamed into recognizing the danger created by this material, and will finally do something about it.
On the other hand, since gratuitously violent garbage makes the entertainment industry tons and tons of money, they probably won\’t have anything to say about it at all. They probably will do what they did after Tucson, and Newtown, and Littleton: nothing at all. Instead, they will slink back to their “creative” departments and ask for even more gratuitously violent garbage to be pumped out, so they can add even more tons of money to the tons they\’ve already made off of this material.
But the next time a violent video-obsessed zombie gets him/herself a gun and starts shooting people, count on these same entertainment industry people to be front and center demanding more gun control laws. That is how they think they can cleanse themselves of their responsibility.
As any regular reader of this blog knows, I am a strong believer in strict gun control laws – including mandatory jail sentences for anyone carrying an illegal gun during the commission of a crime, whether or not that gun is used in the crime.
But I am also a realist. I understand that no amount of gun control laws only affect people who obey laws, and cannot prevent someone who illegally obtains and uses a gun from doing so.
And I certainly understand that no gun jumps into someone\’s hand and starts firing by itself. Someone has to be disposed to use the gun for that to happen.
Therefore, the single most important way to prevent gun violence is pre-usage: i.e. to prevent people from being of a mind to use guns to kill others.
And that, it seems to me, starts with minimizing the gratuitous violence they see in the arcades, on their Ipads, and on their computer screens – violence which reduces the shooting of others to an amusing pastime – a game, with the most points to whomever does the most killing.