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Doctors warn parents about the impact of media violence on kids

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By Sherry Robinson

Back in the day, the Lone Ranger disarmed the bad guy by shooting the gun out of his hand. If anybody got wounded, there was a spot of ketchup on his shirt.
What’s this got to do with the unrelenting and frightening news stories about violence by kids? More than you might think.
Lately, a 12-year-old in Roswell who shot two fellow students pleaded no contest. A California youth, frustrated by the failure of beautiful women to notice him, murdered people randomly. And now two girls, under the influence of website fiction, stab another girl.
We could have another debate about gun laws and gun access, although in part, knives were the weapons of choice.
What if we turn the debate around and ask what goes on at the front end of these tragedies. Why do some kids think it’s OK to hurt or kill other kids? What’s going on?
A University of New Mexico pediatrician points straight at media violence.
Victor Strasburger has appeared on national media to urge his fellow pediatricians to stop worrying whether kids’ car seats face forward or backward and start warning parents about exposure to violence on TV, in movies and in games.


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