Thursday, April 19, 2007

Is Tom Cruise (& others) linked to mass murder?

No, Tom Cruise didn't pull the trigger. But was Mr. Cruise's character a man Seung-Hui wished to emulate? If Mr. Gasper is correct, what does society do - realistically? I challenge you to read the entire quote . . .

Joseph Gasper, a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at The Johns Hopkins University says:

"For Seung-Hui, the shooting was a desperate final attempt to escape (by ending in suicide) from his social problems. But the shooting provided him with more than just an escape—it afforded him an opportunity to regain his manhood through lethal violence. Movies in which violence is rewarded with hero status provide the template for action for a young man with a history of rejection by women who wishes to show others that he is a man. Indeed, when viewing his 'media manifesto,' one cannot help but think that they are watching scenes from an action movie. His manifesto is purposeful in the sense that in order for the shooting to successfully recapture his masculinity, he must let the world know that he did it and that he is not a weak individual. The idea that such a killing spree and the methodical planning that goes into it will resolve one's problems and change others' perceptions does not enter a young man's head randomly; these linkages are available to us everyday in society in the form of movies, television, and video games, and they may explain why mass murders tend almost always to be men."

Mr. Gasper is teaching a course this summer on School Crime and Juvenile Justice.

Headlines at Johns Hopkins linked here.

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