Once again, sadly, America is transfixed by the story of another murder spree by a lone male killer—this time on California's Gold Coast near Santa Barbara, one of the most beautiful and tranquil places in the state.
This time, the murderer didn't just use guns. Elliot Rodger also reportedly used knives and his fancy car to commit his murder spree. So, you can't just blame guns and the National Rifle Association, although some people are still trying to make that mistaken connection.
As with other recent notorious murder sprees, however, the killer was obsessed with violent video games, including World of Warcraft, an addictive, occult role-playing game. Other mass murderers who became obsessed with this particular game—and other violent games—at one point or another in their lives include the theater shooter in Colorado, who murdered 12 people; a Norwegian killer who murdered 77 people; and, the school killer in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, who murdered 26 innocent people, including 20 young children.
In a 137-page "manifesto," the 22-year-old Santa Barbara killer admits he became obsessed with violent video games as a pre-teen and as a teenager. His obsession led him to withdraw from other people, Rodger adds.
In addition to this, some of the killer's wording in his manifesto seems to mimic an evil elf character from the occult World of Warfcraft. Both the character and the killer, for example, talk about "mountains of skulls" and "rivers of blood."
More and more studies have shown that violent video games create aggressive behavior.
In fact, a 2012 study by researchers at Ohio State University "provides the first experimental evidence that the negative effects of playing violent video games can accumulate over time."
A researcher in 2008 was even more adamant about the problem of violent video games.
"We now have conclusive evidence that playing violent video games has harmful effects on children and adolescents," said Craig A. Anderson, a psychology professor at Iowa State University and director of its Center for the Study of Violence.
Media pundits may pooh-pooh this research all they want, but these studies aren't the only ones showing a link between depictions of violence in the mass media and real-life aggression and violence.
The evidence for this has been so overwhelming, in fact, that as long ago as 2000, the Surgeon General and four medical and psychiatric explicitly warned about the problem.
A unique aspect about the Santa Barbara murderer is his reason for his terrible crimes.
In his manifesto, he expresses rage against "beautiful" men and women who get all the sex partners they want, while he, at 22, still remains a virgin. He says his upcoming murder spree is a "day of retribution" against these people and against society.
Where did this young murderer get his narcissistic views about sex?
Well, for decades, the mass media—not only through thousands of books and movies, but also through the national "news" media and popular music—has been promoting the so-called "Sexual Revolution," an anti-Christian, unbiblical view of sexual morality.
This pagan ideology has undermined the institutions of marriage and the family, along with the moral fabric of the United States and many other countries.
In that light, it's important to note also that the mass media too often not only has been apathetic but also overtly antagonistic toward religion, especially Christianity and those of us who believe in the Bible.
This anti-Christian bigotry in the mass media has created a culture of anti-Christian bigotry and atheist advocacy.
Thus, one thing that stands out like a sore thumb in the life of all of the murderers mentioned above is the lack of religious training and spiritual expression in their lives. Instead of nurturing a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, all of these murderers seem obsessed by their own hedonistic pursuits.
Without God, and the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, people become narcissistic monsters looking for the next victim they can devour.
The solution to this is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Spreading that gospel is the best way to stop further media terrorism like what happened Friday night.
Tom Snyder is Movieguide's editor. Ted Baehr is founder and publisher of Movieguide, as well as chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission.
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