It is alarming that a young child, who does not recognize the consequences of their actions, is able to gain access to a loaded firearm.
Earlier in the summer, I wrote a column about a four-year-old who shot his father with a loaded gun he picked up at a family friend’s house. However, this more recent situation is a bit more gruesome.
In Slaughter, La., an eight-year-old boy intentionally shot his 90-year-old grandmother, Marie Smothers. Smothers was the primary caregiver of the boy. According to police, the law states that, “a child under (the age of) ten is exempt from criminal responsibility.” After the incident, most investigators believed the shooting to be an accident, but upon further investigation, they may have found another reason for his actions.
It was revealed that the boy was playing Grand Theft Auto IV before the shooting took place. There are so many red flags in this awful, cringe-worthy scenario that cannot be ignored.
First off, the kid was not completely at fault. What grown adult knowingly allows a young child to play Grand Theft Auto IV? This child does not have the cognitive ability to distinguish the reality in the game from the reality of the world. When he shot his grandmother, he probably expected 300 points would pop up on the screen spontaneously.
The big debate that stems from this issue is if violent video games can directly cause violence in the real world. Sadly, it comes down to a parent or guardian to choose whether to purchase a mature rated game for an impressionable child. Grand Theft Auto IV is rated mature due to the heavy violence, suggestive themes and illegal acts it portrays.
The whole Grand Theft Auto series is fun to play, but people under a certain age do not technically have the maturity to handle some of the situations that arise through gameplay.
Due to the fact that I have played three games in the series so far, I find it inexcusable to allow a young child to witness some of the actions in the game.
I also have an issue with the fact that an eight-year-old had access to a loaded gun in the house. Guns should be locked up or in a cabinet where a child cannot reach it.
This grandmother was completely ignorant. As the legal guardian of this child, she displayed no control over the household she was responsible for.