Germany: laws to lessen violence

Two weeks after the horrific massacre at a school in Erfurt, in which 16 people lost their lives, the German government enacts a series of measures to curb violence.

First on the list of measures is a law to restrict the access of minors to certain types of video games, namely those which incite the viewer towards acts of violence. These videos will have a minimum age stamped on the cover.

The practice in western Europe of “video nasties” is unfortunately more than a rumour. In these illegal films, victims, sometimes women and children, are tortured or even killed on camera, the whole horrific event being filmed and copies and mass produced.

However, it is not necessary for minors to watch these video nasties. It is calculated that by the age of 12, a typical youngster in western Europe or the USA will have witnesses no less than 100,000 scenes of extreme violence on television, at an age when the learning process is being enacted. It is not by chance that the rising wave of violence in Japan coincides clinically with the lifting of restriction of violent scenes on TV.

In Germany, videos which are classified as “especially dangerous for children and adolescents” will cease to be sold and the age at which a person can belong to a shooting club will be raised from 18 to 25.

Robert Steinhauser, the young man who committed this atrocity before taking his own life, was a member of a shooting club, and frequently viewed videos which depicted scenes of extreme violence.

Steinhauser, an 18-year-old loner who had problems at school, mistakenly found the solution to vent his anger at the society he felt had not given him a chance and in so doing, destroyed not only the lives of 16 families, but also his own and that of his parents.

The fact that a young man who was evidently so unbalanced had access to lethal weapons sends a chilling warning to society everywhere on the planet.


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