Violent Media, Guns, and Mental Illness: The Three Ring Circus of Causal Factors for School Massacres, as Related in Media Discourse
Fast Capitalism is a “journal devoted to analyzing the impact of information and communication technologies on self, society and culture in the 21st century.” When school shootings occur, people most often assume that the shooter or shooters were mentally unstable or were bullied by their classmates. But are these the sole reasons for school massacres; or are they the reasons we want to believe? The authors of this article argue that there are three primary causes for school shootings: violent media (e.g. violent video games, movies, and music), the controversial availability and accessibility to guns, and mental illness. In addition, “this discourse may be supplemented by considerations of individual and sociological causes, including the roles of family, religion, and community.” To support this argument, Schildkraut and Muschert use examples of past shootings, including the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Columbine High School, and Virginia Tech. However, unless we know the motive directly from the shooters, there can only be educated guesses as to “why.”
Schildkraut, Jaclyn, and Glenn W. Muschert. “Violent Media, Guns, and Mental Illness: The Three Ring Circus of Causal Factors for School Massacres, as Related in Media Discourse.” Fast Capitalism. 1 October 2013. Web. 1 July 2014. <http://www.uta.edu/huma/agger/fastcapitalism/10_1/schildkraut10_1.html>.
The Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) Study (p. viii – 2.11, 5.1 – 6.7)
This report addresses a form of school violence different from school shootings. It explores sexual violence and rape on campus. Many people might not know of the sexual assault problems that universities have been having because most cases go unreported. Through a comparison of studies, the authors provide some context on sexual assault on campuses, stating that in one study 93% of sexual assault victims knew the offender and in a second study 90% of victims also knew the perpetrator. In addition, 91% of sexual assault victims on campus were found to have resisted the attack, and only 1.9% of offenders had a weapon in sexual assaults. Furthermore, this report discusses risk factors involved with sexual assault on campus including prior victimization, substance use, race/ethnicity, and age. Although most victims that have reported cases of sexual assault on campus are women, it was revealed that 6.1% of men reported experiencing sexual assault since entering college. Recently, there has been a new law put into place that clarifies sexual consent on college campuses. Affirmative consent, or a “yes,” is needed which can help facilitate the sexual assault investigations.
Krebs, Christopher P. et al. “The Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) Study.” October 2007. p. viii-2.11, 5.1-6.7. Web. 26 July 2014. <https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/221153.pdf>.
Dating Violence on Campus: A Fact of Life
Dating violence in student relationships can refer to any level of abusive or aggressive behaviors, including physical violence, sexual violence, and stalking. Although dating violence in student relationships may not seem like a major issue, it can be traumatic to the victim. It was reported that 1 in 5 college students have experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse in their dating relationships. Additionally, this report includes the effects that alcohol has on dating violence, since it is “involved in 74 percent of sexual assaults on campus.” Dating violence is an important issue that goes underreported, similar to campus sexual assault as mentioned above. To put underreporting into perspective, fewer than 5% of rapes, whether attempted or completed, were reported to law enforcement. Although brief, this report includes definitions, statistics, and reasons of dating violence on campus.
Wasserman, Cressida. “Dating Violence on Campus: A Fact of Life.” National Center for Victims on Crime. 2004. Web. 26 July 2014. <http://www.ncdsv.org/images/NCVC_DVonCampusFactOfLife_Fall2003-Winter2004.pdf>.