This Essay Debates Whether Violence On Television Affects Our Kids And Causes Them To Act Violently

1060 words - 4 pages

Does Television Cause Murder?The essay "Murder on the Dial: Does Television Set the Killer Loose?" by Neal Peirce starts out with an argument that television causes murders. Peirce backs this up with a study of three countries by Brandon Centerwall. The author points out that in the studies, when children became adults, about ten years after television was introduced, murders began to rise. In South Africa, before television was introduced, murder rates held steady for decades. Ten years after television was introduced, murder rates soared by 54%. Peirce points out that Centerwall is on to something, but also points out critics will question the statistics and the countries chosen for study. He defends this by saying in a couple of decades people might realize violence on television is bad even if they do not agree now. Peirce points out that television makes suffering seem not so bad, and the television warps the youngster's view of human relations. He backs this up with a statistic about the average 16 year-old, who has seen 18,000 television murders. Peirce says the amount of murders a child views is not likely to be changed because the First Amendment prohibits censorship, but the author hopes citizens can force stations to make better use of airtime. Ultimately, Peirce feels the cure for violence is to reduce demand. Parents should pick and choose, while cutting back on what their kids watch overall. The author knows tending to kids takes time, but if we do not, they could murder.I thought this essay had some very strong points. I liked how the author used statistics and an expert in the field, Brandon Centerwall. I also liked the solutions the author gave. He was realistic and did not give some unrealistic answer. He gave a solution that the average Joe could do. Peirce says to carefully select the shows your children watch and cut down the amount of television they watch. He also gives a hint that you can give your child a head start on learning by turning on an educational program. Peirce says one reason cutting back on television might not work is because the parents who must regulate might be hooked on television as well. This makes the parents analyze themselves. They will think about how much television they watch, and since the author mentioned that point, parents might try to cut down on their own television. If the author would have left it unsaid, no one would think about the amount of television they watch, just their kids. His concluding sentence makes the notion of helping stick in your head. He says, "So it's expensive to tend for kids well? Yes. But if you buy the Centerwall argument, it may be murder if we don't" (Peirce 359). No parent likes the thought of their child being a murderer, so it prompts them to take action.There were a few flaws in this essay. The first one was faulty cause and effect. The murders doubled because television was introduced. While that could have been a factor, the reader did not get any other...

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