My “Call of Duty”

Every time I catch up on the news each day whether it’s watching it on television or reading it on the internet, there seems to be a new report on gun violence erupting somewhere. In the past year I’ve lost track of the number of deaths from each of these incidents. The worst of which was just a few months ago in Newton, CT.

When that happened, the United States seemed to join together in unity for a moment with mutual pain and suffering. There were many acts of charitable kindness and love that came out of this awful tragedy. It appeared as if everyone was finally on the same page that something needed to be done. And then the cries of outrage began and a division occurred between citizens of this country on how gun violence should be handled. Gun control, gun elimination, new and stricter laws on gun purchases and other political measures were sprung. This is where sadly I feel this country is off the path of how to heal and handle something like this.

Why is it that when horrible things happen that all of a sudden every person seems to say that some new policy needs to be enacted to prevent this from happening again? The responsibility for healing and growing from these terrible things is on each and every one of us, not on the government to make it go away.

Children are growing up with guns and violence today. I was appalled recently when I saw my nephews and my partner’s nephew as well playing a game titled Call of Duty. It started out with extreme vulgarity and then expanded into a first person shoot-em-up game with extremely graphic gun-induced bloodshed.

I know that “scientists” haven’t proven any correlation yet to these video games and the gun incidents that have happened, but does it really matter? Why do we want children to grow up with images of guns and bloodshed? It’s not even just in video games that this is happening. More and more movies are showcasing guns and bloodshed and kids are scrambling to get to the theater to watch them. The death counts in movies are rising up higher and higher.

It’s a known fact that repetitive behaviors change the thinking state of the mind. So isn’t it a no-brainer that if a child is watching gun violence everyday through movies or video games, that their brain may become accustomed to glorifying it and finding it a normal part of everyday living?

There was a time when I loved it myself. I played the violent games, and I saw every single movie filled with blood splatter patterns from the shooting of some type of gun. And I thought it was cool. Along the way, I changed. Being centered with God and wanting to be filled with a greater place of peace from within, I realized that what I was watching or taking part in was affecting this from happening. I don’t play those type of games anymore. And I have been going to those types of movies less and less and finding myself being drawn more to the lighter fare.

I believe that all great change on this planet begins with ourselves. If one is horrified by the gun violence in this country, then they must realize they can do their part by not exposing themselves or their family to it. There are plenty of other video games and movies to watch that aren’t filled with guns.

I truly wish people would begin to realize that it’s our “Call of Duty” to try to make a difference and help prevent these horrible tragedies like in Newton, CT or in Aurora, CO. It begins in our own homes, in our own actions, and in our own behaviors. I pray people begin to see that great change happens from within ourselves and not because a new law is enacted.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson