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Taking Responsibility Essay, Research Paper

1999 must be a great year to be alive if

you are a criminal! Nobody takes responsibility for his or her own actions

anymore. Someone commits a heinous crime, and anything but the criminal

gets blamed. It was a harsh childhood, abusive parents, violent movies

and video games, the availability of guns and bomb making materials, the

Internet, pornography, peer pressure, etc.

In my mind, if you commit a crime, then

you are a criminal. I am the only one that makes the decisions I make in

life. Others may influence my decisions, but ultimately, I am the one that

makes that final choice. No matter how hard and pathetic you think your

life is, or how badly society treats you, or what you watch on TV, or what

you can buy from the store or read on the Internet, you made the decision

to break the law-nobody made the decision for you. Oliver Stone didn’t

tell you to watch Natural Born Killers and then go mimic the crimes. The

NRA did not make you illegally purchase guns. The Internet did not force

you to download recipes for bombs.

The massacre at Columbine High School was

a tragedy. Instead of looking at these kids that committed the crime and

putting blame where it belongs, everyone was more than willing to point

a quick finger of blame so they could feel better somehow. Unfortunately,

some have used this tragedy as nothing more than an event to be exploited

for their own political gains. People that are afraid of the Internet were

quick to point out that Nazi and hate propaganda and bomb-making recipes

are easily accessed on the Internet, and that “alternative” ideas seem

to flourish on the Internet. Immediately everyone wants to censor the hell

out of the Internet and keep their kids away from it. They fail to mention

the business and education values of the Internet, and dwell on the negative.

Antigun people quickly “forget” about the 60+ bombs that were found and

focused merely on the fact that firearms were used by these psychos. They

immediately want more gun laws and bans (but fail to mention that dozens

of existing gun laws were broken by these boys as it is, and that the laws

now being proposed in the aftermath would not have prevented this sort

of thing). Others quickly point out that these kids played violent arcade

games and watched violent movies–ban these things as well. People that

don’t like or understand new music blame Marilyn Manson and other alternative

and/or metal bands.

Am I the only one that is saying, “These

kids were psychos that should have been stopped before it got this far?”

These kids already had criminal records. They wore Nazi paraphernalia to

school, they threatened other kids. They had Web pages detailing their

bombs and various hate messages. They managed to amass bomb-making materials

right in their homes. They got older friends to buy guns for them, et cetera.

Did nobody notice this? Where were the parents when these kids were building

BOMBS right in the garage?

Am I the only one saying, “I use the Internet.

I watch violent movies. I play video games. I’ve listened to heavy metal

music. I have been ridiculed by classmates, but I’ve never even thought

about killing anybody!” I have seen Natural Born Killers. I have played

Doom. I’ve listened to black metal. I own several swords used in martial

arts practice. I use the Internet everyday. As far as the finger-pointing

crowd goes, I must seem like the most dangerous person in America. And

yet I haven’t committed a school massacre. I have never wanted to, nor

will I ever. And yet all these things are somehow to blame for these kids

going nuts and attacking their fellow classmates at school. Can we stop

the finger-pointing for just a second to realize these two kids, and these

two kids alone (unless it is proven there were other conspirators involved),

made the decision to go into that school and set off bombs and shoot at

minorities and jocks?

I take full responsibility for my actions,

and I naïvely expect others to do the same. Maybe I should just point

fingers and blame others for bad stuff that happens to me. Sorry, but I

take too much pride in working for what I want out of life instead of sitting

back and blaming others for what I don’t have. And in the same respect,

if I screw up, I admit that I screwed up. Nobody’s fault but my own. And

if I ever commit some crime and get caught, blame ME instead of the economy,

the gun laws, the drug laws, the media, the weather, or any other stupid

thing that is on the “cool list of things to blame today.”

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