John Giotis, Chairman Emeritus of the Florida Council for Safe Communities, today released the following statement about the response to the Parkland school shooting:
“As the families affected by last week’s unspeakably tragic school shooting bury their loved ones and continue to grieve, we must figure out a way to come together to keep this from happening again. As an educator and a child advocate, my hope is that we find the correct response going forward, not a knee-jerk reaction
“Whether new gun legislation is passed or not—and that will certainly be looked at—we should realize the limits of those laws. For example, the Columbine shooting occurred five years after President Clinton successfully pushed an assault weapons ban. We must also discuss the impact of violent video games on our youth. In a 2015 report, the American Psychological Association stated that “research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and heightened aggressive behavior.” Many of the killers involved in similar shootings in recent years were avid violent video game players, including Seung-Hi Cho of Virginia Tech; Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris of Columbine; Adam Lanza of Newtown; and the most recent murderer, Nikolas Cruz of Parkland.
“Like with many of the most vexing problems in our culture, we should look at every aspect of this life-or-death issue and be willing to take an all-of-the-above approach to meaningful and effective changes. I continue to pray for Parkland, and I hope that out of this latest senseless tragedy we create sound public policy that actually addresses the root-causes of school shootings.”