Boy With A History Of Violence Kills Grandmother With Sword: Halo Blamed
In what has to be one of the worst news items I’ve read all week, police in Douglas County, Georgia have arrested a 15 year old boy who allegedly murdered his own grandmother. With a sword. This is obviously a horrible tragedy, which is why it’s important to get to the bottom of it and make certain appropriate punishment is meted out. Enter our helpful, sensationalist media:
A family friend told Channel 2’s Sophia Choi that the teen was angry that he was told to stop playing the game Halo. Investigators said he used a 34- to 36-inch sword to cut his grandmother, 55-year-old Laura Prince, in the arm and to kill his great-grandmother, 77-year-old Mary Joan Gibbs, on Monday.
If true, this would be a terrible story about the importance of making sure that people do not become addicted to video games. However, below this assertion, a few more facts spill out:
The attack marks the third time deputies have encountered the teen.
Sheriff Phil Miller said on two previous occasions, the teen was sent to a hospital to be mentally evaluated and then turned over to Juvenile Justice. But both times, Miller says, the boy was released, despite his violent history.
“It just seems to me that somebody may not be doing what they could do, or we may be dropping the ball somewhere in the system,” Miller told Choi.
So it looks like Master Chief is off the hook. Halo didn’t cause this kid to become a murderer just like Grand Theft Auto didn’t cause the English riots and Dragon Age 2 didn’t cause the terrorist attack in Norway. This kid was clearly troubled and sadly, he wasn’t able to receive the treatment he sorely needed.
I’m hopeful that this time, people are going to focus on his history of violence instead of blaming a pastime. We’ll see.