Heinous violence calls for dialogue

Has empathy become so foreign to people that heinous acts of violence can be shrugged off with little bother?

The desensitization of youth has been a concern for decades. From comic books to rock music to video games, it seems almost every new media trend has been blamed for turning kids into unfeeling monsters.

Most research indicates good kids don’t turn bad because of what they read, watch or play. However, just as disconcerting is what seems to be a diminishing sensitivity toward other people experiencing pain.

RCMP report a young girl on Vancouver Island had become dangerously intoxicated at a public soccer game and could have died if not treated.

The girl’s “friends” apparently looked on as if they were being treated to a live version of a viral YouTube video. Fortunately, two other girls alerted authorities.

There’s the heartbreaking story of Kimberly Proctor, the 18-year-old Victoria girl who was brutally raped and murdered by a pair of teens.

In that case, two months after the murder and with no arrests, the RCMP made a public plea for people with information about the crime to come forward. Thankfully, they did.

When Reena Virk died under a bridge in 1997, the case touched a nerve across the world. It seemed shocking to think kids — more than a dozen by some accounts — could know first-hand of a violent crime and not report it to the authorities.

It was a watershed moment that launched anti-bullying campaigns aimed at teaching kids about preventing violence on a personal level.

It’s time for a new discussion about violence experienced on a public level and why it’s critical each of us understand our responsibility to the ideals of justice and serving the greater good.

— Victoria News