Executive Intelligence Review


Kentucky Governor Urges National Dialogue on Changing ‘Culture of Death’ in U.S.

Feb. 25, 2018 (EIRNS)—Following the Jan. 24 school shooting in western Kentucky which left two dead and 19 wounded, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin videotaped a dramatic statement, calling for an urgent national dialogue about how to change American popular culture, with its glorification of violence, killing and death in all forms of “entertainment.” Since the Feb. 14 Florida massacre, he has been widely interviewed in the media, along similar lines.

More Americans had guns in earlier times than today, but young people did not go out to kill other young people en masse, he argued. “If people believe they don’t have responsibility to anyone other than themselves,” and that “there is no absolute right or wrong,” then we have a cultural problem. Individuals “don’t assume that their actions matter in any kind of consequential way beyond that immediate moment.”

Why are we shocked at these killings when we surround ourselves and our children with violence, he asked.

“Look at our popular culture. Look at our movies. The violence, the disregard for the value of human life.... We have a culture of death in America. We can pretend we don’t; we can think that people can separate fact from fiction from their lives from that which they see, but if they are immersed in it at every turn, in television, in movies, in music—all of it. Listen to the lyrics of music today; it celebrates a culture of death....”

Young people need to know that,

“what you put in ... becomes a part of your entire physiology, your entire mental makeup, it becomes a part of who you are. You are a creation of what you surround yourself by,”

he said.

“Watch the television shows. We glorify murder, we glorify killing. It is becoming increasingly explicit, and we are desensitizing young people to the actual tragic reality and permanency of death.... Look at the video games that are played.... When you get extra points and are encouraged to brutally kill people, and when the blood and the mayhem and the carnage is increasingly real, it desensitizes people.

“And it’s a shock to us now? That suddenly we are seeing a prevalence of, an increasing amount of this happening, not in a video game, not on a television show, not in a movie, not in lyrics of a song, but in real life as young people act out that which they are surrounded by, that which they are immersed in?”

Bevin said he did not know what form it should take, but “something has to be done.” He called for other governors, the President of the United States, the U.S. Congress, everyone in a position of influence, from school superintendents to the CEOs of the companies that produce violent video games, movies, and recordings, to engage in a national dialogue on what has to be done.

“We’ve got to step up. We are the adults. Let’s act like it. ... Let’s figure out how to try to repair the fabric of America that’s getting shredded beyond recognition.”