CNN) -- An 8-year-old boy intentionally shot and killed his -year-old caregiver on Thursday evening after playing a violent video game, authorities say.http://www.cnn.com/...
Marie Smothers, 90, was pronounced dead at the scene with a gunshot wound to the head in a mobile home park in Slaughter, Louisiana, the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Department said in a statement. Slaughter is about 20 miles north of Baton Rouge.
Although the boy initially told investigators that he accidentally shot the woman while playing with a firearm, the probe led authorities to believe he "intentionally shot Mrs. Smothers in the back of the head as she sat in her living room watching television," the statement said.
The boy won't face charges. Under Louisiana law, a child under 10 is exempt from criminal responsibility.[...]
"Although a motive for the shooting is unknown at this time investigators have learned that the juvenile suspect was playing a video game on the Play Station III 'Grand Theft Auto IV', a realistic game that has been associated with encouraging" violence and awards points to players for killing people, just minutes before the homicide occurred."
"We have a child who does not know the impact of the consequences of the act he committed," Sclynski Legier, a lawyer, told CNN affiliate WAFB. "He truly doesn't understand that."
He is now with his parents.
Here are some facts about children and gun safety. Hat tip to LilithGardener.
One-third of all families in America that have children also have guns, and more than 40 percent of them don't keep their guns locked up. Children younger than eight can't tell the difference between a real gun and a toy, and 3-year-olds are strong enough to pull the trigger on a real gun. Children and teens commit more than half of all unintentional shootings.http://www.nlm.nih.gov/...
Here are some things you can do to keep yourself and your family safe.
Teach children that they shouldn't touch guns and that if they see a gun, to leave it alone and tell an adult.
If your children play at another home, talk to the parents about gun safety.
Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
Always store guns unloaded.
Lock guns in a rack or safe, and hide the keys or combination.
Store ammunition away from guns and keep it locked.
Don't keep guns in your home if someone in your family has a mental illness, severe depression, or potential for violence.
U.S. Naval Safety Center
Although no study has examined whether or not violent video games cause real world violence, here is what what some behavioral studies have revealed.
One of the most recent studies, conducted in 2006 at the Indiana University School of Medicine, went right to the source. Researchers scanned the brains of 44 kids immediately after they played video games. Half of the kids played "Need for Speed: Underground," an action racing game that doesn't have a violent component. The other half played "Medal of Honor: Frontline," an action game that includes violent first-person shooter activity (the game revolves around the player's point of view). The brain scans of the kids who played the violent game showed increased activity in the amygdala, which stimulates emotions, and decreased activity in the prefrontal lobe, which regulates inhibition, self-control and concentration. These activity changes didn't show up on the brain scans of the kids playing "Need for Speed."[...]http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/...
In science, correlation doesn't imply causation. A relationship between virtual aggression and real-life aggression isn't necessarily one of cause and effect. Maybe bullies in real life also enjoy being bullies in virtual life, so they play violent video games.
To date, all lawsuits against video game companies for distributing violent content have been thrown out.
Research clearly suggests that exposure to violent video games temporarily increases a person's hostility. A child or adult who plays a video game will be slightly more antagonistic and might even see his or her world as a more hostile place immediately after playing the game. However, research does not show a clear link between playing violent video games and real world violence.