Police Blame Video Games For 2-Year-Old Stabbing 5-Month-Old

from the evidence? dept

It seems that whenever there's any kind of violence involving kids, someone rushes to blame video games. Steve L points us to the latest such case, where it's taken to something of an extreme. Apparently a 2-year-old boy stabbed his 5-month-old brother with a knife. It sounds like he didn't do much damage, but police immediately claimed that violent video games owned by a much older teenaged brother "may have played a role." The only problem? The 2-year-old neither plays the games nor watches his older brother playing them. But, why not blame the video games?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Buster, May 28th, 2009 @ 9:04am

    Kids with games

    I honestly think the parents did something stupid and blamed the kid for it... Just again just my opinion

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Avatar28, May 28th, 2009 @ 9:10am

    of course it was the games

    The fact that the kid is two and probably didn't like his brother because his brother takes mommy and daddy's attention away from him obviously had nothing at all to do with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Nelson Cruz (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 9:18am

    Before video-games

    So a baby playing with a knife, hurts his 5 year old brother... and video-games are to blame? Didn't anything like that happen BEFORE there where video-games??? What was to blame then? TV? Books?

    Its common sense that babies shouldn't play with knifes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Avatar28 (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 9:22am

      Re: Before video-games

      Seriously. My kids are 9 and 11 and we still don't let them use a sharp knife usually. If we go out to eat and there is a steak knife in the silverware, my youngest pulls it out and gingerly hands it to me.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        nelsoncruz (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 9:55am

        Re: Re: Before video-games

        Avatar28, good for you. But don't exaggerate either. The eskimos teach their children how to use a knife around the age of 10 I think (its a very important tool in their culture). But your kids seem to know WHY knives are dangerous, which is good. If you simply take away or hide from them every sharp thing around, they are just going to stab themselves the first chance they get. It's the difference between teaching and overprotecting.

        Of course that, for a 2 year old, that picks everything up and starts trashing about... dumbass parents for leaving a knife within reach!

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      windwolf, May 28th, 2009 @ 9:59am

      Re: Before video-games

      yeah they blamed rock and roll

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      slimcat (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 12:51pm

      Re: Before video-games

      Didn't anything like that happen BEFORE there where video-games??? What was to blame then? TV? Books?

      Yes! In the late '40s, I became a knife wielding assailant at the age of three or four with the encouragement of older neighborhood kids. Using a tiny folding knife which you could get in a penny gum-ball machine at the time, given me by the conspirators, I attacked the hood bully, stabbing him in the left biceps. I doubt I held anything that could be considered malice toward this individual and you'd probably have to chalk the attack up to peer pressure of sorts though I wasn't old enough to understand the concept. Got a stern talking to from Mom and Dad and was grounded for several days, as I recall. Imagine how knives in gum-ball machines would go over today.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Eponymous Coward, AKA Doug (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 1:32pm

        Re: Re: Before video-games

        Forget knives in gumball machines, the mere thought of a knife within 10 yards of a child these days is grounds for a complete lockdown of any public facility.

        There are two things at work here, as I see it. First, the kid was 2. Set aside all talk of consequential awareness and long-term memory for a moment, and consider fine motor skills in children. If you've ever seen a toddler with a crayon, you know that when they draw, their hand movements when holding an implement are very jerky and could easily be termed "stabbing motions". Movements toward their bodies are smoother, such as feeding themselves, but still nowhere within the arena of precise. Movements away from them, or toward another person/object, are pretty sketchy, as they don't have the experience or muscle memory to gauge the depth and use implements with much finesse. I think it's a great stretch to imagine any malice on the part of the child, rather than to say that this kid had a sharp object and probably didn't have the muscle control to move it delicately or precisely. I'd wager that a pencil could have done similar damage, and would not have garnered the comments about video games.

        Second, you have a society that likes to blame and sensationalize, and forgets that kids get in trouble all the time without the help of external influences. I'm not all that old, but I recall that cuts, bruises, and stitches were fairly common when I was young, and no one called the police and the newspaper when my brothers and I threw stones at each other and I ended up with a cut on my forehead. Surely no one blamed Ikari Warriors and immediately associated our skirmish as mimicking grenade-tossing insurgents.

        I remember the coolest kid in my grade school. He showed up nearly every week with a new minor injury and a new story to tell about how he got it. Once upon a time we allowed children to play, and to play rough. It taught them that sharp things cut, that flaming things burn, and a host of other lessons. I sure as hell miss those days.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jeremy from Seattle, May 28th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Really?

    I highly doubt the 2 year old had the cognitive reasoning skills to find a knife, think, "Hey, I've seen this before; mybe I'll go over to my brother and stab him." or even, "Hey, this little shit is taking mommy and daddy's attention away from me, I think I'll go find a knife and stab him."

    He was probably banging around like 2 year olds are wont to do and his retard parents left a knife out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      mommacita1984, Jun 23rd, 2009 @ 2:24pm

      Re: Really?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      mommacita1984, Jun 23rd, 2009 @ 2:24pm

      Re: Really?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      mommacita1984, Jun 23rd, 2009 @ 2:29pm

      Re: Really?

      You said it, word for word what i was about to say, and you are right, people blame videos games for our childrens violence. but my question is this, when i was younger we really didnt have any video games and if we did it was some kind of mario brothers. But what we did have were the looney tunes for television, and i do believe that that coyoto and roadrunner were a little bit on the hostile side. blowing each other up or setting each other on fire, one was always trying to hurt the other, dropping pianos on peoples heads. I mean come on people were there children back then that actually went to acme bought a bomb and blew up our siblings? all due to that cartoon??? anyway I hope everyone see's my point. its all in how you raise your kids, teaching them right from wrong, and that weapons are dangerous even if they see them on tv, THAT IS PRETEND!!!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    two year old children don't have permanent memories, wtf?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      spoondaddy, May 28th, 2009 @ 11:10am

      Re:

      If your retarded please don't waste our time by making comments

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Tgeigs (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 11:12am

        Re: Re:

        If you're going to call someone retarded, please spell you're correctly :)

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          spoondaddy, May 28th, 2009 @ 11:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If you're going to call someone retarded, please spell you're correctly :)"

          Is anyone impressed by spelling natzis? Opps I speled dat wong

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Eponymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 12:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I wouldn't say that anyone is impressed, per se, by spelling nazis, but I would say that every time I read a comment with shite grammar and/or spelling, I wonder how the poster manages to remain gainfully employed.

            This site maintains fairly intelligent discourse and commentary, and so jabs at your shortfallings are within the field of fair play. When you fail to properly compose your thoughts, it reflects poorly on the community. Bearing that in mind, I will ask that you proofread your comments. If you refuse, I will send a two year old to your house.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              Tgeigs (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 12:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "If you refuse, I will send a two year old to your house."

              With knives and a copy of Grand Theft Auto.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                icon
                Eponymous Coward, AKA Doug (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 12:48pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                No need to send the knives, the child will find one in a logical place, such as on a desk within the main living area of the offender's home. Though, with a name like spoondaddy, flatware may be located in the bedroom. Who knows?

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 2:02am

        Re: Re:

        guess sara palins kids wont be making a comment.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    FFS!, May 28th, 2009 @ 9:31am

    FFS!

    FFS!

    Can't the parents be charged with negligence for letting their 2yr old child have a knife.

    I feel a scream coming on!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Josh, May 28th, 2009 @ 9:35am

      Re: FFS!

      Can't the police be charged with stupidity and be made to sit in the corner with a dunce hat on? It tends to work with kids who have the cognitive abilities marginally above the level of the 2 year old in question.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Tom Landry (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 9:34am

    sounds like a responsible police department.

    No doubt they'll petition the court to try the 2 yr old as an adult.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Tgeigs (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 9:45am

    Er?

    Just to make sure I understand the issue correctly: A two year old -- who's cognitive capacity to make and retain permanent memories is EXTREMELY limited, btw -- grabbed a knife, in some way did some kind of damage to his little brother with it, and....we're blaming video games?

    Again, to understand:

    1. a 2 year old was allowed access to a knife sharp enough to be considered dangerous

    and

    2. a 2 year old and 5 month old were under so little supervision that the 2 year old was allowed to do any kind of stabbing with this knife that he had access to

    and

    3. we're blaming video games.

    ....I'm fucking speechless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 10:45am

      Re: Er?

      Really, than why does my 2.5 year old remember that using a chair can help her gain access to the counter top. She wants access to the counter top because she remembers that that is where the M&Ms are.

      It is ridiculous to blame a video game but it should be questioned where the toddler learned to stab.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Rob (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 9:46am

    I keep thinking that there is no way the public discourse in this country could descend any further into the realms of inanity and then I see this... Seriously, a 2 year old has access to a knife and they blame VIDEO GAMES for the inevitable stabbing that ensues? Have these cops ever spent any time around a two year old before? If you let a two year old child get a hold of a knife, someone is gonna get stabbed, the child has nowhere near the mental faculties to understand the implications of such things and needs no outside influence to misuse them. His parents need to be locked up on criminal negligence charges.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 10:19am

    where in Xmen is there a knife????

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 10:26am

    More of the same, never ending, evidence that cops are dumb. Most cops seem to be uneducated assholes with something to prove. Nothing surprising here.

    What qualifications do cops have to say what goes through the mind of a 2 year old? None.

    Why should we give their conclusions any credit? We should not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 5:32am

      Re:

      "What qualifications do cops have to say what goes through the mind of a 2 year old? None."

      Really? I always thought cops had minds akin to a 2 year old's...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Mike, May 28th, 2009 @ 10:34am

    Knife

    I think we are all missing the point, who made the knife, because like guns, can the parents sue the knife company for MAKING the knife. There are bad parents then there are STUPID parents, I think this qualifies as both.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 1:03pm

      Re: Knife

      Off topic but it's just like record companies should not be able to sue google because one of their users uploaded copyright material. Just like someone shouldn't sue a car company because someone intentionally used a car as a weapon. You sue the person who committed the crime, not the manufacturer of the vehicle they used to commit the crime.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Kyz, May 28th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

        Re: Re: Knife

        To be fair, I suspect (and hope) that Mike's comment here was intended in jest, for exactly the reasons you've given. I will agree that the fault here should, barring extraordinary circumstances not given, lie with the parents, and certainly does not lie with the video games.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    batch, May 28th, 2009 @ 10:40am

    Why does anyone ask the police why anything happens? Why not ask, I don't know, the parents?! Or someone who actually knows the people involved? Police actually think traffic cameras are good and that people like them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    aguywhoneedstenbucks, May 28th, 2009 @ 10:44am

    So instead of bitching here where we have (a few) reasonable people, why not go bitch at the police department with your well thought out ideas and make a big deal out of it. A huge deal. Get it all over the internet. SHAME THE BASTARDS so that they think before they do it next time....shame is a fantastic teacher.

    And while you're at it, make it so that they are shamed in such a way that other PDs see it and realize that they'll be shamed if they try to pull some asinine asshattery like this as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    JohnRaven,CHT,CSH (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Blame...

    I guess aliens and bad water are out of vogue...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Edgar Allen Poo, May 28th, 2009 @ 10:49am

    Video Games are EVIL!!!!!

    My question is, how did the 2 year old get the knife in the first place? Why should the parents be responsible, when it's obvious that the video game left the knife where the child could reach it. It's so obvious.
    Video Games are the cause of any violent behavior, and should be taken into the street and burned. Every last one of them.
    Then and only then will our children be completely SAFE.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 11:07am

    You're all wrong.

    The parents are good christians who love their children. They were all playing a family friendly board game together in the front room (it was "family togetherness night") when the 2 year old excused himself to go get a glass of water from the kitchen, where he obtained the knife.

    Then, using advanced CQC techniques picked up from violent computer games, he fought his way through his parents as they desperately tried to stop him and mercilessly attacked his little brother.

    So you can see, no blame can be assigned to the parents here. It is all the fault of violent video games. If only we had listened to Jack Thompson!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Yakko Warner, May 28th, 2009 @ 11:21am

    Of COURSE videogames are to blame!

    They were in the house! Therefore, they were to blame! Their mere presence is enough to entice all occupants into fits of violent rage! The poor toddler was powerless to withstand the mind-controlling waves of violence emanating from the console! It's osmosis, it's a scientifically-proven principle. If you disagree with it, you disagree with SCIENCE!

    Someone call FOX News. Get Jack Thompson as an expert witness.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    dr, May 28th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    Re:

    If a child has the mental capacity to plot some sort of violent act of revenge, why then did he not go to the kitchen to get the knife like everyone else?

    Conversely:

    If it is common practice for knives to be kept in the kitchen, what kind of person keeps knives at a computer desk with unattended kids?

    Blame is no more the fault of the movie industry than it is the fault of the Police for not stopping the stabbing. It is the parents duty to ensure the safety of their children. That being said, accidents do happen, in the video everyone seems on the up and up. I'm just glad everyone is OK. Praise God!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    it was elvis' hips!

    It was Elvis' hips!!!!!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    known coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 12:21pm

    Elvis is innocent

    He was with me at the mall. I think it was professor plum with the knife in the laboratory.

    or it was the video game. Either alternative is equally ridiculous

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Eponymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    Oy

    I think that the police should look at the movies this family owns as well as any video games. Why, just the other day I was contemplating the purchase of a new DVD for my 3 year old, and had to decide against "Dora and Diego Slice Some Punks Up in 3-D"

    You'd be amazed at what they're teaching these kids today.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 1:03pm

    Quite honestly I have seen "Dora and Diego Slice Some Punks Up". In my opinion it is one of Tarintino's finest works. Plot line and character developement were top notch, though the 3-D effects did strike me as overkill and a bit cheesy perhaps.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Paul W, May 28th, 2009 @ 1:12pm

    don't blame the game

    There stupid to blame video games. I'm a father of 4 boys, and a gamer since the days of Pong. If the 2 yr. old was playing violent video games then blame the parents for allowing it. We have restrictions in my house as to what my kids can play, and we watch over them when they are playing or online. Parents need to own up to there responsibilities.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    OldGeek, May 28th, 2009 @ 2:30pm

    Think About It

    Some of ya'll really need to lay off the Starbucks. So here's my two cents worth. Parents go out for awhile leaving "older teen brother" to watch the two little ones, older bro gets wrapped up in whatever game he's playing and forgets about the little ones. Being an average teen he probably uses said knife for something and leaves it lay wherever he's finished with it, along comes the two year old, sees nice shiny thing and goes for it. The rest is in the story.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Tgeigs (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 2:39pm

      Re: Think About It

      ....okay, how does any of that put any culpability whatsoever on videogames?

      Further, if Parents A and B leave irresponsible teen kid C home with lil chitlins D and E, there should still be a value for F (F = which federal pen the parents are locked up in FOR BEING AND RAISING FUCKING MORONS GODDAMIT.....ahem, sorry)?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Dan, May 28th, 2009 @ 2:39pm

    Are we talking unattended primates here or human children? Are the police to insecure to just admit that they just don't know why or don't want to blame the parents for neglecting the kids?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 6:25pm

    Many years ago an acquaintance, who noticed my constant reading, gave me a cartoon he'd found that stated 'in the days before computer games, people read books to rot their brains'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Bettawrekonize, May 29th, 2009 @ 12:19am

    What part of keep knives away from two year old's is so difficult to understand? This isn't rocket science folks, it's common sense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 12:29am

    what games do 2 year olds play?

    Because Sesamestreet the videogame is such a violent game.

    These police officers are deluded. How do they figure that video games are to blame for this? Do they think this 2 year old played Grand Theft Auto or something?

    Or would they blame the Iphone (with their baby-shake app)?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 12:31am

    seek the death penalty

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 5:37am

    Ban video games! Ban knives! Ban fire!

    Oh won't somebody, anybody please THINK OF THE KIDS? *sniff*

    - Committee for Restriction of Anti-national Practices

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jake W., Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 3:22am

    So I assume that at a time where there were no video games, cops blame it on books? Animals? Imagination?

    Blaming it on a video game is going way too far.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Rob, Jun 8th, 2009 @ 7:37am

    Blame bad guitar playing on guitar hero

    How long before we start blaming bad music performances on guitar hero? LOL I guess before video games, it was cartoons that were blamed for violence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    not need, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 1:21pm

    like a 2 year old can really remember what he saw on tv... or video game...and actually know what to use the knife for..... usually kids dont start having fully permenate memory until about the age of three

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    suzanne, Jun 23rd, 2009 @ 6:16pm

    poor kid hope hes all right

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Harry Setatestes, Sep 29th, 2009 @ 7:24am

    Scrotum socks. You're wlecome.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2009 @ 8:15am

    way

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    justmte, Mar 15th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    why blame video games!!!!!!!!??????????????

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 2:46pm

    where was the parent thats who u need to be blaming

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This