Murder is a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry that encourages society’s indifference to the seriousness of crime and violence in this country. “Murdertainment” continues to revictimize those who have already been affected by the murder of a loved one, ignores the aftermath of murder and sets a poor example for the nations’ youth.
In November 1993, the National Organization of Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc. (POMC)®, launched the Murder Is Not Entertainment (MINE)SM Program – a nationwide campaign to alert society to its insensitivity towards murder and its aftermath. This attitude is flamed by a myriad of sources including TV, toys, games and other means of entertainment.
It is tragic that children can purchase knives that scream and ooze blood, murder video games, murder comic books and murder trading cards. But why not? After all, adults “play” murder by participating in murder mystery dinner theaters and weekends.
Studies have shown that children can learn to demean and destroy through overexposure to TV violence. By the time a child reaches the age of 18, he or she has witnessed 200,000 violent acts. By the time a child completes elementary school, he or she will witness 8,000 murders, and we wonder why children are killing and being killed.
Now innovations make “murdertainment” a more active event. In video games, children can literally pull the trigger to kill images on the screen, making them active participants in a way never before experienced through TV or movies.
According to Paul A. Kettl, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Penn State-Hershey Medical Center and a member of POMC’s MINE Committee “Some of the material in murder comic books or murder trading cards is quite graphic and provides a real ‘how-to primer’ on homicide. Through violent forms of entertainment, many children are not only desensitized to accept violence and act more violently, they are also desensitized by this material to expect the world to be a more violent place.”
POMC strongly objects to any product, promotion, film or print media which features one or more of the following:
- Graphic photos of crime scenes and dead bodies of victims
- Graphic illustrations of actual murders and victims, such as in comic books and trading cards
- Unauthorized photos of grieving family members and friends of victims
- Material solely focused on murder for purposes of entertainment, instruction, promotion or profit
- Content focused on murder, violence or stalking in materials intended for children
- Products which seek to entertain by featuring facts and stories about the lives of infamous killers
- Any media or product which depicts murderers as heroes, or elevates murderers to celebrity status
- Any product distributed as entertainment which causes further pain and grief to victims’ families and friends
When POMC becomes aware of objectionable materials, it sends a “MINE Alert” to its representatives and others who volunteer across the United States. These Alerts describe the material and ask that they express their concerns by writing letters to those responsible for the products. A list of products and addresses are available from POMC.
When applicable, schools across the country that participate in POMC’s MINE school program receive MINE Alerts. Students are given the opportunity to write letters sharing their views about products targeted at their age group. The MINE school program is geared towards heightening the awareness of the marketing of products based on violent activities and the effects these products have on today’s youth.
MINE wants to eliminate the playing and marketing of violence and murder as forms of entertainment for both children and adults. The program strives to instill the same empathy and respect for victims of murder that society affords victims of other tragedies. Through education, crime prevention and promoting an overall change of attitude, the MINE program drives home the message – Murder Is Not EntertainmentSM .