John Wick & School Shootings

I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the first few John Wick films on some random streaming service which was probably on my iPhone or iWatch at three or four in the morning and I was likely barely awake as my Ativan and Prozac had already kicked in but in a word I can deliver the elevator pitch, “Violence.”


John Wick 4 was three hours of non-stop music video ridiculously intense, knife throwing, gun trotting, karate chopping, dart throwing, violence.  The film which was rated 14A in Canada was filled with tweens and teens.  A few parents made the trek to the cinema but most probably passed it up to watch the bland superhero movie Shazam in the next cinema, 


Besides the fact I give this movie 2-5 stars, there are a couple thoughts which have been running rampant through the grey matter in my brain since we left the cinema. First, psychiatrists and psychologists have written papers on how this kind of in-your face never ending violence can change a person’s relationship with their world. The mass slaughter of all these people certainly has the ability to influence teenagers thoughts on murder.  Movies like The Purge, John Wick and other insane body count films have the potential to desensitize the killing of innocent people in the mind of adolescents who mights already be dealing with mental health issues.  I’m not saying games like Fortnight and The Last of Us don’t contribute to raised amounts of cortisol in the brain and lowered amounts of dopamine, but combined with the violent films and the idiotic gun laws, it’s of no surprise everyday last year in the US there was a mass shootings.


Recent studies strongly underline this most salient point: that violent films and video games might only influence those who have a violent disposition to begin with.

54 men were split into two groups. The first group contained those who had a history of physical assault, with the other comprising those of a calmer nature.

A recent study strongly underlines this most salient point: that X-rated films and video games might only influence those who have a violent disposition to begin with.

On the first day, the two groups watched a succession of shootings and street fights while their brains were scanned. On day two, they watched emotional but non-aggressive scenes of folk interacting during a natural disaster. They watched nothing on day three.

While viewing the violence, the rather bellicose group had less bustle in the orbito-frontal cortex, which controls emotion-related decision-making and self-control. Their blood pressure went down progressively, while the tranquil groups’ rose. Subsequently, when questioned, all the antagonistic participants said they felt more inspired and resolute and were far less distressed than their non-aggressive counterparts when watching violent scenes.


When no films were shown, the violent participants had unusually high brain activity in a network of regions known to be active when not doing anything in particular. The researchers concluded that they have a different brain function map than their placid peers.

Our aim was to investigate what is going on in the brains of people when they watch violent movies,” explained Dr Alia-Klein. “We hypothesized if people have aggressive traits to begin with they will process violent media in a very different way as compared to non-aggressive people – a theory supported by these findings.”

The findings, published in the Science Journal Plos One could reduce aggressive behaviour starting in childhood.

“Hopefully these results will give educators an opportunity to identify children with aggressive traits and teach them to be more aware of how aggressive material activates them specifically,” continued Dr Alia-Klein.

“Aggression is a trait that develops together with the nervous system over time starting from childhood. Patterns of behaviour become solidified and the nervous system prepares to continue the behaviour patterns into adulthood when they become increasingly coached in personality. This could be at the root of the differences in people who are aggressive and non-aggressive – and how media motivates them to do certain things”

Instead of reviewing a film that really doesn’t deserve a review here are a list of all of the schools in the United States where killers may have seen movies like this or played video games which may have changed their brain chemistry turning them into killers. 


By the way I took my 12 year old son to the movie and he said it’s his new favourite film while my 11 year old daughter thought there was too much dialogue.


School name Year Month City, state Injured Killed
Columbine High School, 1999 April Littleton, CO 24 13
Heritage High School. 1999 May Conyers, GA 6 0
Deming Middle School. 1999 November Deming, NM 0 1
Fort Gibson Middle School 1999 December Fort Gibson, OK 5 0
Erwin High School 2000 January Asheville, NC 0 0
McKinley Elementary School 2000 March Lisbon, OH 0 0
Dimmitt Middle School 2000 July Renton, WA 0 0
Mount Healthy North Junior High 2000 September Mount Healthy, OH 0 0
Pioneer Elementary School 2000 October Glendale, AZ 0 0
Newman Smith High School 2000 November Carrollton, TX 0 0
Caro Learning Center 2001 November Caro, MI 0 0
Hueneme High School 2001 January Oxnard, CA 0 0
Osborn High School 2001 February Detroit, MI 3 0
Granite Hills High School 2001 March El Cajon, CA 5 0
Kentwood High School 2001 March Covington, WA 0 0
Santana High School 2001 March Santee, CA 13 2
Monroe City Alternative Center 2001 April Monroe, LA 0 0
Wahluke High School 2001 April Mattawa, WA 0 0
Ennis High School 2001 May Ennis, TX 0 0
Raymond High School 2002 January Jackson, MS 0 0
John Barrett Middle School 2002 March Carmichael, CA 0 0
Ambler Avenue Elementary School 2002 November Los Angeles, CA 2 0
Scurry-Rosser High School 2002 November Scurry, TX 0 0
West Carter Middle School 2003 January Olive Hill, KY 0 0
John McDonogh High School 2003 April New Orleans, LA 4 1
Red Lion Area Junior High School 2003 April Red Lion, PA 0 1
Rock L. Butler Middle School 2003 June Wellsboro, PA 0 0
Burns Middle School 2003 September Lawndale, NC 0 0
Rocori High School 2003 September Cold Spring, MN 0 2
Lewis and Clark High School 2003 September Spokane, WA 1 0
Marion High School 2003 October Marion, LA 0 0
Fay Galloway Elementary School 2004 January Henderson, NV 0 1
Columbia High School 2004 February East Greenbush, NY 1 0
Red Lake Senior High School 2005 March Red Lake, MN 5 8
Farmington High School 2005 October Farmington, MI 0 0
Campbell County High School 2005 November Jacksboro, TN, TN 2 1
Pine Middle School 2006 March Reno, NV 2 0
East Chapel Hill High School 2006 April Chapel Hill, NC 0 0
Northampton Area Senior High School 2006 May Northampton, PA 0 0
Orange High School 2006 August Hillsborough, NC 2 0
Weston High School 2006 September Cazenovia, WI 0 1
Platte Canyon High School 2006 September Bailey, CO 0 1
Memorial Middle School 2006 October Joplin, MO 0 0
West Nickel Mines School 2006 October Nickel Mines, PA 5 5
Robert A. Taft Information Technology High School 2007 January Cincinnati, OH 0 0
Virginia Tech University 2007 April Blacksburg, VA 26 32
Springwater Trail High School 2007 April Gresham, OR 10 0
Las Plumas High School 2007 September Oroville, CA 0 0
SuccessTech Academy 2007 October Cleveland, OH 4 0
Northern Illinois University 2008 February DeKalb, IL 16 5
Stockton Springs Elementary School 2008 October Stockton Springs, ME 0 0
Larose-Cut Off Middle School 2009 May Larose, LA 0 0
Deer Creek Middle School 2010 February Littleton, CO 2 0
Discovery Middle School 2010 February Madison, AL 0 1
Woodrow Wilson High School 2010 April Portsmouth, VA 0 0
Sullivan Central High School 2010 August Blountville, TN 0 1
Socastee High School 2010 September Conway, SC 1 0
Kelly Elementary School 2010 October Carlsbad, CA 2 0
Marinette High School 2010 November Marinette, WI 0 0
Millard South High School 2011 January Omaha, NE 1 1
Issaquah High School 2011 September Seattle, WA 0 0
Chardon High School 2012 February Chardon, OH 3 3
Episcopal School of Jacksonville 2012 March Jacksonville, FL 0 1
Oikos University 2012 April Oakland, CA 3 7
Perry Hall High School 2012 August Perry Hall, MD 1 0
Normal Community High School 2012 September Normal, IL 0 0
Sandy Hook Elementary School 2012 December Newtown, CT 0 26
Taft Union High School 2013 January Taft, CA 2 0
Santa Monica College 2013 June Santa Monica, CA 3 5
Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy 2013 August Decatur, GA 0 0
Sparks Middle School 2013 October Sparks, NV 2 1
Arapahoe High School 2013 December Centennial, CO 0 1
Berrendo Middle School 2014 January Roswell, NM 2 0
University of California, Santa Barbara 2014 May Isla Vista, CA 14 6
Reynolds High School 2014 June Troutdale, OR 1 1
West High School 2014 September Manchester, NH 0 0
Marysville Pilchuck High School 2014 October Marysville, WA 3 4
North Thurston High School 2015 April Lacey, WA 0 0
South Macon Elementary School 2015 June Franklin, NC 0 0
William Velasquez Elementary School 2015 August Richmond, TX 0 0
Harrisburg High School 2015 September Harrisburg, SD 1 0
Umpqua Community College 2015 October Roseburg, OR 7 9
Madison High School 2016 February Middletown, OH 4 0
Antigo High School 2016 April Antigo, WI 2 0
Townville Elementary School 2016 September Townville, SC 3 1
Mueller Park Junior High School 2016 December Bountiful, UT 0 0
West Liberty-Salem High School 2017 January West Liberty, OH 1 0
Columbus Scioto 6-12 2017 September Columbus, OH 0 0
Freeman High School 2017 September Rockford, WA 3 1
Mattoon High School 2017 September Mattoon, IL 1 0
Rancho Tehama Elementary School 2017 November Rancho Tehama Reserve, CA 18 0
Aztec High School 2017 December Aztec, NM 0 2
Dalton High School 2018 February Dalton, GA 0 0
Dennis Intermediate School 2018 December Richmond, IN 0 0
Italy High School 2018 January Italy, TX 1 0
Marshall County High School 2018 January Benton, KY 18 2
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School 2018 February Parkland, FL 17 17
Forest High School 2018 April Ocala, FL 1 0
Santa Fe High School 2018 May Santa Fe, TX 13 10
Noblesville West Middle School 2018 May Noblesville, IN 2 0
Dixon High School 2018 May Dixon, IL 1 0
North Scott Junior High School 2018 August Eldridge, IA 0 0
Villa Heights Elementary School 2018 August Charlotte, NC 0 0
Frederick Douglass High School 2019 February Baltimore, MD 1 0
Parkrose High School 2019 May Portland, OR 0 0
Wynbrooke Elementary Theme School 2019 April Stone Mountain, GA 10 0
STEM School Highlands Ranch 2019 May Highlands Ranch, CO 8 1
Ladd-Peebles Stadium 2019 August Mobile, AL 10 0
Saugus High School 2019 November Santa Clarita, CA 3 2
Sacred Heart School 2019 December Jersey City, NJ 0 0
Austin-East Magnet High School 2021 April Knoxville, TN 1 0
San Diego High School 2021 April San Diego, CA 0 0
Forest Lake Elementary 2021 May Columbia, SC 0 0
Rigby Middle School 2021 May Rigby, ID 3 0
Bethesda Academy 2021 October Savannah, GA 1 0
School of the Future 2021 October Philadelphia, PA 2 0
Oxford High School 2021 November Oxford, MI 7 4
YES Prep 2021 October Houston, TX 1 0
Edmund Burke School 2022 April Washington, DC 4 0
Robb Elementary School 2022 May Uvalde, TX 17 21

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