The NRA Insists Video Games Led To The Sandy Hook School Shooting

NRA gun control Newtown violent video games

The NRA thinks images like this are an argument against gun control–and that they lead to horrific school shootings like the one in Newtown. | Source: ShutterStock

The National Rifle Association (NRA) was pretty quiet following the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 innocent children and six adults dead. But now that they’re talking, what they’re saying doesn’t make much sense.

It’s easy for everyone to look for reasons why something like this could happen. It helps if we can try to make sense out of something so unexplainable and scary, because it lets us think of ways we can prevent it from happening again. It’s a normal human reaction. But the NRA is looking in all the wrong places to pin blame. The NRA released its first statement since the tragedy today, and they’re trying to point fingers at video games. Dude, WTF?

Here’s the NRA rep’s direct quote: “There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people, through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, and Splatterhouse.”

Here’s the problem with this argument: Lots of people play video games. Most of those people have never murdered anyone. You’ve probably played a bunch of those video games that were listed, and we doubt that they inspired you to buy an automatic firearm and shoot anyone.

It may be true that people with violent tendencies are drawn to violent video games, but using that as a point in an anti-video game debate is pretty dumb. That’s sort of like saying a lot of criminals like ice cream, so ice cream probably causes crime. That’s kind of stupid, isn’t it? Adam Lanza played a lot of Starcraft. So do a lot of other people, many of whom play professionally in tournaments. So far, none of them is known to have launched a killing spree. He also played Dance Dance Revolution. How do you explain that, NRA?

The fact is,numerous studies have shown that video games don’t really have an influence nor an effect on violence, so using video games as a scapegoat is pretty ignorant. No one will really know why Adam Lanza committed what may be the most horrifying mass murder ever on U.S. soil, because he’s not around anymore to explain himself. Regardless of your stance on gun control–and there are plenty of reasons to be on either sides of that issue–we can all agree, if we do enough research, that Call of Duty didn’t cause any school shootings. And we won’t figure out what does cause gun violence if we’re too busy investigating toys.

Do you think video games have an effect on gun violence? Do you agree with the NRA that video games are more to blame than guns for violence? Do you enjoy violent video games? Why do you think the NRA took so long to respond to the Newtown shootings? Tell us in the comments!

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  • Kelly

    Video games are not the issue here. It’s gun control. Why are people who have mental disease or defect owning and using guns? If they are a threat to themselves or others, the government shouldn’t let them own them. Plus, unless you’re a hunter and need food, I see no purpose in owning a gun. Claiming you’re using it for protection when in actuality someone curious about shoots somebody else is total bull.

  • Gen

    I find it crazy that people in the USA refuse to open their eyes and see where the real problem is; gun control! It’s that simple! Here in Canada, we have gun control and yes, there are still some killings by guns but heck people! A lot less than you guys! It’s horrible watching the news; most killing spread that we hear from isn’t from Montreal or Toronto; no, it’s from the USA. It seems like some citizen are afraid to loose their right to own a gun (my dad still has his own and we have gun control! Where’s the problem?) I don’t know for you guys and gurls out there, but I’d rather loose my gun than my brother in a shooting! Wake up USA! The world won’t end because you have a gun control law going on, it’ll only make it safer for everyone! If NRA blames videogames for the gamers, why can’t it blame the guns for the killers? Answer that. How many dead children will it take for your country to wake up? This is horrible and only YOU can put an end to it. I hope Obama will put his feet down for once and not care about the politics in this debate, but care about the families. It has to stop.

  • brenna

    Its not the guns, its the person who operates it. Just a quick question,if everyone had a gun, would you shoot someone? No, you wouldn’t. More people need guns. Gun control isn’t the problem. The people who get a hold of them do.

  • Saeryen

    I don’t play gory games like that because I don’t like them (I play other games that aren’t as violent).
    I cannot judge someone else for playing a game like that, but I wouldn’t let my children play really bloody stuff until they’re old enough not to get nightmares from it and can tell that it’s not of our world. (I’m starting my children with computer games like Barbie Pet Rescue which lets you rescue and care for cute animals; for children that’s a better role-model game)
    However, I don’t think playing tons of violent games led to the shooting. I have a cousin who likes those sorts of games and in real life he’s really sweet and wouldn’t hurt anyone. I used to imagine quite horrid things when I was younger (even though I didn’t watch or play gory stuff) and I believe I’m the least likely person on the planet to murder someone. This criminal had another reason.

  • Katie

    Everything that changed has been stupid since the shooting. The radio took down the song “Die Young” by Kesha because people think of it as dieing young. But it’s really about living your life as if you don’t have a lot of time to live.

    • Saeryen

      What? That’s dumb! It’s not even a song encouraging people to go do stuff like this.

  • Ally

    As a gamer, I’m going to go ahead and say that the suggestion that violent video games lead to this is total bull. If anything, violent video games counteract any homicidal urges because it’s almost like a stress relief. Like how when you’re angry and have to scream into a pillow so you won’t take it out on anyone- same concept. I don’t think that we need to be pointing fingers at the video game industry. If anything, yes, gun control is an issue and weapons should be harder to get. And mental health is even more of an issue and we need to see it as a real and serious problem. But we often forget that humans are animals and animals sometimes become violent. We can lessen violence, but it’s always going to exist.

  • rosa merlot

    Yes, video games probably do. Some are to realistic and consist of shooting civilians. It makes killing seem almost normal. Gun control is not the problem. He was also mentally ill, don’t forget that.