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!