(Also readable on my Destructoid Cblog)
I wrote another article for my high school newspaper about a week ago. I shortly bring up my opinion on all the video game blame. Check it!
On December 14th 2012, Adam Lanza shot and killed twenty children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The event was an utter travesty, and many mourned those who lost their lives that day. Although the event had come and gone, the media continued to glorify it to the fullest degree. Among the mess of it all, many fingers were not just pointed at gun laws, but also at video games.
With the subject of violent video games already an issue for some people, this occurrence was a catalyst for even more blame. When reported that the killer had played games like Call of Duty and Starcraft, the media jumped right at the throat of video games, and their viewers followed suit. Since the media already pinned the blame on video games, naturally, the National Rifle Association (NRA) did too.
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA spoke On December 21st at a press conference to talk about the incident and suggest ideas for making schools safer. He continued to claim how violent movies, music and games that “sow violence against its own people,” are a big part of these types of crimes. He then listed games like Grand Theft Auto, Bulletstorm, and Mortal Kombat, to provide examples.
Around the same time of the conference, Senator Jay Rockefeller introduced a bill to “study the impact of violent video games on children,” because he is concerned about how it may affect them. Well the question here is why are kids playing violent video games? Every video game is rated for what audience it is appropriate for, and laws are even in place to prevent children and teenagers under 17 from purchasing M rated video games, unless they are given consent.
Regardless of studies done on the effects of video games on children, or even adults, the Supreme Court has already ruled that a California law banning the sale of violent video games to minors under 18 was unconstitutional based on First Amendment rights. Politicians, parents, and citizens have shown concern for these types of things, when in the end, it is the parent’s responsibility. If the parents think it is not right, they have to make the correct decision. Video games, the internet, movies, and music are all things a parent can control, and in no way do any of these mediums need to be changed for the sake of bad parenting.
In addition, other western countries that have exposure to the same exact video games have been documented with a much lower murder and crimes rate compared to the U.S.
In regards to the Connecticut shooting, video games involvement should not be worth any of our concerns, but rather gun laws, and the access to these automatic weapons and bullet magazines to those who are mentally unstable. As Long Island Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) stated, “These assault magazines help put the ‘mass’ in ‘mass shooting’,” and anything we can do to stop their proliferation will save lives in America.”