In the wake of the latest mass shootings in the United States, GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is blaming video games for generating violence.
Last month, Joystickr reported on the Entertainment Software Association illuminating politicians on how to approach the legislation of the gaming industry — alongside showing them studies that demonstrate no link between video games and real-world violence.
Although that meetup was focused on the Democrat caucus, it is quite easy to look something up before making public utterances about a subject.
Sadly, it seems that this is not the mindset of Kevin McCarthy, the GOP House minority leader.
clip here — it's very much jumping off Tx. Lt. Gov Dan Patrick's comments to F&F earlier pic.twitter.com/J8PqvNtvz0
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) August 4, 2019
It’s as if we have moved back 20 years, to a world where no studies exist on video games.
Notice the phrasing he uses — “always felt.” This politician who holds inordinate power over people is not amenable to actual facts and scientific inquiry. It’s about what his impressions and feelings tell him.
Furthermore, it is quite odd that politicians ‘feel’ the need to drudge up long-debunked talking points in the lieu of bare facts about the shooters’ backgrounds.
Specifically, what we know so far about the most recent shooters tells a story totally disconnected from the gaming scene:
- El Paso Walmart shooter, who killed 20 people, was worried about the effects of immigration on wages, culture, and environment.
- Dayton, Ohio shooter, who killed 9 people, was an active supporter of leftist Elizabeth Warren and a self-described satanist.
Now, you may view their stated reasons and backgrounds as you prefer — but where are violent video games present in any of this?
Employing logical thinking would be enough to dispell such notions. Simply consider the millions and millions of people who play violent video games in Europe, Japan, and other places. These regions suffer from an acute lack of mass shootings despite millions of people enjoying violent video games.
If that is not enough, countless studies have debunked the notion of “violent” video games’ link with real-world violence. The most comprehensive one yet, from the University of Oxford, shows no link between adolescent aggression and violent video games.
One would think that people elected into positions of power would be more careful about what they say, but it seems that’s why they became politicians in the first place.
What do you think about violent video games and mass shootings? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of IGDB/Grand Theft Auto V press kit, Twitter/@existentialfish.