In memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook school shootings, many Americans observed a moment of silence this morning at 9:30 AM. At 11:00 AM there was talk; the National Rifle Association tried to deflect blame for the massacre from the military-style weapon and high-capacity magazines that enabled it, claiming that violent video games have somehow caused this catastrophe and the mass shootings that occur every two weeks somewhere in the USA. According to NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre:
“And here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.
Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?”
Video games cause real-world violence? This is at variance with the facts. Max Fischer ran the numbers:
“It’s true that Americans spend billions of dollars on video games every year and that the United States has the highest firearm murder rate in the developed world. But other countries where video games are popular have much lower firearm-related murder rates. In fact, countries where video game consumption is highest tend to be some of the safest countries in the world, likely a product of the fact that developed or rich countries, where consumers can afford expensive games, have on average much less violent crime.”
– “Ten-country comparison suggests there’s little or no link between video games and gun murders,” Max Fisher, Washington Post blog
Even the conservative National Review knows that:
“The Folly of Blaming Video Games,” Robert VerBruggen, National Review Online
In any case, the NRA’s remedy is the same as always: more guns. In this case, in the hands of armed guards at every school in the country. Just what you’s expect from an organization funded by gun manufacturers.
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