DIRTY LAUNDRY: Reasons why video games shouldn’t be blamed for gun violence
August 7, 2019 Victoria Luz
Regardless of what politicians are saying nowadays, video games aren’t the one causing gun violence issues in the U.S. Here’s why we think so!
Over the weekend, two mass shootings occurred in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. The shootings killed over 31 people and wounded a dozen more. These incidents added themselves to the every growing pile of mass shooting over the past few years. And once more, politicians found themselves someone to blame: video games.
and now Trump himself is blaming 'gruesome and grizzly' video games and the internet for mass shooting violence that only happens here in America
it's not games, it's guns pic.twitter.com/BHWUtVWuAX
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 5, 2019
Republicans, including President Donald Trump, began pointing fingers to the easiest target they found. And it seems that video games are their logical choice. Again. After addressing the nation with rampant gun violence, politicians condemn the glorification of violence in society. Especially in video games, they added. For them, gruesome video games easily influence troubled youth. Video games with gore and violence dehumanize and desensitizes individuals with the severity and grave consequences of such violent actions.
This doesn’t sound new to the ears. For decades, that has become the refrain of politicians. To put the blame to video games. No matter how little or unconvincing their evidence can be. It has always been the scapegoat of gun violence. But it shouldn’t be. It never should be.
No correlation between video games and gun violence
Let me make this absolutely, 100%, crystal clear, as a Johns Hopkins-trained scientist and ER doctor:
There are ZERO studies linking video games to gun violence.
There are MANY, MANY studies linking increased access to guns to gun violence.@GOPLeader, you are a lying coward.
— John Jiao, MD 🏥 (@JohnJiao) August 4, 2019
Dear mainstream media,
The only thing desensitizing a majority of the US to gun violence is all the gun violence. Video games haven't influenced me, or anyone else, to go out and kill someone.
Please stop lying. This is exhausting. We need actual change.
— DrLupo (@DrLupo) August 4, 2019
Experts have spoken that there is no correlation between video games and gun violence. For over a decade, there have been no scientific studies that link them together. Numerous gamers do experience small short-term aggressive outbursts. Especially when they lose a game. But nothing rises to the level of violence or high-risk aggression that politicians describe. No matter how violent a game can be, let’s say shooting games, it doesn’t fundamentally alter someone that easy.
If it did, won’t be television series, movies and other forms of entertainment that features violence be in the same boat with video games? If this theory is real, shouldn’t be Japan and South Korea be perishing over gun violence? For starters, Japan and South Korea have the biggest number of gamers. Since most of the games, including consoles, come from them. But they don’t, right? Video games might look disturbing to non-gamers. But it doesn’t link video games to gun violence. We’re over that for the past decade.
The persisting racist and mysoginist idealogies
Blame anything but the problem. Good trick to divert attention.
A couple of days pass. Things not so fresh. People move on because life calls.
Then it happens again. People get killed. People suffer.
Blame it on something else again.
Then wonder why nothing ever changes. https://t.co/zvHvBg0Xvy
— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) August 5, 2019
Take Two CEO telling it like it is: "Blaming entertainment is irresponsible. Moreover, it is highly disrespectful to the victims and their families. The fact is entertainment is consumed world-wide…but gun violence is uniquely American." pic.twitter.com/F4KSfwTYIV
— Video Game Humour 🕹 (@VGHumour) August 5, 2019
Come to think of it. If the shooter was a member of the minority, they would blame him for being one. But if it’s a white citizen, our initial response is to find someone else to blame for their actions. There are other reasons why an individual commits a shooting massacre. Radical, rational and valid ones. In the recent Mother Jones’ in-depth research reveals a pattern of misogyny, racism and domestic abuse among the attackers.
Among other factors, toxic masculinity also appears to be part of it. For over the past decade, media reports, interviews and studies show that the attackers have a history of domestic abuse and other incidents that linked to racism and misogyny. Perpetrators often result in violence because of being bullied, rejected by women or being abused at home. Isn’t that alarming? Instead of looking into what really fuels shooters to commit the crime, politicians put the blame to video games that don’t even pose any high-risk threat.
Lack of sensible gun control
A lot of Republicans who don’t want to take responsibility for the ways in which their embrace of white supremacy and refusal to do anything about gun violence contributed to this weekend’s mass shootings are blaming video games for what happened.
— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) August 5, 2019
.@CNN pundit being allowed to say on television that mental illness and first-person video games may cause mass shootings. This is NOT accurate.
Please don’t speculate about the possible causes of gun violence in America.
IT. IS. EASY. ACCESS. TO. GUNS.https://t.co/iZQrSkX00f
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 4, 2019
And lastly, isn’t the government accountable for the shooting incidents too? If the government implements sensible gun control, it should be able to lessen the piling numbers of gun violence. There’s no denying it. Easy access to firearms, whether it is illegal or not, makes it easy for shooting incidents to happen.
Not only that, easy access to firearms can perpetuate a lot of things. Sexual violence, domestic violence, you name it. Possession of guns alone is daunting. It doesn’t just end in mass shootings. Governments should have the common sense to stop gun violence down to its roots. They are supposed to be protecting the lives of their citizens. Not enabling potential violence such as mass shooting to happen because of their lack of sensible gun control.