US politicians and moral panic media blame video games for mass shootings (again)

In the wake of two more mass shootings over the weekend, Trump and Republican reps, and government propaganda network Fox News are inevitably condemning those appalling video games for the otherwise totally inexplicable inadequacy of thoughts and prayers to mitigate the country’s escalating levels of domestic terrorism.

This isn’t the first time politicians and media have claimed the same. The Columbine mass shooting? Video games. The Sandy Hook mass shooting? Video games. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting? Video games. And, and, and.

Not the lack of sensible gun control, not the disturbing increase of white nationalism, not the despicable racist rhetoric from the president, not the citizens’ patriotic obligation to support the second amendment with a personal arsenal of AR-15s, not the fact that the National Rifle Association invests millions in the GOP’s ad campaigns. It’s video games. Obviously.

“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” Trump said on Monday. “This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately.”

Multiple scientific studies have failed to establish a conclusive causal link between video games and mass shootings. Most mass shooters in the US are white men, and a lot of white men play video games. A lot of white men also watch TV, eat fast food, and use toilets. In 2019, playing video games is not exactly a significant mass shooter profile data point except as a distraction from the real problems.

 

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