NRA Blames Video Games and Other Violent Media for Shootings

Now I don’t care what you think about gun control. Whether you think we need more guns to stop guns, or more restrictions on guns, that is not the topic of discussion for this post.

What I do want to discuss is the NRA throwing video games and other forms of media under the bus.

Really, NRA?! There are so many good arguments for having guns and having the NRA. I’ve heard them before. Did the NRA use any of them? No! Instead we have a piss-poor attempt to shift the blame onto video games and the media. But let’s let the head of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, speak for himself:

There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people, through vicious, violent video games with names like “Bulletstorm,” “Grand Theft Auto,” “Mortal Kombat,” and “Splatterhouse.”

So we have a game where you kill mutant monsters, a campy graphic fighting game, a shoot ’em up driving game, and another zombie and monster fighting game. One of these games doesn’t even have any guns! Yes, all of these game are violent; they are all very mainstream; and they have a wide range of followers. But does the content of the video game really matter?

As Ace said to me when we were discussing this issue:

I think over half the population gamed today, and yet that number of people managed to not murder anyone.

Gaming isn’t just something a small group of people participate in anymore. Playing video games has become as common as watching movies. But LaPierre also blames all violent media. He goes after movies and music video games as sources for why shooting happens. However, other countries, like Japan, have just as many violent video games, movies, and music videos as the U.S., but they have way less violence than we do.

Blaming violence on the media is the biggest scapegoat ever and has been around since the very existence of violent media. And it’s very clear that LaPierre was looking for a scapegoat since he couldn’t come with a better defense for his own organization. Among the big name video game titles he mentioned, he also listed a little known flash game called Kindergarten Killer.

It’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research staff can find it, and all of yours couldn’t … or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?

Maybe no one else found it because it’s an obscure and crude point and click game, created by a morbid young teen with no actual ties to the video game industry, and, that though it’s still around, it was eventually taken off the original site it was posted on. And maybe, Mr. LaPierre, your research staff found it because they were pointedly looking for a scapegoat to their own controversy and problems with the media.

Kotaku writer Owen Good had this to say about the inclusion of Kindergarten Killer in LaPierre’s list of violent games:

Kindergarten Killer‘s almost total obscurity, to say nothing of the fact it is a flash game lumped in with four longstanding console series, makes it the most laughable inclusion in the NRA’s strange news conference today, severely weakening the NRA’s claim that all video games are purposefully and callously violent. As the work of a bored teenager, it is by no means representative of the “shadow industry” LaPierre condemned. Sure, it’s awful, and easily accessed by children over a web browser; so is most anything violent, pornographic, or shocking to the conscience.

The fact remains that the media and, in recent years, especially video games have been used as a scapegoat for people to blame violence.

All I have to say is this to Mr. LaPierre: Just because you aren’t savvy enough to construct an actual intelligent and thought-out argument for your cause does not give you the right to throw something I love to the wolves. This geek girl will not allow you to shame her nerd culture.

Most people don’t kill others in random acts of violence and they certainly don’t do it because of video games and other forms of media. It’s absurd to even make such an argument and I pity Mr. LaPierre for not being able to think of something better to defend the organization he represents.

13 thoughts on “NRA Blames Video Games and Other Violent Media for Shootings

  1. The NRA’s defense is weak. It was beyond confirmed that the Newton shoot was taken to a gun range but a game teaches him to shoot people. I’m floored.

  2. Yeah, and did you also hear that thing where this church blames Carrie Underwood–CARRIE UNDERWOOD–for the shootings? All because of her support of equal-right gay marriage? Just Google it; it’s crazy.

    • Jesus Christ, speaking on behalf of sane Christians everywhere, I just want to say that listening to Carrie Underwood is not responsible for any shooting! People are nuts and in times of trouble try to scapegoat the craziest things!

      • It was more of a ‘she supports gay marriage so God was angry and allowed all those children to be killed’ thing. In my opinion, that barely connects at all. 😦

        • It doesn’t connect at all. But really I feel so sorry for these Christians that believe in such an angry violent God. That must be so terrifying, God is supposed to be all loving yet these people act like God’s flinging lightning bolts left and right. It’s absurd!

  3. I agree with everything about this post except for the bit that said “There are so many good arguments for having guns and having the NRA.”

    • I simply said that to mean that there are many more sane and logical arguments that the NRA could use for gun control. When I was a young girl in High School I was on the debate team. We had to argue both sides of every issue and I know the NRA could have used many other arguments and been, well not fine, but better off, but they chose to blame video games! Ridiculous!

  4. I seen an meme floating around tumblr that says, “if FPS make people violent then why am i not in the NFL yet”. By the NRA’s logic playing madden should make me the next Tom Brady, or that mario cart makes me throw turtles at other drivers. sorry for the small rant.

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