In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy, people have been looking for someone, or something, to blame. Back in January, I wrote an editorial in response to the NRA trying to place blame on the video game industry for the violence that occurred in Newtown, CT. In it, I didn’t try to place blame unfairly because at that point, and still today, I don’t know all the facts about the case, nor do I claim to be an expert in it.
What I do know, though, is the old school mentality of placing blame and trying to pass a law to put a quick fix on something isn’t the way to solve the greater problem. After a recent report claiming that the Sandy Hook shooter was a “deranged gamer”, United States senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) stated that it is the entertainment industry’s responsibility to tone down the levels of “obscene violence” in their games.
Rockefeller justified this statement by taking away responsibility from parents stating, “In today’s world, where kids can access content across a variety of devices often without parental supervision, it is unrealistic to assume that overworked and stressed parents can prevent their kids from viewing inappropriate content.” He also added, “The only real solution is for the entertainment industry to reduce the often obscene levels of violence in the products they sell.”
Rockefeller’s words came in response to the New York Daily News claiming that the shooter had a spreadsheet detailing names and total victims of various killers in the past in what appeared to be a score sheet. They claim that a source told them, “”This was the work of a video gamer, and that it was his intent to put his own name at the very top of that list… [The Connecticut State Police] believe that he picked an elementary school because he felt it was a point of least resistance, where he could rack up the greatest number of kills.”
Well do you know why he found out about these murders and glorified the evil people who committed them? Because of the “news media” that put them up on pedestals. It is the mainstream media that insists on repeating a killer’s name over and over (and in the case of Sandy Hook giving the WRONG BROTHER’S name first without any official word on who actually committed the crime) and then focusing on the gory details, including interviewing child victims.
Don’t try and tell me that video games glorified the violent actions that disturbed young man chose to take without looking at yourselves and see the effect on how you choose to “report” about the events as they unfold with speculation, rumor and hearsay instead of just giving “around the clock coverage” that makes these disturbed individuals look like heroes to their potentially disturbed copycat killers.
And to go back to the senator, get off your high horse and stop acting like you know what is going on in the world. You sit in an office and have people tell you what you want to hear because it makes you feel like you’re “informed” but have you ever actually picked up a video game and paid attention to the story? Most games have a reason behind the violence, same as any movie or TV show. The ones that don’t usually suck and we gamers don’t play them. Every gamer I know has played “No Russian” in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and none of us had the desire to walk into an airport and shoot innocent people.
You’ll say that this disturbed individual had “score sheets” but I know a lot more people who keep hand written score sheets for baseball and football stats than I do gamers? Are you going to claim that violence in sports played a part in what happened? How about all of the violence in the Bible where a king orders the murder of innocent infants because he fears the birth of the Messiah? Are you going to try and ban people from reading the Bible because it “promotes” the killing of innocent children?
I’ll answer for you. No. You won’t. Because that’s not a fight you believe you have a chance of winning and it’s bad for getting votes. Claiming that you are saving the moral compass of the country by allowing parents a free pass on monitoring what their kids consume because they are too busy. Well how about if they are too busy to raise a kid, maybe they shouldn’t have them?
But no, it’s fine senator. I will give up watching all forms of entertainment and follow the examples of some of our fine leaders. I’ll just have some slaves, have some illegitimate kids, cheat on my wife with a movie starlet, and catch a hummer from an intern in my office instead since obviously you guys know what is best.