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National Rifle Association Blames ‘Shadow Industry’, Video Games

January 5, 2013

lapierre1

‘The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.’

This was the response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that claimed the lives of 26 people. Andy has already written on what the gaming community has done to honour the memories of those lost. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of America’s National Rifle Association, seems to prefer a more gung-ho approach (as is the stereotype, apparently) by lambasting the ‘shadow industry’ of video gaming.

“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?”

Kindergarten Killers refers to a Flash title released on Newgrounds in 2002, rather than a fully fledged project for console or PCss. LaPierre also hits out against violent films, showing an interesting contempt for America’s First Amendment in favour of the Second Amendment.

It is hard to be impartial when part of a blog such as this (and looking up at my writing to this point, I’m currently doing quite a bad job), but LaPierre does make a sound point or two, especially in relation to the amount of guns surrounding key public figures when targets such as schools are markedly unprepared. This quote also resonates with me:

“How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame — from a national media machine that rewards them with the wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave — while provoking others to try to make their mark?”

One of the first articles I read regarding the Sandy Hook shooting was from the UK’s Daily Express. Apart from blaming Dynasty Warriors – of all the games you could choose – for the shooting, it also goes on to describe the massacre in what is, to me, a sensationalist, precise manner. It reads more like the highlights of a football match than the reporting of a tragedy.

To say that video games cause these massacres is incredibly short-sighted, and arrogantly so. Take a look at this Wikipedia page. It’s quite sobering to read the amount of motives that people possessed to commit these atrocities. Religion, jingoism and racism all play a far, far larger part in violence, and to try to lay the blame on something as recent as video games is to turn a blind eye to a huge, shadowy chapter in human history.

Besides, as Morgan Freeman wisely didn’t say, we can help in other ways than blaming gun control or by obsessing over what the killer did to prepare himself. We can remember the victims and invest time, money and respect in mental health research, instead.

Original Sources: WeHave9Minutes.com, Inquisitr, Daily Express, Wikipedia, Gamespot

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