Video Games Don’t Kill People, Guns Do!

Since the tragedy in Connecticut, a lot of people are crying that we should do something, and I think we should do something too.  But since reports have come out that the person responsible for this tragedy enjoyed playing hours of Call of Duty in his basement, they are blaming video game culture for this.  That would be a mistake.  Study after study has shown that society has grown less violent since video games have grown in popularity.

I would point to Japan and South Korea, two countries that play a lot more video games than we do in America.  They also have strict gun laws in both countries, and significantly lower levels of violent crime than America too.

Another reason to not blame video games: The blame video game talk is coming from the NRA, or from its supporters.  Why?  Gun manufacturers, who the NRA represents, blame video games for declining sales of guns.  Just like mp3s are killing record stores, Kindle is killing bookstores, Netflix is killing video stores, free amateur porn is killing the porn industry, apparently video games are killing the gun industry.

The first four kind of make me sad. The last just makes me happy.

This week NRA President Wayne LaPierre gave a speech about their take on the Connecticut shooting.  The most obvious take on the speech is that they blame everybody but guns and gun culture on this tragedy.  They want armed guards at all schools in America, even though there were armed guards at Columbine, and Virginia Tech, and Fort Hood, and yet mass shootings happened there.  Guns in the schools is not the answer.

I will tell you my take on this: The NRA is promoting fear and hatred, as are most pro NRA politicians, and pro gun commentators in the media.  Why? Because fear and hatred leads to more gun sales.

The thing is, I was raised in Arizona, in a pro gun society.  Most gun owners are not fear and hatred types, they enjoy shooting, target practice, and legally approved hunting.  Most are very responsible, keeping guns locked in safes.  Some are not, and they are the problem.  I want to see a license and registration system set up to separate the responsible ones from the non responsible ones.  Many responsible gun owners would appreciate such a system in place, too.  The gun lobby, and its media spokespeople would not, because it would cut into new gun sales.  Fear and hatred increases sales, that is why they promote it.

Video games have reduced the interest in shooting, and target practice and hunting as recreational activities.  The people still interested already have the guns they need.  Hence the real reason the gun lobbyists hate video games.