In the wake of back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, some conservative politicians and President Trump are increasingly pushing the narrative that violent video games share the blame.
Addressing the shootings in a speech this Monday morning, Trump suggested that video games that promote violence should be harder to access.
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” Trump said. “This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.”
Trump went on to say that it’s “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,” he added.
To his credit, Trump also directed blame towards the internet and its role in radicalizing people who carry out terror attacks. He also mentioned mental healthcare reform and “racism, bigotry and white supremacy.”
"We must stop the glorification of violence," Trump said, referencing what he called "gruesome and grisly video games" and blaming mental illness & "troubled youth" for the recent mass shootings.
"Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun," he continued pic.twitter.com/GKfiNJRRCu
— POLITICO (@politico) August 5, 2019
As the Independent points out, there’s never been a meaningful connection between video games and violence in the real world. According to a study published in February, there’s no evidence that people who play violent video games are any more prone to violence in the real world than their peers.
“The idea that violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one, but it hasn’t tested very well over time,” said Professor Andrew Przybylski, who is the director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute.
As expected, Trump’s pivot to video games in the wake of the shootings didn’t go over so well.
Trump's stupid ass is now rallying against "violent" video games. Hahhahahahaha
Fuckin boomer's man
— Eric July (@EricDJuly) August 5, 2019
This morning Trump and republicans are blaming social media, video games, mental illness, immigration, and the Press.
Anything but guns.
And this is where I remind you of earlier this week when Trump, Cruz, et al wanted to declare "antifa" as enemies of America.
— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) August 5, 2019
To be clear, Trump is telling the American people that video games are to blame for the recent mass shootings because the video game lobby doesn't own him…yet.
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) August 5, 2019
It was Dayton, not Toledo, Trump.
Also it’s white supremacy, misogyny & access to guns, not video games.
It’s white supremacy, misogyny & access to guns, not mental illness.
It’s white supremacy, misogyny & access to guns, not lone wolves.
— Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR) August 5, 2019
Since Trump again amplified the ridiculous claim that the astronomical level of gun violence in America is tied to video games: https://t.co/O7OZ5ZH30d
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) August 5, 2019
This isn’t the first time Trump has tried to link gun violence to video games and the entertainment industry. In 2018, he said that he had been “hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts.”
“You see these movies, and they’re so violent,” he continued. “And yet a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved, but killing is involved, and maybe they have to put a rating system for that.”
Featured image via screen grab
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