Video Games and Dead Americans

Another day, another mass shooting in the States. Thoughts and prayers are tweeted, hearts go out to those affected and pundits get busy figuring out how something so “shocking” could happen. It doesn’t take long before we end up with the usual suspects: Mental illness, lack of security and… video games?

[Video Games] are to Blame

Partisan hacks blaming video games for mass shootings or any other easy scapegoat aren’t arguing in good faith – they’re diverting the gun debate for a week while everybody argues about whether or not video games are really to blame. Spoiler alert: They’re not.

Don’t get me wrong, there is merit to analyzing those who commit massacres and why they did it – but not at the cost of omitting how they went about gunning down other people in broad daylight. What is the common thread in mass shootings?

  • Radical Islam? (Orlando)
  • White Nationalism? (Charleston)
  • Racism? (Parkland)
  • Hip Hop Culture? (New York)
  • Obama? (Dallas)
  • Mental Illness? (Las Vegas)
  • Video Games? (El Paso)

Hint: It’s guns. Wannabe killers harboring hateful thoughts are not unique to America. What is unique to America is that those people have the tools to easily kill other people. The Dayton shooter was downed within 30 seconds of opening fire and he still managed to kill 9 and injure 27 others. For some reason, you don’t like to talk about that one thing in particular.

not really about [Guns]

I would love to live in a world where nobody is compelled to kill others. But let’s be real here: Did you care why terrorists flew planes into the WTC on 9/11? No! You made it harder for people to hijack a plane, because that’s infinitely easier to accomplish than trying to prevent people from holding these thoughts in the first place. (Which would require the US refraining from geopolitical adventures that tend to radicalize entire generations, for example.)

But who am I kidding? You’re not going to do anything. Instead you’ll pull a scapegoat out of your ass and offer platitudes while we wait for the next massacre to hit the headlines. This is insulting – not because you’re blaming video games this time, but because you yourself know that your inaction will kill thousands more in the years to come.

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