During a press conference this morning, a National Rifle Association spokesperson said violent video games are partially to blame for last week’s deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
“There exists in this country a callous, corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people,” NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said. “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?”
LaPierre also pointed the finger at the film and music industries.
“Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like American Psycho and Natural Born Killers that are aired like propaganda loops on Splatterdays and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it entertainment. But is that what it really is? Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?”
LaPierre argued that media conglomerates, like the ones responsible for the games, music, and films listed above, are caught up in a “race to the bottom,” and in fact compete with each other to “shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society.”
Complicit in this behavior, according to LaPierre, is the national media, their corporate owners, and stockholders, who are “silent enablers” and even “co-conspirators.” He claimed media “demonize” lawful gun owners and “fill the national debate with misinformation and dishonest thinking.”
Earlier this week, West Virginia senator Jay Rockefeller introduced a bill to Congress that would direct the National Academy of Sciences to investigate how violent games and other such programming affect children.
The Entertainment Consumers Association issued a statement on the matter today, pointing to “volumes of scientific research” that indicate no link between media violence and real-world violence has ever been established.
“We agree with the Supreme Court’s decisions, and the volumes of scientific research, which all clearly state that there is no causal link between media violence and real life violence,” said the ECA’s vice president general counsel Jennifer Mercurio. “As we are all learning increasingly through the news, this is a situation of the perpetrator’s mental disorders, and his family’s inability to adequately deal with them in time. Our hearts remain with all those suffering in the aftermath of this horrendous crime.”