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America Has a Gun Problem, Not a Video Game Problem

Republicans, including the President, simply refuse to acknowledge that America has a gun problem so they trot out the same worn excuses every time there is a mass shooting. This time around, violent video games seem to be their favorite bogeyman, although an especially unhinged Ohio Republican state representative threw the whole kitchen sink at the problem yesterday including recreational marijuana, gay marriage and drag queen "advocates". But, video games took the brunt of the attacks by Republicans.

President Trump said in his White House address, “We must stop the glorification of violence in our society, ... and “this includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.” His argument echoed that of the lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick [who added a lack of school prayer to the mix], and Kevin McCarthy, the Republican House minority leader.

There may be some good reasons to question how much time young people spend playing video games, but a link to violent behavior is not one of them. Researchers have been studying the issue since the 1990s and there is absolutely no causal relationship.

New York Times: "According to a policy statement from the media psychology division of the American Psychological Association, “Scant evidence has emerged that makes any causal or correlational connection between playing violent video games and actually committing violent activities.”
"Chris Ferguson, a psychology professor at Stetson University, led the committee that developed the policy statement. In an interview Monday, he said the evidence was clear that violent video games are not a risk factor for serious acts of aggression. Neither are violent movies, nor other forms of media."

Need More evidence? The four nations with the highest per-person consumption of video games are, in order, S. Korea, China, the US and the UK. Of those four, only America has a violent gun crime problem.

Need even more evidence? After reviewing the studies regarding violent video games, conservative hero, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, wrote that, ..."they do not prove that violent video games cause minors to act aggressively,” and "violent video games had a similarly minimal effect on children as cartoons starring Bugs Bunny or the Road Runner."

Republicans know all of this. So, why attack video games? Because they want to focus attention away from lax gun laws. America is awash in guns; we have more guns than people, 120.5 guns per 100 residents, the highest rate in the world by far. Number two is Yemen with about 58 per guns per 100 residents, and they are in the middle of a civil war.

America has a gun problem, not a video game problem, and if we don't get serious about regulating firearms, such as through a new assault weapons ban, expect more mass shootings in the future.

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

#news #guncontrol #research

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