The US has once again faced a number of tragic mass shootings. In a course of less than one week, mass shootings happened in Texas, Ohio, and Illinois. Naturally, the debate of gun control has once again hit the deadlines, but some politicians such as US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and even US President Donald Trump have suggested that violent content in video games are to blame for these recent tragedies. While Honey’s Anime isn’t necessarily a political website, with this argument once again being pushed, we’d like to share why that blaming video games on these recent tragedies are utterly wrong.
None of the Shooters Were Revealed to be Gamers
A 2004 report by the US Secret Service and Department of Education found that only 12% of school shooters had an interest in violent video games. As for the shooters in Texas, Ohio and Illinois, as of present, there has been NOTHING to show that they engaged in playing violent video games. With the Texas shooter, he made it very clear on his social media accounts with why he chose to carry out his heinous acts and if you choose to read it, NOT ONCE does he mention video games! While we’re not here to push an agenda on gun control, Trump and McCarthy are utterly wrong in pushing the video game argument without any evidence. We don’t want to push the gun control argument because we don’t have any solid facts to show how proper enforcement of present legislation could’ve prevented these incidents. All we can say is that video games AREN’T the cause based on evidence we can provide.
Games Have Positive Effects
We understand the concerns that people have when certain games “glorify” violence, but it’s nothing new in any form of creativity. Acts of violence have long been depicted in paintings, sculptures, literature, music, and movies, and those forms have also been persecuted for having negative influences and video games is the brand new witch hunt for such instances. What makes video games different is how people have an interactive role in how the violence is engaged and we get where people have such concerns. In the end, video games do have more positives than negatives! Beyond helping an individual’s hand-eye coordination, it helps people relax and some are now being made to assist in treating mental health, which is something that Donald Trump has expressed concerns about in the past. All we can say is that we hope Donald Trump can retract such statements on video games if he knew what they could do.
There Are Video Games in Japan!
While the meme has proven to be false, the meme states that Kevin McCarthy claimed that there are no mass shootings in Japan because there are no video games there. Yes, we are saying McCarthy didn’t say that, but the point is, there are numerous video games markets beyond the US that have access to the same violent content and Japan is one of them. While Japan may not have mass shootings, it has had its recent share of mass killings with the Kyoto Animation incident and the stabbing at a bus stop in Kawasaki. Just like these recent shootings, these unfortunate incidents had NOTHING to do with video games and thankfully, NO Japanese politician we’re aware of has pushed such narratives. As for other countries, they of course don’t have mass shootings in their respective countries and even when other countries face such incidents, not once do video games get blamed by their politicians.
Violent Crime in the US Has Gone Down
While we don’t want to say this without trivializing the lives that were lost in these incidents, but before anyone plays the blame game, according to the FBI, violent crime rate has gone down 49% between 1993 and 2017! 1993 was when Mortal Kombat and Doom were making their debuts, so you can do the math on whether or not violent video games cause actual violence. The unfortunate reality is that public perception about crime doesn’t go hand in hand with the data. We say this without any intentions of making light of the situation and Honey mourns with the victims’ loved ones, but when an unfortunate tragedy happens, should we immediately hit the panic button and blame it all on what our society has become? Or do we just simply hold the individuals accountable for their actions? Do the actions of one sick individual truly define us as a society? We understand that someone isn’t going to see their loved one again, but should we immediately conclude that things have also taken a turn for the worse when the data as a whole says otherwise?
Our hearts go out to everyone that has been affected not by the recent shootings, but just about anyone who has been a victim of a violent crime regardless if firearms were involved or not. We’re not here to preach on whether or not there should be more or less firearm regulation in the US (we’re not the site for that). We’re only here to present that video games are by no means the cause of these incidents, and with violent video games becoming a concern as far back as 1993, games have gotten more violent and yet violent crime in the US has plummeted. Any politician or individual that makes the claim that video games are what caused these events better back up their findings because otherwise, it’s just an easy scapegoat on not facing the reality. We admit that these are awful tragedies and once is enough. Due to this mentality, no one can really see that the US has become a safer nation, especially with the rise of violent video games.