Whenever there’s a school shooting, there’s a script people who don’t want to discuss guns in society follow. It’s not guns, it’s our mental health system, it’s our single parents, it’s our lack of prayer in schools, and once we’re done blaming everybody else, we turn to our culture. The NRA has been blaming video games for school shooting since Columbine, ignoring the questionable science and scientists in the field. And, sure enough, Trump brought that up, in a confusing school safety meeting where he seemed to be either unaware of, or not fully cognizant, of the current state of the entertainment industry.
The above clip features Trump insisting violent video games are “shaping” young minds, and then articulating a common criticism of the MPAA, that its ratings system does nothing about violence while strictly limiting sex, before then seeming to forget the MPAA exists and rates movies in the first place. It’s possible that he’s suggesting some form of government rating system, and is just being inarticulate, but it’s not clear that’s entirely legal. In ESA V. Schwartzenegger, for example, video games were found to be protected speech, and any ratings system would have to prove it wasn’t a form of censorship.
It’s a moot point, in any case. No investigation of a school shooter has found any link between their media consumption and their homicidal tendencies. For example, Newtown shooter Adam Lanza was found to be obsessed with not Doom or Call of Duty, but Dance Dance Revolution, playing the dancing game for hours at a clip. And attempts to blame the wider culture for violence have stumbled over both more detailed scientific analysis and larger social trends: Violent crime has plunged since 1993, while the overall violence in movies and video games hasn’t budged.
There’s one more inescapable problem, for those attempting to slough the blame onto American culture. Any culture’s art is a reflection of that culture, a mirror that can show us what we want to see or the things we want to hide. If you see something in the mirror you don’t like, smashing it isn’t going to fix the problem.
(via Fox News)