In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, there has been a lot of controversy with trying to find out the cause of such a senseless massacre. While some contend that the issue for the future is gun control, others say that it’s society’s protocols for dealing with mental health that need reform. The National Rifle Association, who issued a statement last week condemning the massacre, has recently blamed the entertainment industry, more specifically video-game makers, for the shooting. NRA VP Executive Wayne LaPierre remarked during a press conference, “There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and sows violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like ‘Bullet Storm,’ ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ ‘Mortal Combat [sic],’ and ‘Splatterhouse.'”
Now, though I don’t agree with the idea that arming every American will decrease violence, I respect the NRA’s push for gun control amongst US citizens. However, it’s bothers me that the NRA, who’s bottom line, in my opinion, is to try and arm every competent American with a gun, pushes the blame of violence to the entertainment industry. It’s not just the entertainment industry that is at fault. If such was the case then Japan, the home to most violent video games and films, would erupt in school shootings. Nor is it the large number of guns available in the US (or else Canada would be a bloodbath). And it’s definitely not the Goth music influence causing all the violence (the Goth music wave was started in Germany, and you don’t hear of as much violence over there).
Instead, it’s a combination of all these factors and more that are pushing people in the United States over the edge. It’s the fact that there are so many guns available for people to get a hold of. It’s the media giving ideas to people for randomly killing hookers in GTA or decapitating victims in a fight sequence in Mortal Kombat. It’s society looking down on people who say that they’re mentally ill, and Pharma for charging so high of a rate on mental health drugs that they discourage people from seeking help. It’s some of hip-hop’s violent lyrics that are causing kids to think that being cool = shooting from your gun. In my opinion, it’s the aggregate of all the parties who are finger-pointing one another that is the real cause for such violence.
So Mr. LaPierre, sure it’s easy to scapegoat something like this on the media, but at least take responsibility for your own organization’s role in the matter and work to prevent such terrible instances in the future.
Here’s the link and as always, feel free to comment below: