In a speech given by National Rifle Association CEO and executive vice president Wayne LaPierre today, partial blame for the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary was placed on videogames and other forms of entertainment.
“There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people. 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?”
As fair as can be, LaPierre also placed blame on other parts of the entertainment industry.
“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.’”
LaPierre expressed his dislike of the media’s role in tragedies such as the one that struck Sandy Hook Elementary, as well.
“In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes every minute of every day of every month of every year.
“…too many in our national media … their corporate owners … and their stockholders … act as silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators. Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws and fill the national debate with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away.”
Yesterday, I reported on a 12 year old boy, Max Goldstein, who has decided to give up the games he owns that he has deemed violent, as well as Facebook users voicing their outrage on Mass Effect’s Facebook page, following the false identification of the perpetrator of the killings on Dec. 14 in Newtown, CT.
What do you think about LaPierre’s words? Do you agree with him? What do you know about the correlation between videogames and violent behavior? This is a topic that I’m deeply interested in, so let me know in the comments below or head over to our forums, if you please.