Video Games in the Mix as Utah Guv, Bush Cabinet Member Discuss Mass Shooting Events

April 28, 2007 -
As public officials attempt to sort out the root causes of the Virginia Tech massacre, it seems clear from their comments that violent games will get a long look, along with gun control and mental health issues.

As reported by the Associated Press, Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (R, left) and U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt spoke about the VTU shooting at a Friday news conference. Said the Governor:
For all of us, it was a wake-up call. One could blame guns. One could blame access to the media. One could blame video games.

Utah, of course, experienced its own deadly shooting event earlier this year when 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic killed four people at a Salt Lake City Mall before being shot to death by police officers. Investigators said they recovered no video games from Talovic's residence

Utah NPR affiliate KCPW reports Leavitt as saying:
Inevitably we'll have conversation about guns. We have video games and the media and its impact. Inevitably we'll hear conversations about mental health...

Leavitt, who appeared on Meet the Press last Sunday to discuss the Virginia Tech rampage with host Tim Russert, described the search for causes as "incredibly complex."

President Bush has asked his advisors for a report on the issue within 30 days.


Re: Video Games in the Mix as Utah Guv, Bush Cabinet Member

According to reports, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is investigating Redflex, which operates mobile speed cameras in the USA, for possible violations of federal regulations. The Arizona Department of Public Safety took the allegations seriously enough to order Redflex vans off of state highways.
Mike lou


Utah Drug Treatment


so howthe day's my mario brother

Re: Video Games in the Mix as Utah Guv, Bush Cabinet Member


wtf. a private island. Yo better let me in before i turn go homicidal.

Grar. If we're sick of this, how can anyone else not be?

We live in a society. We have laws. It is your own personal responsibility not to break those laws. If you do, you are punished. A small portion of society are deemed not responsible for their own actions, but everyone else is assumed to be and that is how we live.

If you want to get your kicks by gunning down innocents in Grand Theft Auto 23:50/7 (with ten minute power naps) then by all means go ahead and do so. It is still your responsibility not to point a real gun at another person and pull the trigger. If you do you've broken the law, and have done so either willingly or without being aware of the consequences of your actions. You're either a killer or you're mad, in shorter words.

What gets me is that they said that video games AND other media will be looked at as part of this process to determine what exactly could cause this kind of homicidal behavior. It doesn't mean they're pointing fingers at games in specific, it's just one thing they want to seriously look at.

Why video games? Well just because one of the most vocal video game opponents is a raving lunatic, that doesn't mean that congress can just brush it off as nothing. It's like a:

"This guy's totally wacko and has a stick up his butt, but CRAP, what if he's right? Well we better look at it just to cover all the bases. Of course, there's also violent music, TV, movies, and I think it's cool to cover books in there too. Better check them all out."

Just because they investigate doesn't mean that video games will be congress' target. Who knows, they may decide that video games really aren't that bad as some people are saying. They may also find that mental health problems and easy access to guns may be more of a problem than what's in the media.

So only time will tell on this one.


Once again, video games are singled out for no good reason. Why can't these people realise that video games are a form of media. They use the same components as other forms (composition in soundtracks, art in the graphics, storytelling as in books or movies).

"One could blame access to the media. One could blame video games."
This is exactly what I mean. Saying that is akin to saying
"One could blame all kinds of fish. One could blame salmon"
or "One could blame the 4 members of the Beatles. One could blame Ringo Starr".

You should not be allowed comment or seek to blame or restrict anything that you do not understand.

Ok, so while I was writing, Conejo said it better... and shorter. :)

NW2K Software

We have the worst standard of living and the worst health care in the developed world. Polls show that the majority of citizens do not trust politicians and consider them to be unethical. Rather than trying to solve serious problems, we're going after scapegoats? Gun nuts are saying we need more guns, bleeding hearts are saying we need to get rid of guns, massacre chasers are blaming video games. Why can't these murderers, if they won't kill themselves before shooting up a place, at least go after the scum who would use a tragedy to push their own pet projects?

Geez, the massacre chasers should get their own conventions.

I mean, it's like people getting together wondering what men like, or women like, or people of this racial group or that racial group like, or any specifc group likes.

Instead of stereotyping and getting their agenda on, maybe if they first looked at Cho's life and ALL the events that led him down his path, then they would understand why -Cho- commited his act, even just a tiny bit. Of course, that is extremely difficult because Cho isolated himself, the family itself tended to be isolated, and Cho, the one who truly knows why he did such a thing, is dead.

But instead, we want to stereotype. We want to compare only select events and try to compare him to all other individuals who commit such acts. We want to seek reasons to push personal, religious, and/or political agendas. The last thing we want to consider is that each individual had unique lives, even if they were copycats, and each life was complex and had a myriad of complex events throughout their lives that took them down the path they ended up on.

NW2K Software

why can't we blame the shooter, instead?

were just starting to examine a stew of gun, video game and mental health problems that threaten public safety and were far from making recommendations.”

While it is nice they say up front you have to be insane or have some other condition, I am still baffled they conclude videogames are a big enough problem to put it in the same group as guns and insanity. If you give a psycopath a gun he might shoot someone. If you give a psycopath a Wii he might kick your butt plaing boxing. Afterwards he might shoot you though. It's definately a possibility. (ignore my ramblings. I just woke up.)


well the mental health system does have some fall in this one, along with the shooter himself. they could and SHOULD have done something back when he was found to be a threat in court. even if he refused help they should have kept tabs on him.

Why the hell are video games still being blamed anyway? They weren't a factor at all. He didn't even have any in his room, and that last game they know that he played was Counter-Strike about five years ago. This is just getting old now. They're really reaching now.

Yeesh. Media shouldn't be a part of the discussion. Guns shouldn't either save discussion of how to tighten the checks so that people found to be a danger to themselves or others are refused.

The bottom line is that people that go on killing sprees are screwed up in the head. Whether Cho bought guns and killed a bunch of people, or grabbed a knife and killed just the first two people, or bought a gun and killed just himself is immaterial. All three cases are unacceptable.

The discussion needs to be on what was wrong with Cho, and how we can identify and do something about/for others like him in the future before they harm themselves or others.

If playing Counter-Strike leads to a school shooting 5 years later, then so does getting a used car out of the paper leading to getting herpes 10 years later.

Matthew: You speak truth. However, what everyone's digging for is ways to keep these things from happening in the first place. Having laws to punish people who go on shooting sprees is one thing, but isn't it better to not have the shooting spree in the first place?

A laudible goal, but as with all ideals, easier said than done...

Cho sent a long rambling video tape to NBC explaining why he did it, if he blamed video games we would've known about it by now. But noooo obviously politicians knew Cho personally enough to give us exact reasons why he did it. This is the equivalent of a guy commiting suicide because of unrequited love, guilt and a bunch of other stuff, leaving a note saying so, then have everyone ignore the note and blame video games.

Because in this politically correct world we supposedly live in, a single person can't be blamed for their actions, because there's no money in it. It gives the news channels something to do, and politicians something to argue about to make themselves look good. Meanwhile, the general public lives in fear of overly generalized problems, and profits go up for comfort food and bigger TV's. Oh, and more support for less freedom.

MechaCrash: There's the rub. Can you prevent a killing spree? If you have reason to suspect someone is going to go postal and find evidence to support it then maybe you could get "conspiracy to commit murder" and prevent it from happening. What if you believe someone is unstable and a danger to the general public? Lengthy analysis from a few independent sources may result in them being committed or rehabilitated before anything serious happens. But where do you draw the line? At which point do you restrict someone's freedoms because of a fear they may commit a crime that hasn't happened yet?

The reports of the Cho incident are pretty clear in suggesting that people were afraid of him and thought something should have been done, but that is an entirely different kettle of fish. Dealing with potential criminals (Cho) is very different to trying to stop innocent people from becoming potential criminals (little Johnny playing Counter-Strike).

"For all of us, it was a wake-up call. One could blame guns. One could blame access to the media. One could blame video games."

of course, but then again, it might just be that the killer did this for national media attention, which all the networks have gladly been giving him...

its real simple

Guns dont kill People! Apes with guns Kill People

[...] If there’s anything we’ve learned quite well in the United States over the last six years it’s this simple concept: Who needs facts? Facts are messy and they just get in the way of truthiness. In the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre it would be too easy to look at gun control. Republican Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt spoke about the VT shootings Friday at a news conference. Leavitt, who is part of President Bush’s cabinet, stated, “Inevitably we’ll have conversation about guns. We have video games and the media and its impact. Inevitably we’ll hear conversations about mental health and available [sic] of mental health.” [...]

its going to be ok everyone. the politicians are now involved (sorry i had too)

I think they said "Video game and other forms of media" because of the heat that video games have had lately. There are raving looneys that are blaming video games, and they want to reassure those looneys that they will be looking into it among other things.

Unless they say "Oh yeah, Doom and Mario made him insane", I doubt they're pointing their fingers at games.

Why cant we blame the people who bullied him all his life and never tried to get REAL help but just diagnosed him?

I like how Mental health is mentioned...last.

Scapegoating is as old as the written word and made a art by todays rich and elite....

Guns and media? Bah! Everyone knows Harry Potter and Islam are behind all of the US's social problems.

(That was sarcasm. I love HP and have nothing against Islam)

Am I the only one here paranoid enough that thinks that this is going to play right into what the FCC wants to do? This could dovetail nicely with their little plan to regulate violence on TV and cable if they do it right and play up the fears to congress.

And because of the actions of one lone nut, we all become a little less free.

Black Manta
why not the FCC has been itching to ban things on non over air broadcasting increasing the size of itself like any good lil goverment orginisation, they are merely thinking of the bottom line who cares about free speech and such.

The cause?

He was crazy. There, case solved.

@Black Manta
Yeah, I could see them trying to use this.

Conejo Says:

April 28th, 2007 at 8:28 am
why can’t we blame the shooter, instead?


cause it dosent win you votes

Why is it that all of our problems have to be blamed on video games or the media? If these people knew what they were talking about they would know that there is, even after decades of research, no proven link between playing violent video games and becoming violent. That makes sense. Because with the advent of the GTA series, and stuff like Man Hunt you'd expect crime rates among juveniles to sky rocket but in reality they've went down, and way down at that. Just go ask the FBI...

Iain, that's because games led you do all the violent acts you want until you're satisfied. If anything, video games are the least likely cause of violence in anyone. After you play a game, do you feel like going outside and killing someone? No, because you've done it already.

Is there ANY place in this world that's safe from govermental courrption?


Nope, that's why I'm saving up to buy my own private island. The only people allowed on it will be me and Kate Beckinsale.

shooting games... More Resource For your sites...

Re: Gun The Man Down

A Gun The Man Down Two years into Gunsmoke James Arness took time out of his busy schedule to star in the medium-budget western Arizona Mission.Trading in his white hat for a black one Arness plays a bandit. He and partners Robert J. Wilke and Don Megowan pull off a robbery; the partners then vamoose with the loot leaving Big Jim empty-handed and seriously wounded. He is also betrayed by his lady friend Angie Dickinson.When Arness finally catches up with his former chums he decides to "psych" them out rather than fill them full of lead right off the bat.





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AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
SleakerI think a large part of the controversy stems from the idea that games aren't culture setters, but culture reactors, and simply depict what is already in culture. So people don't care that games use tropes or are blind to them because we've failed ...08/29/2014 - 12:20pm

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