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

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.

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  1. 0
    jbsjohn says:

    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.





      Utah Drug Addiction
  2. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    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.

  3. 0
    J-Guy says:

    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.

  4. 0
    Iain says:

    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…

  5. 0
    pix ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Conejo Says:

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


    cause it dosent win you votes

  6. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    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.

  7. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  8. 0
    Wookiee ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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)

  9. 0
    Volcanman says:

    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.

  10. 0

    […] 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.” […]

  11. 0
    Voodoo says:

    “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…

  12. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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).

  13. 0
    Phreezdryd says:

    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.

  14. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  15. 0
    MechaCrash ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    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…

  16. 0
    Kincyr ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  17. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  18. 0
    Rob says:

    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.

  19. 0
    jonc2006 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    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.

  20. 0
    upgray3dd ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.)

  21. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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

  22. 0
    HandofCrom ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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?

  23. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  24. 0
    Otaku-Man ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.


  25. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  26. 0
    Mike lou says:

    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

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