In Niall O'Dowd's latest Periscope column he takes a crack at pinning Jared Loughner's senseless act of violence on the influence of violent films and video games. Of course, there is no evidence connecting Loughner to either, but why let the facts get in the way of commentary, right?
O'Dowd opens his column by saying that "other factors" are lost in the discussion of whether or not political rhetoric influenced or inspired the Tucson killer. What influences does he speak of? The culture of violent media that the youth of America are so immersed in, of course. The first target is movies:
Lost in all the hate mongering over the Gabbie Gifford shooting and killings are other factors that likely caused the crazed killer to go off.
I'm not talking about the political stands offs but rather what the youth of America are surrounding themselves with every day.
That is violent images.
When was the last time you saw a Hollywood movie without significant violence?
Just look at the box office at the moment, 'True Grit', 'Season of the Witch' 'The Fighter', 'Tron Legacy , all at or near the top are violence pocked movies which make a virtue out of killing and maiming.
Next, he blames video games:
Then don't even mention the video games kids play. The law of the games is to kill or be killed and if you haven't accumulated a hundred or so bodies by the end of the game, then you have been a waste of space.
Maybe it is as the ancient Romans believed that man is made to fight, first and foremost, over women, power, land whatever, hardwired for ever to seek combat and triumph
Maybe what we witnessed on Saturday last with the shooting was the natural outreach of that.
One thing for sure, we will find that the killer was desensitized to violence by movies and video games that proclaim it is cool and worth watching.
He goes on to compare video games to the NRA:
Likewise, those major corporations who manufacture the video games and pretend, like the NRA they have nothing to do with the spread of violence in this country. They too need to look in the mirror if they dare to .
I won't hold my breath, but every time I think of that little nine year old girl killed in Arizona I ask myself if these games are just harmless fun as the movie makers and manufacturers would have us believe.
I think not. Like the NRA the makers know in their hearts that they too had a role in background to the deaths last weekend.
His point, facts be damned, is that violent media is the cause of Loughner's shooting rampage and that blame lies at the feet of Hollywood and the video game industry.
You can read the whole thing here. Expect to see more editorials like this as more and more information about Loughner's odd behavior prior to the shooting comes to light.