Blame Game: Former White House Official Blames Video Games for Colorado Shooting

An editorial in the Baltimore Sun written by former White House and Pentagon official Douglas MacKinnon laments the "lessons lost" that could have come out of the Aurora, Colorado shooting about what the author calls "a culture that desensitizes us to violence." While his general sentiment that there are lessons to be learned about the shooting, what those lessons are or might be are up for debate.

First he laments about how quickly the news cycle has let this tragedy begin to fade given the impact it has had on victims and families of the shooter James Holmes. He then laments the lack of discussion on gun control, noting that if this shooting won't prompt a discussion on it than nothing will. Ultimately he sees the tragedy as an act of "terrorism."

But the most ridiculous part of the editorial relates to video games:

"As someone who knows a bit about the media and is also a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, I was shocked by how little attention was paid to the ultra-violent video games that now sell in the tens of millions in our country. After the tragedy in Aurora, I spoke with some teenage boys of friends of mine. Each and every one admitted to playing violent video games. Some on a daily basis for hours at a time. When I asked them how many "bad guys" they kill in these games (often times in the most gruesome and graphically visual ways imaginable), one of the boys said, "Oh, over the course of a year, I kill thousands of bad guys."

He goes on to say that the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. EMA was good for the "$25 billion a year industry" but "bad news for the rest of us," that there are 100 million gamers in the U.S. that have been "desensitized to violence" and that the video game industry needs to be "more sensitive to this tragedy and its victims" going forward. He also name drops the Oslo, Norway shooter who – he asserts – trained using video games…

Finally he voices his disdain over the "elaborate preview and promotion for Halo 4" during the Dark Knight Rises, which he calls "one of the most violent video game series of all time." MacKinnon describes the inclusion of Halo 4 in the previews (in the wake of the shooting) as "beyond offensive and disrespectful."

Source: Baltimore Sun

Original art "Blame" © 2012 Lasse Kristensen  / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.

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