The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has weighed in on the rush to place the blame on video games as a cause for the Newtown, Connecticut shootings that resulted in the death of 20 children and six adults. ACLU Legislative Counsel Gabe Rottman wrote on the group's web site that rushing to blame violent video games will lead to "the worst facts, and they will make the worst laws if we let them."
Rottman's article, "Worst Facts Make Worst Law with Violent Video Games," encourages the public to avoid trying to look for answers while the trauma of the event still weighs so heavily on the hearts and minds of the country.
"The problem is," Rottman writes, "without a mind-reading device, it's virtually impossible to identify a causal link between exposure to media and any kind of action in the real world."
Rottman goes on to note that a large majority of Americans play video games (we think it would be odd at this point if someone was categorized as a non-gamer, as opposed to being a gamer, but that's just our opinion). "Simply pointing out that some people who play video games commit violent acts is like saying that because people in prison like television, television must cause crime," Rottman said.
He adds that "parents are the ones who need to supervise their children's consumption of media," and that it makes sense that people with violent personalities or mental health problems would be drawn to things that are violent or portray violence:
"It suggests that even if you prevent kids from playing violent video games, you won't prevent violence," Rottman said. "… But it's also worth reflecting on why it might actually be unwise to let anyone other than parents make decisions about children's access to depictions of violence."
He closes by noting that ultimately the decision on what young children play should be left to parents:
"The bottom line is that both the functional problem and the fact that violent video games might actually have some social value suggest strongly that parents are the ones who need to supervise their children's consumption of media," Rottman said.