The uber-liberal entertainment industry is demanding that President Trump do something to help stop school shootings. Well, they should be careful what they wish for because they’re about to get it. Trump plans to meet next week with members of the video game industry to talk about how they promote mindless gory violence and desensitized killing to young people as entertainment. And then, he’d like to talk to leaders of the movie and TV industry about the same thing.
Whenever this subject comes up, people invariably point to academic studies claiming that violent video games have no effect on young players. But it defies logic not to see a connection between spending thousands of hours mowing people down in virtual reality as entertainment, then deciding that the way to cure your problems at school is to mow down everyone you don’t like. As I pointed out right after the last school shooting in Florida, when I was a kid, the school parking lot was filled with guns. Every boy had a hunting rifle on the rifle rack in the back window of his pickup. But it never would have occurred to us in a million years to bring those guns into school and starting shooting our classmates and teachers with them.
Something has changed in this country over the past few decades. It isn’t that guns are easier to obtain; they’re actually not, if you buy them legally. It isn’t that we have fewer gun laws; we have more than ever. What’s changed is our culture: the breakdown of the family; fewer kids with loving parents, intact homes or fathers to act as role models; the loss of respect for the sanctity of life; and the constant exposure of impressionable young minds to shocking levels of violence and sex in pop culture (video games, movies, TV, fashion, music, the Internet) that would have been considered unthinkable when I was a kid. The problem isn’t the hardware, it’s the software.
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