The argument about whether or not violent games factor significantly into violent behavior in real life is a perennial one, arising almost every time an incident occurs in the United States. In the wake of recent events, the theory has been put forth once more, this time by NRA head and spokesman Wayne LaPierre:
“There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting industry that sells and sows violence against its own people, through vicious, violent videogames with names like ‘Bulletstorm,’ ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ ‘Mortal Kombat,’ and Splatterhouse.”
The statement, which goes on to characterize videogames as a pornographic experience, is echoed in part by Senator Joe Manchin. In an interview with MSNBC, Senator Manchin asked, of games such as Grand Theft Auto, “Shouldn’t that be looked into and maybe be banned?”
Regardless of whether or not videogames have ever contributed to a violent shooter’s eventual rampage, attempting to center the conversation around games is merely a means of obfuscating the larger issue. People who carry out terrible, inconceivably violent acts are, in some way, unbalanced, and that root is what truly demands attention.