Republican officials partially blamed the attacks of terror on violent video games after the mass shootings this weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
“How long are we going to let, for example, and ignore at the federal level particularly, where they can do something about the video game industry,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Sunday, Aug. 4, on “Fox & Friends,” condemning the attack as “evil.”
Patrick noted the document’s apparent reference to the video game “Call of Duty.” (From the document: “Don’t attack heavily guarded areas to fulfill your super soldier COD fantasy. Attack low security targets.”)
“In this manifesto that we believe is from the shooter … he talks about living out his super soldier fantasy on ‘Call of Duty,’” Patrick said.
“We’ve always had guns. We’ve always had evil. But what’s changed where we see this rash of shooting?” he continued, calling violent video games “the common denominator.”
“I see a video game industry that teaches young people to kill,” he said.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also pointed to violent video games Sunday and said they “may be a place where we could find this ahead of time.”
“The idea of these video games, they dehumanize individuals to have a game of shooting individuals and others,” he said in a Fox News interview. “When you look at these photos of how the El Paso shooting took place, you can see the actions within video games and others.”
While authorities currently believe that El Paso shooting may be linked to anti-immigrant hate (based on a manifesto reportedly posted by the shooter), video games have become an easy target for politicians of all stripes following acts of mass violence. After all, violent video games are much easier to confront politically than either white supremacy or the wide availability of guns that inspire or enable mass acts of violence.
After the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, last spring, President Trump hosted a roundtable meeting at the White House with representatives from the video game industry to talk about violence in video games, but he included a host of stridently anti-video game voices.
One attendee, Dave Grossman, has described first-person shooter games as “murder simulators” and wrote in 2016 that experts who denied ties between video games and violence in youth will “be viewed as the moral equivalent of Holocaust deniers.”
Another, Brent Bozell, wondered in 2011, “Which sick CEO sits in a boardroom and says ‘Yes’ to ultraviolent scenes” in video games?… Bozell told the Washington Post he said to President Trump at the meeting that violent games “needed to be given the same kind of thought as tobacco and liquor.”