United States president Donald Trump included video games as one of the driving factors behind the excessive amount of mass shootings in the United States.
After two terrorist attacks took place in Texas and Ohio, resulting in the deaths of at least 29 people, Trump stated that “gruesome and grisly” video games have glorified violence in American society.
“It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substancially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately,” Trump said.
Trump’s anti-gaming sentiment was shared by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarty. The California Republican had spoken out against video games in an inteview with Fox News over the weekend.
“The idea of these video games that dehumanize individuals to have a game of shooting individuals and others… I’ve always felt that is a problem for future generations and others. We’ve watched from studies shown before of what it does to individuals,” McCarthy said. “When you look at these photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games and others.”
The news clip was met with an outcry from the gaming community, who felt Fortnite was wrongly singled out in a discussion that should be directed elsewhere.
While most studies do not support video games being a leading cuase of violent behavior, the World Health Organization has deemed video game addiction a mental illness.
It wasn’t only gamers that felt the president and news networks were focusing on the wrong culprits. Trump’s opponent in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton, tweeted that people play video games in “virtually every other country on earth.” The difference, she concluded, was guns.
In Trump’s speech, he also blamed the internet for “radicalizing disturbed minds,” once again avoiding the topic of gun control in America.
Congressional Republicans have not considered a sweeping gun control bill that was passed by the House, requiring universal background checks. Trump’s speech this morning did not discuss gun control, except a possible “red flag” law that would prevent mentally ill individuals from purchasing a weapon.
The president called the shooters “twisted monsters,” and condemned white supremacy.
The El Paso shooter, Patrick Crusius, shared a four-page document online days before the shooting that outlined his hatred for immigrants and Latinos. The Ohio shooter, who was gunned down by law enforcement, still has unclear motives for the devastating attack.