To the surprise of literally nobody, the left quickly jumped on anything that could restrict the Second Amendment, including the outright confiscation of guns in America.
Somewhat surprisingly, President Donald Trump has even broached the idea of expanding background checks for prospective gun purchasers.
But Trump has also cited “a culture that celebrates violence” as a top concern of his.
Part of that culture entails violent video games.
“We must stop the glorification of violence,” Trump said, referencing what he called “gruesome and grisly video games” and blaming mental illness & “troubled youth” for the recent mass shootings.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” he continued pic.twitter.com/GKfiNJRRCu
— POLITICO (@politico) August 5, 2019
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” Trump said at a White House conference shortly after the weekend shootings. “This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.”
To be fair, there have been countless studies done on the correlation between playing violent video games and actually acting out violently. That premise has largely been refuted by these studies, though it’s certainly not settled science.
“It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence,” Trump said. “We must stop or substantially reduce this and it has to begin immediately.”
Now, it appears as if two of the most recognizable brands in America are looking to fight back against a culture that celebrates violence.
First, Walmart has made a decision to remove all signage for violent video games, according to a Vice report. The images circulating of Walmart’s memo also revealed that the company is to stop showing violent video games in demo kiosks.
Apparently Walmart is telling its employees to take down displays that show violent video games, specifically shooters, as well as movies and hunting videos. pic.twitter.com/2N3t4B86tf
— Kenneth Shepard (@shepardcdr) August 7, 2019
Given that the El Paso shooting took place in a Walmart, it’s easy to see why this matter would hit close to home for the shopping conglomerate.
Second, ESPN is opting to delay the airing of an eSports event focused on the video game “Apex Legends,” according to a Bloomberg report.
“Apex Legends” falls under the immensely popular “battle royale” genre of games, like “Fortnite,” which places players in a fictitious world where they battle to be the last one standing in a “Hunger Games”-style competition. The vast majority of “battle royale” games involve guns.
The “EXP Invitational APEX Legends at X Games,” which would show the highlights of an eSports competition that already happened over the weekend, has been moved to air at a later date.
ESPN and ABC has made the decision not to air the TV broadcast of the XGames Apex Legends EXP Invitational that was scheduled for this weekend, in response to the recent mass shootings, according to an ABC Affiliate TV station source pic.twitter.com/6BMwdbk93t
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 8, 2019
Anecdotally, it seems difficult to draw a direct line between violent video games and mass shootings when billions of players across the world play video games, and yet mass shootings are depressingly and predominately American.
By that same token, it’s probably unwise to dismiss the effect of violent video games altogether, as they are certainly part of a culture (which includes all mediums, from television to movies to music) that does appear to celebrate violence.
At the end of the day, grabbing people’s guns and infringing on their Second Amendment likely won’t fix anything — but the same could be said about infringing on people’s First Amendment rights by having the government dictate what types of content a person should and shouldn’t see.
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