[Correction: In my rush to hit out at LaPierre, I stated that the Pennsylvania shooting was occurring as he was giving his speech. However, Slate makes a convincing case that it probably was over before the speech’s 11 AM start time.]
In the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook, we should be having an honest discussion about the impact on guns in our culture. But the head of the group responsible for pimping guns the hardest thinks we really just need less video games and violent media–oh, and guns in schools.
The logic goes that those of us who consume violent media are ticking timebombs, that the saturation of violence in movies, television, and video games are so numbed to the value of human life, and it’s all Hollywood’s fault. There is a valid, honest conversation about the impact of violence on the developing mind, one that’s fact and not fear-based (the majority of critical studies are, at best, inconclusive on the subject), but this particular talking point is especially onerous coming from Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association and promoter of all things gun.
As the President and lawmakers talk about drafting new legislation aimed at controlling access to guns, the NRA leader comes out swinging with attacks on the media and claims that shootings like those at Sandy Hook, at Virginia Tech, at Columbine would have been prevented if, first, kids these days didn’t sit glued to violent video games, and second, there there was an armed presence at every school in the country.
But let him speak for himself:
There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people, through vicious, violent video games with names like “Bulletstorm,” “Grand Theft Auto,” “Mortal Kombat,” and “Splatterhouse.”
it’s a deranged fantasy world where the people most responsible for enshrining the love of the gun–the speech calls for an end to Gun Free Zones legislation–are blaming everything but guns for the the numerous deaths caused by gun violence.
Meanwhile, just before the speech began, another mass shooting took place in Pennsylvania.
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