Former United States Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton posted a message defending video games on Twitter Monday after President Donald Trump and several Republicans made statements tying games to mass shooters over the weekend. Clinton, who has historically been heavily critical of the video game industry, posted that, "People play video games in virtually every other country on earth. The difference is the guns."
The message sent by Clinton's post to Twitter is clear. No country in the world experiences mass shootings at even a fraction of the rate as they occur in the United States of America. Yet video games, including violent video games, are readily available and played in quantity in virtually all countries. Modern research has even shown that violent video games can have the opposite effect, providing an outlet in replacement for risky behavior.
Clinton was responding to what appears to be a coordinated Republican message blaming video games for a recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. The shooter had mentioned Call of Duty prior to the attack. The statements come despite broad research showing that playing video games doesn't make one violent, as well as a study that showed 80% of mass shooters show no interest in video games.
Republicans that have targeted video games over the weekend include President Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and several Fox News guests. However, no specific research or evidence has been cited beyond the El Paso shooter's message. Trump's explained justification stems from a belief that video games players embrace a "culture that celebrates violence."
People suffer from mental illness in every other country on earth; people play video games in virtually every other country on earth.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 5, 2019
The difference is the guns.
Donald Trump, in a speech Monday, called for the immediate reduction or outright stop of the production of media and games that "celebrate violence." He also lobbed the idea that the mentally ill should be "involuntarily confined." So far, no legislation tied to either idea has been introduced. Democrats, alternatively, are demanding that the Senate reconvene to pass legislation expanding background checks for gun purchases.