During a meeting at the White House, U.S. President Donald Trump (R) discussed various methods to improve school safety. This meeting follows the recent Parkland shooting that claimed 17 lives, and in this meeting, President Trump also suggested that video games are somewhat responsible for mass shootings. It is noteworthy that Trump is not the first Republican to make such suggestions.
His comments follow Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R), who believes that violent video games “celebrate the slaughter of people.” Both of these politicians believe that video game violence is partly responsible for mass shootings, despite contrary evidence. Recent studies suggest that 70% of high schoolers play video games, whereas only 20% of school shooters have.
Nevertheless, President Trump made the following statement during the meeting:
“We have to look at the internet, because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds, and their minds are being formed, and we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it. And also video games. I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts. And you go one further step and that’s the movies. You see these movies, and they’re so violent, a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved, but killing is involved, and maybe we need to put a rating system for that.”
Speaking of rating systems, Rhode Island House of Representatives Robert Nardolillo (R) has recently proposed a tax increase on video games with an ESRB rating of Mature or higher. Although President Trump does not mention from whom he hears that video game is violence is shaping “young people’s thoughts,” it would seem that Gov. Bevin and Rep. Nardolillo are at the top of that list.
At meeting on school safety, President Trump says violence in video games and movies is responsible for shaping young people’s thoughts: “We have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing” https://t.co/VfXvVkwQmq pic.twitter.com/vbt2t0dhtm— CNN (@CNN) February 22, 2018
Perhaps, at some point on this discussion about violence and video games, stricter laws will be set for controlling the purchase of video games. There's no doubt the conversation has only just begun and there will be arguments made from both sides, but some would argue there are bigger issues to tackle ahead of video game violence.