The Obama administration's assault on the Second Amendment in reaction to Newtown is not a serious solution. It's a Band-Aid on cancer. The NRA's call for armed guards in every school also misses the point. When is anyone going to get serious? The problem is violence, a violence of monstrous and horrific proportions that has infected America's popular culture.
The Hartford Courant reported on Sunday that during a search of Newtown grade-school killer Adam Lanza's home after the shootings, "police found thousands of dollars worth of graphically violent video games." Detectives are exploring whether Adam Lanza might have been emulating the shooting range or a video game scenario as he moved from room to room at Sandy Hook Elementary.
In California, 20-year-old Ali Syed went on a carjacking and shooting rampage, killing three before turning the gun on himself. Syed was a loner and a "gamer" who spent hours holed up in his room, Orange County authorities said. "He took one class at college, and he did not work, so that gives him most of the day and evening, and most of the time in his free time he was playing video games," reported county sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.
After Newtown, President Obama and other officials insisted the country needed a "dialogue" about "gun violence," but there's been remarkably little exploration of the role of video games and even less of movie and TV violence.
Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia requested a study from the National Science Foundation and was disappointed that Obama's State of the Union only focused on gun control. "While I recognize the potential constitutional issues involved in tackling media violence, mental health parity and gun control, I am disappointed that mental health issues and media violence were left out of the president's address," Wolf said.
The NSF report acknowledged that a link between violent media and real-world violence can be contentious, but explained, "Anders Breivik, who murdered 69 youth in Norway, claims he used the video game 'Modern Warfare 2' as a military simulator to help him practice shooting people. Similarly, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who murdered 13 fellow students in Colorado, claimed they used the violent video game 'Doom' to practice their shooting rampage."