No, Virginia, not everyone who has ever played a violent video game is an assassin in training. "However, a comprehensive review of more than 381 effects from studies involving more than 130,000 participants around the world shows that violent video games increases aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiological arousal (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure), and aggressive behavior."
As researcher Brad Bushman of Ohio State University stated in a "PBS NewsHour" story on violent video games, "correlation doesn't imply causation," but the correlation is disturbing enough. Does it make sense for policy makers to go around suggesting that gun makers be held liable for school shootings, but fail to suggest the same for say, Microsoft Game Studios, which makes "Gears of War" series, spotlighted by PBS as especially bloody?
Neither gun makers nor video game makers mean for their products for mass shootings, but politicians like Obama have singled out the gun makers and gone soft on their entertainment-industry campaign donors. Somehow, Democrats isolate the inherent evil of a gun almost as if it's self-shooting, while denying our violent media has any influence on these under-21 shooters.
Even the mildest restrictions on the sales of violent video games -- like a California law forbidding minors from buying games rated M for Mature ("Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up") -- were rebuked by the Supreme Court.
In 2010, Obama appointee Elena Kagan mocked the law and the entire controversy by insisting that the game "Mortal Kombat" was "an iconic game, which I am sure half of the clerks who work for us spent considerable amounts of time in their adolescence playing." But "Mortal Kombat" was a pioneering ultraviolent game when it debuted in 1992, with scenes of decapitations, electrocution and ripping out the still-beating heart of an opponent with bare hands.
I wonder if Justice Kagan would still argue in public that these games are blameless, and the Adam Lanzas of the world are never influenced by these "iconic" works. She actually suggested, "You could look at these games and say they're the modern-day equivalent of Monopoly sets." No one ever practiced for a school shooting by buying hotels for Park Place and Boardwalk. But Kagan was hailed by USA Today's Supreme Court reporter as bringing a "practical twist" to the high court. The kids aren't playing "Monopoly" any more. Three of the four top-selling games on Amazon.com in 2012 were "Halo 4," "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" and "Assassins Creed III" -- rated M, M and M.
The people who want to conduct a Newtown "dialogue" really need to broaden their gabby horizons.