Neil McCabe

Bushman was an interesting choice because he is the same man, who in 2006 authored a study published in the journal Psychology Science “When God Sanctions Killing: Effect of scriptural violence on aggression.”

The professor wrote then: “People who believe that God sanctions violence are more likely than others to behave aggressively themselves.”

The Bible’s effect was not confined to believers either.

“We found compelling evidence that exposure to a scriptural depiction of violence or to violence authorized by deity can cause readers to behave more aggressively,” he wrote. “Even among our participants who were not religiously devout, exposure to God-sanctioned violence increased subsequent aggression.”

How do you regulate video games and not censure the Bible for the same reasons?

Wolf is silent on what Bushman called “the insidious power of exposure to literary scriptural violence,” but he is not shy about the dangers of video games.

“In addition to Lanza, there has been evidence that violent video games played a role in the lives of other mass shooters, including Anders Breivik, the Norwegian who shot 69 people at a youth camp in 2011, and Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the shooters at Columbine High School in 1999,” Wolf said.

Of course, after Columbine, Wolf was one of the Republicans who worked unsuccessfully to restrict gun rights.

Regulating video games speaks to a tendency by liberals to blame influences, not people—and it strikes at the heart of democracy. If video games, or the Bible for that matter, are to blame for an individual’s acts, we are on the path leading us away from government by the people.

In the end, studying, then regulating video games is a fool’s mission to understand the rationale of madness. It is a virtual dog chasing his virtual tail. The best defense against a spree shooter is an armed citizenry—regardless of why he goes on his spree.


Neil McCabe

Neil W. McCabe is a journalist working in Washington. He was a senior reporter for the Human Events newspaper and for many years a reporter for The Pilot, Boston's Catholic paper. In 2009, he deployed to Iraq with the Army as a combat historian for 15 months.