President Donald Trump had an opportunity to offer a stand on the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend. Instead, the President has gone on record to finger video games as the cause yet again.
In the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend in the US, which together left more than 30 people dead and over 50 injured, President Trump has blamed social media, mental illness, and video games for the numbers of similar tragedies that have gripped the country in recent months and years.
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” the president said. “This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately.”
Trump proposes working with social media companies to "detect mass shooters before they strike," and demands regulation of violent video games. pic.twitter.com/888s3deoqr
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 5, 2019
Just last year, Trump pointed the finger at video games following the Parkland, Florida shootings. A meeting at the White House with gaming executives proved to be bizarre, unhelpful, and unable to prevent future tragedies.
The problem here isn’t video games or the video game industry. The problem that Trump should address is mental health and the weak gun laws this country possesses.
In the United States, there have been more shootings in 2019 than days in the year. It’s a uniquely American problem with a death count that pales in comparison to other countries. Focusing attention on games as a source is once again leaving room to ignore the real issues that lead to mass shootings: radicalization, mental health, and lack of gun control. It’s a distraction — a deadly one that will cost more lives when the next shooting happens.