Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is not worried about video games when it comes to gun violence. She is, though, concerned about illegal weapons on the street. Senator Gillibrand, in an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, noted that mental health and violent video games are already part of the gun debate in Congress.
She stated that “Well, it’s something that we’re working on and there’s a number of bipartisan bills already on mental health and on video games, and I think those also can be part of the debate. I think it’s a comprehensive approach where you look at all of the, perhaps, aspects that affect violence, violent crime and perhaps can reduce gun death if we change the laws and change the playing field.”
Still, video games are not a priority for her. She is more worried about gun trafficking stating video games are “not my gravest concern in New York state. My concern in New York state is trafficking because if nine out of 10 of the weapons used in crimes are illegally brought by a straw purchaser directly to a criminal, creating a massive criminal network, that’s what I’m really worried about. I’m not worried about video games. That’s not my area of focus. My area of focus is getting the illegal guns off the street.”
The gun industry has tried very hard, along with Republicans, to shift the onus of blame for various mass shootings onto mental health and violence in entertainment. In February, a PPP poll found that 67% of Republicans across the US think that video games play a larger part in these shootings than guns.
However, studies have shown that violent video games actually have a calming effect on most people. What the studies have found is that violent video games tend to provide an outlet for violent thoughts and feelings rather than reinforce them. The caveat is, though, for the average person. For someone who is psychotic or sociopathic, the games might simply reinforce the violent tendencies.
Oddly enough, it seems like the only people who actually have honest and open discussions about gun regulations tend to be the comedians. Recently, two authors at Cracked actually posted a well thought out discussion about guns. In their article they actually noted that gun manufacturers actually benefit from the violent video games that are sold, and that there really is no pattern to any of the mass shootings that occur.
Why is it that we always seem to turn to our comedians for the honest discussions?