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Should We Blame Video Games for Massive Shooting Incident in US?

By Muhammad Bilal Syahrir

Should Video Games take The Blame for the Massive Shooting Incident in the US? We try to answer.


Recently, we were shredded to tears when an unwanted incident happened in Parkland, Florida. Political figures of the United States are blaming video games. But the question is: should we blame video games for the massive shooting incident in the US? We try to answer.

On February 14, 2018, a shooting incident happened at Stoneman Douglas High School. Seventeen people were killed and fourteen others were wounded. For the past couple days, protests were calling the Florida Government to prohibit gun ownership.

US Politicians Blaming Video Games for the Incident

Source: Vanityfair

Interestingly enough, Kentucky governor, Matt Bevin stated that the major problem of the shooting was because of video games. Bevin stated that there was a cultural problem in America.

He also added:

There are video games that, yes, are listed for mature audiences, but kids play them and everybody knows it, and there’s nothing to prevent the child from playing them. They celebrate the slaughtering of people. There are games that literally replicate and give people the ability to score points for doing the very same thing that these students are doing inside of schools, where you get extra points for finishing someone off who’s lying there begging for their life.

Not only Bevin, another important political figure, Donald Trump, who we all know, as the president of the US, agreed to what Bevin stated.  Trump stated during a meeting in the White House:

We have to do something about what [kids are] seeing and how they’re seeing it and also video games. I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is shaping more and more people’s thoughts.

CNN, a US media reached out to an unnamed student for Stoneman Douglas High School, his reaction was that the president’s statement was a “really pathetic excuse”. The student was also a video game player. He played shooting games such as Call of Duty but said that he would never do such a thing.

Gun Violence in the US

Source: RTE

There are a lot of cases in the US where people use a firearm to massacre others. But some cases are because of “terrorist” or personal reasons. Not all cases such as the shooting in Las Vegas in October of last year to be considered caused by video games.

Even today, there is no valid data regarding how many people were influenced by violent games. However, there is data that shows gun deaths in relation to the total video games revenue:

The graphic above from The Washington Post shows that even if violence games are the problem, it’s only in the US. As we can see, the total number of deaths in the US is, indeed, in accordance with the number of sales. However, the same thing does not happen in Brasil where deaths caused by guns are higher, and yet the games’ revenue is much lower than in the US. Interestingly, the number of deaths by firearm is found much lower in China where citizens are prohibited to own guns, and yet the game revenue is the highest among the three counties.

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Gun Regulation in the US

Source: Business Insider

In the US, gun laws vary from each state. In Florida, for example, is not as strict as in New York. Florida does not require fingerprints, special permits, or even a waiting period to buy the gun. In Virginia, you can walk out a gun store and own a gun in just 15 minutes of a process.

According to Business Insider, only 8 states, including California and Rhode Island impose waiting periods for the purchase of some or all firearms. Which makes these states the most strict states to own a gun.

To find more insight regarding video games as the blame for the illegal shooting, you can check the next page.

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