Last week, West Virginia senator Jack Rockefeller put forward a bill that, if passed, would result in the National Academy of the Sciences (NAS) investigating the effects violent video games have on young children.
Rockefeller’s motivation for proposing the bill: the recent Sandy Hook, Connecticut, school shooting.
Now, the National Rifle Association is jumping on the bandwagon. Late last week, NRA vice president Wayne LaPierre told reporters he felt that violent games like Bulletstorm and Mortal Kombat (the eternal scapegoat for politicians) shared some responsibility for the December 14 massacre.
That suggestion has left California senator Leland Yee outraged. Yee says he feels like LaPierre’s comment is designed merely to “pass the buck.”
“More guns are not the answer to protecting our children, as evident by the fact that armed guards weren’t enough to stop the tragedy at Columbine High School,” Yee said. “The NRA’s response is pathetic and completely unacceptable.”
Yee, it should be noted, is no great defender of video games. The senator previously brought forward legislation designed to block California retailers from selling games to minors.
That bill was eventually defeated by the Supreme Court. Yee is upset that the NRA didn’t come forward to support it and is only now suggesting that violent games are a problem.
Both the NRA and politicians like Yee and Rockefeller are putting up smokescreens. No matter how violent a video game is, it’s really, really hard to kill someone with a game cartridge or disc.