Dear Americans who think video games cause mass shootings,
Video games do cause a lot of things. They often cause us to be more isolated; they may make us more aggressive in the short-term. They definitely cause us to waste a lot of time. They sometimes cause us to eat too much and live in our moms’ basements. They may have indirectly caused my divorce. But they do not cause teenage white males to go out and shoot up their local schools.
Let’s conduct a thought experiment.
Let’s set up a hypothetical scenario with two countries, identical in all aspects, save 2 distinct differences.
Country A gives their children unlimited access to all the video games they want, whenever they want, for as long as they want. Country A has very limited access to guns with very strict regulations.
Country B loves their guns. They fetishize their guns, they ban federal funding of research on gun violence, and they have very lax gun regulations and many loopholes. Thankfully, Country B has very limited access to violent video games.
Let’s say that this hypothetical scenario runs for 5 years.
At the end of 5 years, how many young white men in Country A wandered into their local schools and shot as many of their peers as possible? How many school shootings happened in a country with very strict gun regulations but unlimited access to all of those terrible, violent video games?
How about in Country B? How many mass shootings occurred with unfettered access to all those guns, but thankfully no violent video games to stir up any aggression?
In simple terms: If Johnny can’t play video games but can play with real guns and real bullets, how many real people could he possibly shoot?
It’s time to stop debating this ridiculous myth.
Unregulated and fetishized access to guns does.