When tragic mass shootings happen, it is impossible not to ask the question of why such things happen. What could lead a young person to be so depraved, and what can we do about it? I don’t think that a depravity this deep can be reduced to a single cause, but we should leave no stone unturned as we track down what might have contributed to these tragedies. Pigeonholing the entire national conversation into a debate about guns is a terrible mistake. Yet, the mainstream media remains laser-focused on firearms, ignoring a multi-billion-dollar industry influencing the young men of America in a terrible way.
A classmate observed that the Buffalo grocery-store mass murderer “was definitely into video games – shooter games.” A British tabloid reported this truth about the tragic massacre, while liberal American media hid this crucial detail from their one-sided accounts. Classmates confirm his devotion to online streaming video games, but internet trolls quickly shouted down anyone suggesting this link. Even a former lineman for the Green Bay Packers was forced to delete a tweet pointing out the obvious similarity between what happened in Buffalo and the shooter video games.
In a rare split a decade ago between Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito, Scalia held that violent video games are free speech fully protected by the First Amendment. Only two members of that 5-4 majority creating this constitutional right remain on the court, one of whom, Elena Kagan, has since publicly doubted her support of that bad decision. Justice Alito, who reportedly wrote the strong first draft to overturn Roe v. Wade in the pending abortion case, did not endorse a First Amendment right to train teenage boys to maim and kill, as many video games do. Neither did Justices Thomas and Roberts, and they would likely rein in the exploitation by the $60 billion video game industry.
Violent video games may not be the only cause of mass shootings by deranged boys and young men, but we can’t afford not to talk about what the video game industry is doing to the brains of our youth. Parents should take note and act accordingly.