It didn’t take long after the initial shock wore off for people to wonder whom to blame for the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. We had a name, and then a photo of the shooter, but his death by his own weapon, coupled with a lack of information and a clear motive, left many wanting another target for their anger: guns, mental illness, an absence of God, violent movies or maybe video games. Many soon settled on the NRA as a suitable substitute.
In this morning’s presser, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre wasn’t willing to accept that role, deflecting blame on the media and entertainment industry. Obama advisor David Axelrod took an early swipe at video games and their role in our culture, and gamers made it clear they wouldn’t be associated with gun violence. LaPierre’s statement met with a similar response.
Fuck the NRA. They could have just supported the Second Amendment; instead they pointed a finger at the First. Cowards.
— chrisberez (@chrisberez) December 21, 2012
LaPierre called out a handful of violent games, from mainstream hits like “Grand Theft Auto” to the obscure Flash game “Kindergarten Killer.”
Wayne LaPierre rips media for ignoring video game online called “kindergarten killers”
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) December 21, 2012
NRA blasts violent video games as the problem!
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) December 21, 2012
Both NRA opponents and supporters were unconvinced by the supposed link between video game violence and school shootings.
Violent video games? Come the eff on!
— Chris Barron (@ChrisRBarron) December 21, 2012
i was all in with LaPierre until this video game nonsense.
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) December 21, 2012
Leave video games alone, omg. #NRA
— Brandon Kiser (@Kiser) December 21, 2012
Not really thrilled the NRA is going after video games.
— Redness (@maryclimer) December 21, 2012
i’ve played video games, watched lots of movies. i’ve also been military, know how to use a variety of weapons. do i kill? no. #nra excuses.
— Michael Mosgrove (@irishpoet48) December 21, 2012
Right about the media, but blaming video games and movies is almost as dumb as blaming guns for violence.
— AG (D) (@AG_Conservative) December 21, 2012
Dear NRA, if getting rid of guns doesn’t stop gun violence, what makes you think getting rid of video games would? Ugh.
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) December 21, 2012
Instinct to ban violent movies/video games is like the instinct to ban guns. Doesn’t address the real problem & punishes the law-abiding.
— Jedediah Bila (@JedediahBila) December 21, 2012
Does LaPierre think that video games are more to blame than the NRA’s buying off of politicians? This man is devious and diabolical.
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) December 21, 2012
NRA logic: kids play too many video games with guns in them. We need more guns in every school
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) December 21, 2012
I love the NRA but they need to relax on blaming video games. Thats an idiotic statement. Blame the people who kill. Period.
— Josh C (@joshc333) December 21, 2012
I realize the point he was trying to make, but let families pick RT @drewmtips: NRA: Guns don’t kill people, video games do! Come on guys.
— Eye Desert (@EyeDesertBlog) December 21, 2012
@chriswarcraft as an NRA member, I thought LaPierre’s anti-video games and movies comments were awful and embarrassing.
— Nicholas Sarwark (@nsarwark) December 22, 2012
@notjackkemp I just know its not the effing video games or movies. If I was an NRA member I would be calling for Wayne Lapierre’s job
— Brad Calhoun (@Bradcalhoun) December 22, 2012
Hey NRA, I play video games. In the wrong hands your hobby kills people. In the wrong hands my hobby is mistaken for a remote by old people.
— Dave Columbo (@DavidColumbo) December 22, 2012
Oh no I’ve played Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse, shit are my family safe around meFuck you @nra
— Martin (@Jennorocks) December 21, 2012
— derrickgott (@derrickgott007) December 21, 2012
Not everyone was so quick to dismiss a connection between games and violence in American culture.
Thank you NRA for going after violent video games. Media isn’t talking about it, but it’s a problem. It’s corruption, not “entertainment.”
— Demetrius Minor (@dminor85) December 21, 2012
For now, though, the NRA seems to have few allies in its crusade against violent entertainment, and this morning’s presser might have cost it the support of those who enjoy shooting firearms, even if they’re virtual ones.