NRA shouldn't blame violent video games for mass shootings since they released their own shooter in 2006
The old violent video games argument is back, even though studies have shown lack of proof of them causing violent behavior, with even the Supreme Court having ruled in favor of gamers in the United States. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, quoted games like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse as exposing violence to children. Yes, Mortal Kombat, a game first released in 1992 and would be considered PG-rated these days. Where was the mention of Call of Duty? Or was it omitted because that's about the military and is A-ok by NRA's standards?
Another game LaPierre failed to mention was "NRA Gun Club," a very bad PS2 title released in September 2006. Published by Crave Entertainment, it lets gamers shoot more than 100 types of firearms in shooting ranges and open environments. The game, which features a nice close-up of a gun on the cover, was rated for everyone ages 10 and up. It also includes detailed descriptions on every firearm.
Mike Marcellin, managing director of the NRA, said in a press release at the time: "In keeping with the NRA mission, this game tests marksmanship in a sporting environment and emphasizes responsible use of firearms. This is a fun and exciting game, challenging all ages and all levels of firearms proficiency."
Critics of violent video games will point out that Call of Duty and other first-person shooters teach individuals how to shoot guns. It's a ridiculous claim that I and other gamers just shake our heads at. Anyone who's played these shooters will tell you just how unrealistic they are in the first place.
Which is why I find the NRA's response to the shooting so hilarious, besides them wanting to turn every school into a prison-like setting (let's add electric fences and guard towers while we're at it). It's reeks of hypocrisy. Individuals won't become gun experts after playing NRA Gun Club, but what makes this game different from other shooters is the whole point of it is to ... actually learn about and shoot all kinds of real-life guns. If you're going to go around blaming violent video games for mass shootings, that's your right to do so. But don't blame Call of Duty, Halo or Battlefield. Blame this one!
Yes, NRA Gun Club is target shooter and you're not actually killing anyone, but in the end it's just like every other video game out there - violent or not. It's fake. It's a fantasy world we put ourselves into, just like reading a book or going to the movies. From Japan to Canada, everyone's reading, watching and playing the same things as Americans are. Yet, you hardly hear horror stories like the tragedy in Connecticut elsewhere.
I don't know the exact solution, but I'm pretty sure it involves mental health and gun regulations of some sort. I know one thing, though: It sure isn't regulating violent video games. If we keep focusing on that, the problem will never be solved.
Get even tinier thoughts at www.twitter.com/JeffHoard921.