Opinion: Video Games Versus Guns

As everyone knows, in the past few months we have heard a lot of issues about gun control and the effect guns have on society. I am pretty middle of the road to be completely honest. I'm not so sure whether or not stricter laws will help with the violence. I think if one wants to commit an act of violence, then that person will find their means to an end whether or not it's with a gun. I think the focus should be on what we can do to help people who have mental illnesses than anything else. In the past few weeks, however, it seems like the buck is being passed on to video games. We are starting to see a lot of politicians and news reporters stand up against video games as a scapegoat for the ills of society. I would be willing to hear that side of the argument more if these people were better informed about the situation, but instead they come off like ill informed morons. We have politicians and news anchors who don't know anything about the video games that they mention. A good example is CNN's Out Front host Erin Burnett who, despite having author/psychologist William Pollack on the show as an expert, doesn't care to listen to the facts given and gives this quote:

A lot of people out there now, they think this is accepted as a fact that all these violent games — and by the way they are horrifically violent — is why we are seeing this seemingly explosion in mass shootings
— Erin Burnett - Source: CNN, polygon.com

Even after Mr. Pollack said that was simply not true she still insisted that violent video games were to blame. We seem to be seeing more and more of this kind of journalism from the mainstream media where they bring experts along to give them the facts, but still want to push certain issues as if they are fact. It's this kind of bull-true attitude that makes you want to trust these media outlets less and less all the time. 

In my opinion, video games get the brunt of everything because they are the newest entertainment medium. Books, Music, Movies, and Television have all been accused of corrupting people and turning them into sociopaths and killers. Now it's time to put that focus on video games, and is it fair? No, it's not, but it was bound to happen as video games have become more mainstream, more realistic, and more popular. So, here are some of the videos that have struck a nerve with the gaming community. There is then a video about a recent Ohio State University 

Courtesy of MOX News - This is the aforementioned video about video game violence from CNN's Out Front.

Courtesy of the Daily KOS - This is U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander talking about how video games are more harmful to us than guns. Note that he is also a member of the NRA, and then wonder why he wants to take the focus away from guns.

Courtesy of NBC4i News - This is a video about one of the latest studies of video games causing aggression over time.

Now, there are merits on both sides of the equation, but I think what it comes down to is the mental states of the people involved in the heinous acts that we have seen an uptick in recently. This has led to a lot of politicians wishing to pass bills that may effect the sale of video games. Bills which always fail and cost a lot of tax dollars fighting to get them passed as video games are protected under our first amendment. Now,a Missouri politician is trying to get a 1% sin tax passed on the sale of violent video games. 

Oddly enough, I am not completely opposed to a tax such as that on the sale of violent video games if the money received from said tax went to the right place. I think that something like that could easily be put into programs to help those with mental illnesses or help those who may not know they have a mental illness gain awareness. I am in no way saying that video games are the cause for mental illness, but we don't really know how they would affect someone who already has it. Something like this could actually be good, if used in the right places.

I think the best argument that has come out was by Adam Sessler on Fox News. Check it out here.

Adam made a great point that the biggest misnomer when it comes to video games is that they are not made for kids. 

Now here are some articles on the positive effects that video games can have.

I personally use video games as a way to get rid of aggression so that I don't use violence in a real world setting. I play a lot of violent video games, and I have never even been in a physical confrontation in my life let alone been tempted to create any sort of real world violence. I am actually very positive about most things in life. However, I do know that games can impact different people in different ways. So, now that I've given you some information, go out and form your own opinion. 

The above article was written by Trevor Osz for SpiderduckNetwork.com. You can follow him on Twitter by hitting the button above, or you can comment at the bottom of the article here to start the conversation!