Don’t Blame Violent Entertainment for Sandy Hook Massacre

Since the tragedy at Newtown, while pundits on the left have been blaming guns, pundits on the right have been busy blaming the culture, particularily violent movies and video games.

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre was quick to comdemn violent entertainment, calling violent films the “filthiest form of pornography.” Meanwhile, Republican politicians are once again trying to regulate video game sales.

While it’s stupid to blame guns for massacres like the one at Newtown, it’s equally stupid to blame violent entertainment. There are thousands of Americans, including myself, who watch violent movies or play violent video games and never go on to commit an act of real-life violence.

If there is a connection between watching violent entertainment and committing acts of violence, it is far too tenuous to merit any serious changes in the industry (or, god forbid, censorship).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the blame for these massacres lies only with the shooters themselves. Now, reasonable people can disagree over how culpable individuals like James Holmes or Adam Lanza are for their actions, but, nevertheless, if the blame lies anywhere, it lies with them–not with the movies they may have watched or the video games they may have played.

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