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January 17, 2013

Obama Mostly Ignored Movies and Video Games in Gun Address

Posted in: Barack Obama

One of the aspects about President Obama’s address on guns that I don’t feel got much attention is what he didn’t say. For the most part Obama didn’t talk about violent movies, TV show,s or video games. The single reference in his entire speech to violent media was a call for some funding to study the impact of violent video games. From Obama:

And while year after year, those who oppose even modest gun safety measures have threatened to defund scientific or medical research into the causes of gun violence, I will direct the Centers for Disease Control to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce it — and Congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds.  We don’t benefit from ignorance.  We don’t benefit from not knowing the science of this epidemic of violence.

Obama didn’t even blame video games for violence he simple said it is something worth researching.

I’m happy to see that science and commonsense won out over sentimentalism or knee jerk politics. There is very little reason to think video games or movies play a significant role in the United States’ unusually high level of gun violence. The rest of the industrialized world for the most part watches the same movies and plays the same video games, yet has much lower rates of gun violence. There has also been no rise in youth violence rates as video games have become more popular.

There has often been a push by groups like the NRA to focus on video games to try to distract from the real issue, so I’m happy to the White House only gave the concept minor lip service. Obama stayed focused on gun-related solutions to a gun violence issue.


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