The National Rifle Association just held one of the most bizarre press conferences in the wake of the school shooting which took place last week in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
The press conference seemed to ignore all the facts we know about the event and proposed, unironically, that more guns as a solution to gun violence. Even a satirical newspaper like The Onion would have a hard time making this up.
Shockingly, the NRA went on to blame videogames, instead of guns, for sparking the violence at Sandy Hook and previous public shootings. The organization's spokesperson Wayne LaPierre pointed his finger at videogame developers for the tragedy, rather than at the arms manufacturers whose guns allowed it to happen.
"There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people," said LaPierre at the press conference. "Through vicious violent video games, with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here's one: It's called Kindergarten Killers. It's been online for 10 years. How come my research staff can find it, and all yours couldn't, or didn't want anyone to know you've found it?"
For a fact, he blamed Mortal Kombat—a 20 year old game with no guns in it—for the school shooting. It should be pointed out that the only character with access to guns in the fighting game series is Stryker, a cop—one of the 'good guys'—whom the NRA later proposed should walk the hallways of public schools.
As if on script, LaPierre extended the blame to violent films like the decade-old American Psycho, and the much older Natural Born Killers. Interestingly, both films are satires—critiques of the violent, masculine ideals that permeate throughout popular culture. The films do little to glorify violence.
"We have bloodsoaked films out there like American Psycho, Natural Born Killers, they're aired on propaganda loops called Splatterdays, and every single day. A thousand music videos portray life as a joke, portray murder as a way of life, and then have the nerve to call it entertainment.
"Isn't fantasizing about killing people to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography," LaPierre added, with no apparent understanding of the media.
Rather than address the ease of availability to firearms or answer journalists' questions about how the NRA planned to arm schoolteachers and police officers with a new mandate, LaPierre went on to hold the game and movie industries responsible for "inviting reckless behavior, criminal cruelty into our homes."
LaPierre also proposed the creation of a database for the mentally ill. "A dozen more killers? A hundred? More? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation's refusal to create an activenational database of the mentally ill?"
The full transcript of the NRA presser can be found here.
LaPierre's words come in the wake of similar statements by Senator Joe Manchin, who called for the ban of GTA 5, and Senator Jay Rockefeller, who wants to introduce a study on the impact of violent games.
Their reasoning that videogames are the cause of all school shootings flies in the face of reason—so much so that even conservative outlets like the National Review dispute the idea that games are to blame.