US Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee thinks that video games represent a bigger danger to our society than guns.
“I think video games is a bigger problem than guns, because video games affect people,” he told MSNBC host Chuck Todd. “But the First Amendment limits what we can do about video games and the Second Amendment to the Constitution limits what we can do about guns.”
Well, darn that First Amendment. Recklessly defending our creative rights like that.
Predictably, Alexander’s perspective has earned him almost overwhelming backlash as of this writing. Everyone from Daily Kos to Kotaku has stepped up to remind the public that there’s no link between violent behavior in real life and violent video games, TV programs, or movies.
“Supposedly, he’s one of the brightest bulbs in the Senate Republican conference,” Jed Lewison deadpans. “I don’t care what you think think we need to do about improving gun control, you at least have to admit this: the opponents of gun control routinely say the stupidest things on Earth.”
“Once again, this is an actual US senator. An actual senator from the United States. That was elected to an office,” an incredulous Jason Schreier wrote. “This is a person who has a significant amount of power in this country, and he believes that video games are a bigger problem than guns.”
Indeed, defenses of the Second Amendment like Alexander’s are starting to sound more and more ridiculous, even among those who believe that the government shouldn’t set any limitations on the types of guns Americans can own. Once again, studies have shown that there’s just no link between violence in video games or other venues of entertainment and real-life violence. It just isn’t there.
But what do you think? Do video games cause violence?