Texas senator Ted Cruz speaks at the NRA convention in Houston, Texas, blaming video games and other factors for mass shootings.
The United States has suffered multiple mass shootings this past month. On May 14, a mass shooting in Buffalo, NY saw 10 people killed by an 18-year-old gunman whose manifesto suggests that the attack was fueled by white supremacy and far-right conspiracy theories. Then on May 24, an 18-year-old killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas. These horrific acts have reignited the debate about gun control in America. Despite this, the National Rifle Association is hosting its annual convention in Houston, Texas, where politicians are giving speeches, including Texas senator Ted Cruz.
During his speech at the NRA convention, Ted Cruz suggested that mass shootings in the US are a result of issues like people playing violent video games and not going to church. He said that a combination of those two factors and others have an impact on young Americans. “Tragedies like the events of this week are a mirror forcing us to ask hard questions, demanding that we see where our culture is failing. Looking at broken families, absent fathers, declining church attendance, social media bullying, violent online content, desensitizing the act of murder in video games, chronic isolation, prescription drug and opioid abuse, and their collective effects on the psyche of young Americans,” Cruz said. Those in attendance applauded Cruz after his remark about video games.
Cruz’s comments are not being received well online, especially since the Texas elementary school shooting happened mere days ago, Cruz is a senator representing the state, and the NRA convention is taking place in Houston.
It stands to reason that broken families, bullying, and drug abuse could potentially lead someone to commit an act of violence, but Ted Cruz lumping video games into the mix is head-scratching when looking at the facts. The fact is the United States is the only country where mass shootings like this are a regular problem, yet violent video games are readily available across the globe. The United States is not the only country that has troubled individuals who commit heinous crimes, but it is the only one where mass shootings like this happen at the rate that they do.
Whenever a mass shooting occurs, there are those who attempt to pin the blame on violent video games. In its reporting after the Buffalo shooting, Fox News suggested that mass shootings have gotten worse as video games have gotten more violent, while politicians from both parties have blamed video games for mass shootings at one point or another.
Numerous studies have been done on a possible connection between video game violence and real world violence, often showing no direct link.
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