NRA’s scapegoating tactics: an attempt to clear the deck for THEIR video game?

In a move I can only characterize as rank unvarnished hypocrisy, the National Rifle Association has just released a gun range game where you can shoot at “coffin-shaped” human silhouette targets. The ink isn’t even dry on reporters’ dutiful relaying of the NRA’s last attempt to blame video games for the Sandy Hook shooting, and the game-burning fires are barely quenched, and there they are, releasing a video game of their very own!

NRA Practice Range for iOS screenshot
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A good old fashioned book burning, updated for the modern age.

Thirty miles south of Newtown, Connecticut, in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, a tiny township called Southington is preparing to deal with the aftermath of said shooting and end the scourge of violence among youths by… you guessed it… amassing, destroying and burning violent video games.

Following the shooting, Southington School superintendent Joe Erardi said that he was flooded with emails from concerned parents asking what could be done to help both the nearby Newtown community and their own.

“What happened in our community, very similar to communities across the world, is everyone wanted to do something for Newtown,” he said. The SOS “convened and we looked at how do we continue to pray and support Newtown and how do we do something perhaps meaningful for Newtown and our own community.”

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A culture of scapegoating and responsibility-dodging

Surprising absolutely nobody, in the wake of Sandy Hook’s shooting, the American congress is swinging into rapid and decisive action… against video games. Cenk Uygur on The Young Turks sums it up nicely:

What’s more is, the narrative against video games appears to have been set well before there was any proof that the shooter, Adam Lanza, was a gamer. It was set, in fact, when reporters misreported the shooter as a Ryan Lanza, the name of Adam’s brother. People found a Ryan Lanza’s Facebook profile, though it might still have been an entirely unrelated Ryan; they noticed that he had Liked the page for Mass Effect, and Mass Effect became the first scapegoat for the shootings.
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