Following a weekend that saw two mass shootings result in the deaths of at least 31 innocent people, President Trump has cited “glorification of violence” in video games as one of the forces behind mass shootings.
Speaking at the White House on Monday morning, President Trump cited video games as one of the reasons behind the “glorification of violence in our society”:
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace,” President Trump said on Monday.
“It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately.”
The comments follow two mass shootings over the weekend — one in Dayton, Ohio, and the other in El, Paso, Texas — that were carried out using assault-style weapons.
This is not the first time that President Trump has mentioned video games — which exist in every other developed nation in the world — when discussing gun violence in the United States.
Following the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018, President Trump was quoted as saying “I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts” when speaking to Florida’s attorney general.
Antithetical to President Trump’s remarks, a study released in February 2019 found that “violent video game engagement is not associated with adolescents’ aggressive behavior.”
“There was no evidence for a critical tipping point relating violent game engagement to aggressive behavior,” the study — published in The Royal Society Open Science Journal by Andrew Przybylski and Netta Weinstein — explains.
Speaking to Sky News, lead researcher Andrew Przybylski said that while the notion “that violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one”, it has not “tested very well over time.”
“Despite interest in the topic by parents and policy-makers, the research has not demonstrated that there is cause for concern,” Przybylski said.
While President Trump was sure to “condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy” during his remarks, he did not offer support to the gun control measures that have been proposed in Congress and said “mental illness and hate pull the trigger, not the gun.”