An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
MORE MASS SHOOTINGS, so common place nowadays, took a terrible toll on the weekend.
There were some gun incidents in Canada but in the U.S., 22 are dead in an El Paso Walmart. Ten dead in Dayton, Ohio.
Where does Donald Trump place blame for this? Video games and mental illness.
So, the solution must be to take away video games — at least the ones involving the violent use of guns. Heaven forbid we should take away the guns themselves — the weapons actually used in the kilings.
Video games have been a scapegoat for gun protectionists for years. The theory goes that exposure to games of war in particular make the player aggressive towards others and more likely to commit violent crimes.
Yet studies have consistently discredited this notion; some have even shown that games involving guns and violence make players less likely to be violent themselves because they understand the real-life consequences of gun violence and stick to “pretend.”
Considering the millions of these video games sold around the world, one would think there would be mass shootings everywhere, yet most happen in the U.S.
There’s a much more likely connection to lax gun laws that allow the legal acquisition of assault rifles.
As for mental health, it’s true these horrific mass shootings are sometimes carried out by nutbars who have lost the capacity to tell right from wrong. But generalizations are a disservice to the millions who suffer from mental health issues and who bravely live with those illnesses and live productive, non-violent lives.
Racism, white supremacy and hatred are not necessarily connected to mental illness.
Blaming video games and mental illness is nothing more than a sorry excuse for not dealing with the real causes of gun violence.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.