With yesterday's shooting at Virginia Tech grabbing headlines and the flood of theories as to why Cho Seung Hui killed 33 people bringing the agenda-driven rats from the rising sewers, you might be surprised at what talk show host Rush Limbaugh, so called America's Truth Detector, had to say about the topic of videogame violence.
In response to a caller providing his own theory on the shooting, Rush warns his listeners of the self-serving proselytizing from the media and other videogame demonizing leeches.
CALLER: What I really think is an issue is video violence, video gaming. I will guarantee you, I'll bet my last dollar in my pocket, that this shooter will be found to have been a compulsive video gamer, and when people are living that kind of lifestyle -- and college students do this a lot.
RUSH: (sigh) Let's say you're right. Not every video gamer goes out and murders 33 people on the college campus though. There's more to this than that. We can find all kinds of societal problems and ills, but the fact of the matter is that whatever you would look at as a bad influence -- video games as you mentioned -- it may desensitize people, but it doesn't turn everybody into mass murderers.
The unusually refreshing logic from Rush doesn't end there, however.
I know it's natural that everybody wants to throw their theories into this, and perhaps come up with perhaps a unique explanation or to understand, and I think it's natural, because people have a tough time accepting a relatively simple explanation for something of this scale. But how many people are playing video games out there? How many millions of people play video games, and how many millions of people have guns?
If you start blaming the video games, you may as well demand video game control because it's the same thing when you start trying to blame guns for this. You have here a sick individual, an evil individual who committed a random act. But if you want to start blaming the video games, this guy was this or that, weeeeell, then you've gotta maybe talk about banning them because that's the same tack that's taken with guns. You got one guy who used a gun that's it. You're falling prey to the same way the Drive-Bys propagandize, and that's, 'Well, we need gun control! We gotta get guns out of the hands of people.'
Rush rounds up his argument by issuing the following concern to avoid knee-jerk reactions from those hoping to profit from the tragedy.
So you gotta be real careful here not to paint with broad brushes on these things. You gotta be very careful not to plug this into your own individual political prism, because then you become no different than what the Drive-Bys are doing. If you just wait, eventually we'll find out more than we want to know about this guy, and you're going to have to listen to what's reported about this guy with keen ears, and you're going to have to read with sharp eyes out there, because the Drive-Bys are going to report about this guy in ways that will advance their political agenda because that's what this story is to them.
You can read the full transcript of the show at Rush's official site to get more context, but I've tried to make it as clear as possible without cutting and pasting the entire thing. What do you guys think? Is Rush on the right track?
Personally, I feel that the industry should continue to improve its efforts to keep violent games out of childrens hands, but there's no way to keep violent content, whether in print, on film, or digitized on a disc, out of the hands of psychopaths. And there are no easy answers for something like this, despite what some people will do to convince the uninformed otherwise.
Thanks for the heads up, Matt.
Callers Propose Multiple Theories [Rush Limbaugh]