There are moments in everyone’s life where something bad happens and you get blamed for it. Someway, somehow you ended up taking the shit storm that enveloped said event. Sometimes these moments are not really your fault, it may even be a situation where you were not directly, or indirectly involved. However, rightly or wrongly, you are blamed for what happened.
It is at these moments that your character will be tested. Of course, the easy thing to do would be to pass the buck, blame someone, anyone else for what was wrong. But that wouldn’t be the right thing to do.
Today the National Rifle Association made a statement on the Sandy Hook massacre and they took the easy way out. Instead of standing up for their cause, they cowered beneath its weight and blamed movies, music videos, and video games for why this happened and continues to happen in our country, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. And they blamed the government for failing to make a national database of the mentally ill.
They identified the issue of mental illness and called those that commit heinous acts like these monsters, which is a fair assessment of the perpetrators of these sorts of atrocities. But instead of offering a solution to counteract the root causes of these massacres and using their grand soapbox as a platform to call for real change in regards to dealing with mental health, the NRA proposes armed guards to stand over our schools to protect our children should this happen again.
The NRA’s logic is that if there are people to protect our children it will deter these monsters from attacking there. I disagree. The big problem with the NRA’s “solution” is that it is re-active instead of preventative. They aren’t proposing a solution that stops these awful encounters from happening; they are at best only limiting the damage to be done. One death, even if it is the life of one of these disturbed individuals, is one too many. And at worst they are actively encouraging future perpetrators of these crimes to be more creative during their planning process and to come better prepared.
However, ill-conceived solutions aside, my issue with the NRA is that instead of pinning the blame on the individuals that used a gun to commit these crimes, they attempt to shift focus from the gun to other aspects of our culture. They blame games, movies, and music for these heinous actions. How is that any better than someone laying blame on guns? The NRA is doing exactly the same thing they claim others do to them: pointing fingers at things that aren’t really the problem. And in many ways, that makes them worse than those of us quick to point a finger at guns. Last I checked there were no mass killings that involved CDs, DVDs or game discs being tossed at people. Maybe I’ve been reading things wrong.
The NRA could have done the right thing here, proclaiming that yes, indeed, guns were used in this tragedy but they were used outside the bounds of the law and that is wrong. Instead it passed the buck, laying blame at everyone else’s feet. It’s the fault of our degenerate society that plays games like “Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse”, or watches movies like “American Psycho and Natural Born Killers”. So I guess it’s my fault.
Whatever, I’ll take it on. At least I’m not hiding behind my guns. Call me the next time someone playing Halo kills some people and we’ll talk. I’m willing to discuss the role that video games play in tragedies such as this honestly. You won’t see me use the line, “It’s time for an honest discussion” and follow it with a refusal to answer any questions. Because, despite not having any guns, unlike the head of the NRA, I’m not a coward.