Dan Patrick, the Texas Lieutenant Governor has blamed video games for the recent mass shooting in a shopping mall in the city of El Paso, Texas, near the US-Mexico border. Officials have said that 20 are dead.
In an interview with Fox News, Patrick immediately condemned the attack as ‘evil’, but quickly moved focus to the video game industry. Here is what he had to say:
How long are we going to let, for example, and ignore at the federal level particularly, where they can do something about the video game industry? the country has always had guns, has always had evil, the video game industry has rapidly grown in recent years
Dan Patrick has specifically targeted the video game industry here due to a single quote the shooter had reportedly said, prior to taking out the attack. The shooter reportedly refers to a ‘super-soldier COD fantasy’, COD referring to the popular first-person shooter game Call of Duty.
Furthermore, towards the end of his interview, Patrick states that the video game industry ‘teaches young people to kill’.
Prior to this interview, Fox News interviewed former FBI agent Maureen O’Connell, and she also blamed video games for the Texas shooting.
If I were a betting man, I’d say that he probably logs 6-8 hours a day playing one of those, you know, Fortnite, or one of those video games
O’Connell would later go on to say the video games ‘dehumanizes’ victims, something the host agreed on.
President Donald Trump has also been in the headlines criticizing video games in the past. In March 2018, he met representatives from various video game companies to discuss violent content in games. This came in the wake of the president’s comments saying that video games are ‘shaping young people’s thoughts’.
At this stage, there is no evidence to suggest that playing video games can lead to increased violence or aggression.