An 8-year-old boy shots his 87-year-old "caregiver" in the head, and the story on the front page of a major American news distributor, CNN, devotes this much space to the real question:
"Where did she have the gun? Where was it placed? Was it in his eyesight? That's what kind of thoughts are going through my head," Johnnie Smith told WBRZ.
And this much space is devoted to this nonsense:
"Although a motive for the shooting is unknown at this time investigators have learned that the juvenile suspect was playing a video game on the Play Station III 'Grand Theft Auto IV', a realistic game that has been associated with encouraging violence and awards points to players for killing people, just minutes before the homicide occurred."
Violence in video games
There has long been a debate about whether virtual violence in video games leads to actual violence, and it's become more heated since 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. Like many young males who went on shooting rampages in the past, the shooter, Adam Lanza, was reportedly obsessed with violent video games.
Is media violence damaging to kids?
Speaking soon after the shootings at Sandy Hook, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who led his state through grieving after a mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, speculated that there was a connection.
"There might well be some direct connection between people who have some mental instability and when they go over the edge — they transport themselves, they become part of one of those video games," Hickenlooper said on CNN's "State of the Union." "Perhaps that's why all these assault weapons are used."
A month after the Sandy Hook shooting, John Riccitiello, president and CEO of the video game maker Electronic Arts, said in a conference call with bank analysts there wasn't a connection, but the industry faces a "perception issue," the BBC reported.
Vice President Joe Biden, who is heading an inquiry into the causes of gun violence, has floated the idea of taxing violent games and sending proceeds to help victims and their families, Forbes.com reported.
Studies by reputable academic and medical sources have come to a variety of conclusions over the years. The Obama administration called for more research into the connection following the Sandy Hook shooting.
No mention of the GOP or NRA or gun industry. Instead, the reporter points out that major Dems do indeed recognize that video games might actually contribute to America's unusually high rate of gun violence. This is nothing but what the economist Philip Mirowski calls "agnotolgy," which is the "intentional manufacturing of doubt." Is the problem easy access to guns? Or could it be violent video games? The Dems are for gun control (and they have a large body evidence to justify their position), but CNN states right here that those on the left do consider video games as a real (and possibly central) part of the problem. Agnotolgy doing its work.
The question to ask is this: Who benefits from this uncertainty? Mainly, of course, the GOP. Agnotolgy is found in such obvious issues as climate change and government spending. These clear matters are deliberately thrown into confusion (humans may have nothing to do with rising global temperatures; the economy might be burdened by food stamps) by those whose political positions are supported by some of the deepest pockets in the world. The Dem's leftist ethic of open dialogue is ultimately exploited by the GOP for the purpose of confusing voters on very clear issues.