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Kentucky Governor Blames Video Games Not Firearms For School Shootings

COVINGTON, Ky. —  It is not the guns, it is the video games.

A day after a former student opened fire in a high school in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 people, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin called for the country to consider constraints on violence in video games and movies, not firearms.  

“We have to have an honest conversation in regard to what should and shouldn’t be permitted from the United States because it relates to what being placed into the hands of our young men and women,” Bevin explained during a halt in Covington on Thursday.

What should not be placed in the hands of men and women that are young? Violent video games and movies, Bevin explained.  

“I am a big believer in the First Amendment and right to free speech, but there are particular things that are so graphic as it relates to violence, and also things that are so pornographic to a complete another front that we allow to pass under the guise of free speech, that possibly,” Bevin stated. “However there is zero redemptive price. There’s zero upside into any of this being in the public domain, let alone in the minds and homes and hands of our young men and women.”

Bevin is not alone in blaming video games.  

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, a Republican from Palm City, Fla., said in a national radio interview Friday morning that violent movies and video games are “the largest pusher” of gun violence.

“When you have a look at Call of Duty,  when you look at movies like John Wick, the societal impacts of people being desensitized to killing in ways different than how somebody on the battlefield was desensitized is upsetting,” said Mast on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

Mast is an Army veteran who lost both legs in Afghanistan.

So has pressure on politicians to strengthen gun control legislation, as the college shootings bracket.  

Bevin often has lashed out at calls for gun control, since taking office two years ago. “You can not control bad,” Bevin tweeted in the wake of the Las Vegas shootings.  

Why is he convinced that it is not and video games firearms? Since when he went to college in New England, students would bring guns in for show-and-tell.  

“Sometimes they’d be in kids’ lockers,” Bevin stated. “nobody thought about shooting other people with them. So it is not a gun issue.”

Bevin claimed there were Firearms per capita.    

That was disputed by A report. The amount of guns per capita in the USA doubled going to one firearm for every individual from one firearm for every 2 people, according to the report.  

Bevin, however, sees the spree of shootings as a problem, not a firearm issue. And amusement is seen by him as the root of that cultural problem.

“Go back before any of this occur,” Bevin said. “How many children walked to other schools and slaughtered other children? What more proof do you need? The people who say there is not any signs are filled with crap.”

No Signs  

Researchers and leading psychologists have found no evidence that virtual violence from the media translates into violence in the actual world.

There are but most of them are outdated and older, stated Stetson University psychology professor Christopher Ferguson, who has studied violence. His own study shows there is no link between school shootings and individuals who play games.  

The American Psychological Association’s 2015 policy statement says vulnerability to violent video games may make players more aggressive, but there is limited research addressing whether they induce people to commit acts of criminal violence.  

“no single risk factor leads a person or violently,” the report states. “Rather, it’s the accumulation of risk factors which will lead to violent or aggressive behavior. The research reviewed here shows that video game usage is just one risk element. ”

Bevin would not state what he thinks the threshold should be for too much violence in entertainment.

“Let’s start a conversation,” Bevin said.