Kevin McCarthy Suggests Against All Evidence That Video Games Might Be Responsible for El Paso Shooting

Kevin McCarthy Suggests Against All Evidence That Video Games Might Be Responsible for El Paso Shooting

Having witnessed two mass shootings that left 30 people dead in a 24-hour period, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy jumped on Fox News on Sunday to blame the obvious culprit: video games.

Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo brought up the subject by mentioning an earlier interview with Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick:

“He was talking about the tone that the public uses on social media. He was talking about video games, all of these things that could have triggered, certainly the video game situation he was saying may have triggered the shooter there in El Paso. But what are your thoughts on that, in terms of understanding that words matter, and that when we’re talking to each other on social media or looking at video games where they’re using videos of characters with these weapons , is there a conversation to be had about that, about the tone that this country is using?”

Researchers have studied this question and have determined that video games do not lead to mass shootings. Fox News could looks this up, there has been a lot of research going back at least to the Columbine shooting 20 years ago.

McCarthy, the most powerful Republican in one house of America’s national legislature, has also apparently not seen this research. He told Bartiromo:

“The idea of these video games that dehumanize individuals, to have a game of shooting individuals and others, I have always felt that is a problem for future generations, and others. We’ve watched some studies that have shown before what it does to individuals. When you look at these photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games and others.”

Again, no, studies have not linked video games to mass shootings.

If there is anything to the rhetoric of social media pushing people to commit shooting atrocities against unarmed minority populations, perhaps Bartiromo and McCarthy could take a look at this sort of eliminationist rhetoric written by the President of the United States about immigrants coming across the southern border:

Because that tracks a lot more closely with what the El Paso shooter allegedly wrote in a manifesto posted to the Internet just before the shooting than any game play he might have encountered in, say, Fortnite.

Watch the video above, via Fox News.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.