Hitting Fox News airwaves on Sunday morning to discuss the latest mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, two prominent Republican politicians both insisted that the blame for the tragic events needed to be placed at the feet of violent video games.
Appearing on Fox & Friends on Sunday, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wanted to know when the federal government was going to take action against the video game industry, noting that the El Paso shooter’s anti-immigrant manifesto made a brief mention of a popular war-based game.
“How long are we going to ignore—at the federal level particularly—where they can do something about the video game industry,” Patrick told the Fox hosts. “In this manifesto that we believe is from the shooter, this manifesto where he talks about living out his super-soldier fantasy on Call of Duty. We know the video game industry is bigger than the movie and music industry combined.”
While noting that the El Paso shooting should be seen as a “hate crime” as the shooter was obviously targeting immigrants, the lieutenant governor continued to point the finger at both video games and the internet as root causes of these massacres while simultaneously dismissing the need for gun control.
“Why are we allowing young people or anyone to go to a website to learn and be killed and be praised to put this manifesto out,” he exclaimed. “Why are we allowing—90 percent of our children is the estimate, between the ages of 12 and 17—watching video games? Again, larger than the music industry and the movie industry combined.”
Patrick also suggested that it is the lack of God in Americans’ daily lives accounts for mass shootings, asking “what do we expect” when “we continue to only praise God and look at God on a Sunday morning and kick him out of the town square.”
Later on, during an appearance on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) also ran with the narrative that video games were a major factor behind the mass shootings.
Bringing up Patrick’s remarks, host Maria Bartiromo asked McCarthy: “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?”
“The idea of these video games, they dehumanize individuals to have a game of shooting individuals and others,” the GOP leader replied. “I’ve always felt that is a problem for future generations and others. We’ve watched from studies 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.”
Studies, however, do not show that video games cause violence. In fact, as BuzzFeed News reported last year, research actually reveals that violent crime rates drop right after extremely popular violent video games are released.
Interestingly, while Patrick and McCarthy ran to the friendly confines of Fox News for their interviews discussing these two horrific mass shootings, CNN’s Jake Tapper pointed out that both men were among the many Republicans declined his request to come on State of the Union to talk about the shootings.