Should We Expect A Rash Of Gun Violence Globally?
Numerouns people in our country want to focus on violent video games as being the cause of our recent spike in mass shootings, but they ignore the global reach of this medium.
Last week Grand Theft Auto 5 was released. Since then it has broken over $1 billion in sales. With such a huge reception, this has sent the pro-gun, video game blamers into attack mode against the highly successful title. Here’s Fox News:
What do the mass shooters from the Navy Yard, Sandy Hook Elementary, the Aurora, Colorado movie theater and Columbine all have in common? They’re all target demographic buyers for the world’s best-selling videogame. A game that released the day after the Navy Yard shooting and made $800 million in its first 24 hours on the market.
Like other best-selling games today, Grand Theft Auto V trains millions of young Americans to walk into public places and shoot innocent people. It is now reported that, like the Sandy Hook shooter, Aaron Alexis immersed himself for hours at a time in this lifelike virtual reality of violence.
On Tuesday, as commentators across the country were babbling about various precautions that could have been taken, millions of 8 to 40 year olds were standing in line to get their fifth installment of the game that rewards them for shooting civilians—just as Alexis did the day before (and just as he practiced thousands of times before on screen).
The game’s developers expect to sell 25 million copies this year (That’s almost 1 for every 10 Americans, with most buyers being young males.).
Now the author of the article doesn’t mention the sales figures, except for the project of 25 million copies this year. He then relates that to “1 for every 10 Americans”. What he omits is the fact that this game was released in the U.S., plus Canada, Australia, the UK and all of Europe last week and that $1 billion figure I started with is global sales.
Now I have been trying to find a breakdown of sales by country. Sadly I have fallen short on that, but I did find one interesting figure:
The game made £65 million in revenue in the UK alone.
That translates to over $100 million in the UK alone, so the UK had about 10% of the total sales in a country 1/5 the size of the United States. Seeing that I’m sure that other counties are also breaking records on sales. Maybe not all, but many.
Now all this raises a serious question, and I’m sure you can guess what it is.
Where’s the gun violence in these countries?
Now some will point to tighter gun regulations in those countries, but to them I ask if that means gun control works. By their own admission of gun control laws being the reason for the lack of mass shootings, it’s safe to assume yes.
So we see that more than games must be to blame here.
How about health care?
The UK sees far less mass shootings than the United States. The last one was in 2010. Before that, 1987. Perhaps the UK has better mental health care than the United States.
But wait! I thought that the socialized health care of the UK was horrible? If that’s the case, then shouldn’t we be seeing far more cases of mass shootings in the UK than here?
In our country we see 10 times the number of murder with guns than any other developed nation. Why is that? We can’t blame the video games alone, because the exact same games are available globally. We can’t blame movies, because the exact same movies are available globally and sometimes they are even more violent and graphic.
If we want to blame video games and movies, then we must ask ourselves why our citizens can’t handle these mediums like other nationalities. Why is it a violent game in the U.S. makes it ten times more likely for one of our citizens to go out and shoot someone than a person in the UK playing the same game?
So many of these arguments go against everything the right stands for. Mental health has become a much needed part of the debate, but let’s not forget it was right wing politics, mainly under Reagan, that saw the deterioration of our public mental health care. Also every other country mentioned has universal care, so that “evil socialism” that everyone here talks about must be working.
Our country needs to take action to stop these mass shootings, but before that happens the media and grownups need to point out facts like this. They need to stop letting people like Wayne LaPierre form the argument, and instead call them out for the lies they are pushing. That’s the only way we can remedy a serious epidemic of violence sweeping our nation.