Kevin McCarthy's Comments On The Weekend Shootings Are Nothing Short Of Cowardice

The Republicans’ leader in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, took to Fox News this weekend to tell the world he believes that the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, are a direct result of the influence of violent video games in our society.


Normally, I would simply list the reasons that this line of thinking is, at best, ignorant of the facts of the matter. There are studies and even a Supreme Court decision on the matter that largely settles the argument. I would also say it is probably not very Republican or conservative for a Republican leader in the House of Representatives to lay the rhetorical groundwork for censoring video games.

For example, I can link to an article in Forbes detailing a study released just this year citing no link between video games and violence. It is not the first study to do so, nor is it the last. I can also cite the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass’n to further explain why placing the blame is laying the groundwork for First Amendment violations.

I could do all of this, but that is not what I am going to do. What I am going to do is call McCarthy a coward.

There are very real and very controversial reasons why this weekend’s violence occurred and why thirty people are dead and dozens more are injured. These are reasons we must address – as I did in this column – and we must discuss. Laying the blame, in part or in whole, on violent video games does not solve problems. It complicates matters.

Ninety percent of children play video games, and the number is closer to Ninety-seven percent when you just look at teens. The popular games are the more thrilling, action-packed and, yes, violent games. But you don’t see ninety-seven percent of teens going out and shooting up malls, schools, and the local nightlife hotspots, do you? What you see are people who have gotten access to violent weapons, who have extreme motives, and a clear lack of regard for human life. Those are the ones committing this act.


But this position by McCarthy is not new, nor is it original. It is, however, very in-character of McCarthy to take the safest stance possible on an issue and not address the hard stuff. He won’t address guns, nor will he address white supremacy, violent political rhetoric, or mental health issues. All of these are hot issues in matters like these. McCarthy does not like controversy. He likes to lay low and play it safe on what positions he takes. He doesn’t want to offend anyone because that’s the easiest way to stay in power.

That is why he has decided to take the “violent video games” position. It’s safe. People aren’t going to address that. They’re going to focus on the other issues. McCarthy is a politician who likes to be on either both sides of an issue or none, and that is what he’s done here.

It is the coward’s way out, and it’s a disgrace to his position in the House and the Republican Party.


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