– [ Credit for this story goes to http://www.destructoid.com/prepare-to-agree-with-rush-limbaugh-31059.phtml#comments and http://gamepolitics.com/2007/04/18/rush-limbaugh-pooh-poohs-video-games-involvement-in-va-tech-rampage/ ]
Conservative pundit and pillpopper Rush Limbaugh, reacted differently than expected when a discussion began from someone calling in, saying:
“I’ll bet my last dollar in my pocket, that this shooter will be found to have been a compulsive video gamer, and when people are living that kind of lifestyle – and college students do this a lot.”
RUSH: (sigh) Let’s say you’re right.
RUSH: Not every video gamer goes out and murders 33 people on the college campus though. There’s more to this than that. We can find all kinds of societal problems and ills, but the fact of the matter is that whatever you would look at as a bad influence — video games as you mentioned — it may desensitize people, but it doesn’t turn everybody into mass murderers.
CALLER: You’re absolutely right, but the classic forms of brainwashing are involved with compulsive video gaming: sleep deprivation, food deprivation, isolation, and then, as I say, if you’re shooting people eight hours a day in a cyber-environment, then it just lowers the resistance to honoring human life.
RUSH: Well, look, there’s no question that some people probably are affected by that. In this case, let’s not jump the gun on this guy and make him a video gamer. We’ll find out soon enough everything we want to know about this guy, and I guarantee you that much of what we find out will be America’s fault. Just be patient. This stuff will all come out. I want to ask you people a question. I want you to be honest. You don’t have to tell anybody else what you think. You don’t. You can answer this privately. I’m going to ask you a question. You do not have to tell anybody what you answered. When you first heard the news yesterday, and the death toll kept rising and it finally got up to the 30, 32 number, the 33, how many of you were not really all that profoundly affected by it? The reason I ask the question is, how many of you have become desensitized? The previous caller used the word. There is so much violence on television and in the movies, the video games, I guess, you want to throw those in, violence in newscasts, and we hear about 35 people dead in Iraq every day.
Some people just after awhile, you don’t have an emotional reservoir left. Your emotion is all spent. You can only care about 35 people shot so much because, here we had 30, 33 people killed, 30 injured in one incident, but the number of deaths on the highways — which, granted, are not murder, but there’s a pretty big murder rate in the country, various cities around the country. I just wonder how many people, when this first happened, were desensitized. It didn’t affect them the way it would have if it — and I have no answer for this, I’m just asking the question because… The reason I asked this is because this is so extraordinary. I would be surprised if a whole lot of people said that it didn’t affect them. But within our generations, our two generations, the last 50 years, there have been a substantial number of these things. Not every day, not every year, not every month, of course. They do happen, but they are not symptomatic of something wrong in the country. “
He went on to explain his position that trying to control video games was similair to gun control.
“Not every video gamer goes out and murders 33 people on the college campus though. There’s more to this than that… it may desensitize people, but it doesn’t turn everybody into mass murderers…
People have a tough time accepting a relatively simple explanation for something of this scale. But how many people are playing video games out there? How many millions of people play video games, and how many millions of people have guns?
If you start blaming the video games, you may as well demand video game control because it’s the same thing when you start trying to blame guns for this. You have here a sick individual, an evil individual who committed a random act. But if you want to start blaming the video games, this guy was this or that, weeeeell, then you’ve gotta maybe talk about banning them because that’s the same tack that’s taken with guns. ”
I actually listen to Rush on a fairly regular basis, incidentally, and before you flame me it’s only because if im riding anywhere with my dad in the morning he listens to it. I missed this story, but having heard Rush make some good points before, im not completely surprised by it. The majority of what Rush talks about is a crazy rant against anything Not Conservative, but he is at least lucid and defends his points well. Im not a political pundit, but I have to give credit where credit is due.
If we want to stop violence in this country, let’s look at the actual motivations of those perpertrating it and what caused them, instead of blaming hobbies and things they do with their time.