There is no known connection between Nikolas Cruz’s murder spree in Florida and video games. So why is President Trump meeting with video game makers? From Nick Gillespie at reason.com:
President Donald Trump is meeting today with video game makers to discuss whether violent entertainment somehow motivated Nikolas Cruz to slaughter 17 innocent people at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Despite the absolute lack of any convincing connection between violent entertainment and real-world violence, Trump has a longstanding belief that the two things are intimately connected. Here he is, in a 2012 tweet, echoing arguments made over the years by Hillary Clinton, Bob Dole, Janet Reno, and others:
Video game violence & glorification must be stopped—it is creating monsters!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2012
Let’s be clear about two things.
First, there is no causal link between playing video games, violent or peaceful, and becoming violent, much less a mass shooter. To wit:
“All we can really say for sure is that there does not appear to be a link at this time between violent video games and school shootings. And if there is a link, it goes in the opposite direction.” [Villanova psychologist Patrick] Markey, co-author of the 2017 book Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong, reports that only about 20 percent of school shooters play video games, compared with about 70 percent of high school students overall.
“If media violence is a precursor to societal violence the introduction of violent video games in the United States would be expected to precipitate increased youth violence rates.” Yet as violent video game consumption has increased nearly eightfold since 1996, the violence rate among Americans ages 12–17 fell from 35 to 6 per 1,000 people.