You just knew it was going to happen. Not long ago, Dylann Roof walked into a historic African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, prayed with several parishioners there for some time, and then proceed to shoot most of them dead. So many of these stories are horrific not only for the violence that gets perpetrated, but because we’re typically left with the most vexing of questions: why? Why did two Colorado teenagers shoot up their school? Why would a young man walk into an East Coast elementary school and shoot children? Why?
The South Carolina massacre is different in that respect. We know exactly why Dylann Roof killed nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He did it because he was a racist, bigoted, self-aggrandizing fool who actually thought that differences in appearance equated to differences in humanity and saw heroes in those who would oppress their fellow humans. Oh, also video games, if you ask Martin Luther King III and Bill O’Reilly, obviously.
“Look at video games,” King said during the segment. “Our children play video games and 7 out of 10 of them are violent. Some of our movies are very violent, and we want to see more and more violence.”
O’Reilly agreed with King, noting that there needs to be more pushback, more people need to argue that it’s “not a good thing to devote your leisure time to violent pursuits.”
This has to end. With the available evidence continuing to demonstrate that any link between violent media and real-life violence being tenuous at best, the rush to drag an entertainment medium into the discussion of a self-admitted racist killing blacks simply because they were black is absolutely insane. There’s no wondering the why here. There’s no linking video games to this tragedy. The conversation doesn’t belong in any relevant discussion about Dylann Roof. And it’s not like O’reilly really wants entertainment mediums saddled with the responsibility for what evil people do.
You’ll notice that O’Reilly (and it isn’t just him, I can assure you) is happy to bring up his own constitutional rights to free speech when challenged but have no issue dragging an art form and entertainment medium into the spotlight after a tragedy that had nothing to do with video games. And, look, this isn’t a Fox News or Bill O’Reilly problem. Plenty of major news outlets are happy to placate older adults that need a tight little box to put tragedies in, something that can be blamed. Video games apparently are destined to fill that role until these idiots retire and the next generation of news people are in place, because those people will have grown up gaming if the statistics and demographics are any indication.
So I guess we just wait them out.