As we all have heard by now, early Monday morning former navy reservist Aaron Alexis went on a rampage at the Washington naval yard, killing a dozen people. He died too and of course, his actions has been met with shock and confusion.
While this is indeed a tragedy, it’s not why I’m writing today. I’m writing because in the aftermath of this incident, some very…bizarre claims about how and why this happened, and what could’ve influenced this man to commit such a violent crime. It deserves note that Alexis got onto the compound because he was a subcontractor for the navy, which is odd because he was generally discharged in 2011 for “patterns of misbehavior”. So…WHY would anyone allow him back on a base? Even more strange, he’d discharged his gun twice before on separate occasions in “a fit of rage.” Even still, the explanation that this tragedy occurred because Alexis was unfit to own/carry a weapon or just plain crazy was apparently too easy for some to handle.
So instead, people have decided to formulate their own explanations for his actions. SOMEHOW Elisabeth Hasselbeck came to the conclusion that because the shooter was known to play “Shoot em’ shoot em” video games that they MUST be the reason for his actions. Of course, she made this claim, which I’m sure is backed by hours of scientific research and multiple expert opinions on the illustrious FOX news.
Now, just to address what’s going on here: Elisabeth is working to make the connection that pretending to kill in a virtual world somehow leads to real life violence MORE than previous acts of real life violence. Genius! Then, Elizabeth, backed by her FOX news associates, makes one hell of a jump. In amazing fashion, they compare Alexis to the Columbine shooters, and a bunch of other known shooters. The thing all of these people had in common, they claimed, was a love of video games.
If you can’t read the condescending tone in my writing, take this sentence as my motion to bring it’s apparent-ness to the forefront of the conversation. Why? Because this was an absolute ludicrous inference on her part. I’m not going to beat a dead horse on this, but I want to make this clear.
People who play video games are not actively hurting anyone. People who spend 8-10 or more hours playing video games are spending 8-10 hours in their house, on their couch, holding a piece of plastic, and COMPLETELY unaware of the world around them. When walking down the street, getting on the train, going to class, whatever, the absolute LAST person I’d expect to cause me harm is someone that is in their house, on their couch, playing something they bought with their money. It’s just as simple as that. Video games are taking more people off the street and placing them in their house. And when those people do leave the house for work/school etc. the only thing on their mind is getting BACK home to continue their game. When wondering who to fear, the video game playing teenager in his house, or the discharged navy reservist walking around with a history of violence and a loaded gun, ALWAYS go with the second one.
And here’s the link to the video by the way: http://kotaku.com/after-mass-shooting-fox-news-host-wonders-if-gamers-sh-1335462866
(In the words of Antoine Dodson) And you can run and tell THAT!