Yesterday, we discussed how various people have used the massacre in Connecticut to call for everything from gun control to new social programs and prayer in school. Now, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a long advocate for censoring music and speech, added his own take: crackdown on violent video games. Lieberman described Adam Lanza of having a “hypnotic involvement” with the games and called on Congress to get involved.
Of course, it was not Lanza history of mental illness. Lieberman’s focus is on the games he played — the same games played by hundreds of millions of kids and adults who do not run to their local school to mow down students. However, Lieberman insists that “[v]ery often these young men have an almost hypnotic involvement in some form of violence in our entertainment culture – particularly violent video games. . . And then they obtain guns and become not just troubled young men but mass murderers.”
The basis for his concern with regard to Lanza? “Rumors” that he played the games. It was enough however to go to the floor of the Senate to call for yet another area of government regulation of speech and association.
Lieberman recognizes that the games seem to leave a surprising number of people in a non-murderous state, but that is just a fortunate side note: “Thank God, not all of them become murderers, but some of them do and we have to ask why.” I prefer to ask why we are talking about video games instead of the history of mental illness demonstrated by Lanza. And that is not even a rumor.