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LETTER: Don’t blame video games for U.S. school shootings

Letter writer Mark Evans lays the blame for U.S. school shootings at the feet of video game creators and users. Clearly, Mr. Evans has not researched his assertion.

As study after study has concluded, the research does not support a link between violent video games and the horrific acts of school violence in the United States. For example, Patrick Markey, director of International Research and professor of psychology at Villanova University, conducted one such study and found that school shooters have much less interest in violent video games than the general teenage population.

The United States isn’t even the largest consumer of violent video games, yet it has one of the highest violent gun death rates. The top countries where violent video games are popular are China, United States, Japan, South Korea, Germany and United Kingdom. What’s unique about this list is that the epidemic of school shootings happens in only one of those countries: the United States, where guns — especially weapons of war such as the AR-15 — are easy to acquire.

In fact, according to Mr. Markey, the countries where video games are most popular tend to be among the safer countries, such as Japan and South Korea.

So in answer to Mr. Evans question, could it be possible violent video games have something to do with the shooting going on in our schools? The answer is no. But might the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, have been avoided if an 18-year-old were prevented from buying two semi-automatic rifles, hundreds of rounds of body-mutilating ammunition (requiring DNA identification of some of the victims) and ballistic clothing? The answer is much more likely to be yes.

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