Video Games

With No Info Whatsoever, Fox News Host Randomly Speculates That Video Games Caused El Paso Shooting

Studies show no connection between games and real-world aggression.

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Dear television newscasters of the world: Don't do what Fox News Channel Host Jon Scott did this afternoon while reporting on this afternoon's deadly shooting at an El Paso Walmart:

Scott wonders if these guys "raised on a diet of violent video games—if they actually start pulling the trigger of a real weapon and they see real death and they find it's not as satisfying as it was when they're playing on a television screen." He wonders out loud if this is why the alleged shooter, Patrick Crusius, stopped shooting.

Poor criminal defense attorney Ted Williams. Asked to respond to this blind stab at speculation, he wisely points out that it's too soon to guess at why the shooter acted. He also pointed out that it's "rare" that video game players "act out like this." (As I'm writing this blog post, another talking head has come on Fox News Channel to blame it on Fortnite and bad parenting.)

That's a nicely diplomatic response to Scott's utter nonsense. Reason's Ron Bailey has written regularly how the studies continue to show no relationship between video game violence and real world aggression.

This may have been an attempt to deflect away from people who use mass shotings to justify additional gun controls. The National Rifle Association has often tried to blame video games in order to push attention away from guns. But you don't have to throw the First Amendment under the bus to defend the Second Amendment. And I suspect we will find that tougher gun control laws won't have made a difference here either—we seem to be stuck in a loop where politicians propose gun regulations after a shooting that would not have stopped the shooting, as Reason's Jacob Sullum has frequently noted.

In any case, the speculations on Fox today were irresponsible. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that video games caused this awful rampage.

NEXT: El Paso Walmart Shooter Allegedly Wrote Anti-Immigrant Manifesto Calling Hispanics 'Invaders'

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  1. “(As I’m writing this blog post, another talking head has come on Fox News Channel to blame it on Fortnite and bad parenting.)”

    Thanks for taking one for the team.

    1. Well. to be fair, bad parenting is always in play here

      1. So, inter-family busing?

        1. Nope. Federal creches for all. Run by trained, licensed, professional propagandists.
          Only reasonable solution.

      2. How can one be a good parent when [bête noire du jour] is still legal?
        I still recall the Kefauver comic book hearings, seduction of the innocents into juvenile delinquency, if only Congress would act.

    2. ITT chemkuni….excuse me kunijeff… Damn I’ll get it

      In this thread a well known whore for open borders thinks everyone is stupid.

  2. Surely we can agree that books, movies, entertainment are usually intended to affect the thinking of people: Normalizing gays through tv show characters, making minorities 50% of tv judges and doctors, comedians carefully choosing their targets, “Gone with the Wind” promoting a false narrative of the antebellum south, rap gangsta music. Surely each book, movie, game, etc. has – as the artist producer intended – some effect on someone?

    1. Sarc, I hope.

    2. “Surely each book, movie, game, etc. has – as the artist producer intended – some effect on someone?”

      Sure. But no more than Bugs Bunny or Road Runner or any number of other cartoons. In, fact, probably less.

    3. Everyone who opens their mouth is trying to communicate something to somebody. Every lover who whispers sweet nothings in someone’s ear is trying to being about a change. Every shopper who asks a price or where sanitary napkins are is trying to elicit a response.

      YOU were trying to change minds with your comment.

      Care to comment on what you ulterior motive was?

  3. I just found out that a couple of insane idiots think my words did it.

    I appreciate that they think I have that power, that’s flattering I must admit.

    1. “I just found out that a couple of insane idiots think my words did it.”

      I seldom agree with you, but yeah, anyone who tries to blame somebody’s words for the actions of an obviously very disturbed individual is ….. well, you know.

      1. A politician?

        1. Well, that is certainly one example.

  4. Alternative headline:
    With A Troll Post Found On 8chan, Reason Writer Randomly Speculates That Anti-Illegal Fever Caused El Paso Shooting

    1. Lotta egg on a lot of faces if they jumped the gun AGAIN.

    2. Are we surprised that Reason will criticize others for going after their pet causes (most blatantly the right leaning) well beating their own drums for the pet cause?

      1. I meant to say that Scott most blatantly went after the right leaning and does that surprise anyone?

  5. Of course it’s silly to rush to judgment and blame this on video games. Much better to rush to judgment and blame this on Trump like the other article here did.

    1. You shush, they’re emoting.

    2. Oh boo hoo- the grand wizard gets blamed for inciteful and inflammatory rhetoric against minorities. It’s all deserved.

      1. Do you understand hypocrisy?

      2. “gets blamed for inciteful and inflammatory rhetoric”

        Well yes, weak people like you think that justifies your behaving badly.

        It’s such a sad, pathetic mindset.

    3. Okay. I’ll bite.

      How do you explain the significant increase in attacks on “Those People”, aka hate crimes, in countries like American and the UK after the votes for Demented and Deluded Donald and Brexit?

      This is where Liberals, Progressives, and those on the Center Left that the sociopaths call “Socialists”, aka moderates, go “We told you so”:

      https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3102652
      . . . This Essay empirically evaluates the relationship between Donald Trump’s rise to power and the recent increase in reported hate crimes. A number of critics predicted that President Trump’s divisive rhetoric during the presidential campaign and his subsequent election would embolden hate crime perpetrators, thereby contributing to more hate crimes. Media commentators have dubbed this the Trump Effect.

      We find compelling evidence to support the Trump Effect hypothesis. Using time series analysis, we show that Donald Trump’s election in November of 2016 was associated with a statistically significant surge in reported hate crimes across the United States, even when controlling for alternative explanations. Further, by using panel regression techniques, we show that counties that voted for President Trump by the widest margins in the presidential election also experienced the largest increases in reported hate crimes. . . .

      1. I blame it on the rise of control freaks like yourself.

        What is the left’s Green New Deal all about, if not transforming society from the bottom up? What do Progressives want more than power itself?

        Push people around and they push back. Politicians have rigged the system in their favor — the “little people” push back in their own way.

        Politicians have killed far more people with pogroms and holocausts and mass starvations and class struggles than all criminals all all of history.

        Slavery, Jim Crow, class hierarchy — all created by governments. Capitalists lifted billions of people out of poverty in the last couple of centuries, while socialists murdered 100 million in the 20th century alone.

        Society would be far advanced in all way if the politicians didn’t get in the way with occupational licensing, zoning controls, and yes, even student loans. You fuckers suffocate the natural human instinct to improve society as a side effect of improving themselves and their family and friends and neighbors. YOU are responsible for holding humanity back from improving itself. YOU are responsible for creating the conditions which make mass shooters possible. YOU are responsible for creating the conditions which make it so much harder for ordinary people to defend themselves and society from the mass killers YOU have encouraged.

        1. Gotta commend you on this one.
          Well said!

          My only quibble is that you’ve been far too credulous to the rise in “hate crimes” narrative.
          Increased reporting and classification, expansion of the definition, twisting routine crimes to fit the fashionable category of “hate” crimes, and outright hoaxes cause the rise – not a significant increase in actual incidents.

        2. Oh c’mon. You think this guy is some sort of freedom fighter?

          1. As with all simplification, that totally misrepresents what he said. But if it weren’t for srraw men you would have no arguments ever.

      2. The MOST important word of your post: REPORTED. Not Committed.

        I bet there’s a large correlation between your study’s “Rise of Hate Crimes” and this list:

        http://fakehatecrimes.org/

      3. Partially, if not completely related to increased definition of what is a hate crime (Quillette did an excellent article which demonstrates that this is almost entirely the cause for the rise in reported hate crimes in England, that and a public relations campaign to get people to report hate crimes, sponsored by the anti-Brexit coalition). In the US, police agencies are not required to submit this data, it is entirely voluntary, and as Soave has pointed out in a number of articles the rise in the number of reported hate crimes almost perfectly parallels the rise in number of police agencies voluntarily reporting these statistics. There has also been an increase in the number of hoax hate crimes. In England only a small percentage of the reported crimes are even investigated because there lacks evidence or the reported incident actually doesn’t meet the standard of a hate crime, but it is still (falsely) reported as a hate crime incident. Additionally, even a smaller percent is there even a conviction.
        Additionally, it should be pointed out that one of the fastest growths, when looking at hate crime growth, in the US is black on white hate crimes. Hardly fits the narrative that

        1. It is also more correlated with the number of precincts repirtingnhate crimes whereas prior they did not. There has been no increase on a per precinct reporting basis.

      4. “How do you explain the significant increase in attacks on “Those People”, aka hate crimes”

        A well known change in his such crimes are categorized.

        You’re welcome.

      5. How do you explain the significant increase in attacks on “Those People”, aka hate crimes, in countries like American and the UK after the votes for Demented and Deluded Donald and Brexit

        It’s because demented and deluded people like you get angry and violent.

  6. Violent video games are this generation’s Dungeons and Dragons. Not responsible for anything, but taking lots of the blame.

    1. The Church of Prog has to lay it at someone’s feet. If they don’t, a few of them might figure out this was in another ‘gun free zone.’

      1. That and, above all else, the concept of personal/individual agency must be conquered for submission to progressivism’s totalitarian goals

    2. That explains the surge in magic wand murders in the 80s.

    3. “Violent video games are this generation’s Dungeons and Dragons. Not responsible for anything, but taking lots of the blame.”

      Video games came out before Dungeons and Dragons. Even back in the seventies they had used film with live actors for a quick draw video game. Even back then their where those who got on the news and tried to blame video games for violence along with comic books.
      Come to think of it every thing we call nerd cultured to day is suppose to make you violent, Look’s like they still hate nerds.

    4. And the act of blaming video games is a symptom of the far greater problem/contribution: the cultural imperative, pushed by progressivism, to deny individual/personal responsibility.

      With a perspective that “you didn’t build that”, “systemic (race)isms”, “(health)care is a human right”, and “who/everybody else is to blame”, the prospect of one committing a random massacre isn’t all that daunting.
      After all, it’s not (my) one’s fault.

      1. You have a disease. Get help.

  7. “Violent video games are this generation’s Dungeons and Dragons.”

    Absolutely! I mean, all those “secret” strategies, almost indecipherable theory, constant threats from all positions and directions. Surely that will drive one mad. Oh wait. that’s chess!

    1. It’s pretty much any game or competitive endeavor.
      Aka human nature

      1. I blame the game Scrabble. “MASSACRE” is a legal word in Scrabble.

        QED

  8. There is no reason why crazy people do crazy things.
    I blame the democrats for not doing their job on the border. It drove this poor guy insane.

    1. +1000

    2. The Democrats are doing their, and America’s, job on the border:

      “Give me your tired, your poor,
      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
      The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
      Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
      I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

      1. Idiot. Can you not see the difference between opening the gates to those who knock on them, versus dragging people in from halfway around the world to shove them into communities they know nothing of?

        So close to slavery. So much a statist proposition.

        Fuck off. Leave people alone and stop telling everybody what they should do, and by gum! they figure it out for themselves and do just fine.

        Have you not noticed how so much evil in society comes from government intervention? Take a hint!

      2. That’s an interesting summary of this part of their job:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_immigration_laws

        Oh, I forgot, proggies think poems are laws and laws don’t matter…

      3. So, Kuni, what’s your address?
        We’d like to send you what you ask for

        1. Po box obviously chemjeff
          Socking, NY 11011

          1. If it is ChemJeff he is definitely shedding any pretense at being a die-hard Libertarian with this sock.

            1. Kuni is Kuni, I’m chemjeff.
              I don’t have socks here.
              I’m not Cytotoxic either.
              Perhaps you could, you know, discuss issues on their merits (or lack thereof), without trying to divine who is a sock and who isn’t.

              1. Since I didn’t accuse you of being a sock or not… Notice I said if Kuni was your sock. But hey, go ahead and mischaracterize what I said, it is your only move after all.

              2. Kuni might fuck you.

              3. “I don’t have socks here”

                Just like many other things, you lie about this too Kuni.

  9. Does the author of this essay understand what the word “speculates” means? The motive for the shooting has not yet been released to the public so any guesses are speculative.

    1. The problem is that this speculation is stupid. And runs contrary to every study ever performed on the subject.

  10. Sky is blue, water runs downhill and TeeVee talking head speculates on something.

  11. I figured the Democrats might grab onto gun control as an election 2020 issue that Trump cannot take from them.

    I just thought it would not be until a few months before election 2020 to protect that Democrat controlled cities like Chicago have horrible murder rates and are actually dragging rural America’s murder rate up with it.

    1. One should point out that the more than 50,000 Whites a year killing themselves with opiate overdoses, is greater than the entire number of traditional homicides in America (including those “Democrat controlled cities.”)

      I also wonder what the “rural America’s murder rate” would be if those “Democrat controlled cities” could look after their own instead of having the fruits of their labors redistributed to “the Conservative controlled Taker/Moocher Red States”: http://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-least-dependent-on-the-federal-government/2700/

      (What? You thought that you Conservatives were the only ones who can play this game.)

      1. The so-called opioid epidemic is yet another government creation. The government — hey, statists and control freaks like yourself! — decided it knew what medicines and recreational drugs were appropriate and which were not, and started throwing people in jail for daring to think otherwise, and guess what — people reacted naturally against an overbearing state by continuing their activities without State blessing, the State killed some and locked up more and ruined even more lives in the process!

        Gosh, think of that. The State oppresses, the oppressed react as anyone with half a brain could have predicted, and the State control freaks blame it on the people for minding their own business.

      2. One should point out that OVERDOSES are people killing THEMSELVES instead of disingenuously equating them to MURDERS.

        I also wonder who would screech loudest if we just ended all of your lefty resdistributionist schemes that ultimately put those dollars in Red States? Nevermind, I don’t have to wonder, it would be lefties.

        (What? You thought you were making a good faith argument about people lobbying to get THEIR OWN MONEY back after YOUR side took it by force?)

      3. Are you also suggesting that local municipalities are unable or unwilling to utilize their own tax revenues to decrease their local crime rates? Or is your point that the local spending has no effect on crime?

        Also, you fail to explain why the largely Red rural areas of Blue states (which supposedly receive the same lower funding as the Blue cities) have lower crime rates than the Blue cities. Why does Portsmouth, VA have a higher crime rate than the rest of the rural portions of the state? Because the total tax dollars spent are HIGHER in the remaining area of the state than Portsmouth?

        Your ideas are bad and you should feel bad.

      4. One should point out that the more than 50,000 Whites a year killing themselves with opiate overdoses, is greater than the entire number of traditional homicides in America (including those “Democrat controlled cities.”)

        No doubt, your answer to that is labor/reeducation camps. It’s always your answer.

      5. (What? You thought that you Conservatives were the only ones who can play this game.)

        This is a libertarian forum, not a conservative one.

        1. Maybe up there but it’s den of psychopaths down here. This place is ruined.

          1. Hi fake john

  12. You expected different from Fox, the Bernie Madoff of media, News?

    “That’s a nicely diplomatic response to Scott’s utter nonsense. Reason’s Ron Bailey has written regularly how the studies continue to show no relationship between video game violence and real world aggression.”

    Maybe you alleged “principled Conservatives” should have thought of that BEFORE spending decades attacking science/reality.

    From the lunacy that “not collecting enough revenues pays for itself” to “there is no scientific consensus on Global Warming” THIS is on all of you.

    1. You control freaks try to run everybody else’s lives, they react as human beings with agency are wont to do, you control freaks react as all petulant control freaks are wont to do, and you blame it on the oppressed instead of the oppressors.

      What a fucking surprise.

      1. Open wider, clinger.

        1. clinger

          So sayeth the Reason gecko.

    2. Maybe you alleged “principled Conservatives” should have thought of that BEFORE spending decades attacking science/reality.

      Maybe you control freaks should have thought of what would happen when you try to control other people for no reason but your arrogance.

      1. Are you ready to go “the full LaVoy?”

        Are you predicting that right-wingers are suddenly going to stop being stomped in the culture war?

        If not, what are you whining and mumbling about, clinger?

        1. AHAHAHA KIRKLAND IMPLODING!!!

          1. You’re projecting as usual.

            1. Ahahaha and now we know who was spoofing John!!

              KIRKLAND UPSET ABOUT IMPLODING!!!!

    3. “should have thought of that BEFORE spending decades attacking science/reality”

      You mean like you have with postmodernism? Or yours is different?

    4. Maybe you alleged “principled Conservatives” should have thought of that BEFORE spending decades attacking science/reality.

      We don’t attack science. What we attack is progressivism, i.e., using science and utility as the basis of government.

      Try to understand the difference, and once you do, we can have a debate about why the approach you favor is wrong.

      1. So you propose…what? That instead of basing laws and policies off of empirically provable/disprovable information and/or usefulness, we base them off of…faith, fairy tales and feelings?

        Sounds about right.

        1. So you propose…what? That instead of basing laws and policies off of empirically provable/disprovable information and/or usefulness, we base them off of…faith, fairy tales and feelings?

          It’s not surprising that an authoritarian like you can only imagine a false dichotomy like that.

          In fact, laws should be based on protecting individual liberties, private property, voluntary economic transactions.

          Questions of utility and scientific truth are beyond the purview of the law in a free society.

    5. Reality… like being more likely to die from drowning than by a long rifle?

  13. Regular people learn what and how to think from other regular people. What else is new?

  14. I hope reasonable supporters of gun rights help to craft a solution to gun violence in America and get a leash on the gun nuts, because the predictable backlash against current gun nuttery could be severe enough to interfere with possession of a reasonable firearm for self-defense in the home.

    1. Hmm, so more rational people need to control the behavior of extremists. Does this apply to all kinds of extremism? Can you put a muzzle on those who want to nationalize the economy and proscribe politically-correct speech?

    2. I don’t care about gun violence. At all. Shit happens when you’re free.

        1. Statistics are not your friend.

    3. And what would that “solution” look like? Legal gun owners commit crimes and murders at a far lower rate than the rest of the population already. How in the world is any form of gun-related legislation going to reduce gun violence further?

  15. Is it so difficult to imagine that gratuitous violence in film, video games, television, whatever, has contributed to cultural decay? Is the author really so dense?

    1. Sure, just like it was easy to imagine that the sun and stars orbited a flat earth, and that disease was caused by miasma and neighborhood witches. Actual knowledge of behavior and proof of cause and effect takes work and intelligence, not uninformed speculation.

      1. Great response

      2. Terrible response. We simply do not have the moral characteristics necessary to live as a free society anymore. There are a million causes for this, including gratuitous violence.

        1. Violence was worse in the 19th century. You just don’t understand where we came from.

    2. Yeah because there was definitely no violence in our history before video games.

      I’m fine with the idea that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Your position sounds like “Guns don’t don’t kill people, video games kill people.”

  16. While it may not be the violence itself, and is not video games per se, could it be electronic/technology altogether? Hear me out, this is just a thought and I am not proposing any government intervention. Studies have shown a correlation (and I realize this is not causation and a number of factors could contribute to it and we may be arguing chicken and egg) between the amount of time spent on line and playing video games and a decrease in empathy. We do see that it very well may contribute to poorer family structures, difficulty maintaining relationships and more selfish behavior (and yes the irony of me posting this on a Sunday afternoon doesn’t escape me). Could it be society needs to put down their phones and game controllers and spend more time playing pick up football/baseball/basketball/soccer? Spend more time fishing, or hiking or picnicking or barbecuing as families?More time reading and less time staring at our screens? Maybe we do need to take more responsibility, take ownership for it ourselves and spend less time blaming others/things and wanting the Government to take even more control?

    1. Definitely would help to put down the screen. Good post.

    2. This is a far more reasonable approach than banning video games. No sarc. Well put.

    3. Put down social media and read more books? Mein Kampf for example? Sun Tzu? NRA magazine?
      Spend more time on killing activities like fishing and hunting?
      More time in violent body contact sports?
      Just because individuals make choices you disagree with is no reason to remove individual choice.

  17. Studies show no connection between games and real-world aggression.

    Studies also show no connection between anti-illegal-migrant views and real world aggression, or between Trump voting and real-world aggression. In fact, Trump voters are likely to have far lower rates of committing murder and violence than Democratic voters.

    In fact, if you look at who commits murders in America, drawing a relationship between Trump voters and killings isn’t even a base rate fallacy, it’s simply completely stupid.

    But that’s the kind of irrational thinking that Reason has sunk to these days.

  18. Wouldn’t the real challenge be to find someone of the shooters age who DIDN’T play video games?

    1. I am sure they exist, maybe some Amish, though that may not be so, as they do have their rumspringa. I am sure there are some though. Maybe they live off the grid, in a remote location and are homeschooled, maybe a homesteader in the Alaskan Bush (they do exist) or a religious family?

  19. 8chan Is a Megaphone for Gunmen. ‘Shut the Site Down,’ Says Its Creator.

    Now the Lefty MSM is trying to shut down 8Chan.

    These fucking authoritarians.

  20. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that video games caused this awful rampage.

    On the contrary. R pols have stated that video games caused it. Therefore Fox is doing exactly what one would expect the PR arm of the party to do. To advance that theory for the betterment of the party.

    1. As opposed to every major democratic candidate directly blaming trump? Not firm ground you’re standing on.

  21. Congratulations rightwingers on becoming the new Al-Qaeda. You guys deserve it!!

    1. Majority of shootings are still in blue districts numbnuts.

  22. With No Info Whatsoever, Fox News Host Randomly Speculates That Video Games Caused El Paso Shooting

    Well, no info except the shooters manifesto, right? Because he specifically refers to a ‘Call of Duty fantasy’ when exhorting others to do what he did.

    It may be facetious. Snark and a stiff middle finger to just this sort of thing–but it IS in there.

    Or did you miss that? Jump the proverbial gun, so to speak

  23. Actual info has not been a prerequisite for TV opining for years.
    There are no ‘news’ shows any more. When was the last time you read/heard a story with multiple cited verifiable sources?

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