President Donald Trump held a meeting at the White House today to discuss his perceived link between video games and gun violence. CNN's Jake Tapper released the names of those invited—and it contains not a single scientist or psychologist or anyone credentialed to address the extremely important, and public health-related, issue of what motivates people to commit such mass acts of violence.
Expected attendees at POTUS meeting today to “discuss violent video-game exposure and the correlation to aggression… https://t.co/RVzFLNJsIv— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper) 1520512604.0
The list includes members of Congress (all Republican, of course), law enforcement officials, and video game executives.
@jaketapper It’s always great to talk psychological impact with no actual psychologists who have studied these “eff… https://t.co/PTDiLSCgHv— Christina Edmonds (@Christina Edmonds) 1520513204.0
The meeting was closed to the public and the press— and is the latest stunt included in Trump's nebulous response to the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were murdered by a 19-year-old gunman armed with an AR-15, the weapon of choice in most mass shootings.
@jaketapper This shouldnt have to be a discussion - just another scapegoat for Republicans to blame without acknowl… https://t.co/CtWecpQiyo— Tyler Gardner (@Tyler Gardner) 1520512707.0
Instead of access to guns, Trump has blamed violent video games and movies for the rash of gun violence plaguing our country and even suggested that movies have a rating system (they already do, obviously).
@ESRBRatings @PatriciaEVance Thank God someone is finally doing something about electronic entertainment. I was wor… https://t.co/pjd0RGcQa5— David Vincent Gagne (@David Vincent Gagne) 1520521041.0
The link between video games and gun violence, or violence in general, is wholly unsubstantiated and not supported by science.
Despite numerous studies into this issue, no causal link has ever been established between violent video games and violence in the 3-D world.
Despite the moral panic linking violent video games to school shootings, the evidence doesn't stack up https://t.co/udif292pzq— Olivia Solon (@Olivia Solon) 1520532554.0
"“Video games are plainly not the issue: entertainment is distributed and consumed globally, but the US has an exponentially higher level of gun violence than any other nation,” said Dan Hewitt from the Entertainment Software Association, which represents companies including Ubisoft, Nintendo, EA and Activision," reported The Guardian.
"Video games cause gun violence" is a bullshit claim, refuted by science and mountains of literature/research. https://t.co/b1N4fCFUFM— jordan (@jordan) 1520441022.0
"Heads up: you should Investigate the link between guns & gun violence," TV personality Russell Woolf tweeted.
Today @realDonaldTrump is investigating the link between violent video games & gun violence. Heads up: you should I… https://t.co/nWHDsVFpnk— Russell Woolf (@Russell Woolf) 1520504231.0
Besides deliberately ignoring science (as usual), the Trump administration managed to botch one of the names on the list. "The White House made a mistake on International Women's Day by misidentifying the president of the ESRB, Pat Vance, as a man," Mashable noticed this afternoon. "The ESRB was quick to correct the White House, noting that Vance's entry should read "Ms. Pat Vance."
For the record... it's "Ms. Pat Vance". @PatriciaEVance https://t.co/KJq6hMVYo7— ESRB (@ESRB) 1520520327.0
Leave it to the Trump administration to get this wrong on International Women's Day.
@ESRBRatings @PatriciaEVance Happy International Women’s Day!— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper) 1520520380.0
Amidst the controversy over his choice of how to address gun violence, Trump spent the latter part of his afternoon enacting tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, something which he threatened to do while in a rage last week.