US politician defends games in gun crime debate

Tuesday, 12th February 2013 03:09 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Californian Democrat and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said scientific evidence suggests violent media is not at the root of the US’s disproportionate rate of gun crime.

“The evidence says that, in Japan, for example, they have the most violent games and the lowest death – mortality – from guns,” Pelosi said during FOX News Sunday, as reported the Huffington Post.

“I don’t know what the explanation is for that except they may have good gun laws.”

Pelosi was referring to recent statistics demonstrating that the largest video game markets often correlate with very low gun crime rates, with the US proving a major exception – and also laying claim to the loosest gun control laws.

The Democrats have called for further scientific research into the relationship between popular culture and gun violence. Fox’s Chris Wallace suggested the Democrats don’t need to spend federal money on research, commenting that “we know” something nebulous about violent video games, and that Pelosi should simply go to her “friends in Hollywood” and “shame them into action”.

In the wake of violent gun crimes such as the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre of late last year, media and politicians have historically pointed the finger at comics, games and movies; this year, the US seems likely to enact new gun control legislation instead. Opinion is divided; use our “violence in games” tag for more coverage of this issue.

Thanks, The PA Report.



  1. Zohar

    Before anyone reads this and thinks they have an ally in the defense of Video Games, think again! Pelosi has a very clear anti-gun agenda and doesn’t want the conversation to focus on anything else. Conversely, other politicians have a pro-gun agenda and want to point fingers at violence in media.

    It’s the same ol’ shiz, different day folks :/

    I also think the author of this article represented Chris Wallaces’ comments a little bit out of context, so for the sake of completeness here’s the whole transcript of their conversation about gun violence and video games:

    WALLACE: Gun control will be a big part of the president’s agenda in the State of the Union address Tuesday night. But I want to ask you about another part of the effort to stop these horrible, repeated acts of mass violence. As part of your plan, you call for more scientific research on the connection between popular culture and violence.

    We don’t need another study, respectfully. I mean, we know that these video games, where people have their heads splattered, these movies, these TV shows, why don’t you go to your friends in Hollywood and challenge them, shame them, and say, “Knock it off”?

    PELOSI: Well, I do think, whatever we do, because when you talk about evidence-based, we have that throughout our proposal. In other words, we don’t want to just anecdotally writing bills. We want to have the evidence to say –

    WALLACE: Well, I’m not sure you want to write bills anyway. But don’t you — I mean, what would — you have a lot of friends in Hollywood. Why don’t you go to them and publicly say I think challenge you to stop the video games?

    PELOSI: I do think — see, I understand what you’re saying. I’m a mother, I’m a grandmother. But, they tell — not they, not Hollywood, but the evidence says that, in Japan, for example, they have the most violent games and the rest, and the lowest — death, mortality from guns. I don’t know what the explanation is for that except they may have good gun laws.

    But I think you took one piece of it. We are talking about — we are talking about stop — no further sales of assault weapons. What is the justification for an assault weapon? You know, no further sales of those.

    No further sales of the increased capacity, 30 rounds in a gun. We are talking about background checks which is very popular, even among gun owners, and, hunters. We avow the First Amendment, we stand with that, and say that people have a right to have a gun to protect themselves in their homes and their jobs, whatever. And that they — and their workplace — and that they, for recreation and hunting and the rest.

    But we are in the questioning their right to do that –

    WALLACE: I guess the question is — I think a lot of people say, here it is, liberals like Nancy Pelosi want to go after gun owners. But, when it comes to mental health laws, when it comes to their liberal friends in Hollywood, they don’t want to make them ante up.

    PELOSI: Well, mental health laws, I have to tell you, when I was speaker and we couldn’t get a hearing on this before that we passed the mental health parity act and, in the Affordable Care Act we took it to the next step and in another year you — we’ll have many more services available, because of mental health parity.

    We certainly have to do more. And, I salute the — applaud all of those who are saying we have to do more in mental health. But we have to do it, I think, we have to do it all and that is why we said — we included in there we have to look at what these games are.

    I don’t think we should do anything anecdotally. We have a saying here — the plural of anecdote is not data. And so, we want to know what is the evidence, what would really make a difference here. And I think it has to be comprehensive. END TRANSCRIPT

    Wallace mentions Hollywood because Pelosi is a democrat in California and Hollywood/celebrity money overwhelmingly supports Democrats. In other words, he’s challenging her to confront one of her biggest supporters about the role they play in society as regards to violence, desensitization, etc…

    Not that I believe that type of stuff actually creates violent killers, etc blah blah.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. TMRNetShark

    It is very cut and dry… violent video games should not be played by kids. Period.

    Now whether or not certain types of guns should be banned is moot too. The VAST majority of gun violence is done with pistols because of their relatively small size and ease of use. Assault rifles are the LEAST used for murder. So pistols >>>> assault rifles. But then once again, if you go by pure statistics… cars >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> guns when it comes to “killing” people. We can’t ban cars to lower the death toll, can we?

    Now as a video gamer, I may be as biased as a gun owner is about gun related deaths. The simple matter is, video games may or may not have a tie to violent behavior. I do not see it whatsoever, and there are at least 100 million people who play video games with at least 20 million of those people playing games with “M”-rating (obviously guesstamations, but verrrry conservative ones). 20 million to say 10 people who have committed violent acts is WELL within the margin of saying causation =/= correlation. Those 10 people may have all played violent video games, but can we really say that violent video games pushed these people over the edge?

    Now, hypothetically… let’s say that the link was established and video games were banned from the USA. As a video gamer, I know that I play video games to destress (just like the millions of other gamers out there, even you smartphone gamers). If 10 similar people to those shooters than grew up through school without video games… getting picked on like every single one of those shooters… would there be a difference? Would those shooters still not snap because they weren’t accepted by their peers?

    My personal belief (no one gives a shit about my opinion, but whatever) is that video games have actually prevented and delayed these shootings from happening more. Kids get bullied all the time, but video games help them forget the hardship of what is the United States public education system and the shit fucks they call students. I think school shootings would increase because now these picked on kids have no where to turn to forget their shitty days of being picked on by “popular kids.”

    Video games are not the (main) problem. Violent video games should not by played by kids, but that should be a standard already (which it’s not thanks to stupid parents). The problem is with our society and the public education system and with the little shit kids that push emotionally troubled kids over the edge. I understand kids can be assholes when their parents aren’t around, but we need to fix that.

    TL;DR So in summary… fix society. Also make it harder to GET a gun… but banning certain types of guns is useless.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Ballisticon

    “Wallace mentions Hollywood because Pelosi is a democrat in California and Hollywood/celebrity money overwhelmingly supports Democrats. In other words, he’s challenging her to confront one of her biggest supporters about the role they play in society as regards to violence, desensitization, etc…”

    and as you saw from the interview she values the almighty dollar above all else. Pelosi is a hypocrite, not only a run of the mill lib hypocrite (kill babies but no death penalty for child killers) but one that wants stricter gun laws that would not prevent any acts of violence she is so horrified at while at the same time ignoring any real reforms that might make a difference but open up her crony money supply to scrutiny. Violent games and movies have to have an impact on young minds. If anything, they might be the tipping point for unstable individuals. But no, can’t study that. Can’t implement screening in school for children deemed…odd. Ohh no, can’t have that. Let’s ban 30 round mags and make gun shows do background checks.

    Meanwhile, in Chicago there is a Newtown massacre EVERY MONTH. No one cares about black kids getting shot. Only when white babies get blasted by an insane person. Don’t look over there at hundreds being killed every year due to broken families, no fathers present, poverty. Certainly don’t want to look at those issues because the economy is going GREAT. Hey, in Chicago I bet if they implemented an assault weapons ban and banned high capacity mags the violence in that shit hole city would drop like a rock…right? Wrong. They already have banned assault weapons, high capacity mags, and have no gun ranges or stores in the city. And the SC just told them to allow hand guns so they have also been mia forever. So, lots of ‘gun control’…and you still have more death in one city than all troops in Afghanistan in 2012. Politicians disgust me.

    #3 2 years ago

    American and Japanese culture are like chalk and cheese.

    Comparing them in this context is completely futile.

    It’s like saying that there are 100 sparks a day a the car factory, and no problems, so we can have 100 sparks a day at the gas factory, and we’ll be fine.

    Anyhow, I also agree that there is an agenda to completely disarm Americans going on right now.

    Although I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a bad thing…

    #4 2 years ago
  5. osric90

    Anything inside a troubled mind can be harmful for them. Media, social influences, family life, etc. The right thing to do is keeping an eye on the kids and young ones and ask how are they feeling. And know how they are feeling. I was playing Resident Evil (among many others) when I was 8 (and still) and today I’m (modesty apart) the most productive, harmless, lovable and sweet person you will ever know. Ask my people. LOL. No kidding. I was given freedom of choice (religion and all that) and many liberties… and well, model citizen, my friends, thanks not only to my context but myself. Modesty apart. Bye.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Christopher Jack

    @3, Killing children & abortions are completely different. Of course abortions need to be controlled better, only in special circumstances should they be allowed. Too many accidents among youths are the primary cause of abortions so perhaps further education for youths could help prevent what should be an unnecessary surgery.

    Then again the primary rivals of abortions also don’t want youths to have the knowledge on how to have sex safely so I’m at a lost. They expect hormone controlled teens to fight the urge out of some false traditionalist ideology? Well good luck with that. I still think rape victims or those incapable of birthing a healthy child for medical or genetic reasons should reserve the right to abort.

    No sane person wants abortions, however pregnancy cannot always be prevented & in some cases you’re simply better off not bringing the child into the world. Or in medical cases you’re incapable of birthing a child otherwise it may come out stillborn, with severe mental/physical disorders &/or may even kill the mother.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. loveaya

    I recommand that we make Ms.Nancy Pelosi as a GTA5 dlc character!

    #7 2 years ago

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