We deserve to know which idiot decided ‘video games’ would be the Republican response to mass murder

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 24: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) participates in a weekly press conference with Republican House leaders at the U.S. Capitol July 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. When asked about U.S. President Donald Trump's threat of revoking security privileges of political opponents, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he thought Trump was "trolling" his political opponents. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Rep. Kevin McCarthy was quick to blame video games, a trope at least half as old as he is.

I think we’re all dying to know which specific conservative idiot decided that “Gun violence is akshually caused by video games” would be the coordinated Republican Party response to this past weekend’s mass murders. This needs to be investigated. Congress needs to subpoena records. A blue-ribbon panel needs to be assembled. America needs to know which near-dead party fossil was Voldemorted onto the back of Republican heads so that we could once again hear that it is The Kids Today With Their Video Games, not race-war-obsessed white supremacists or lifelong misogynistic freaks or, heaven forfend, the almighty murder weapons that must be provided to each of them no-questions-asked so that they and they alone can come to the rightful decision about whom to murder and why.

We know, absolutely, that “Video games did it” was an orchestrated response because both the Texas lieutenant governor and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy piped up with it on the same morning, with the same talking points. Donald Trump picked it up for his own staff-written speech on how he would be doing Not Damn Much to respond to domestic terrorism, which tells us that his White House “advisers” either helped write those talking points or at the very least found them impressive enough to squeeze out Trump’s own Play-Doh Fun Factory face hole.

But it remains ridiculously untrue. Granted, we’re far advanced from the 1990s version in which televised fretters worried that all this Street-Fighting and Super Mario Worlding and Wolfensteining was turning us into a race of superviolent mushroom-pounding Nazi hunters, but there have been many studies on these fears, and they have all come up with bupkis. Even violent video games aren’t desensitizing us into becoming killers, no more than The Rap Music or The Movies or The Choose Your Own Adventure Books did.

You’d have to have lived in an underground bunker for the last 30 years not to know this.

Now, it is true that the pro-gun lobby has fallen on hard times of late and is increasingly hard-pressed to respond to each and every new mass murder with something resembling plausible talking points. It is possible that the NRA was not answering its phones during the period in which top Republicans were scurrying to find an excuse for the violence that would evade the rather more direct We sold these idiots murder weapons and then they used them, and Republican staffers had to go spelunking in their brains for what they remembered gun advocates saying uncountably many mass murders ago.

But really now, we deserve to know. Some Republican twit will be collecting a paycheck this week for hurriedly scribbling “Video games!” into the Republican hive mind, and all of America deserves to have a name attached to that accomplishment.

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