Let The Scapegoating Begin (Again)

As much as this has become the norm in America, to the point where most people shrug this off despite the fact that at any random moment, you could eventually be in the wrong place at the wrong time, becoming a victim of this very same phenomenon. Of course the phenomenon I’m speaking of is the proliferation of mass shooting sprees that have become more commonplace all throughout the country. I’m not going to go into my thoughts about gun laws or gun control — it’s an argument I don’t feel like having at this moment. But seeing two mass shootings occur in under 24 hours just a week ago brings these topics to the forefront. Clearly there is a problem, it’s clear that other countries seem to have found alternate progress, it’s clear that the majority of people in this country don’t see a problem, and that leads to the point of this article.

When a country is unable to find a way to either get rid of something that is causing an issue or finding a solution that will curb the negative consequences, the next step is to find a scapegoat. This isn’t a new concept, you can ask minorities, LGBT’s, other groups along with inanimate objects how things have been pinned on them that they really had nothing to do with. There are still preachers out there teaching people that atrocities and natural disasters are attributed to butt sex for fuck’s sake. There are clearly more Nazis and the like in this country that have shown their true colors since the turn of the century. Apparently no one showed them American History X.

What first caught my attention was a couple of articles about big companies essentially throwing video games under the bus. First, Walmart has decided to drop any and all advertising for “violent video games,” and yet they are one of the country’s largest firearms retailers, and they aren’t pulling those from shelves. Nope. Never that. Not in ‘Merica.

Next, despite seeing advertisements hyping another eSports televised event, ESPN delays the next Apex Legends tournament saying:

“Out of respect for the victims and all those impacted by the recent shootings, ABC will no longer air ‘EXP Invitational APEX Legends at X Games’ on Sunday,”

I understand “respect” but I don’t see how a video game tournament encourages racist assholes to shoot up markets, schools or concerts. I understand that there are people in pain, but how does advertisements at Walmart about video games or video games being on TV do anything about the real problem? I, and millions of people just like me, have been playing video games for years, or decades and have not committed violent crimes. Most gamers I know don’t even own a gun. I’m not saying I know what causes people to go out and shoot a ton of strangers, but I honestly can’t see it being games, Marilyn Manson, or The Sopranos. Culturally, violence has been glorified since the dawn of time. But to live in a society, we must learn to get along. Governments, laws, borders and all of that doesn’t really mean a thing when it comes down to it, and yet we place so much value on these things. Humans deserve a chance to live a happy life. It’s unfortunate that this usually means taking from others.

I found an interesting piece about the scapegoating of video games throughout the years, and it has literally been since their inception. I’d read that, and let me know what you think in the comments.

5 thoughts on “Let The Scapegoating Begin (Again)

  1. Corporations shying away from video games and game related events has nothing to do with “respect” as we both know. They are simply trying to navigate a course that means minimum damage to their bottom line. Therefore the play ball with the “lie” because making a principled stand costs more in the long term. The plan is to let it all blow over, so that the business status quo will return.

    The iniquities of politicians and corporations are commensurate with what they feel the public will tolerate, so in many respects, we have only ourselves to blame. We’ve allowed too much to slide for far too long. The gun laws in the US will only change when someone the politicians actually care about gets hurt. And because the lowest common political denominator has been indulged, expect more crass excuses and blame-mongering.

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  2. You have a lot of shootings in the USA because a lot of people have guns. That’s it.

    In the UK we have a similar moral panic going on but it’s over “knife crime”. Everyone under the age of 30 supposedly carriesa knife now for self-protection. We have an epidemic of stabbings. There’s much media turmoil and politicians are prioritizing it in every speech.

    We have that problem because knives are readily available to anyone. If guns were, who’d use a knife? As for mass killings, it’s somewhat harder to stab 30 strangers before someone disarms you, but people do try.

    Clearly, violent video games, movies or any other media have litle to do with any of this. They might factor in to the choices or decisions of individuals who already have the mindset and motive to commit violent acts but for the vast majority of us they have no effect whatsoever. It’s like saying the gobal popularity of Friends led to everyone into flat-sharing.

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  3. These things come in waves. Mass shootings are the current news focus, then it will be pipe bombs, or as mentioned knife attacks, for awhile kids were coming up behind strangers and beating them until unconscious. Plane crashes, violent bank robberies. There is always some tragedy that the news will focus one until they see disinterest. Social media these past several years just thrusts it more into our faces.

    The irony of gun control by the feds is kind of funny. They have laws on the books, that really have no teeth. Home rule in the states allow them to decide which laws they follow. New Jersey has tough laws for purchasing firearms. I could get a rifle or shotgun purchasing license to buy 1 in a few weeks to a month and a half, maybe two months. To buy a handgun there are additional checks and more time. If my neighbor joked to a cop that I shouldn’t be allowed, that’s it. Compared to Ohio where you just need to be 18, or 21 for a handgun.

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