US gun lobby blasts “callous, corrupt shadow industry” as part of culture of violence, says the media encourages shootings
A week after the Newtown, Connecticut shootings that left dozens dead, the National Rifle Association has blamed the media in general, and violent games specifically. In a press conference today, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre cast the blame for the massacre not on guns, but on the media, and on games.
“There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry that sells and sows violence against own people, through vicious violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, and Splatterhouse,” LaPierre said.
He introduced a crude downloadable game called Kindergarten Killers, a first-person shooter that depicted a schoolyard shooting. He suggested that the media was either lazy in not reporting on the existence of such a game, or intentionally keeping it a secret.
“They portray murder as a way of life and then have the nerve to call it entertainment,” LaPierre said in reference to media companies the world over. “But is that what it really is? Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?”
LaPierre said that the media rewards shooters with attention and wall-to-wall coverage, only encouraging further attacks.
As for how to prevent future tragedies, LaPierre called for armed guards deployed in every school in America by the time kids return from their holiday breaks in January, saying, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” He also suggested a national database of the mentally ill.
The conference was broken up twice by protesters, one with a sign saying the NRA kills kids, another yelling that the organization has blood on its hands.
Founded in 1871 to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,” the NRA has long represented the interests of gun owners and manufacturers in US politics. It is a staunch believer in the Second Amendment right to bear arms, and now boasts more than 4 million members.