A Washington state teen has been charged with murder, the 14-year-old having shot his mother and father in the head after he was grounded from electronic devices. Nathon Brooks may be tried as an adult for the crime, though reports suggest he might be suffering from mental illness of some kind.
Brooks, for his part, has decided to shift the blame to violent videogames, in what looks like a cynical exploitation of ludicrous stereotypes to avoid accountability.
"He said he quit playing violent videogames because he thought they were making him more violent," said Moses Lake police Sgt. Mike Williamst. "I asked him how much he played video games, and he told me '24/7,' up until he got his electronics taken away."
Brooks added a voice in his head was telling him to murder his parents, Jonathan and Elizabeth, and he had in fact considered murdering them since the age of eight. You can expect news sources to not focus so much on the "murderous head voice" thing and find the "GTA definitely did it" part far more salacious.
As we saw with Norway shooter Anders Brevik, it's looking like killers have taken note of the fact they can shift accusing eyes away from themselves by pointing at violent videogames -- a tactic eagerly swallowed up by news sources, parents, and politicians.
Thanks entirely to the efforts of FOX News, CNN, Leland Yee, and a host of other reckless disseminators of assumption-posing-as-fact, videogames are an easy way for a criminal to pass the buck and take some of the heat off themselves. It might not be a "get out of jail free" card -- yet -- but it's demonstrably effective in allowing murderers respite from their own responsibility.
That someone can kill people in cold blood, blame videogames ... and actually have that blame accepted by influential people, is beyond atrocious. Nathan Brooks won't be the last one to try it, either, and he won't be the last to find a society more than willing to hear him out. Utterly disgusting.
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