I am about to utter a something I would have never, ever thought would escape my lips, and it is this:
Rush Limbaugh could not be more correct.
On Rush’s radio show yesterday, a caller phoned in and essentially made the same assertion Jack Thompson made on Fox: namely, that the shooter had most likely been trained by video games, or had been brainwashed by them, etcetera. Rush responded:
“Not every video gamer goes out and murders 33 people on the college campus though. There’s more to this than that. We can find all kinds of societal problems and ills, but the fact of the matter is that whatever you would look at as a bad influence — video games as you mentioned — it may desensitize people, but it doesn’t turn everybody into mass murderers.”
Just goes to show you that you can’t judge a pundit’s stance on video gaming by their political slant; Jack Thompson has many liberal equivalents, and, evidently, one of the most conservative people in America agrees with us gamers.
Hit the jump for the rest of the transcript.
CALLER: What I really think is an issue is video violence, video gaming. I will guarantee you, I’ll bet my last dollar in my pocket, that this shooter will be found to have been a compulsive video gamer, and when people are living that kind of lifestyle — and college students do this a lot.
RUSH: (sigh) Let’s say you’re right.
RUSH: Not every video gamer goes out and murders 33 people on the college campus though. There’s more to this than that. We can find all kinds of societal problems and ills, but the fact of the matter is that whatever you would look at as a bad influence — video games as you mentioned — it may desensitize people, but it doesn’t turn everybody into mass murderers.
CALLER: You’re absolutely right, but the classic forms of brainwashing are involved with compulsive video gaming: sleep deprivation, food deprivation, isolation, and then, as I say, if you’re shooting people eight hours a day in a cyber-environment, then it just lowers the resistance to honoring human life.
RUSH: Well, look, there’s no question that some people probably are affected by that. In this case, let’s not jump the gun on this guy and make him a video gamer. We’ll find out soon enough everything we want to know about this guy, and I guarantee you that much of what we find out will be America’s fault. Just be patient. This stuff will all come out. I want to ask you people a question. I want you to be honest. You don’t have to tell anybody else what you think. You don’t. You can answer this privately. I’m going to ask you a question. You do not have to tell anybody what you answered. When you first heard the news yesterday, and the death toll kept rising and it finally got up to the 30, 32 number, the 33, how many of you were not really all that profoundly affected by it? The reason I ask the question is, how many of you have become desensitized? The previous caller used the word. There is so much violence on television and in the movies, the video games, I guess, you want to throw those in, violence in newscasts, and we hear about 35 people dead in Iraq every day.
Some people just after awhile, you don’t have an emotional reservoir left. Your emotion is all spent. You can only care about 35 people shot so much because, here we had 30, 33 people killed, 30 injured in one incident, but the number of deaths on the highways — which, granted, are not murder, but there’s a pretty big murder rate in the country, various cities around the country. I just wonder how many people, when this first happened, were desensitized. It didn’t affect them the way it would have if it — and I have no answer for this, I’m just asking the question because… The reason I asked this is because this is so extraordinary. I would be surprised if a whole lot of people said that it didn’t affect them. But within our generations, our two generations, the last 50 years, there have been a substantial number of these things. Not every day, not every year, not every month, of course. They do happen, but they are not symptomatic of something wrong in the country. Now, I remember when I was hosting my television show, this would be the early nineties, and there was the first incident I can remember of a seven-year-old killing a four-year-old.
After this, he proposed a few of his own theories as to why the shootings occurred — namely, a lack of Godlessness in schools and the tendency of liberal professors to talk about how crappy the world is without offering a solution — but he had me at “let’s not jump the gun on this guy and make him a video gamer.”