Monday, April 23, 2007

VA Tech Shooting Caused by Talking Alien Raccoons least, somebody probably thinks so. I'd like to tell you that the actual headlines aren't quite as silly (or in as poor taste), but at this point I honestly can't.

The bodies weren't even cold yet, and the media's biggest attention-hounds were already trying to use the tragedy to support their own agenda. Let's take Jack Thompson, for instance. He hates video games so much, that he scans the newspaper every day for atrocities he can blame on them. So when something like the Virginia Tech shooting happens, good ol' JT already has his speech nearly written; he just has to fill in the specific names and dates. The good news is, nobody has to pay attention to anything Thompson says any more, because you can pretty much guess it. A postal worker goes on a shooting spree? Must have been playing GTA. Peeping tom terrorizes neighborhood? Must've learned his voyeuristic habits from playing The Sims. Obesity on the rise? Blame Pac-Man. World Trade Center attacks? The terrorists must've been playing Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Jack Thompson blames the VA Tech shootings on Counterstrike. Dr. Phil also agrees that video games must have been an influence. Neither has any actual evidence to base this on - no games were found in Cho Seung Hui's possession, and his roommate confirmed that he never saw Cho playing them. But why mess up a perfectly good theory with facts? Meanwhile, Reverend Fred Phelps, head of the charming "God Hates America" and "God Hates Fags" websites, is claiming that the tragedy is yet more evidence that America is being punished for its sins (you know, like tolerating homosexuals)... and is using it as an excuse to disrupt the funerals. And Christian news website "One News Now" somehow managed to blame the shootings on the fact that evolution is being taught in public schools.

When people accuse this of being a "blameless society", it usually means that it's the criminals who come up with excuses for what they've done. But now it's not just the perpetrators making the excuses; everyone wants to get in on the act. Now bear with me. Isn't it possible - even remotely - that the shooting had nothing to do with God or video games or evolution or violent movies or karma or astrology or Harry Potter? Isn't it possible that Cho Seung Hui is just an asshole? Can we please let a tragedy go by without trying to blame it on whatever "hot button" is currently vogue? When you come up with ridiculous objects of blame, all you're doing is helping the criminals by giving them new things to try in court.

Now, I'm all for examining Mr. Hui to find out how his brain works. I'll happily allow my tax dollars to go towards researching the psychopathic mind. Anything to keep this kind of thing from happening again. But Jack Thompson, Fred Phelps, and the rest of these loudmouths aren't trying to probe a killer's mind. They're just furthering their own careers, and playing "the blame game" without a shred of real evidence to support their opinions.

Related Articles/Sites:

Reverend Fred Phelps / God Hates America

Thompson Blames Video Games For Virginia Tech Shooting

Dr. Phil Blames Video Games for Virginia Tech Massacre

Creationist: Teaching 'evolution-only' dampens respect for human life

Warrant Reveals No Games In Cho Seung Hui's Posession

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