While Trump and Republicans continue to blame everything but the killing machine that led to the death of 17 students and injured over a dozen more at last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it was this latest suggestion that left America really shaking its head.
Trump has revived the typical platitude that violence in movies and video games may to be blame for mass shootings in this country and has suggested “something” needs to be done.
“We have to look at the internet because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds and their minds are being formed, and we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it,” Trump said. “And also video games. I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts. And you go the further step, and that’s the movies. You see these movies, and they’re so violent. And yet a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved, but killing is involved, and maybe they have to put a rating system for that.”
“The fact is that you’re having movies come out that are so violent, with the killing and everything else, that maybe that’s another thing that we’re going to have to discuss,” he added.
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Of course, anyone who has ever stepped foot in a movie theater knows that such a rating system already exists for both films and video games. Those ratings are not simply based on the presence of sex, but also violence, language, and mature content, per the Motion Picture Association of America and the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
Notwithstanding his invention of a rating system that already exists, the very basis of the idea is, of course, absurd given the fact that while we are not the only country in the world that watches violent movies and plays violent video games, we are the only country in the world with such a monumentally high number of mass shootings.
Trump’s suggestion ignores the glaringly obvious problem: the fact that Americans have nearly unrestrained access to military-grade weapons. But with Americans finally taking a stand against the NRA and calling out the Republican Party for kowtowing to the gun lobby over its own constituents, the GOP is facing a steep climb heading into midterms.