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WKYT Reality Check: Guns and video games


RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - The gun control debate has weighed heavy on the minds of a lot of lawmakers recently. Congress continues to fight over President Obama's new proposals.

WKYT wanted to take a closer look at one proposal in particular, involving video game restrictions. How much of an influence are violent video games in the minds of mass shooters?

After the movie theater mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado and the shootings inside an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, legislators have been searching for ways to prevent such tragedies.

"Congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds," said President Obama, addressing gun control proposals in a speech earlier in the year, "we don't benefit from ignorance. We don't benefit from not knowing the science of this epidemic of violence."

WKYT wanted to know, how much of a link is there between mass shootings and violent video games? According to psychology professor Dr. Dan Florell, there isn't any.

"There's a vast majority who are going to go ahead and have video games, play violent video games and never invest any sort of violence in the real world."

Dr. Florell says video games depicting blood, fights, and war scenes don't usually lead to the same in real life.

"There are a lot of people who use it, but it's a combination of kinda personality, characteristics. Those who get really angry easily combined with not having a lot of empathy for others, and when you have that combination of personality type it makes them susceptible if they play a lot of violent video games to possibly acting out on some of those aggressive impulses."

Washington seems to agree -current gun control legislation being discussed on Capitol Hill does not mention video games. Several different congressional proposals all taking on violent video games have been shelved recently.


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