NRA takes aim at violent video games, culture

The NRA asks why the US media isn't as outraged at violence in pop culture as it is at gun ownership

By , IDG News Service |  IT Management, video games

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), speaks during a news conference in Washington December 21, 2012. NRA, the powerful U.S. gun rights lobby, went on the offensive on Friday arguing that schools should have armed guards, on a day that Americans remembered the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre with a moment of silence.

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

In his first speech since last week's mass shooting at a Connecticut school, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, cast blame for the killing spree everywhere but guns, advocating for armed guards in U.S. schools and decrying the "dirty little truth" of a "shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence" -- video games.

Increased calls for stricter gun control measures have followed the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, in which Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother and then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and gunned down 20 children and six women, including the principal, school psychologist and teachers, before turning a gun on himself.

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to investigate legislative measures that could be taken to help stem the growing number of mass shootings and other gun crime. Biden has until the end of January to provide some recommendations and appears set to look at not just gun control but violence in U.S. pop culture and how the country treats its mentally ill.

But the NRA had stayed largely silent, releasing a written statement Tuesday saying that the lobbying group for the gun industry and its 4 million members "were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown. Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting. The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

Apparently, the NRA's definition of meaningful includes this revelation: "And here's another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people," LaPierre said in the televised news conference."Through vicious, violent video games with names like 'Bulletstorm,' 'Grand Theft Auto,' 'Mortal Kombat' and 'Splatterhouse.' "

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