Joe Biden on link between games and guns: “We shouldn’t be afraid of the facts”

The vice president called for a deeper examination of the relationship between video games and gun violence

Topics: Joe Biden, Gun Control, Gun Violence, Video Games, Media Violence,

Vice President Joe Biden addressed the nation yesterday in a Google Hangout in which he broached the topic of gun control, revisiting, among other gun issues, a possible link to video games. Biden’s statements were a follow-up to an earlier meeting he had with video game industry representatives, who have been quick to defend themselves against attacks from the NRA and senators who claim video games promote a culture of gun violence.

In yesterday’s Hangout, however, Biden didn’t condemn or criticize video games. Instead, he agreed with the industry: There’s “no hard data” to support a relationship between video games and violence, he acknowledged. Citing a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics that found children who played video games for hours could demonstrate more aggressive behavior, he explained that the study doesn’t link video games to gun violence. “There is no hard data as to whether or not these excessively violent video games in fact cause people to engage in behavior that is antisocial, including using guns,” he said.



He did, however, criticize the entertainment industry for dodging research, saying, “The one thing that bothers me is there’s part of the interest group population out there that are afraid of facts. Let the facts lead where they will and let the research be done,” Biden said. “That’s one of things that the president and I believe very strongly: Let the facts work.”

“Let these people go out and look at the pathology that’s behind this, if there is a pathology related to gun violence,” Biden said. “We shouldn’t be afraid of the facts.”

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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