×

Trump Points to Video Games, Movies as Possible Causes of Violence

A day after a listening session to address concerns from survivors of the Parkland school shooting, President Donald Trump pointed to video games and movies as possible causes for violence, as the White House is faced with raising rallies for gun control laws.

“I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” he said at a meeting on school safety. “And then you go the further step, and that’s the movies.”

“You see these movies, they’re so violent and yet, a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved,” he went on. “Killing is involved, and maybe they have to put a rating system for that.”

His comments are similar to criticisms that the NRA made in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings, in that a problem is the violent culture perpetrated by the entertainment industry.

In 2013, Vice President Joseph Biden met with industry lobbying representatives to talk about on-screen violence, but nothing came of the recommendation to launch an extensive scientific study of the effects on media violence on children.

Movie ratings are administered by the MPAA, but they have come under scrutiny through the years in how they treat depictions of violence versus sex. The video game industry also has a ratings system that is administered through the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

On Wednesday, survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 people, gathered at the White House to talk to Trump in search of solutions. While Trump discussed mental health issues and the idea of teachers being supplied with guns, many of the survivors raised questions about the accessibility of guns in the U.S., especially assault rifles like the shooter’s AR-15.

“I don’t understand why I can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war, an A-R” said Samuel Zeif, a student of Marjory Douglas High School, tearfully. “How is it that easy to buy this type of weapon? How do we not stop this after Columbine, after Sandy Hook? I’m sitting with a mother who lost her son. It’s still happening.”

In a series of tweets early Thursday, Trump suggested allowing “highly trained teachers” to have a gun in the classroom, and added that he will be “strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health.”

He continued to broach the idea on Thursday afternoon.

“We have to harden our schools, not soften them. A gun-free zone to a killer or somebody who wants to be a killer, that’s like going in for the ice cream,” he said. “That’s like ‘here I am, take me.’ We have to get smart on gun-free zones. When they see ‘this is a gun-free zone,’ that means that nobody has a gun except them, nobody’s going to be shooting bullets in the other direction. And they see that, it’s such a beautiful target.”

Trump also denied that he suggested arming teachers, although he is open to personnel on school campuses having firearms.

“One of the fake news networks, CNN, said I want teachers to have guns,” he said. “I don’t want teachers to have guns, I want certain highly adept people people that understand weaponry, guns, if they really have that aptitude, because not everybody has an aptitude for a gun, I think a concealed permit for teachers and letting people know there are people in the building with a gun, you won’t have, in my opinion you won’t have these shootings.”

More Politics

  • Jon Voight Mike Huckabee

    Trump Taps Jon Voight, Mike Huckabee for Kennedy Center Board

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump intends to appoint actor Jon Voight, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Broadway producer Daryl Roth to the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The list of new appointees also includes American Financial Group co-CEO Carl Lindner III, TCW Group chairman Marc I. [...]

  • Cory Booker

    Cory Booker to Speak at Human Rights Campaign's L.A. Gala

    WASHINGTON — Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), in the midst of his presidential bid, will speak at the Human Rights Campaign’s Los Angeles dinner on Saturday. Among those being honored at the event will be Christina Aguilera and Yeardley Smith (the voice of Lisa Simpson on “The Simpsons”), while artists Betty Who and Shea Diamond will [...]

  • Rahm Emanuel

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Calls Jussie Smollett Deal a 'Whitewash of Justice'

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted the decision by Cook County prosecutors to drop charges Tuesday against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Flanked by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Kevin Graham, the president of the Chicago police union, the mayor said the decision sends a message that high-profile people will not be held accountable for their [...]

  • The Federal Trade Commission building in

    FTC to Examine Privacy Practices of Major Internet Providers

    WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission said it is launching an examination of the privacy practices of major internet providers including AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast to study how they use consumer information. Capitol Hill lawmakers have been giving added scrutiny to the tech industry’s use of consumer data for more than a year, but much [...]

  • mueller report read online public

    How Did the Mueller Report Show Up on Amazon When It Hasn't Been Made Public?

    Days after special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report on Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, two new listings on Amazon have added fire to the debate over whether or not the full report should be made public — and if so, when it will be released. Though Mueller himself has [...]

  • President Donald Trump listens to a

    Trump Campaign Asks Producers to Reconsider Booking Critics Who Claimed Collusion

    WASHINGTON — A day after Attorney General William Barr released a memo summarizing the findings of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, the Trump campaign has sent one of their own. The memo was sent to TV producers, and singles out a list of guests the campaign says made “outlandish, false claims” of collusion between the Trump [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content