Donald Trump thinks video games are to blame for America’s latest round of killing …
Three mass shootings in a single week in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton that left 36 people dead and 66 wounded. When Donald Trump decides to address the nation about a problem largely confined to the United States, he blames… the internet, social networks and video games.
If only it were that simple, but video games, however violent they may be, have nothing to do with this type of crime. The evidence is abundantly clear: if we classify countries based on the turnover of video game companies and compare that with the number of violent deaths by firearm, there is no meaningful correlation. Instead, the country that leads the world in mass shootings is precisely the one where it is easy to buy military grade firearms, whose use is enshrined in a constitutional amendment written in 1791 when guns were needed to deal with the dangers of day-to-day life.
Above all, we must study the context: since 2016, the number of rampages carried out by white supremacists has steadily increased, while at the same time, the occupant of the White House has steadily heightened the tone of his anti-immigrant rhetoric. As we approach the 2020 elections, Trump’s language has become increasingly militant, in addition to progressively increasing harassment of the immigrant population amid a worsening climate of hostility.
Openly racist tweets, rallies where his raucous followers demand this or that politician be “sent back” or to prison, all backed by extensive Facebook campaigns talking about an invasion of the country, a supposed national emergency and the need to build a wall to avoid it are all inflating unfounded fears about immigration. Between March and July 2019, immigration has been touchstone of Trump’s Facebook campaigns, as (see illustration) a tool that tracks them and allows them to be consulted by topic and candidate clearly shows.
America’s problem is not the internet, social networks or video games. Its problem is an irresponsible president who fans the flames of racism, deliberately talking in terms of us and them, while using the social networks to carefully manage his message of hate to the section of the electorate most open to this kind of rhetoric. It now seems we have a terrorist in the White House, rousing his followers through Facebook campaigns that bring to mind the genocide in Myanmar. Trump is prepared to use any means to hold onto power, and rather than take on the radicals in the gun lobby, he lamely prefers to blame technology.
(En español, aquí)