Passions sometimes run high when people play video games – or in this case, don’t play them – but on Sunday March 18, these emotions crossed the line into homicide when a nine-year-old boy shot and killed his 14-year-old sister (Dijonae White) when she refused to hand over a game controller in a tragic video game shooting incident.
The video game shooting took place in the Mississippi home of Dijonae White. According to early reports, Dijonae (a pupil at Tupelo Middle School) took over playing the game and then refused to hand the controller back to her brother. He responded by going into another room, retrieving a 0.25-caliber gun from a nightstand and then shooting his sister in the back of her head. She was brought to Memphis children’s hospital Le Bonheur but died at 6.45 p.m.
Early reports claim that the gun belonged to the mother’s live-in boyfriend. At the time of the shooting, Dijonae’s mother was in the kitchen feeding three of her other three children..
The video game shooting case falls under the jurisdiction of Sheriff Cecil Cantrell, who is taking a cautious approach and not jumping to any conclusions. Cantrell stated: “I’m not too fast to say anything because there are juveniles involved. We want to do what’s right and we’re going to get it right.”
However, the sheriff also said: “In my opinion, kids watch video games where they shoot each other and hit the reset button and they come back to life. It’s not like that in the real world. I’m not saying that’s necessarily what happened, but kids now are different than what they were when we were growing up.”
Is the problem video games or guns?
The video game shooting case will throw a spotlight on the whole issue of violent video games, that President Trump raised after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February. “I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” Trump said at a meeting in February.
At the White House meeting, Donald Trump raised the issue, not only of video games but the internet in general. “We have to look at the Internet, because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds and their minds are being formed, and we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it."
However, Trump’s assertions were seen by some as an attempt to distract attention from alternative explanation of gun killings generally and not just the video game shooting. That explanation - i.e. the TRUE explanation - would throw the blame onto the widespread availability of guns in the US. Despite the power of the National Rifle Association – which spends millions of dollars supporting politicians who oppose gun control and attacking those politicians who support gun control – the tide is beginning to turn against second amendment absolutists.
Paranoid/dishonest conspiracy theorists, gun control and the illuminati
People are now coming to realize that it is the abundance of guns – not their legality per se – that is the main cause of the problem. This also explains why the gun violence problem is so hard to tackle at the state level. States that have strict gun control laws, can (and in many cases do) refuse to recognize gun licenses from other states, but once the guns are out there, controlling their use by criminals is well nigh impossible.
On the other hand, countries that have strict gun laws (like Britain and Japan) fare much better, despite the occasional anecdotal case that throws a spanner in the works. Indeed, it is the anecdotal evidence that is widely seized upon not only by the NRA, but also by the other joker in the pack: conspiracy theorists.
The internet is full of lunatic conspiracy websites, self-published Amazon Kindle books by paranoid people and of course YouTube videos by charlatons. These websites, books and videos claim variously that gun attacks outside the US prove that gun control is ineffective or that gun attacks and mass killings are “false flags” by people seeking to ban guns or create world government. Some the wackier conspiracy theorists claim that guns are necessary to "defend ourselves" against the “illuminati” shape-shifting reptiles or other such alleged conspiracies.
This explosion of stupidity and paranoia has been created largely to be exploited by the smarter, well-heeled conspiracy theorists, who monetize their websites at the expense of the gullible. It is tolerated and even fueled by companies like Google (owners of YouTube), Amazon and Facebook who prefer to maximize profits than employ enough people to provide human vetting of user-generated content.
But ultimately the victims are not the gullible people who believe the conspiracy theorists, but the secondary victims of the policies that such gullibility shapes. Thus, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is obliged to keep records of guns sold in the US (provided by the sellers) but are not allowed to have a searchable computerized database of such guns when they need to cross-check a specific weapon.
According to anti-gun-violence organization The Trace:
To perform a search, ATF investigators must find the specific index number of a former dealer, then search records chronologically for records of the exact gun they seek. They may review thousands of images in a search before they find the weapon they are looking for. That’s because dealer records are required to be ‘non-searchable’ under federal law. Keyword searches, or sorting by date or any other field, are strictly prohibited.
This is the legacy left by corrupt politicians in the pocket of the NRA and spineless politicians who care more about being re-elected than the lives of American citizens.