Art Cashin On Assault Weapons, Mental Health, And Video Games

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We have discussed the alternate views of the terrible events that occurred in Connecticut from mental health to video games (Adam Lanza obsessively played "Call of Duty"), as opposed to simply attacking assault weapons. All, we are sure, have a share in the blame for this monstrosity but UBS' Art Cashin opines on the influence of video games suggesting this needs to be examined more closely. It seems, judging from FTC and FCC 'discussion drafts' that this is indeed on its way. The picture, however common-sensically desensitized the argument is, remains unclear as Bloomberg reports from an industry study: "We can’t find any evidence to support this idea that exposure to video-game violence contributes in any way to support the idea that these types of games or movies or TV shows are a contributing factor, it doesn’t need to be studied again."

Via Art Cashin:

Assault Weapons, Mental Health And Video Games – In the wake of the Connecticut massacre much has been said about the first two items listed above. We have long felt that the influence of video games needs to be examined. It looks like that may be on the way according to an article in Politico:

 

In the wake of the Newtown shootings, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller introduced a bill Tuesday that would have the National Academy of Sciences examine any link between violent video games and media, and violent acts by children, industry sources say.

 

According to a copy of the “discussion draft” obtained by POLITICO, the legislation directs the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission to make “appropriate arrangements” with the NAS to enable the study.

 

“Recent court decisions demonstrate that some people still do not get it,” Rockefeller said in a statement. “They believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons. Parents, pediatricians and psychologists know better. These court decisions show we need to do more and explore ways Congress can lay additional groundwork on this issue. This report will be a critical resource in this process. I call on my colleagues to join me in passing this important legislation quickly.”

 

In particular, the draft bill wants the NAS to explore “whether current or emerging characteristics of video games have a unique impact on children, considering in particular video games’ interactive nature and the extraordinarily personal and vivid way violence might be portrayed in such video games.”

 

There have been reports that Adam Lanza obsessively played “Call of Duty” and “Starcraft” before he went on a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last Friday.

 

We look forward to the report and discussion.

And Via Bloomberg, the picture is not as clear as many would hope.

We can’t find any evidence to support this idea that exposure to video-game violence contributes in any way to support the idea that these types of games or movies or TV shows are a contributing factor,” Ferguson said. “It doesn’t need to be studied again.”