A day after meeting with survivors of the Parkland, Fla. shooting massacre, Donald Trump said that movies and video games were to blame for rising violence at America’s schools. So POTUTS proposed a solution to the perceived problem that, well, sounded familiar to a lot of people.
“I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence in 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. Killing is involved, and maybe they have to put a rating system for that.”
As it happens, ratings systems already exist for both movies and video games. The Motion Picture Association of America adopted its rating system for film in 1968, with various tweaks over the years leading to the current G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17. The video game industry created the Entertainment Software Rating Board in 1994, rating games on a scale that includes EC (early childhood), E (everyone), M (mature), and AO (adults only).
Trump has previously suggested on Twitter that “highly trained teachers” should be allowed to carry guns in classrooms, a proposal echoed by National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre in a speech made on Thursday. Trump’s comments on violence in mass media echo those made by LaPierre following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012, calling the gaming industry “a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows violence against its own people.”
In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Douglas High School that killed 17 people, students in Florida and other states have staged walk-out protests demanding gun control legislation. On Wednesday night, Sen. Marco Rubio and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch faced angry demands from students and parents demanding change at a town hall aired on CNN. Moments from the broadcast were widely shared on social media, most notably a point-blank question from student Cameron Kasky to Rubio on whether he will continue to accept campaign donations from the NRA.