According to Susan Linn, who teaches psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, more than 1,000 studies found “that exposure to media violence is a risk factor for aggression, lack of sympathy for victims and desensitization to violence.” Studies from the US and Japan show similar results regarding video-game violence. Children are especially vulnerable. And when you look at media violence, it is obvious that much of it is directed at children.
On this score the NRA is right: there is much to be concerned about regarding society’s saturation with violence from the media. Without so much violence on TV, in movies, books, video-games, music, in the promotion of certain sports, violence in general would be reduced and, it follows, so would murder by guns.
The choice, though, isn’t between gun control and the reduction of media violence: it is both. Entrenched positions on both sides make it an either/or choice. The NRA excoriates those who advocate for gun control and sticks to the script that media violence is the underlying cause; gun control advocates won’t acknowledge the role that media violence plays and attacks the NRA for obfuscation.