Gun Violence and Video Games

I am a firm believer in our United States Constitution.  I believe everyone should have equal rights.  And, I believe that every has the right to bear arms.

However, I am becoming increasing concerned over the amount of gun violence in our country…who isn’t, right?

As I have been processing all these gun related violent acts from LAX to teachers being shot in Colorado to the horrific school tragedy in Connecticut, and now, just yesterday a shooting near a Pittsburgh, PA high school, I am trying to figure out why.  Why is all this happening?  After all, we’ve been a pro-gun country for hundreds of years.  But what seems clear, as the USA Today points out in this interactive graph, mass murders are on the rise, a lot through gun violence.

So I asked the question, could this type of violence be a direct result of video games, in particular the first person shooter games?  Could a child or adult who loves these games feel an invincibility about themselves that they feel that it is their right to just go places and shoot people because that is what they do in the video games?

I don’t know the answer.  I am just asking the question.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love video games.  I enjoy playing them although I don’t play them regularly.  But, as a youth pastor, I do get paid to get my butt kicked by students in video games.  So I have a good amount of experience with video games.

One thing is clear to me, as a father and a Youth Pastor, there is an increasing amount of gun violence in public places and it has me concerned.  To simply say that these people are “mentally ill” doesn’t seem to be quite adequate reason anymore.  It is happening with too much regularity these days.

Again, I don’t know the answer, but I am asking the question.

What are your thoughts?  And, what can we, as Youth Ministers, do about this?

Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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