Republican politicians blame ‘Call of Duty’ and ‘John Wick’ for gun violence

Parkland, Florida mass shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz — who currently faces 17 counts of murder for his alleged shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — was able legally to purchase the semi-automatic rifle he used to carry out the attack without a waiting period or permit. The AR-15 he used is widely available in the United States and exists for the sole purpose of killing human beings, but according to some Republican politicians, it’s violent video games that should be blamed for mass shootings in America rather than gun laws.

Florida congressman Brian Mast spoke with NPR regarding the attack on Friday morning. Mast downplayed the effect that stricter gun laws would have had on stopping the mass shooting, instead blaming entertainment for its alleged role in encouraging such an act.

“What do we do with the biggest pusher of violence?” Mast said in the interview. “The biggest pusher of violence is, hands down, Hollywood movies [and] hands down, the video game market. When you look at Call of Duty — when you look at movies like John Wickthe societal impact of people being desensitized to killing in ways that are different than how someone on the battlefield is desensitized is troubling, and very different.”

Mast has received donations from the National Rifle Association in the past, an organization that has been called “the most powerful special interest group in Washington.” His comments were largely echoed by Republican Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, who said the executives at game publishers, record labels, and movie studios had to “step up.” Back in October, Bevin dismissed a call for gun control, saying you can’t “regulate evil.” He said back in 2015 that he was “proudly endorsed” by the NRA.

Australia’s history offers a counterexample to Bevin’s suggestion, however. Following a 1996 change to its gun laws that banned several types of firearms and instituted a federal “buy-back” program,” homicide rates have declined by 20 percent.

In 2015, the American Psychological Association published a study finding a link between violent video games and increased aggression, but the organization didn’t find a conclusive link between violent video games and violent behavior. The accusations against video game publishers are not new, with current Attorney General Jeff Sessions pointing the finger at video games following the Columbine massacre in 1999. Nor has it always been a Republican position, with Democratic senator Joe Lieberman invoking the 1993 senate hearings that led to the creation of the ESRB over Mortal Kombat‘s violence.

According to the Associated Press, Nikolas Cruz was a member of a white supremacist paramilitary organization that wished to turn Florida into a white ethno-state. The group has attempted to distance itself from Cruz following the attack.

Emerging Tech

‘Guerrilla rainstorm’ warning system aims to prevent soakings, or worse

Japanese researchers have created a "guerrilla rainstorm" early-warning system aimed at preventing severe soakings, or worse. The team hopes to launch the system before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Movies & TV

Bill and Ted 3 celebrates the franchise's 30th birthday with excellent teaser

As the Bill and Ted franchise turns 30, a third installment that the cast and creative team call Bill and Ted Face the Music is officially in preproduction, though there are big hurdles to overcome.

Nvidia promises DLSS at low resolutions will be ‘top priority’ in future updates

Nvidia's deep learning super sampling needs work. Gamers know it and now we know Nvidia knows it too. The company made it clear on the technology's FAQ page that it plans to make fixing DLSS a top priority.
Movies & TV

J.J. Abrams wraps production on Star Wars: Episode IX with a heartfelt message

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has wrapped production on Star Wars: Episode IX, which he directed and co-wrote. Here's everything we know about the movie before it premieres in December 2019.

Activision not doing itself any favors with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 loot boxes

New loot boxes added to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 have caused a somewhat uneven playing field for those who choose to spend extra money. Certain limited-time items can now only be found in loot boxes.

Logitech’s G MX518 gaming mouse pairs classic looks with all-new tech

Logitech is relaunching one of its most popular classic gaming mice, the MX518. Now called the G MX518, it sports upgraded internals that give it a 16,000 DPI optical sensor and new and improved memory.

Apex Legends adds its first new gun, the Havoc energy rifle

Respawn added the first piece of new content to Apex Legends, the Havoc energy rifle. It's available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC players. The fully automatic rifle can be modded to shoot single-shot energy beams.

One game console is better than the rest, and we're not afraid to say it

We've seen a relatively large influx of new consoles in the last year, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, so we've updated our recommendations for the best dedicated game hardware.

Everything we know about Devil May Cry 5, including characters and combat

Devil May Cry 5 is just around the corner, and is the first game in the original series since Devil May Cry 4 in 2008. Here is everything we know about the game, including its playable characters.

Samsung Galaxy S10 optimizations make it great for Fortnite

Samsung's new line of Galaxy S10 devices have been optimized for gaming. All three offer improved support for the Unity engine and the S10 Plus also offers vapor chamber cooling, similar to the Xbox One X.

Having problems with your Xbox One console? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse -- and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.

Need help getting the Sleeper Simulant in Destiny 2? We’ve got you covered

The Sleeper Simulant is one of the coolest new Exotic weapons you can unlock in the Warmind expansion of Destiny 2, but it's an involved process that will take awhile. Here's everything you need to know.