As I got up Sunday morning to leave a friend's apartment, I checked the news online to get an update on the situation in El Paso, Texas.
Then, I came across the Dayton, Ohio, incident. Immediately, I thought of my sister and her husband and their two children (the area they live is just 10 minutes away). I felt panic kick in as I read the article — nine people killed and 16 injured. I silently prayed for my loved ones and asked that God would keep them safe. Then I thought about all those families, both in El Paso and Dayton, grieving the death of their relatives. As I prayed for them, I felt my mind racked with questions.
Why? Our country has been plagued with an uptick in gun violence. If it wasn’t bad enough with the shooting at an onion festival in California a week before, we end up with two mass shootings on the same weekend. Who’s to blame? According to Republican lawmakers and President Donald Trump, video games are to blame for the violence. Regarding the issue, studies have shown that there is no conclusive proof that video games do in fact lead to mass shootings, according to the Verge. In the Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association case, judges ruled that there is no definitive evidence to link violent behavior to violent games.
According to an article from Scientific American, a study was published on Oct. 1, 2018, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in which the analysis did tie violent video games to a small increase in physical aggression among adolescents and preteens. The research, however, doesn’t end there. In a 2015 meta-analysis, Christopher Ferguson examined 101 studies on the subject and found that violent video games had little impact on kids’ aggression, mood, helping behavior or grades. Two years later, he found evidence that scholarly journals’ editorial biases had distorted the scientific record on violent video games. Experimental studies that found effects were more likely to be published than studies that had found none, according to the article.
Some articles I’ve read stated the president has used video games as a scapegoat to distract from the real issue, which they say is white supremacy and racial divide. Whether that is the case or not, all I know is we have a serious problem in this country. However, I don’t believe that stronger gun laws will solve all of the violence in the world.
When sin entered the world, everything suffered along with it, including human beings. We’re living in a fallen world, and as Jesus said in John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble …."
He didn't say we wouldn’t have sorrows or that violence wouldn't exist, but he did tell us not to lose heart and that he has overcome the world. It’s refreshing to know that even though the world around us is swirling in a whirlpool of confusion and chaos, God isn’t finished. He has the final say and he will make everything right. Until then, let’s not lose heart or give up. Let’s encourage each other and be reminded that this life isn't all there is. Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).