At this point it's expected that video games will come under fire after a tragic event like last week's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. But this week, even the National Rifle Association—which some would argue should shoulder more blame than games—have jumped on that ugly bandwagon. See the following statement, from NRA head Wayne LaPierre:
There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting industry that sells and sows violence against its own people, through vicious, violent video games with names like ‘Bulletstorm,’ ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Splatterhouse.’
That statement is apparently so ridiculous, especially coming from LaPierre, that even California senator Leland Yee felt the need to respond—if not quite backing up the games industry, then at least condemning the NRA:
I find it mind-boggling that the NRA suddenly cares about the harmful effects of ultra-violent video games. When our law was before the Supreme Court—while several states, medical organizations, and child advocates submitted briefs in support of California's efforts—the NRA was completely silent. Now, rather than face reality and be part of the solution to the widespread proliferation of assault weapons in America, they attempt to pass the buck. More guns are not the answer to protecting our children, as evident by the fact that armed guards weren't enough to stop the tragedy at Columbine High School. The NRA's response is pathetic and completely unacceptable.
Yee has been an avid opponent of gamers' rights in the past, introducing legislation that would have criminalized the sale of violent video games to minors in California. The bill failed, but still. Nevertheless, when the NRA is trying to cast off blame by launching such a ridiculous and unwarranted attack on gaming, we'll take whatever support we can get, right?