**forenote- I was thinking of calling this article ‘I executed an entire airport, does this make me capable of murder?’, but I thought better of it, especially considering how many articles I just read the title of and make assumptions straight away…**
Remember, no russian.
Those were the words spoken by Vladamir Makarov, the leader of the ultranationalist party is Russia, just before he slaughtered an airport full of people by assault rifle. They will also be infamous to you if you are 10 years old, or once were.
I am of corse referring to the mission entitled ‘No Russian’, in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2– which still remains controversial to this date. In this mission, you play as an American special forces agent, embedded into Makarov’s inner circle. To win his trust, you must unload your machine gun in the face of hundreds of innocent airport goers- and these actions must be carried out by the player of the video game.
Although this game was released in 2009, it still remains controversial to this date, and although the graphics were not as realistic as they are today, it was enough to convey the full horror of the situation. I should also mention I was about 14 or 15 when I first played this game- with most of my peers having been much younger when first playing it. I am now 18, there’s a reason I’m mentioning this:
Donald Trump wants a full investigation into the effects of violent video games on young people, and specifically what link it has with the alarming rate of mass shootings which have occurred in the states in the past few years (not that gun laws have more of a connection with the shootings).
When I recently played No Russian again (not just that mission, I restarted the campaign from scratch), it resonated with me much more. I felt what some might call a surge of emotion (almost a cry, but not a cry, you know?) Like what you did at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The mission in my mind, is as nuanced and moving, as it is destructive. I would put this surge of emotion down to the recent shooting at a high school in Florida (although I live in the UK, I am the same age as those affected and am aware firsthand how a tragedy can put everything on hold in an educational institution). This would therefore suggest to me that the effect that a video game has on you is completely subjective, and dependant on other factors- such as emotional maturity, upbringing, and others. I would also say that these factors exist in roughly the same capacity in both the US and the UK- but no mass shootings in the UK. I wonder why??
In summary, if you want gun violence to be eradicated, then gun’s must be eradicated by the very definition of ‘gun violence’. And if this is not possible, than a complete overhaul and reform of the system by which guns are owned and purchased. And if this is not possible, then next time- elect a President who would rather serve ordinary people than massively wealthy corporations such as the NRA…