Correlations, not causations of the Navy Yard massacre

ARMSTRONG I WILLIAM'S | 9/30/2013, 12:05 p.m.
I can tell you several things that did not cause the Navy Yard shootings last week: AR-15s, video games and ...
Armstrong Williams


I can tell you several things that did not cause the Navy Yard shootings last week: AR-15s, video games and partisanship. On the flip side, I can tell you what contributed to the massacre: mental instability, poor security, and a failure of the vaunted clearance system and NSA.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, before the blood had even dried, liberals and the media howled that Aaron Alexis used an AR-15. This, of course, led to immediate calls from the usual talking heads, Sen. Feinstein and President Obama, to ban assault weapons. But Alexis did not use an AR-15, he used a shotgun, the same type of weapon used in the Columbine massacre, and the recommended gun-of-choice of Vice President Joe Biden. Strange that the gun used in more mass shooting incidences is not the one that liberals are demanding be banned. I guess that is simply an oversight on their part … or confirmation bias.

Alexis shot two guards with the shotgun, grabbed their pistols and used them to mow down innocent victims. No law that the left has espoused could have stopped such an act. Not much after the liberals blamed a gun that was not used, The Drudge Report attempted to get conservatives in a tizzy about violent video games. The UK Daily Mirror, a source on par with the National Enquirer, received the top headline link for a story claiming Alexis played games up to 18 hours a day. They note he played Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.

Call of Duty is the biggest selling series of games of all time, selling over 100 million copies, with over 40 million active players on any given day. World of Warcraft is the most played massive multiplayer online role playing game ever, currently boasting over 7 million subscribers. As usual, we have a case of correlation, not causation. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide play video games. Less than .0000001 percent of those become mass murderers. Over 200 million applying the same stupid logic: Americans watch football, the most violent sport in the modern world. For some reason, no one foolishly correlates football viewership with mass shooting, even though I bet 100 percent of those murderers watched football.

Attacking video games as the root cause of mass violence is as feeble a hypothesis as when Tipper Gore claimed Dee Snider and hair metal was corrupting our youth in the 80’s, or Frederic Werthan blaming comic books for destroying lives with his book Seduction of the Innocent back in the 50’s.

You also usually see pundits quickly looking for political or religious reasons for these types of shootings. Alexis was apparently a Democrat and Obama supporter, as well as a Buddist. What does that tell us? Nothing. Those who carry out jihads or political assassination declare their allegiances before (through notes and conversations), during or after (if they survive). Nadal Hassan was attempting jihad at Fort Hood and Timothy McVeigh was anti-government. Alexis, like Adam Lanza of Newtown, Conn., was crazy. There is no explaining crazy.