The debate over firearms rights and the Second Amendment in the US continues as yet more gun violence erupted in New Mexico leaving five people dead and law enforcement asking questions about what is driving the lethal trend.
Nehemiah Griego, 15, has been charged with two counts of murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death after allegedly slaying his mother, father and three siblings in their Albuquerque home January 13, 2013.
Griego has been very forthcoming with law enforcement officials involved in the investigation and has freely divulged that he was motivated by frustration with his home life. It has been reported that the boy further planned to murder his girlfriend’s parents and people at a nearby Wal-Mart with the hope of dying in an exchange of gunfire with police.
Albuquerque crime investigators made special note of Griego’s love of violent video games, which he confessed during his interrogation. Officers said the boy was visibly excited when talking about video games, specifically the popular war epic Call of Duty.
Various media outlets have latched onto this aspect of Griego’s confession as something significant given its role in President Obama’s wider plan for gun control in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The president recently tasked the Centers for Disease Control to conduct a study on the effect of violent video games on children.
This is not the first time video games have been targeted following violent crime committed by children and previous research has yielded mixed results. One researcher recently noted that child violence has actually dropped in the last 40 years despite ever-changing trends in video game content and popularity.
The fact that other countries with markets for both firearms and violent video games do not have the same problem with gun violence seems to suggest there is more to the equation, and the hope is that the missing pieces to the puzzle are uncovered sooner rather than later.