Following a recent report that police found violent video games in the home of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza, Rep Frank Wolf (R-VA) today spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to stress the need to examine the role that violent media play in mass shootings.
According to the Hartford Courant, detectives are exploring whether Lanza might have been emulating a scenario from a video game during his rampage.
This new development in the Sandy Hook case comes in the wake of a National Science Foundation report requested by Wolf, which revealed three main factors associated with recent mass shootings: exposure to violent media, access to guns and mental health.
Wolf, chairman of the CJS subcommittee, requested the report following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. It is the latest in a series of steps Wolf has taken to address mass violence, including a recent request that Attorney General Eric Holder use existing funds to improve the nation’s background check system and create a national center for campus public safety. The campus safety initiative came at the request of the VTV Family Outreach Foundation, a group made up of families and victims of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech. To date, the Obama administration has failed to respond to either request.
“There needs to be a three-legged approach to this problem,” Wolf said. “In a number of these tragic shootings, there has been a pattern of the shooters playing violent video games. Remember Columbine? Remember the movie theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado?”
Wolf has long advocated for measures that prevent health insurers from placing discriminatory restrictions on mental health and addiction treatments, and has repeatedly cosponsored legislation aimed at protecting children from violent and sexually explicit video games and Hollywood films. Last year, the House-passed FY 2013 CJS appropriations bill increased funding for the background check system to levels higher than those proposed by both the Senate and the White House to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill and violent criminals. He also supported the Brady Bill.
Wolf said he plans to address the findings of the NSF report in hearings this Spring.