Trump seemed to place part of the blame for school shootings on violent video games and movies -- and a Parkland survivor called it a 'pathetic excuse'

  • In the wake of the school shooting in Florida last week, President Trump said on Thursday that violence in video games and movies were affecting kids.
  • One Florida school shooting survivor called the President’s remarks “pathetic” when asked about them on CNN.

At a moment when many are trying to figure out how to prevent another school shooting, President Trump believes we need to look at video games and movies that young people are consuming.

During a meeting in the White House about school safety on Thursday, President Trump said that today’s video games and movies are “so violent,” and that the rating systems for both need to be reexamined.

“The level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts, and then you go the further step, and that’s the movies,” Trump said. “You see these movies, they’re so violent, and yet a kid is able to see the movie. If sex isn’t involved, but killing is involved. And maybe they have to put a rating system for that, and you get into a whole very complicated, very big deal.”

There are currently rating systems for both movies and video games. The Motion Picture Association of America has a rating system that’s used at movie theatres nationwide. For video games, they are conducted by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

“We know that’s not how life is”

This is hardly the first time both mediums have come under fire after a violent act. But it’s the victims of this latest school shooting that are coming out to say it’s not the content that’s causing the violence.

“My friends and I have been playing video games our whole lives, and seen, of course, violent movies, but never have we ever felt driven or provoked by those action in those games to do something as horrible as this,” Samuel Zeif, a Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor, said on CNN soon after Trump made the remarks. “It’s a video game, something happens you restart, we know that’s not how life is. I think it’s a distraction, the president is trying to distract us.”

Fellow survivor, Chris Grady, gave stronger words about Trump’s comments.

“That’s just a really pathetic excuse on behalf of the president,” he told CNN. “I grew up playing video games – ‘Call of Duty,’ those first-person shooter games – and I would never, ever dream of taking the lives of any of my peers. So it’s just pathetic.”

Since the Florida shooting, students across the country have rallied for stricter gun-control measures. Protests have been held, and there’s a planned national school walkout on March 14, and a “March for Our Lives” protest on March 24.

The National Association of Theatre Owners declined to comment for this story. The Motion Picture Association of America and Entertainment Software Rating Board did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Here’s President Trump’s comments on there being too much violence in video games and movies:

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