The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Community News Network

February 14, 2013

Report links violent media, mental health and guns to mass shootings

National Science Foundation study was requested by Congressman following Sandy Hook massacre

A report compiled by an advisory committee to the National Science Foundation (NSF) details three major risk factors associated with mass shootings --exposure to violent media, mental health, and access to guns.

The report was requested by Rep. Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican, following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

Wolf, chairman of the House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee, said the report supports his belief that rampage shootings are the result of multiple factors, including access to firearms, mental health issues, and exposure to violent media, including violent video games. 

Wolf said he was expecting to hear President Obama’s plan to address the role of media violence and mental health in episodes of mass violence during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, but was disappointed those topics were left out.

“To only focus on one piece of a large and complicated puzzle is irresponsible,” he said.

Outspoken lawmaker

Wolf, an outspoken lawmaker who has long represented a Northern Virginia district, has previously advocated measures that would 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.

“While I recognize the potential constitutional issues involved in tackling media violence, mental health parity and gun control, I am disappointed that mental health issues and media violence were left out of the president’s address,” Wolf said.  “The president said that the victims of mass shootings, including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the college students at Virginia Tech, the children at Sandy Hook, the high school students at Columbine, and the movie-goers in Aurora all deserve a vote for gun control proposals. 

"How can he in good conscience call for that, but not acknowledge the fact that each one of the shooters in those events was mentally disturbed?  How could he not acknowledge the role that violent media played in some of their lives?  The president has failed the American people and the families of the victims by remaining frustratingly silent on these crucial issues and ignoring the other central factors related to mass violence of this kind,” Wolf said.

Violent games

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014