|This article appeared in the June 8, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
LYM Testimony to the Virginia Tech Panel
These are excerpts from the testimony of Paul Mourino of the LaRouche Youth Movement, to the second official hearing of Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine's Virginia Tech Review Panel, May 21. The hearing took place in Blacksburg, Virginia, where Virginia Tech is located.
In the aftermath of the Columbine High School massacres several years ago, Lyndon LaRouche joined such law enforcement experts as Col. David Grossman in demanding action against the manufacturers and distributors of violent point-and-shoot video games that, in Colonel Grossman's words, "give kids the will and the skill to kill." Studies by law enforcement agencies ... have found a very high correlation between the 20 major school shooters of the past decade, and addiction to violent point-and-shoot video games.
Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, is no exception, despite the near total media blackout of his involvement with violent video games, including "Counter-Strike." News organizations like the Washington Post interviewed friends of Cho from high school and college, and confirmed his strong attraction to these games. Yet that story never appeared in print, and only accidentally showed up on a blog site associated with that newspaper.
There is good reason to believe that the video-game industry, which was rocked by the Columbine revelations that school killers Harris and Klebold were addicted to violent video games, and honed their shooting skills through these computerized killing simulators, have poured millions of dollars into a public relations and damage-control campaign, aimed at preventing a repeat of that bad media coverage. The video-game industry is now a $20 billion a year industry, surpassing the motion picture industry in revenue.
We of the LaRouche Youth Movement call on this Commission to include in its deliberations and investigations a thorough look at the role that violent video games may have played in the Virginia Tech tragedy. Such a serious probe by such a prestigious body can do much to assure that the root causes of the recent tragic killings here are understood and addressed.
The nation faces a potential epidemic eruption of a "new violence," driven, in part, by the mass distribution of killing simulators to youth. These point-and-shoot video games were originally developed by the U.S. military for the U.S. military and law enforcement professionals. When the same technologies that were developed specifically to break down human beings' resistance to killing are packaged as video games, and are targetted at an audience of children in their teens and younger, there is something profoundly wrong.
There are clearly a number of pressing issues that this Commission will be taking up. It is essential that one of these issues is the role of the violent video games in the horrible events that have recently taken place here in Blacksburg. We look forward to working with the Commission in any way we can, to provide you with the material that we have gathered on the "new violence" and on the nature of the video game industry."
After he read his written testimony, Mourino added the following remarks:
There is a fight waging in the current U.S. Congress, between the legacy of FDR's tradition, whose promise is being shown in the potential to construct great projectsfor example the Russian offer to construct the Bering Strait tunnel project. On the other hand, we have the current Administration's policy of fighting the war on terrorism. Currently, the Administration's war policy is changing the character and philosophy of our military's orientation....
I would like to reference the work of Col. David Grossman. A shift occurred in the U.S. military after World War II. With the death of FDR, some of the military leaders in combination with some from the private sector discovered that only 15% of America's riflemen could shoot to kill at the moment of truth, on the combat field.... [A] decision was made to correct this problem and ... increase the ability of the riflemen ... to shoot to kill, without thinking.
Colonel Grossman, now a retired Army ranger, used these technologies during the Vietnam War and afterwards trained American riflemen. Later he noticed that the same techniques and technologies he used on the proving ground were embedded in his kids' video games. He raised the alarm, and has written various books, and tried his best to bring this horror to the public's attention....
I ran into this phenomenon when I was in middle school. The game "Wolfenstein 3D" was free and was the first killing simulation game on the market....
These video games are creating menticide among the young generation. LaRouche PAC recommends that this panel create the legislation, which will ... return to the idea of the citizen solider.... We also recommend that you shame, fine, or regulate all those private corporations who have participated in these projects. Proper legislation, designed to protect my generation from these games, is needed. Timethe younger generation needs time to think about what kind of future we want for our Republic, and ... to develop the capacity to take leadership in the future."