During a panel discussion on CBS' popular Sunday political show Face the Nation, former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole said that politicians rushing to blame video games for the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut are misguided because the evidence does not support their theory.
"It’s my experience that video games do not cause violence," O’Toole told CBS News."However, it is one of the risk variables when we do a threat assessment for the risk to act out violently."
"It’s important that I point out that as a threat assessment and as a former FBI profiler, we don’t see these as the cause violence," she added."We see them as sources of fueling ideation that’s already there."
Christopher Ferguson, professor of psychology at Texas A&M International, was also part of the discussion. Ferguson, who has done his own research on video games, thinks that video games are still young and are facing "moral panic" from supposed experts and politicians much like comic books did in the 1950's:
"I think we have to put this discussion, to some extent, in historical perspective," Ferguson explained."And when new media come out that they tend to go through a period of what we call moral panic, in which they are blamed for all manner of societal ills. And probably the best example of this was from the 1950s, when we had Congress and psychiatrists who were claiming that comic books were responsible for not only juvenile delinquency, but homosexuality."
"We’re in a mode of worry about — or panicking about this type of media. We may do some putting the cart before the horse, and we may see some people sort of starting with a conclusion and trying to assemble data in a very selective way to try to support that conclusion."
You can watch the segment in its entirety to your left.