Speaking on ABC News’ This Week on Sunday, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made it clear that he thinks the 22 school shootings in the United States in 2018 can’t be blamed on guns but on violent video games, abortions, unarmed teachers, and a lack of religion in schools, among other things.
“We have devalued life, whether it’s through abortion, whether it’s the breakup of families, through violent movies, and particularly violent video games,” he told ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos. “Psychologists and psychiatrists will tell you that students are desensitized to violence, may have lost empathy for their victims by watching hours and hours of video violent games.”
He emphasized the country’s “culture of violence,” which, he said, includes bullying on social media. Stephanopoulos countered that other countries also have social media and violent video games and asked if the high number of gun deaths in the country should instead be attributed to the high number of guns. “Here’s what I know,” Patrick said in response. “We live in a violent country where we’ve devalued life.”
After Stephanopoulos pressed him again, Patrick shut down any conversation about the regulation and role of guns. “And here’s the reality,” he said. “They are a part of who we are as a nation.”
Patrick suggested instead arming teachers and reducing the number of exits a school can have.
Patrick’s comments came two days after the Santa Fe, Texas, shooting that led to the deaths of 10 people.