The return of Jack Thompson: The Ghost of School Shootings past

The return of Jack Thompson: The Ghost of School Shootings past

I haven’t written about Jack Thompson in almost a decade. For those of you who may be too young to remember, Jack Thompson was a Florida attorney who was infamous in the late 90s and early 2000s for claiming video games were the cause of all of society’s ills.

He referred to the original version of Doom(shown above) as a murder simulator and claims he predicted Columbine eight days in advance. He’s blamed a number of school shootings and a cop killing on GTA. He called Bully the Columbine game. He blamed the school shooting at Virginia Tech on CounterStrike. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jack Thompson’s special brand of crazy. I hate giving Thompson any kind of attention because it’s what he craves. I didn’t even write about him when he e-mailed me to discuss one of his failed causes.


He must really be trying to milk his 15 minutes of fame if he’s willing to contact me, a lowly blogger, about a case that was settled justly 12 years before I received this e-mail.

However, we have to discuss him once again since he’s weaseled his way back into the news. Now, Thompson is offering his services pro bono in regard to the recent shooting at Marshall County High School in Kentucky. Thompson claims he’s been told by an attorney close to the case that shooter Gabe Parker played ‘violent video games’ and had them taken away by Parker’s grandmother prior to the shooting.

Of course, Thompson is offering his services for free because he’s been disbarred for life by the Florida Supreme Court.

Jack Thompson is the walking antithesis of ‘correlation does not equal causation’. Video games do not cause school shootings. The reason many school shooters played video games is that most of them were teenagers and teenagers play video games. Hell, I’m pushing 50 and I’ve been playing video games since the Atari VCS, later known as the 2600, and I’ve never been arrested.

Why the media and the law profession continues to give this deluded man the time of day continues to confound me.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go play Stardew Valley. By Jack Thompson logic, that should cause me to go on a series of rash farming sprees.

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