Normally, I don’t like to give Jack Thompson the time of day, even when he emails me personally. However, he recently said something so ignorant that I couldn’t resist commenting on it.
For those of my readers who may be too young to have heard of Jack Thompson, he was a Florida attorney who tried to make a name for himself by claiming that video games are what lead to school shootings. He claimed that DOOM led to Columbine and Counter-Strike led to Virginia Tech. He’s also tried to link several violent crimes to the GTA franchise. And he called the video game Bully, the Columbine game. Now he’s penned an opinion piece for The Detroit News, blaming the recent Oxford High School shooting on Call of Duty. He was a video game Karen before the term had even been coined.
In their online edition, The Detroit News put Thompson’s op-ed behind a paywall, so hopefully not too many people will see it. I paid to see if he had anything new to say, but it turned out to be a waste of money. (Why don’t you sign up for my Patreon and help me recoup my loss? 😆 )
It’s the same old song and dance with Thompson. He opens up with his usual statement about Columbine and DOOM before cherry-picking a few studies that agree with his viewpoint. Then he goes on to note that not only did Ethan Crumbley allegedly play Call of Duty, but he also brings up the point that Ethan Crumbley tried to explain away his violent drawings by claiming they were for a video game that Crumbley was designing.
Sure, Jan, I mean Jack. Let’s just ignore all the other evidence that Ethan Crumbley had mental health issues that he tried to address with his parents, and they bought him a gun instead. Let’s also ignore that it’s alleged that the Crumbleys were told about their son’s disturbing drawing at the school, where they told Ethan they weren’t mad and told Ethan not to get caught next time. Let’s also not forget that the Crumbleys are said to have lost track of the gun that was used in the shooting. As I’ve said before, Jack Thompson is the walking antithesis of ‘correlation does not equal causation’.
I’ve always wondered where Jack Thompson’s disdain for video games comes from. Did he have a little cousin who kept beating him at Combat on the Atari 2600? Did an arcade cabinet from the 1970s fall over on him, and he’s sworn revenge ever since?
Getting back to Thompson’s editorial, he must have written his own bio because it lists him as a retired former attorney. That’s putting it nicely, since he was disbarred from practicing law back in 2008.
Jack has been plying his shtick for over 20 years, and to my knowledge, has not succeeded in getting any court to buy the violent video game defense.
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. If that’s true, then Jack may want to start seeking out a therapist.
Source: Opinion: Oxford High School suspect’s video game habit was a red flag (behind paywall, don’t bother)