67% Of Polled US Voters Say Video Games Threaten Safety More Than Guns

Want proof that the maddening campaign to make video games a scapegoat for gun violence is working? Just check out these poll results where the vast majority of people essentially say that video games are scarier than guns.

At first blush, the latest press release from Raleigh-based firm Public Policy Polling seems like a typical suite of horse-race forecasting focused on the 2016 presidential race. It's got questions about potential candidates Marc Rubio and Hilary Clinton, and asks whether people have favourable or unfavorable opinions on a slew of other politicians.

But the only question that veers into cultural territory is one focused on video games.

What do you think is a bigger safety threat in America: guns or violent video games? Guns 14% Video games 67% Not sure 19%

These results came from an automated telephone interviews of 800 people across the United States, so there's nothing by way of anecdotal explanation for the answers. Without being able to hear any of the reasoning, the disparity between those percentages is even more stunning. Really, America? Video games are more a safety threat than guns?! News flash: It's a lot harder to use a game to cause bodily harm than it is to use a gun. This seems to indicate that the dunderheaded remarks some politicians and pundits make about video games are finding fertile ground in some folks' minds, even though there's no evidence of a video games-beget-violence connection.

Update: As pointed out by readers, 72 per cent of respondents to that poll are older than 45. Also, only Republican voters were asked the video games question, which might explain these breakdowns.

Clinton, Rubio lead primary contests [Public Policy Polling, via Political Wire — thanks Jason!]


Comments

    Is Mars One still taking applicants? I'm done with this planet.

      I assume you are Australian, this is an American issue. I hate how it is "sparking debate" in Australia, we just do not have the same mentality the USA does when it comes to gun control. If you asked that question in Australia you would get the opposite, I believe.

      The only thing to take out of this is AMERICA is fucked up and this is an overly complex DOMESTIC issue for them.

        Yeah, but obviously it would impact us if America did something to it's video games over this.

        What is wrong with 'sparking debate'? Discussion is good.
        So is irony.

        Who makes a large majority of video games? America. Who makes a lot of awesome, yet violent video games? America. Where do we get our violent games from? America
        So yes, this does affect Australia

      I hope so, because I don't think there's any room left in the Logic-verse ( formerly known as Bizzaro- verse).

    Then there's also the fact that in America, mainly the elderly and upper class tend to vote. Blue collared people tend not to.

      Then why are the Democrats in power?

        Correlation does not always equal causation. In countries where voting is optional, such as America and England, it's a fact that retirees and higher income people tend to vote more frequently than blue collar workers. In the case of Obama, they managed to reach out to the average voter more than ever before. Bush ruined the country, it inspired voters to get off their asses and actually DO something. However prior to that you had Bush, Bush Sr, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Nixon and only Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter in there repping for the Democrats. Whereas in history there's been a 2/3 representation of Republicans in presidency in the last hundred years(13 rep vs 8 dem since 1900), the Democrats have done well, but again, it is a solid fact that the elderly and the wealthy do turn up in larger numbers at voting time moreso than any other demographics.

        Last edited 09/02/13 6:06 pm

        They're not in power in Congress, that's held by the Republicans (thanks largely to gerrymandering).

        Dude, despite how it may look, both the Republicans and the Democrats are two parties belonging to the same faction. Both are financed by corporations who have an agenda, and expected to have favours done for them in return. The U.S. democratic way of life is nothing but an illusion used to control the masses.

        With saying that, who has more influence and financial power: Video game developers, or Arms manufacturers?

        I rest my case.

          America is owned by the Illuminati. Intellectual is wrong that they are financed by corporations. The corporations are merely a front for the subversive and all powerful Illuminati.

          Secretly, Bush and Obama are bosom-buddies, 9/11 was an inside job perpetrated by the Illuminati to create a pretense for war so Bush (and America as a whole) could get the oil. Fluoride is bad for your health, but even more dangerous is Di-Hydrogen Monoxide.

            Every individual ever exposed to dihydrogen monoxide has died!

    and 1 in 10 in the United States who were polled in a survey a few years ago said they believe that The Bible is 100% factual.

    So take anything like this as a grain of salt.

      Believe it or not, it's actually higher than that. Depending on the part of the US you go to. If you're in the west, you'll get a roughly 1-2 out of 10, but if you head inland to the cornbelt, otherwise known as the 'biblebelt', you will get as high as an 8/10 result. No shit.

        Well where I saw that information, was from something that now would be 6 years old or more. So yeah I would be on it being accurate in 2013. But it was just an example I had seen before about the US and I thought it was applicable here.

          Oh not having a go at you :) Just found it interesting how the rates change from area to area lol

            Yeah, i'd be amazed if it wasn't extremely high in some areas of the US.

      The majority of voters warrant more than a grain of salt. More than a pinch even. They could win a vote that has a major effect on the games released here.

      Still, I don't think this poll is an accurate representation of voters as a whole.

        That's why I said take it with a grain of salt, it's not an accurate representation. I'd be guessing it's skewed towards an outcome to "prove" people are against video games.

    Man this doesn't make sense at all. They think playing videogames makes them violent and go off to shoot up schools. But guess what they're using to shoot up schools? GUNS! So, even if by some miracle that videogames do cause people to go insane, they're still using GUNS to kill people. What do you think someone is going to do without a gun? Lightly maim someone right before he gets tased by the police? Man this is stupid.

      Yes! He will run into the school and lightly maim them with a video game case. I really don't know what they're gonna use when we move onto digital copies.

    Well, ban games, but keep your guns and let me know if that turns out any better. Or will it then be movies fault for gun murders and not guns? Then Ban movies and tell me how that turns out.

      Then they'll blame and ban books. After that, they'll blame and ban music. In the end, there'll be nothing left to watch, read, listen to, or play unless it's been approved by some dumb-arse politician or the Church itself.

        Do I hear Saudi Arabia?

        Maybe next we'll need to cover up women, because women lead men to violence.

        I don't blame religion, I blame people using religion to push there own agenda to less informed people who are encouraged to believe everything people tell them instead of making their own decisions. IE, American politicians speak out against games, the people agree.

    ban music, tv, games, and movies, then we shall see what the issue is

      DEM DAMN MOTO-CARS!!!!

        ban everything except guns and then we will see what the actaull issue is there

      You're absolutely right, but don't forget, everyone - most of our games/movies come out of the US. Any major changes there have serious repercussions here. As do any of these ridiculous policies.

        Perhaps the entertainment industry will perform a mass exodus to Australia.

      They'll ban food and water before guns... brrrr, what a horrible thought.

    And why do we care? It's a poll. No one will take away our video games.
    In the 1980s,, people would have voted that Kiss, Alice Cooper and led Zeppelin where causing violence in youth.
    A real games media beat up.
    Also, what is it with Australian gamers and hating on the United States? Stop playing games, get a job, save some money and actually go travel there. You'll find the average American is actually really nice.

    Last edited 09/02/13 5:35 pm

      Also Motley Crue, W.A.S.P, Twisted Sister who were causing the "issues" according to the PMRC, back in the 80's LOL.

      Let me get this straight, You want me to stop playing games, stop doing something I love.. go out find a job... work my ass off for f*ck knows how long all so I can go all the way to America, possibly get molested by the airport security and at the end of the day all I'll get in return is the knowledge that the average American is actually really nice?

      And then you ask why Aus gamers in your are down on the us.

        Excuse the typo, I've got a habit of being a bit offensive and I've been making an effort to tone back on the obscenities of my posts once I've typed them, the result is the odd mistake.

    http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3sk5r7/

    The 67% must be gun supporters with an agenda. It's the 19% that troubles me. How can you not decide that a machine for killing is not more dangerous than a game?

    800 people! Out of about 313.9 million (acc. to Google) with no real distribution. Sure sounds like proper scientific research to me...

    Meanwhile 90% of voters worldwide think All Americans are born mentally retarded

    See America? This is why the rest of the world laughs at you. The rest of us in the western world outgrew our need for guns decades ago. Guns are taking lives in your country almost every single day and yet you do nothing about it. Quite the opposite - you blame everything EXCEPT guns. Oh it's our mental health system. Oh it's violent films. Oh it's violent video games.

    For all your sakes I truly hope that some day you outgrow this fixation with firearms like the rest of us have. It's saddening to hear of these massacres happening so frequently because you honestly deserve better than this. You're the land of opportunity, remember? That means you shouldn't have to live in constant fear of being shot and killed by someone.

      Guns are taking lives in your country almost every single day and yet you do nothing about it.Fixed it for you.

      Last edited 11/02/13 12:59 am

    All this does is reinforce that older people are less adaptive to the current world...says a lot about the people running it as well.

    Such a bias survey.

    I may as well write an article stating over 800 people were surveyed to have cried when Obama made this speech. 80% of which were babies.

    Ah... the venerable skewed poll.

    Honestly folks the update pretty much makes this discussion pointlessly moot. Actually if anything it actually gives me some hope that there *are* intelligent people in US... why? Because even in a stacked poll the skew against VG's is only about 3/5. Sure thats a big margin...

    But you have to realise this is a stacked poll. It's like going to a church and asking "would you permit sex before marriage?". You'd expect there to be a very heavy emphasis on the "negative" around the 90% mark and yet oddly enough even amongst the "conservatives" theres people who actually say different or are not willing to put there complete lot w/ the VG bandwagon.

    Oh really... And these gamers, what are they going to threaten our safety with? Guns...

    And here is why democracy does not work: some people's opinion doesn't matter because they are idiots.

    Between this and piracy, I pity the next 10 year old that tries to get a burnt disc of My Little Bronies: Collectors Edition past security.

    "But Sir, I really wasn't planning on massacring the preps!"

    this just in, 67% of republican Americans aged 45 and over are completely ignorant to video games and blame Call of Duty.

    I once slightly scratched myself with a broken shard of a dvd disk - but not just any dvd disk. This disk had content of the gaming variety on it.
    Whilst on the other hand, I have never been harmed by any sort of gun.

    I think it's safe to say that games are actually a much larger safety threat.

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