On September 17, 2013 Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old civilian U.S. Navy IT contractor entered the Navy Shipyard in Washington DC and began killing people with a shotgun, 9mm pistol and a AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Thirteen people died including Alexis (killed by a police officer) and three others were injured in the melee. Five others were injured from other causes than gunfire. He had a secret security clearance and could get access to the base unchallenged.
Alexis was born and raised in Queens, New York. Friends, family, police and military officials say he had an anger management problem. He was also practicing Buddhism, but was always afraid someone was trying to hurt him. His father said he was in New York City on 9-11 and helped with rescue operations. He had apparently been treated Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome after the 2001 attacks. More recently, he was treated at the Veterans Administration for paranoia, insomnia and possible schizophrenia. He had not been declared mentally ill by a judge, so he was still eligible to purchase weapons and maintain his Navy security clearance.
Alexis was addicted to violent video games, such as the popular Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft, which give the gamer realistic opportunity to kill in first person. He sometimes played more than 18 hours a day. His obsession with the video games triggered his dark side and landed him in trouble with police on gun crimes a few times. He also had a drinking problem described as “hard core” by one of his friends.
Alexis complained recently of hearing voices from the ceiling in his hotel room. He also claimed that these voices were trying to penetrate his body with vibrations from a “microwave machine” to prevent him from sleeping. This condition is called paranoia, but it could well have been much more. A mind without Christ is under the control of Satan.
“Despite run-ins with the law, including firearms incidents, Alexis did not need a waiver to enlist in the Navy Reserves in 2007. His commanders noted a “pattern of misconduct” while serving, though none of it rose to the level of court martial. He was honorably discharged.
Many advocates of violent video games deny that they change personality or behavior of their participants. But their claims don’t support the evidence.
Researchers and psychologists say in multiple studies involving over 130,000 participants around the world, show that “violent video games increase aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiological arousal (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure), and aggressive behavior. Violent games also decrease helping behavior and feelings of empathy for others. The effects occurred for males and females of all ages, regardless of what country they lived in.
In one study “typical college students who played violent video games for 20 minutes at a time for three consecutive days showed increasingly higher levels of aggressive behavior each day they played. If that’s what happens to typical college students, how might someone like Alexis react to playing for 18 straight hours? What if he does this for months or years?”
Adam Lanza, the killer of 26 children at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, was actively involved in first-person shooting games. And these are not the only examples.
Researchers also noted that players of violent video games were more accurate than others when firing a realistic gun at a mannequin and were more likely to aim for and hit the head. This is an inconvenient fact that advocates of violent video games don’t like to talk about.
“It is a law both of the intellectual and the spiritual nature that by beholding we become changed. The mind gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it is allowed to dwell.” The Great Controversy, Page 555
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12