Games blamed for surge in cop killings

There’s an article in Time magazine about the increase in police officers getting killed in the line of duty. According to numbers from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, cops are kgetting killed at a higher rate than in the last 30 years. Here’s more numbers and an excerpt from the article:

As of September 18, the memorial fund showed shooting deaths up nearly 60% over last year, from 34 in 2006 to 54 this year (the worst year for such killings was 1975, when there were 99 deaths in the same period). Not only are officer shootings up, but the number of multiple deaths is also on the rise this year, says memorial fund president Craig Floyd. In the first nine months of 2007 there were six cases of more than one officer gunned down during the same shooting spree, up from just one in all of last year.

The subject of violent video games is approached in the article, and it’s bolstered by words from Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. Here’s another excerpt:

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author of On Combat and On Killing, who trains the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, subscribes to that controversial notion. Grossman relates how officers raiding methamphetamine labs and gang hangouts often find violent video games left behind. “Every time they take down a gang house, there’s always one thing that will always be there,” Grossman says. “It’s a video game. The video games are their newspaper, their television, their all-consuming narrative. And their video games are all cop-killer, criminal simulators.”

As far as that last comment … well, is that really a shock? If you raid a place that used to house gang bangers and addicts, you’re probably not going to find “Barbie Horse Adventures” or “Hannah Montana” lying on the floor. As Alexander Sliwinski of Joystiq asks, wouldn’t criminals be more inclined to play violent, cop-killing games in the first place? Also, it should be noted that things were actually worse for cops about 30 years ago, long before the social bullseye was painted on the video game industry. Just some food for thought.

You can check out the whole Time article here.