Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has been forthright about what he believes are the root causes of mass shootings. A few months ago, he blamed gun violence on children’s access to smartphones, video games and psychotropic drugs.
Most recently, he blamed society’s obsession with a specific genre of violent entertainment.
“Seriously, what’s the most important topic that seems to be in every cable television network for example? Television shows are all about what? Zombies,” he said in an interview Tuesday with conservative Kentucky radio host Leland Conway.
Mass shootings point to deep cultural problems, Bevin said, particularly in a society that consumes daily doses of violence through the media. He acknowledged tying zombie shows to gun violence might be perceived as “trite and simplistic.” But, he argued, American culture is “inundated by the worst things that celebrate death,” including the forms of entertainment young people consume.
“These are drips, drips, drips on the stones of the psyches of young generations that are growing up in a society that increasingly said this is normal and okay,” he said. “And eventually, some of those young minds are not going to be able to handle it.”
Bevin talked about what he believes causes mass shootings during a portion of the interview about the future of gun rights with Democrats controlling the House. Democrats, some of whom ran on a promise to push for gun control, are taking over the House on the heels of another mass shooting in which 12 people were killed inside a California bar. Some who escaped the rampage are survivors of an earlier mass shooting that killed 58 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas last year.
Last month, a gunman stormed inside a synagogue in Pittsburgh and killed 11 congregants — the deadliest attack on Jews in the history of the country.
Bevin did not mention these recent shootings during the interview, though he said there have been incidents in Kentucky.
“We’ve had things that are fueled by both people that are insane, people that are hateful and people that are just bent on wreaking havoc and perpetuating evil,” he said.
Last June, Bevin participated in a roundtable discussion about gun violence, the root cause of which, he said, are the ways society poisons the minds of children.
He said violent television shows and video games have desensitized young people, and their access to cellphones have made them prone to self-harm and depression. Young people, he said, are then medicated with psychotropic, mind-altering drugs.
“And then we’re shocked, for reasons that are beyond me, that children act out this way. And yes, it’s only a few. But my gracious, it only takes a few,” he said.
The roundtable was convened by a school safety commission President Trump created in the wake of a school shooting in which 17 people were killed in Parkland, Fla., early this year.