The horrors of a tragedy are palpable enough, but when coupled with poor reporting and even poorer “journalistic science”, we create nothing but scapegoat and fear in things which cause nothing, do nothing and are - in effect - harmless.
For over 500 years, the United States (at least) has been pointing fingers at external stimuli to explain the behavior of misunderstood misfits to understand why unhinged people do the things they do. All of a sudden, people who enjoy similar things are scrutinized (and in the case of 1692 - hanged).
We are, in effect, very poor historians. I can say this as an actual social scientist: explain as much as you wish, you “journalistic scientists” you “couchpotato theorists” about what makes a psychopath do what they do. Blame video games or goth music all you wish. The only codified entity consistent in psychopaths throughout history that has made them do the horrific things they have done is this: They have all exhibited the symptoms of psychosis.
There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of young American men and women out there who enjoy their angry music, their video games, their dark clothing, and have productive jobs and lives without acting on the stimuli brought forth in their preferred media. They may be librarians, teachers, doctors, lawyers, politicians, etc:
What a person does to unwind at the end of the day has very little direct correlation to whether they will go out and end someone’s life at the end of another.
Mental illness is a stigmatizing enough banner to bear without having to also go about hiding one’s hobbies at the same time. A secret life makes a person look completely suspicious, and can breed paranoia in the subject at hand. So let’s not go about pointing fingers at the gamers, the goths, and the mentally ill over the recent Colorado tragedy. Chalk it up to one extremely disturbed man, who had his own unique set of problems going on.
Each person is unique, as is each situation. We are all wonderful and different in our own ways, and this should be celebrated rather than feared.
Now, who wants to go play SWTOR with me?