Chicago Wants to Ban Video Game ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Due to Massive Rise in Carjackings

Grand Theft Auto IV by Silvio Sousa Cabral is licensed under CC BY 2.0

There are areas of Chicago where you could be forgiven for forgetting you’re in America: parts of the city that are so dangerous you could lose everything you own within minutes of walking out the door.

That includes your vehicle and even your life.

It’s not safe to go outside in a city where large areas are basically being run by psychotic criminal gangs of ex-cons and ruthless killers who aren’t afraid of police and steal cars as their full-time job.

The city needs a lot of things: jobs, more policing, social programs and a lot more.

But one Illinois State Representative, Democrat Marcus Evans Jr. is bringing back an idea from the 1990s in the hope that it will stop the crime wave.

Evans’ solution? Ban violent video games like Grand Theft Auto. 

Grand Theft Auto V by K-putt is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Carjackings on the Rise in Chicago

Chicago has seen a 135% rise in carjackings just this year, which is insane. Thieves also regularly strip cars down on the street in the middle of the day without a second thought, making owning a car in Chi Town a real nightmare.

Representative Evans is correct in realizing that carjacking and car crime is a major problem. He is also correct that video games like GTA show carjackings and include violent assault and criminal activity as part of the game.

What Evans is not correct about is that there’s any link between the violence in a video game and the real-world violence happening on the streets. In fact there’s a good argument to be made that violent video games help people vent their anger without resorting to actual violence and thereby decrease crime.

Ban Call of Duty and watch world peace unfold? I don’t think so, pal.

You may not be a fan of GTA or the kinds of content and attitudes it portrays – I’m not – but to think it actively contributes to crime seems far-fetched and is not backed up by any available data.

Why is This Topic Even Coming Up Again?

It’s worth asking why this topic is even hovering on the radar again. The answer is not good.

The reason that silly ideas like banning video games are coming back up is because legislators and the political establishment have basically given up on actually cracking down on crime and solving real-world problems that are occurring.

So it’s easy to start complaining about video games or things that sound true but actually aren’t.

Let’s be honest for just a moment here: Sunday School teens in Chicago aren’t playing GTA and then getting psychotic and going and carjacking people. Hardened criminals who don’t care either way about video games are going out carjacking and stealing cars because they can.

Unlike those who set their minds on positive pursuits, predatory criminals see a weakness or vulnerability and then exploit it. If that vulnerability includes people driving cars around without adequate protection and with slow and overburdened cops who can’t respond in time to deadly gangsters, then these parasites will take advantage of it.

I know that it’s a novel concept for liberals to wrap their minds around, but when you don’t do enough to stop crime it keeps growing. Crazy concept, right? In parts of Chicago where gangs have free reign to roam the streets and terrorize innocent people and steal their vehicles there’s no strong motive for them to stop.

You can ban all the video games you want, but until real measures are taken to stop criminals, punish them more thoroughly and address the systemic issues that are feeding crime then things like Chicago’s huge carjacking increase are unfortunately going to keep happening.