WELLINGTON, Ohio – A man who survived after being shot in the head by his son before the teen killed his mother is praising President Barack Obama’s call to research the effects of violent video games.
“He took a gun from my lockbox and he shot me in the head and he shot and killed his mom,” said Mark Petric of Wellington.
He believes his son Daniel’s addiction to a violent video game is what caused him to shoot both of his parents after they took the game away.
“He got involved in the violent graphic video games and became addicted to them and was playing as much as 18 hours a day,” Petric said.
Now, more than five years later, Petric, who is a pastor, is applauding President Obama’s memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
“And Congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds. We don’t benefit from ignorance,” President Obama said Wednesday during his news conference on gun control.
“I commend the president for doing this,” Petric said.
Petric believes his son was desensitized to violence by repeatedly shooting and killing things over and over while playing the graphic video games.
Daniel, who was 16 years old when he shot his parents in 2007, is serving a life sentence with a possibility of parole after 23 years.
“Danny, in talking to him, now he’s in Mansfield Correctional, but in rehashing a lot of this stuff he says he really did not realize what he was doing. He did, and he didn’t. But addictions have a way of doing that to people,” Petric said.
Petric believes a scientific study of violent video games on behavior will officially confirm of what he is already certain.
“The violence in these games and in the media has an effect on our kids. They are going to study this and they are going to see it is true,” Petric said.
Petric would like to see the most violent video games banned.
On the other hand, some feel regulating video games is censorship and even the most violent ones are protected as free speech under the First Amendment.