Republican Governor Matt Bevin has blamed last week's school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed, on a "culture of death" he says is being celebrated in violent movies, video games, TV shows and music.
"We need to have an honest conversation as to what should and should not be allowed in the United States as it relates to the things being put in the hands of our young people," Bevin told The Enquirer (via Courier Journal).
Bevin was not talking about guns however, and did not blame guns or gun laws for the attack.
"I'm a big believer in the First Amendment and right to free speech, but there are certain things that are so graphic as it relates to violence, and things that are so pornographic on a whole other front that we allow to pass under the guise of free speech, which arguably are," he added.
Bevin is endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and has spoken at the NRA-IRA Leadership Forum
Why do we need a video game, for example, that encourages people to kill people?" Bevin told radio host Leland Conway.
"Whether it's lyrics, whether it's TV shows, whether it's movies, I'm asking the producers of these products, these video games and these movies, ask yourselves what redemptive value, other than shock value, other than the hope you'll make a couple of bucks off it. At what price? At what price?
"There are video games that, yes, are listed for mature audiences, but kids play them and everybody knows it, and there's nothing to prevent the child from playing them. They celebrate the slaughtering of people.
"There are games that literally replicate and give people the ability to score points for doing the very same thing that these students are doing inside of schools, where you get extra points for finishing someone off who's lying there begging for their life."
Bevin did not cite examples.
"These are quote-unquote video games, and they're forced down our throats under the guise of protected speech. It's garbage. It's the same as pornography. They have desensitised people to the value of human life, to the dignity of women, to the dignity of human decency."
After Bevin made similar comments in January following another deadly shooting in his home state of Kentucky, Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, challenged his pro-gun stance.
"If it was a cultural issue we would see school shootings in other developed nations but we don't," she told New York Daily News. "These are talking points straight of the NRA playbook."