In the wake of two mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend, a small group of advocates gathered in front of Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s Office in Bakersfield on Thursday to urge the house minority leader to back gun reform laws.

“We’re demanding that he move on behalf of our families, those that are mourning, those that continue to be threatened, those that continue to be hunted in our areas,” Trena Turner, executive director of Faith in the Valley, said during a press conference. “It is absolutely unacceptable, for our elected officials to use their platforms carelessly, to release rhetoric, hatred, opinions that are not based in fact, that’s not supported in research.”

While gun reform laws stayed in the foreground, statements McCarthy made during a Fox News interview sometimes took center stage during the event.

The comments, said during an interview with Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures, appeared to blame video games in part for violent outbursts.

McCarthy's office, however, released a statement which partially backpedaled his response to a question about the impact of social media and video games on mass shooting perpetrators.

“Earlier this week, the congressman spoke about the shootings. Some of his comments were grossly misinterpreted — he specifically did not blame the tragedies on video games like some are suggesting,” the statement read. “In fact, he was clear they were driven by individuals filled with hate and evil. The congressman also stressed the importance of having the authorities gather all the facts, so we can stop tragedies from happening again in the future.”

While McCarthy did say he wanted to wait until all the facts had been gathered, and he stressed the importance of early warning signs as possible indications of mass shootings, he also linked video games to violent actions during the interview, which is available online.

“The idea of these video games to dehumanize individuals — to have a game of shooting individuals and others — I’ve always felt that is a problem for future generations and others,” he said during the interview. “We’ve watched from studies, shown before, of what it does to individuals. When you look at these photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games and others.”

Most experts agree that video games do not cause violence, and on Thursday, activists pointed to an article published by Vox, which showed far fewer violent gun deaths in countries that spend more on video games per person than the U.S.

But video games were only part of Thursday's conversation.

Advocates urged McCarthy to support bills passed by the House of Representatives in February that would require background checks for person-to-person transfers of firearms and extend the amount of time firearm dealers must wait for a background check to finish. In February, the congressman voted against the bills.

“We want (McCarthy) to talk to Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to take some of this legislation, and bring it to a full vote in the senate,” said civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, whose foundation organized the press conference. “It is time that we say to Kevin McCarthy, you are the minority leader of the Republican House of Representatives, we are calling upon you to finally do something about this epidemic of shootings that we have in our communities.”

In a statement, McCarthy’s office welcomed the comments made at the congressman’s doorstep.

“There is no question last weekend was a painful time in our nation,” the statement read. “Families and loved ones are left grieving and Americans everywhere were rocked by the horrific tragedy.”

You can reach Sam Morgen at 661-395-7415. You may also follow him on Twitter @smorgenTBC.

(23) comments


There are only two things you need to know about this non-event...It was whipped up by the Delores Huerta Foundation, and it was "a small crowd"...meaning that it didn't represent the feelings of a majority of people here.


There’s a BHS grad near at the top of the Government food chain and local people still throw shade at Congressman McCarthy which is pathetic. If President Obama blamed video games then this story would be written entirely different with praise. Our children are being educated by video games of weapon models, and capabilities like never before. In the current mega popular game Fortnite, players are learning to use scopes to aim for head shots like a sniper, which eliminates opponents faster to earn a win. Fortnite has no blood in the game but a kill shot is still prevelant. Do a search on YouTube for Fortnite or Call of Duty and you will see small children using violence to obtain wins and get subscribers to their channel. Bako folks being so fast to criticize a born/raised leader from our hometown makes me wonder where the heck your really from because it can’t be Bakersfield.

Fram Smith

A friendly reminder-

There are some folks , by their own admission, who do not live in the area and are payed to make meaningless comments. REMUDA is one such person(s). It is best to ignore him. Remember , he lives in St. Petersburg , not Bakersfield.

But for the rest of us who live here -

Do you recognize that McCarthy doesn't represent your values and his support for poor policies , like the Trump Taxcut for the richest among us , cost you money and drives up the national debt to 23 trillion ? Maybe someone with a law enforcement or military background will run against him. McCarthy and his support for the Tarriffs on China are costing us jobs and increase the cost of products we use every day - it's your McCarthy Tax!

But then there is the darker side of McCarthy ; a man who's lack of response to the President's attack on people of color , is problematic. It is not possible to only be a little pregnant ; and racism is in the same category. McCarthy's silence on the President's recent comments , speaks volumes on what and who , McCarthy values. It's time for Kevin to going back to running an unsuccessful sandwich shop started from a lottery ticket win.

barbara meuleman-girga

"I've always thought video games were a problem", McCarthy states. But I have never seen him do anything about them, or about anything pertaining to Trump's horrific hatred of so many. McCarthy is a "yes, sir" boy, backing Trump with whatever Trump says. McCarthy's big aim in his political life is to be President, and he doesn't have to please his constituents because his GOP backing is so strong in Bakersfield. Money talks, and McCarthy learned that early. It is sad he didn't read up on how to honor those who voted for him that weren't so full of hatred toward anybody not on their level in society. We can't all be rich, we can't all have discretionary funds to pay off politicians, but we ALL can be fair, honest and honorable.


However . . . Dear BAKO readers . . .

"Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), (& McCarthy) first noted that “Call of Duty,” the popular first-person shooter, was briefly referenced in a manifesto authorities believe was posted by Patrick Crusius, the 21-year-old charged in the attack." (WaComPost)

Have any of these (you) folks have ever seen these 'video games'? They are more (TERRORIST) 'training films' than "GAMES" (no redeeming value . . . created and sponsored by . . . ???).

So if an anti-social (loner) youth (or elder, however 'intelldgent' but not . . . "smart") is susceptible . . . this only encourages that person (M or F who never learned 'humanity') to warp their 'outlet ego' to seek publicity with "suicide by cop". (Psych-101).

All the Gun laws demanded are ALREADY IN PLACE . . . !


Yanking guns from people is like pulling teeth - one at a time, as they go bad - instead of teaching folks to brush and floss regularly. Long-term prevention at the root cause of violence is the solution here...Reactive, emotional, immediacy solves nothing.


Republicans blaming video games for the violence is ridiculously disingenuous as it ducks the issue. The problem with the Republicans and Moscow Mitch along with Kevin “my Kevin” McCarthy is they are so stuck on their ideology and keeping the Democrats from having a “win” predictably they will not allow worthwhile bills advanced by Democrats or anyone to go anywhere.

Based on past practice nothing that doesn’t meet the approval of the NRA will get past Republican opposition. Trump will make a little noise about the need for overdue reform but after the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre gets done giving him and Republicans their marching orders, the matter will go away and nothing will be done.

Regarding that little segue by the president and McCarthy, the point they miss is kids in other countries play the very same video games yet they don’t go on killing sprees. As it is until we can figure out that this is not the 18th Century, a world where the fastest a human could travel was how fast they could walk in a pre-industrial revolution world of expensive handmade black powder firearms, but the 21st with inexpensive to mass produce far too easy to get assault style firearms combined much hate, grievance, resentment and envy. The notion that we need assault style weapons to protect ourselves from some future tyrannical government (or one where the people may vote “wrong” is nothing but a dangrous fevered fantasy that leaves a bloody trail of collateral damage.


"Fantasy . . . !" There's a movie "The Hunt" which depicts liberal elitists hunting MAGA "Deplorables." . . ." !? (Family movie? Training film? Liberal Hollywood Big Screen Satire . . . ?!)


How right you are. I love the fact that the Californian called out McCarthy on how his people

lied about what he said by posting the link to his interview.And Mr. McCarthy

there are no studies that show that video games incite violence.I think the GOP emailed

all its people and said "tell them it's the fault of video games."A lot of GOP folks brought

this up right away. I notice now that they don't use video games as the cause.


Kevin has rarely had an intelligent, independent thought, much less able to act on one without permission. He's a cute lap dog. Be informed! See you at the polls!


Agree! Vote out Kevin McClown


Anyone who votes against.common sense gun control is as guilty as the shooter. Republican or Democrat enough is enough. Close the loopholes . If you can’t rent a car until your 25 why can you buy a gun? Human beings brains are not even fully grown until at least 25. The frontal lobe which is responsible for impulse and reasoning isn’t fully developed but we sell assault rifles to them? Ban assault rifles ,bump stocks anything else created for mass carnage in seconds . Be proactive on mental health. Not that all are mentally ill but so many of these shootings people saw coming and authorities did nothing. Red flag laws have to be imposed. Common sense people. Time for this country to grow up and do the right thing.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

"Anyone who votes against.common sense gun control is as guilty as the shooter." This has to be the most inane (and inaccurate) comment I've ever read on this forum.

"Common Sense Gun Control" by lexical definition is fluid at best; you can ask five people to define it and you'll likely get a non-homogeneous list between the five.

There is only one person responsible in these instances and that is the shooter. Not the NRA, not violent video games, not heavy metal and/or gangster rap, and not a bad childhood. Even if you ascribe blame to an outside influence, it is the shooter that pulls the trigger, not anyone else.

You indicate the desire to increase the age of buying a gun to 25? Using that logic, in order to keep dangerous assault cars out of the hands of people who's frontal lobe isn't fully developed, the driving age would be increased from 16 to 25 years of age. Automobile accidents kill many more people every year, but I don't see anyone calling for raising the driving age.

Are you also advocating upping the voter age to 25 as well? I mean, if we are all at less than full brain development before 25, why are so many people actually advocating to REDUCE the voting age to 16? I think we know the answer to that one...


Same tired old wrinkled liberal faces in that "crowd".... but, I didn't see Bobby Price!


He's in 'hover-mode' . . . !


Nice to hear from a clown like Delores. Shes possible the most clueless person in the county. Delores doesn't have the brains to realize that when her group nade it more difficult to discipline high school kids there would be repercussions down the road. Kids without discipline are much more likely to be a big problem later in life.


I have been a registered Republican for over 50 years and I have reached my end with this administration. I used to be proud to be a Republican but no longer. I used to have respect for Kevin McCarthy but now his doesn't do what's right. He is just a mouthpiece for Trump. I will always be a Republican but never again can I vote for either of these two men.


Republican my arse....


One of the Highest Unemployment Rate of any district. Worst air pollution. Trade war hurting farmers and oil companies. Homelessness out of control. Wants to take away your healthcare. Etc...There are a hundred reasons to vote Kevin McClown out of office

Gary Crabtree

And where are the Dem's in all of this? They control the House. And why are the most dangerous cities in the country controlled by the Dem's? Does anyone think that background checks will stop all of this? The perps will still find a way to obtain weapons and ammo. You want to stop all of this? Shut down Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Without a platform no one can offend another. Yes, I know that will shut POTUS up but that's a good thing. If you want to "tone it down", "shut it down".


They don't control the Senate and the should take a civics class instead of doing appraisals


Twitter . . . ? Oh yeah . . . and not just on (racist?) Twitter!

"Video games aren’t causing mass shootings, white supremacy is," wrote Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter in response to McCarthy’s interview. "Sadly the GOP refuse to acknowledge that, their strategy relies on rallying a white supremacist base. That's why the President hosts stadiums of people chanting 'send her back' & targets Congress-members of color." (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez August 4 2019--Esquire)


Easy Gary. Using facts and logic with liberals present will just have them screaming at the sky and foaming at the mouth.

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