NRA's Plan: If We Blame Video Games & Movies For Sandy Hook Massacre, Perhaps People Will Stop Blaming Guns

from the oh-that'll-go-over-well dept

There’s been a fair amount of discussion about “gun control” in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre — and whether or not you believe that gun control is important or that it wouldn’t have made a difference one way or the other (and I’ve seen both arguments over and over again in the past few days), one thing that a number of people have talked about is the gun lobby’s silence in response to the tragedy. The NRA, one of the most powerful lobbying groups out there, has remained mostly quiet on the subject, even to the point of shutting down its Facebook feed (which was getting bombarded) and staying silent on Twitter. However, the organization started to speak up yesterday, putting out a message about how it, too, was horrified by the tragedy, and announcing an important press conference for Friday. According to Fox News, the point of the conference is to “push back” and apparently that means blaming videos games and movies:

Sources close to the issue had earlier alerted Fox News that the National Rifle Association — which has remained silent since Newtown, chiefly to allow for a proper period for mourning — would soon start to “push back” against the gun-control lobby.

“If we’re going to have a conversation, then let’s have a comprehensive conversation,” said one industry source. “If we’re going to talk about the Second Amendment, then let’s also talk about the First Amendment, and Hollywood, and the video games that teach young kids how to shoot heads.

Of course, as we’ve been noting the past few days, this kind of thing may actually go over well with grandstanding politicians who have used the tragedy to push this line of action, despite the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that such things have had any impact at all.

This is basically the NRA’s “hey, look over there!” strategy.

And, whatever you think of the gun control issue, I can’t see that working out well for the NRA in the long run. It might get the attention of a few grandstanding politicians, but these days, a very large percentage of the population plays video games. It’s not an issue that’s confined to a small group of teenaged boys any more. And pissing off the large and growing group of gamers with bogus claims about how they’re being brainwashed to murder people isn’t going to win many fans.

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Comments on “NRA's Plan: If We Blame Video Games & Movies For Sandy Hook Massacre, Perhaps People Will Stop Blaming Guns”

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Ninja (profile) says:

I’ll second Drak Helmet here and give you one thing: Japan.

I can’t really fathom how many times I’ve seen gruesome stuff created in Japan (guro hentai which portraits girls being killed while raped in the mos dismembering, lacerating and eviscerating ways mixed with lolicon being the most mind disturbing things I’ve ever seen). And there’s no shortage of violent stuff too. And yet you don’t see Japanese youngsters trying to imitate it. Despite the huge availability of hentai that portraits rape you see very little cases of raping. Etc etc etc.

America society is rigged in a way that encourages such things. It’s not the games or the movies that are to blame, it’s the system as a whole.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

We all know serial killers start to kill animal first, im sure it really starts with small insects, then animals and finally people. Throw in violent video games and you sir are a killer in the making.

Let me give you some advice, first, bug spray. Second, stop playing violent video games plenty of fun games without violence like you know…err ok, im not sure on that, but i am sure they are there. and third, you need Jesus in your life, prayer they say will solve all our problems.

anyways, take care and please get help for your mosquitoes killing habit, you shouldn’t be taking innocent life.

Cory of PC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

OK, I’m just responding to this comment and answering this as a whole:

I will agree with both you, the AC right below and Dark Helmet. From the way I see it, there’s no true person we should blame in terms of parenting and the entertainment industry, but as dennis deems points out below, we’re living in a society that celebrates, glorifies and even sexualize violence.

And I’m not saying that this is a bad thing… well, it is where it’s at a point where we’re pinning blame on a medium despite the fact there’s little to no evidence to support these theories. OK, it’s not bad to have some violence, but not in the way it is celebrating it. And part of it does stem from the fact that the system sees this as a selling point and it is making money off of it!

Plus I have to say that even though I’ve played a few violent games, I never have the intention of killing anyone… besides mosquitoes. So yeah, even with the disturbing imagery in my head, all attempts of killing are going to kill off mosquitoes.

But I do tend to agree that we need to do something to prevent the glorifying of violence. I really don’t mind the violence, but if we can find a way to tone it WAY down and get a good amount of people off each other’s backs… and maybe get some common sense before jumping to conclusions, and also mourn the lost before blaming others, then we could have a better understanding of how things go down.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Makes more sense than simply blaming something that’s not the cause. But really, if u read ?lvares de Azevedo’s “Night in the Tavern” you’ll see necrophilia, incest and all sorts of insanity, depravity and whatever. Actually I find it much worse than any movie I can imagine today. It’s from 1855. I can’t recall cases of people horrified of young man raping their sister’s corpses at the time…

In my point of view we are actually more moralist and intolerant and maybe that’s why we are seeing all that. If we treated artistic expressions more naturally maybe it wouldn’t make any difference.

Hemy07 says:

Re: Re:

I mostly agree with you, its not the movies, video games or access to guns but a system that doesn’t address the root cause.

Massive gun restrictions, like prohibition, will only cause more problems. Working with politicians and communitites on creating programs that are efective at helping people with mental illness or mental problems will be the biggest contributor to minimizing these types of events.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: LOL WOT ?

“”it’s not access to guns“”
With less than 5% of the world’s population, the United States is home to roughly 35?50 per cent of the world’s civilian-owned guns.

Access is not an issue then. (just an irrelevant fact of the greatest access in the world)

Seriously Amerifats, you need to wake the fuck up.

Facts in your country are completely ignored and twisted by those who profit.
(it’s political, you can’t talk about it)

List of issues that have FACTS, that are demolished by lies and propaganda.

■ Climate Change.
■ Public Health Care.
■ Private Prisons.
■ Private Education.
■ Gun Control.
■ Lobbying.
■ Political “donations”.
■ Revolving Door.

The list goes on……..

You know what you have been brainwashed to call me for saying that….
so let it rip Amerifats … let it rip

INB4 … Dirty hippie, socialist, anti-capitalist, rich person hater, FREEDOM hater, communist, muslim etc…

Adamwest says:

Re: Ninja

well goggle Tsutomu Miyazaki or the otaku-killer and you can read was a Japanese 20 something guy that raped, murdered, ate and dismembered girls aged 5-10 and them mailed body parts back to their respective parents.

but I agree with you fictional violence is not to blame for any of this it might have influenced them to some extent but its not the catalyst that makes them go out and do this, because if it was then millions of people that play video-games or readers of Manga would be out doing it and that’s not happening. no the problem is much more personal and if anything Mainstream media is to blame for making them some kind of Celebrity after killing loads of people.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Seriously?

They should actually tout the link between anti depressants and mass killings like these.

“Savage cited the gun control law of 1968 and suggested that people on antidepressants be added to the list of those who are prohibited from owning guns. Savage cited the Columbine, Colorado, shooting. One of the shooters, Eric Harris, was on the antidepressant, Luvox.”

At least fourteen recent school shootings were committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 109 wounded and 58 killed (in other school shootings, information about their drug use was never made public?neither confirming or refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs.

I think I am beginning to see a pattern here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Seriously?

Not only that, but look at some of the warnings on the antidepressants and antipsychotics. There’s a chance that some of them will actually make things worse. Someonw I know is on antidepressants and he owns guns, and with the way the economy is right now, his job outlook is somewhat uncertain. I shoot with him regularly and he handles them safely, I wouldn’t ever expect him to hurt a fly, and he doesn’t have anything like the insane mental histories of some of these shooters, but it really does make me wonder what would happen if he stopped being able to afford his meds.

letherial (profile) says:

Re: Re: Seriously?

I think the pattern is that our society likes to give a pill to solve a problem instead of you know…solving the problem. I have been diagnosed with severe chronic depression yet i take no pill for it, i also have no interest in owning a gun or anything deadly. I manage ok.

Things about pills, as i have tried them before, they introduce a unknown element and managing that unknown is far harder then managing depression that i know what to except.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:


When I heard the NRA wanted to add to the conversation, I had hopes that someone over there had some sense. Guess that bird has flown, and they’re just doing their usual ‘blame someone else’ along with some hand waving.

As far as video games, we have no evidence that seems to correlate to increased violence/crime, and we have some that suggests there is no link:

The graph is particularly telling:

I support common-sense regulation of firearms that still allows citizens the rights to own and carry firearms for their own defense and legal uses. The real conversation should include how ~40% of firearm sales are done without background checks. The real conversation should include the absolutely horrendous state of our mental health system in this country, and the social stigma against even engaging with it. The real conversation should include the safe use and storage of these tools.

Instead it will end up being about banning some tiny subset of weapons that the gunmakers will quickly design around.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Conversation

If you want to look at the actual crime stats the FBI has a great resource. The tables to the right are well worth a look.

Basically, it show most of these crimes are family on family or acquaintances. That the murder rate in the US is going down while the population is going up, and gun violence is at an “all time”? low.

Ian (profile) says:

As a general rule

I support a moratorium of 6 months before passing or discussing any laws in the wake of a tragedy. “There ought to be a law!” almost always leads to bad laws. Hence why we have people urinating in public and ending up on sex offender registries for life.

Blaming video games makes about as much sense as blaming crime comics, pinball, heavy metal music, rock music, rap music, Dungeons and Dragons… or guns.

But, in the wake of a tragedy, we look to blame something, and for the illusion that we can regain control easily.

Nastybutler77 (profile) says:

Re: As a general rule

While I somewhat agree with you, your 6 month moratorium idea is flawed since there are shootings that capture the national attention (remember the Denver movie theater this summer?) less than six months apart at times. So by your standard, we’d never have to talk about it. Which may be what you intend.

Ian (profile) says:

Re: Re: As a general rule

As Infamous Joe pointed out, all I really want is for people to approach these issues when they’re able to think like statisticians and logicians and generally make sensible, data-driven decisions to maximize benefit, rather than reacting like a mob of angry chimpanzees.

From my own perspective on this, I’m a target shooter, but I live in a country with stricter gun controls. I also play video games. I used to play D&D. And so forth. I just get a little annoyed at how people get worked up and angry here, and charge off with little regard for facts, and want to ban something that is a relatively common hobby that, importantly, they don’t understand and don’t engage in (and certainly don’t feel any need to fact-check). There’s serious arguments to be made and had on all sides of this, and probably some workable compromises that could be reached, but unfortunately the discussion is kind of wedged between ignorance and intractability, and will continue to be that way so long as emotion is the main driving force behind legislation of this sort.

As an example, if you’re trying to reduce overall deaths from firearms, rampage shootings are a poor way to go. On average, they’re probably in the realm of 50 deaths/year, as compared to peanuts, which are estimated to kill 2-4 times as many people each year (and I’m not saying peanuts are a public health hazard). That doesn’t mean the U.S. doesn’t have a serious problem with violence, including violence involving firearms (most of which is around criminal activity, mind).

Humans are generally bad at risk analysis, especially for rare events, and we are /terrible/ at it when we’re responding emotionally. We need to try to be better, which includes not passing reactionary laws.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: As a general rule

I’ve done the math. Even in America, you’re 3 times more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a mass shooter. The majority of our gun crimes are committed by gangsters, who aren’t going to line up to get background checks, register their guns or turn them in, and are usually backed at some level by various cartels.

But I get the feeling that this is going to lead to a knee-jerk feel-good “solution” that’s going to do absolutely nothing at best.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 As a general rule

Don’t you think the “Us vs Them” mentality hinders the discusson we’ve been needing for quite some time? Both sides have their die hard advocates. And both sides are drowning out the moderates with the calm and reasonable ideas that want to help all those involved.

I was one of those moderate republicans that saw the writing on the wall. I own several rifles, bolt action and semi-automatic and one pistol. Most of them I build from solid meta, so it is not as if I have zero stake in this either. I believe in responsible gun ownership, I do not support the NRA because they are some of the lowest of the lobbying groups around.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: As a general rule

“While I somewhat agree with you, your 6 month moratorium idea is flawed since there are shootings that capture the national attention (remember the Denver movie theater this summer?) less than six months apart at times.”

Yeah, remember that? Another gun-free zone, just like in Newtown. They’ll never solve the problem so long as they’re intent on blaming the violence on the weapon. This is like blaming the car manufacturer because someone got behind the wheel and plowed into a crowd.

The mainstream media is infamous for reinforcing tragic events, such as Newtown, Columbine, Aurora, etc., to try to foster a knee-jerk emotional response from the public.

I heard that when they reported on the Clackamas mall shooting that the media intentionally omitted the part about the armed citizen who put an early stop to the carnage. Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story …or, rather, agenda.

Anonymous Coward says:

This is the standard argument in my office by the 40+ crowd, not realizing that most of the people here are 20-30 and play games as their primary entertainment source. They all cite anecdotal personal experiences about how their grandkid was acting out until they took away the games. Rather than conclude that discipline and parental engagement was a positive effect on their behavior, they determined that the video games were the reason their kid was being a hassle.

They just repeat the same nonsensical rhetoric, “Are you saying that shooting human characters in the head over and over isn’t going to affect a child negatively?” Where’s the evidence that it does? I’d like to see it. Kids are better at separating fantasy from reality than people think.

Dementia (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You know, I’m slightly offended. I am 40+, with 3 kids, and I routinely play games like Battlefield 3 and Black Ops.

My kids, like every other kid, have had their moments, and, at least in my family, a parent was there to handle discipline and explain the facts of life. (ie. no one owes you anything, in the real world, sometimes you lose, etc)

Maybe the problem isn’t the 40+ crowd, maybe it’s the people who refuse to understand that it isn’t the government, the school, the television, the video game, or the internet’s responsibility to raise the kids.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m 52 and love my computer games. Currently I’m a HitMan (Was recommended to me to release stress.), The Batman, and fighting with Pandas.
I can finally afford my own toys and games.

Also, I’ve been playing computer games (Horror and violence are my favorite types.) since I could get my hands on an Atari 800.

Still haven’t killed a single person…

Lord Binky says:

Re: Re:

“Are you saying pretend shooting at real humans in the head over and over isn’t going to affect a child negatively?” Before video games there were common make-believe games such as cops and robbers or cowboys and indians, or any countless versions of opposing sides violently struggling for dominance.

We need to get rid of nerf guns and water guns if video games are bad. Those are a closer physical replication of a real gun while targeting real people. Oh, and ban rubber bands, rubber band guns are bad too.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Honestly, we held off as long as we could. The democratic politicians and the media were standing on the pile of bodies to push their agenda within hours, and we had already left ourselves on the defensive by waiting as long as we did. Rahm Emanuel once said, “never let a serious crisis go to waste,” and unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of standing back while they start their push against us.

Nastybutler77 (profile) says:

My dad sent me an email with a link to a petition to the White House, that basically said, “Don’t blame the guns, blame video games.” While I support a broad interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, I also support a borad interpretation of the 1st Amendment. I’m not going to sign a petition that includes throwing the 1st Amendment under the bus, and if this is the NRA’s strategy, I’m glad I’ve never donated to their cause.

I told my dad, “Thanks, but no thanks. Video games aren’t the cause of what happened any more than what he had for breakfast.”

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Because actually blaming people for their actions, instead of shifting the blame elsewhere, isn’t something society at large likes to do, or even consider.

Much easier to just shift the blame to whatever a person/group doesn’t like, than have to own up and acknowledge that a person, crazy or not, could be capable of, and responsible for, something like this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I love guns and haven’t shoot a single person yet. I also watch a lot of zombie movies and have learned that shovels can decapitate a zombie if swung just right.
I don’t think I will be shooting anyone or killing zombies either.

Seriously, your argument is so easily countered. Society is not addressing the issue of mental health correctly.

varsil (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

This is tautologically true, but only because you specified ‘shooting’ deaths. However, historically many of the worst rampage killings have been those involving arson, which have been known to kill many hundreds of people. If you’re including death generally, a person unable to shoot a lot of people may burn a lot more people instead. It’s not exactly a cut and dried issue.

Not an Electronic Rodent (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Because actually blaming people for their actions, instead of shifting the blame elsewhere, isn’t something society at large likes to do, or even consider.

Indeed, ever increasingly it seems both the US and the UK slavishly following as usual have managed to manufacture societies in which one is not responsible for one’s own actions.
There’s no such thing as a personal choice, there’s no such thing as an accident, someone else always has to be blamed. Me, I think that personal injury law and its close cousin health and safety law is part of the root of this. We seem to have lost any sane definition of the line between direct cause and contributing factor and it seems to me it’s mostly to do with beign able to extract money from people or companies.

Travis (profile) says:

Godawful Haircut

Maybe they need to look into barbers and hair dressers as the cause for this damn tragedy. I mean look at the haircut on that kid the media keeps showing around! His head looks like a Darth Vader helmet. I’d be pissed too if I got a haircut like that and everyone was flashing that picture around. Those damn barbers and their irresponsible scissors are going to be the death of us all.

Unless his mom gave him the haircut. Then we should be removing all children from parents who wield scissors and have them raised by the state with proper, reasonably fashionable haircuts. No more hair rage!

Milton Freewater says:

Nice try, NRA, but ...

The guy’s mom taught him how to shoot LIVE. She took him to the range all the time.

He didn’t learn by watching videogames. He liked the videogames because he already knew how.

Unfortunately for the NRA, the kid’s mom was practically an NRA poster child. Believed she needed to defend her property and person against the “bad guys,” just an enthusiast exercising her Second Amendment rights, etc. Her attitude was right our of their pamphlets. The results in this case vividly demonstrate the flaws in the NRA perspective.

I’m against banning first person shooters outright, but at the end of this day, I say knock yourselves out. You still can’t hide anymore.

iambinarymind (profile) says:

The State...

Through its actions the State teaches me that theft is A OK (“taxation”), that murder is virtous if wearing a green costume, counterfeiting is good fiscal policy (Federal Reserve), it’s alright to shoot dogs if you’re wearing a blue costume…and on and on and on.

If one wants to lay blame, the immorality & violence of the State seems to be a much more reasonable place to lay such blame, not video games.

MrWilson says:

“and the video games that teach young kids how to shoot heads.”

As opposed to the parents who take their kids out to shoot human silhouette targets who quite literally teach their kids how to shoot heads in the real world rather than how to shoot fake heads in a fake world with fake guns? Do video games also cause kids to jump down pipes in hopes of finding the Mushroom Kingdom or cause them to punch bricks in hopes of finding coins?

I think young kids are likelier to have a stronger understanding between reality and fantasy than the person who wrote that copy.

Cory of PC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I have a mental health condition and I never fired a gun in my life (held a few, but never fired one). Sometimes a mental condition can’t be fix by giving him medicine or supportive care.

And I’m sorry if I’m coming off rude, but again there are a few times that a person can’t be heal with that kind of condition. Yes you can make the person feel better, but it’s not a permanent fix.

PlagueSD says:

Bad parenting is to blame...

Guns aren’t to blame. Video games aren’t to blame. Movies aren’t to blame. Where should the blame fall? To the parents that fail at parenting. Being a parent involves a LOT more than just plopping your kid in front of the TV and/or computer/gaming console and ignoring them.

To be frank, CPS is to blame. Without the ability to properly “discipline” our children without fear of being sent to jail, they’ll grow up doing whatever the hell they want. I play video games, watch violent movies…Even listen to Rock & Roll music. I was spanked as a child. You don’t see me running around “shooting heads.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Bad parenting is to blame...

It’s not just about spanking tho. It has to be in the right context. I got beat because I was feeling sick one day, and tried to tell my parents I was feeling sick, but they thought I was making it up because I didn’t want to be at the step families house anymore.

I was 7 and getting the flu you dumb fucks. And you spanked me for 2 hours while screaming at how much of a spoiled brat I was.

It’s not about spanking vs non-spanking. It’s about the punishment fitting the crime.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Bad parenting is to blame...

This is my belief too.

I was taught by my parents that if I got a swat at school I’d also get one as soon as I got home. I believed them and it served me well. I came close only twice, once would have been deserved and the other not. And to hear stories about how strict my grandparents were with my parents, I realized that I got off easy.

Back when parents regularly gave their kids a swat on the behind when they deserved it, you didn’t hear about school massacres. Now, such punishment is stigmatized as “abuse.” Don’t get me wrong, I think such punishment can be (and is) sometimes taken too far. But, to not do it at all is complete foolishness.

Nowadays, children are just put in “time out”, if anything is done at all. I’ve witnessed it first hand. I’ve seen examples in the kids in my extended family as well as kids of friends of mine. They do something they shouldn’t do, get sit in the “time out chair” where they pout for 10 minutes and then they get up without being permitted to and just go do what they want. It’s totally ineffective and it sends a message that “you can’t tell me what to do”. This type of attitude in kids, if allowed to exist through bad parenting, is more harmful than any swat on the behind. That attitude will never work in the real world.

dennis deems (profile) says:

it's the culture

Our culture celebrates violence and those who commit it, and fetishizes the implements of violence. We find it in every medium, in every form of entertainment. Naturally it’s in our games. I do think it’s worth asking whether the unprecedented degree to which video games revel in gore and the act of killing is a good thing. To reduce this question to the shallow variant ‘do video games cause massacres’ is childish.

Revelati says:

Call me crazy, but I blame the homicidal psychopaths, who im sure would kill people regardless of the absence of violence in the media or lack of guns. I heard Tim McVeigh liked westerns, so if we banned that and fertilizer the world would be safe right?

Lets get down to it, this isnt about violence, or guns. This is about CRAZY PEOPLE KILLING PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE… **CRAZY** If you want to stop it, identify the wackos, get them off the streets. All the bans on anything else isn’t going to do a damn thing.

Unanimous Cow Herd (profile) says:

What the NRA should be talking about right now...

is this.
Our teachers and school staff should be armed and trained to use said arms. If the NRA wants to make a point, let it be that we cannot stop the results of one infraction on the Bill of Rights (Gun Free Zones) by creating another infraction on the Bill of Rights. Newton was as bad as it was because teachers can’t carry arms, not because there are too many arms.

As to the NRA and this weak diversionary tactic, I would point out again that creating laws that infringe on the First Amendment is just as bad a solution (and illegal) as one that infringes on the Second. There are no “lesser” or less important rights in that bill.

The founders did not intend for Our Constitution and Bill of Rights to be optional, subject to narrow or restricted interpretation, or subject to change. They were written and written vaguely intentionally with broad meanings to keep government from doing exactly the kinds of things they are doing with Speech (?Anti-Protest? Bill H.R. 347) and now are going to try to do with our arms.

Before you react, call your elected officials, and cry out “Won’t someone think of the children?”, consider that criminals and crazies don’t care about gun laws.

Anonymous Coward says:

this is no different to the ‘distraction practices’ used by the entertainment industries. ‘if we keep blaming piracy for us losing money, we wont have to admit to how much money we are really making, then have to pay the artists the true amounts or the government the correct taxes and have to change our 50+ year old business models!’

John Doe says:

control doesn't work

Prohibition didn’t work, in fact, it gave rise to organized crime. Making drugs illegal isn’t working. In fact, you can buy illegal drugs in every town, larger or small, in the country. Banning guns will fail in the same way. In fact, we will be less safe because criminals will know people are no longer armed. Criminals don’t follow the law. That is what makes them criminals.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: control doesn't work

Not so fast, criminals need to make contact with gun runners first. True, we will no be able to completely eliminate the guns from the streets but we should at least try to reduce the amount available. A gun runner will have to aquire a supply of weapons first and then make contact with the criminal element. Easier said than done, its not like they can advertise on craigslist or backpage. Well, they can but hopefully law enforcement will wake up and troll the internet and pick them up. Making the watchers become pickier with their clientel. So it may, in fact reduce the amount of weapons on the street.

It works in Bait Car and To Catch a Predetor. However, they are the dumbest of the dumb.

dennis deems (profile) says:

Re: control doesn't work

The reason prohibition didn’t work is that its basis was a bad faith vision of humanity which saw partaking of alcohol as an aberration and tee-totaling the norm.

Apart from this, the alarmist phrase “banning guns” is not equivalent to preventing private citizens from owning semiautomatic rifles.

Jerrymiah (profile) says:

Reflecting on Sandy Hook

NRA lobbyist should be banned from political activity. Additionally I believe the following points shoul be studied:

a. mental health issues
b. bullying. I do believe that bullying plays a signigicant role in the actions of the mass shooters. If you were to look into those kids past, you’d oribably find that a lot of them were wictims of byllying of some sort in school.

When I was going to school, some 50 years ago, the schools I attended did not allow bullying to occur. The bullies were punished accordingly.

Anonymous Coward says:

Cuts both ways, dunnit?

Statements like these are often refuted with seemingly self evident cries of “more guns are not the answer to the gun problem.” It’s quite easy to lose focus of the fact that there’s still a psycho problem even guns were magically removed from circulation, and they are quite capable of causing massive destruction without them.

Andrew Norton (profile) says:

As a general rule

I think it’s more because the paranoid cowards are afraid that someone’s going to take away their ‘blued-steel security blanket’ and make them have to do without their comfort item.

We have a mental health problem in the US, and it’s from the people that feel they need a firearm to feel safe. Something seriously wrong in that sort of thinking.

aster says:

lots of discussion here, I find it usually gets clouded by minute details in the blame game. So lets zoom out a bit. What is the primary goal here? Reduce occurrence/impact of mass shootings. How to do this? Here every one has an opinion. Personally I would think it wise to go to the perpetrators (the few that survive) and look at their reasons and circumstances. Im assuming now that the majority are a)mentally unbalanced and probably in differing ways for each perpetrator. b)Social conventions (at least to the perp) compel them to use a gun/violence to exact revenge/solve perceived problem c)access to highly efficient killing tools is not a hindrance.

solutions a)better health care and detection for mental problems. b)Identify what is in american culture that instructs these perps that violence is an acceptable answer (and personally I think the movies, video games,old wild west mentality and the immense reliance on military power america has plays a big part here).c)restrictions to military style weapons.

Personally I think if you can solve problem ‘b’ the others are not going to be much of a factor, unfortunately ‘b’ is the most ingrained and hardest to change.
Goodluck with it, perhaps just getting a bigger gun then your neighbour is an easier solution, for peace of mind at least.

varsil (profile) says:

As a general rule

Well, calling the people who disagree with you “paranoid cowards” and their property “security blanket[s]” isn’t really helpful to a productive discussion.

Here’s a bit of my story, for perspective. I have ADHD. I have a pretty strong case of it, in fact. I barely graduated high school. It took me about a decade to get through a four year degree for my undergraduate. Around that point, I actually got my stuff together and started dealing with it. Medication was a part of that, but I’m really bad at taking my medication. A bigger part was learning to manage, including finding activities that help me regain a state of focus.

Above and beyond, the best of those activities to help me regain a focused state is target shooting. I’ve tried archery, not the same thing. It forces a sort of meditation that helps me out for a couple of weeks afterwards. I would say that it’s been an important part of me getting my life onto a successful track–I have since been able to attend law school and am a practicing lawyer. I’m still spending each day dealing with an intellectual disability, but stuff like this helps tremendously.

Talking about banning firearms isn’t just “taking away a security blanket”. In my case, at least, it would greatly affect my quality of life by reducing my ability to function. It takes away an important coping mechanism for dealing with a disability.

Long story short, you really can’t know what the importance a particular activity is to someone. A friend of mine owns one rifle he rarely shoots, but is the only item he has that belonged to his (deceased) father. They used to go plinking when he was a kid, he now takes the thing out once a year to go plinking on his own. It’s got tremendous personal significance to him.

Assuming bad motives to people isn’t useful. If you’re genuinely wondering about the importance things have, reach out and ask some people. Slinging insults just polarizes the debate and makes it impossible to do anything useful, and makes it us-vs-them instead of “Hey, we’re all in this together”.

MrWilson says:


The article stated that it was an industry source. Without citation, that could have been the president of the NRA for all we know. Unless you have hard evidence of who it was, we have no idea.

But, if you reread my post, I never claimed that the person was associated with the NRA, so I’m not sure why you felt the need to assert that statement.

Also, just by natural probability, there are going to be NRA members or even officials who think that statement is true.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: difference

Here it is Amerifat.

You are trying to justify your position by picking some facts and ignoring others.
Not the scientific model, the JUSTIFICATION MODEL…. but the facts are already in.

FACT 1: 30,000,000,000+ tonnes of CO? released by humans every year

FACT 2: CO? is literally a greenhouse gas

FACT 3: ESTIMATE’s of total CO? emissions in a year from volcanoes is in the range of 65-315 million tonnes. ( so about 1% max estimate of emissions compared to man )

13,950 peer reviewed articles ….. 1991-2012

24 reject Global warming

So let this be clear: There is no scientific controversy over this. Climate change denial is purely, 100 percent made-up political and corporate-sponsored crap. When the loudest voices are fossil-fuel funded think tanks, when they don?t publish in journals but instead write error-laden op-eds in partisan venues, when they have to manipulate the data to support their point, then what they?re doing isn?t science.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: difference

Hmm.. While I do agree we are having some warming I highly doubt the emission of CO2 from burning fossil fuels is to blame. I’d say methane and NO2 play a much more important role. And that the problem could be mitgated if we took care of our oceans to keep a healthy population of algae that are the true “world lungs”. And while we are having warmer climates there have been periods in Earth where the temperature was 2-3?C warmer than today. And I do believe we are actually approaching an Ice Age from the geological signs or at least that’s what my fellow Geologists and Geographers believe. I don’t think it’s a consensus.

Everybody agrees however that we need to use our resources more efficiently.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: difference

While I do agree we are having some warming I highly doubt the emission of CO2 from burning fossil fuels is to blame.

One thing I’ve never heard anyone explain is how rising CO2 levels could fail to produce warming. The effect of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is well understood. The fact that there’s more of it in the atmosphere is not disputed. 2 + 2 = ?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: difference

I would point you to a good text on “the carbon cycle” including the approximate turnover rates of the carbon. However, they are few and far between. Basically the argument for fossil fuels role is that we are pushing something that would take a very long time to reach the air naturally and forcing it there in a very short period of time. Methane and NO2 are important too actually, but by looking at the effect of them over a 100 year or a longer period their effect is calculated into a CO2-equivalent. When people with knowledge in the field of climatology says CO2, they mean CO2-equivalents in most cases. Thus NO2 and CH4 are taken into account in most relevant cases.

I am from Denmark and neither me nor my fellow environmental engineers (It is not climate science. We are mostly drawing sewers, cleaning potable water and cleaning soil so our jobs do not depend on climate change.) believe that climate change is a hoax. Yes we are talking somewhat consensus level here.

The periods of 2-3 degrees warmer climate was at a time where the suns activity was far higher than it is now. The effect of solar forcing mechanisms such as sun activity are, when relevant, taken into account in the normal models but the effect from the last ~30 years are completely inconsistent with that theory. Potholer54 on youtube has done a lot of myth debunking in a convincing fascion. Esspecially relevant to your primary objection is:

Anonymous Coward says:

Cuts both ways, dunnit?

“Ridicule, namecalling, and a complete and total lack of any refuting evidence.”

I guess the irony or hypocrisy in your own statements is lost upon you, right?

Your comments thus far have reminded me of South Park. Except instead of “they took ‘er jobs” my brain is translating your ridicules, name calling, and complete and total lack of any refuting evidence to “they’re trying to take ‘er guns!” Which is basically all you’ve said. Well that and “WE NEED MORE GUNS!!!”

kenichi tanaka says:

While I can see why there is a lot of outrage concerning gun control, there isn’t any proof that tougher gun control laws improve gun violence. Blaming video games, another bad idea.

The NRA is quite correct, in a way. If you’re going to talk about stronger gun control laws or in repealing the second amendment, you better be prepared for the aftermath that will create. Not only does this place video games in the line of fire but also the entire entertainment industry. Say what you want, but even those in the national media can even be blamed, for broadcasting such violence on television and claiming “freedom of the press”.

Right now, there is a push to repeal the 2nd amendment. If that happens, be prepared for a repeal of the first amendment and the entire bill of rights because if they can use this as an excuse to repeal the 2nd amendment then they can use that as an excuse to repeal any portion or all of the bill of rights.

varagix says:

Re: The State...

I don’t see anything wrong with his word usage. Assuming you’re complaining about his usage of the word “state”, the word’s original meaning in politics and government was synonymous with the words ‘nation’ and ‘government’. Originally the United States was, quite literally, a nation of nations.

I don’t necessarily agree with his sentiments fully, but I can see where he’s coming from.

nasch (profile) says:

Bad parenting is to blame...

Without the ability to properly “discipline” our children without fear of being sent to jail, they’ll grow up doing whatever the hell they want.

This is nonsense. I don’t hit my children and they don’t “do whatever the hell they want”, at all. Violence is by no means the only effective method of discipline or parenting.

Anonymous Coward says:

Cuts both ways, dunnit?

It takes a quite mentally disturbed person to come to the conclusion that MORE guns will cause LESS harm. The numbers talk for themselves: countries with strict gun laws have less of these tragedies, and gun-related incidents in general.

Strict gun laws? Someone didn’t do their research. All you need to have a carry license is a “reason to”; thus anyone can make a 50$ “security” company and legally carry a weapon. If that’s strict, I’m the pope. Bow down to me.

How do you justify civilians owning assault weapons? When will RPGs and tanks be legal for civilians? When 1000 kids get murdered? Your extremely lose gun laws are the cause of your problems, but in the twisted mentality of gun owners to justify giving people more guns.

Now let’s compare guns to cars right? Because that’s the next argument in their twisted logic. I drive my gun to work every day and if I miss that pedestrian, I can go back and run him over 13 times in 3 seconds. Let’s keep comparing normal people to idiots and try to get our point across…

These pro-gun people are legal idiots.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Cuts both ways, dunnit?

“It takes a quite mentally disturbed person to come to the conclusion that MORE guns will cause LESS harm. The numbers talk for themselves: countries with strict gun laws have less of these tragedies, and gun-related incidents in general.”

Clinton’s assault weapons ban didn’t stop Columbine, gang shootings, urban violence, etc. Nor do the strong gun control laws in places like NY, Chicago and LA prevent gun deaths. There are literally hundreds of millions of guns in America and there’s no possible way to get rid of them.

“How do you justify civilians owning assault weapons? When will RPGs and tanks be legal for civilians? When 1000 kids get murdered? Your extremely lose gun laws are the cause of your problems, but in the twisted mentality of gun owners to justify giving people more guns.”

This is a non-starter. Civilians aren’t allowed to own military weapons. The Columbine killers pulled off their killing spree despite Clinton’s assault weapons ban, so your argument doesn’t wash. Had there been someone on the school premises with a gun, the damage could’ve been prevented or minimized. Time after time we’ve witnessed what happnes when citizens are left defenseless; their only option is to get killed. It takes the police an average of 6-8 minutes to respond, by which time the killers have already done the damage and taken their own lives.

Same story with the Aurora theatre, which was yet another gun-free zone, as well as Virginia Tech and all the rest. A gun-free zone may as well be a shooting gallery. So, using that logic, gun-owners can counter that you gun control advocates are to blame for preventing people from the right to self-defense.

We cannot depend on government nor the laws they create to right society’s wrongs. The gun control “solution” solves nothing besides create a defenseless public. Criminals will always have easy access. Need I remind you that the Clackamas mall shooting was averted by an ARMED CITIZEN? If you’re serious about protecting the children, have an armed security presence at the schools. I’m not so sure about arming teachers since some students might attempt to access/steal them, as would criminals. So, again, my suggestion is armed security. Although there’s no way to prevent attempts on people’s lives, at least this method provides a strong deterrent against targeting schools in the future, giving the children a fighting chance.

Not an Electronic Rodent (profile) says:


To be fair, the majority of “accidents,” be it car, firearm, ladder or other, are caused by either negligence or complacence.

That’s my point – you hang the word “negligence” on an accident and all of a sudden there’s $$$ signs attached. People are stupid some of the time and that’s when accidents happen… but because there’s money involved we seem to try and pretend that things can be perfect and that less than perfect has to be someone’s fault.

Health and safety works the same way in reverse for the same reason – we’re now so afraid of being held financially responsible for something we won’t let people be responsible for themselves. As a minor and silly example, I always laugh at the signs at swimming pools that say “No diving” unless they’re about 12’/3m deep or better. “You might hit your head on the bottom” they say and the attendant’s get all up in arms if you dive to start a length. Well, I can make that decision for myself as I’ve been swimming all my life and know I can sucessfully and safely dive into about 2′ of water so 4′ will do just fine thanks. Neither would I consider it reasonable to sue the swimming pool assuming they’ve posted enough information (i.e. depth) to make my own damn decision if i did crack my head open but I don’t get to make that decision for myself do I? This is the pattern of our lives now…

Not an Electronic Rodent (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s only going to get worse. Bubble wrap the planet.

That’ll happen shortly after the family of a guy killed by a falling meteorite successfully sue the US Bureau of Labour Statistics for a trillion dollars because they have the word “statistics” in the title and “everyone knows” it’s statistically impossible to be hit by a falling meteorite…

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:

They’re trying to destroy our Constitution & Bill of Rights, i.e. our nation, knowing that the only way they can succeed is by undermining and eliminating the 2nd Amendment, then the 1st and then everything else will follow. They want to create a socialist state with a slave-class dependent upon big government, wherein the public no longer has a voice. That’s their real agenda.

The blacks were enslaved because they lacked the ability to defend themselves against the white slave-owners’ guns. We would all find ourselves in a similar predicament right now if disarmed, except that it would be a war of the classes, i.e. rich vs poor, and the rich would have all the weapons.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

They’re trying to destroy our Constitution & Bill of Rights, i.e. our nation, knowing that the only way they can succeed is by undermining and eliminating the 2nd Amendment, then the 1st and then everything else will follow.

I think you’re mistaken. I think the 4th amendment is under a far more severe attack than either the 1st or 2nd. Not from the “left” or the “right” but from the executive branch in general, regardless of who is in office.

That’s not to say that other amendments may not get their turn, but the 2nd is not what I’m personally worried about right now.

(you can’t defend the others without the 2nd, blah blah blah I’ve heard that already)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“…it would be a war of the classes, i.e. rich vs poor, and the rich would have all the weapons.”

You can have a stockpile of weapons, but if you have no one trained to use them, they’re worthless.
The rich would have to hire the poor to use the weapons and pray the poor don’t turn the weapons back on their masters…

Anonymous Coward says:


Citation please. Honestly, I live in Canada, we have 1/10th the Population of the US, so I will multiply Canada’s gun deaths by 10 to compare to the US’s gun deaths.

US in 2009: 31,347 (Citation:
Canada in 2009: 147 (Citation:

Now, we multiply Canada’s number by 10, and get 1,470

That is well 30 TIMES Less than the US.

Japan in 2008 (there are no 2009 numbers): 11 (Citation:

Japan has 1/3 the US Population, so we multiply by three and get 33. That is 1,000 times less than the US.

United Kingdom: 138 (Citation:

The UK has 1/5 the population of the US, so we multiply by 5 and get 690. That is 45 times less than the US.

Germany in 2006 (no 2009 numbers): 953 (Citation:

Germany has 1/4 of the US population, so multiplying by 4 gives us: 8,649

This list goes on and on and on. If you want to make a statement, BACK IT UP.

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Re: Re: LOL WOT ?

If that’s the case just take a second to think about what you are saying. You are saying that American rates of gun violence are uniquely higher than the rest of the western world. If that’s the case then you can’t use the effect of gun control in other countries are a reliable indicator of the effect it may have on the USA.

Gun control is a cover bet, a lot of US states already have relatively strict laws and it was only in 2008 with a Supreme Court ruling that you actually got individual ownership of guns as a right. The Second Amendment for most of it’s life has only ever provided the right for arms for an organised militia.

There is simply no reason not to try.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: LOL WOT ?

The ratios were the same before those countries enacted stringent gun control. Sorry.

Those countries ALWAYS had stricter gun control than the US. The fact that (in the UK in particular) it has recently been made even stricter has mostly just compensated a bit from the increased worldwide availability of guns “leaking” out of America.

In the UK we have had two massacres of the type you have just had (Hungerford and Dunblane). After each of these the type of weapon used was banned and we have had no more since (in 14 years). You have had two inside a couple of months.

You are in denial.

Also – before you say that the US is just a more violent society – look at the gun death rate (in particular the gun suicide rate) in Switzerland. The equation is trivial – if guns are available then it is likely that they will be used.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:


I think whats more telling is where the US sits on that graph. They really pull that line of best fit up!

I’d like to see Mexico on that list. They probably left it off because drug trafficking is likely responsible for a major percentage of Mexico’s gun violence, and not video games.

Oh, and gun control advocates…Mexico has very strict Gun Control laws.

Anonymous Coward says:


Yeah, climate change doesn’t exist, the earth’s climate has never changed in the entire 5000 years of it’s existance.

Seriously, do the research. Climate change is a constant thing. It has happened since the planet formed, and it will continue until the planet is destroyed. We are only accelerating the change due to our carbon footprint.

Gothenem (profile) says:

Re: Re: LOL WOT ?

I’m sorry? You once again can’t do any research into the matter?

Well then, here you go:

Australia, in 1996 enacted gun control after a mass shooting there. In fact, it took them a whopping 12 days to enact the legislation. In 1996 they had 521 gun deaths. The next year, the number dropped by 84, and has steadily since.

You know what stops gun deaths? NOT HAVING GUNS!!!!! America is swimming in an ocean of weaponry, with more guns per capita than ANY OTHER WESTERN NATION! The primary reason so many people have guns, is because there is little gun control.

Kaden (profile) says:

Cuts both ways, dunnit?

What the fuck are you on about, Sparky? I’ll cop to name calling and ridicule, because citing videogame violence as the reason mass shootings occur is, in fact, ridiculous, as are the gunloving douchebags who are embracing this preposterous concept.

Additionally, I’ll call typical American Second Amendment fanciers names like ‘douchebag’ and ‘smeghead’, because it’s a nice break from commenting on the miniscule size of their penises. That’s neither here nor there, though… you guys are the ones who have to live with your deficiencies, and deep down, I feel sorry for your wives/girlfriends.

As to my “total lack of any refuting evidence”, I believe Mike just posted some a few stories up on the main page. Sadly, there’s no sign of anything refuting my contention that violent movies and videogames inspire much of the self-aggrandizing braggadocio among gundouches as to how they and their cunningly concealed (but perfectly legal) personal armouries will save the day in Aurora or Newtown-like scenarios.

John Doe says:

control doesn't work

You guys are amazing. You do realize that laws don’t actually stop anything? There are no physical barriers of prevention. They only provide punishment when you violate them. Also, cops are not going to protect you, they would if they could though, they are only historians. They come behind a crime and document it and look for someone to charge.

If someone can get past the moral issue of taking another person’s life, 1,000,000 laws won’t stop them. There are already thousands of gun laws that aren’t stopping it so how is one more going to do it?

What is the problem here is people. There is nothing more dangerous than a man with no hope.

So please, use logic here as many always claim they do. In fact, two or three posts after this one is a post about video games not being linked to violence with a plea not to violate the 1st amendment to go after them. The same thing applies to guns. Guns are only a tool, a tool that the criminals will get even if they are completely outlawed. Assuming you could even get every last gun out of this country and keep them out, they criminals will just change tactics. They will use vehicles to run through crowds. They will use car bombs like McVeigh.

Don’t give up your liberties for perceived safety, it doesn’t work.

Josiah says:

IMO a poor article. Basing an entire argument on what hasn’t even been said yet. I actually respect the fact that the NRA remained silent. Some people seem to think silence an admission of guilt. Let them remain ignorant. I don’t think the NRA is going to blame video games, they are just saying that blaming the 2nd amendment is as illogical as blaming the first.

Anonymous Coward says:

Goddamnit Mike, try to do some research before bashing the NRA. What the NRA has actually said is this:

Wayne LaPierre



“The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.

Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.

The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.

The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, DC area on Friday, December 21.

Details will be released to the media at the appropriate time.”

That’s it. Now if it turns out that they do decide to go the blame vidya games rout, that’s one thing. If not, you should really post a retraction…

Anonymous Coward says:

control doesn't work

look for a search bar…. type in guns…. count resulting acts/bills/ordinances etc… rinse and repeat for every municipality, state, town, locality, territory, plurality, local, state government and country…

You really need a citation for a a generalised comment that there are likely thousands of laws about guns?

Way to ignore his fucking point!

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