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Right On Time: Kentucky Governor Lays The Blame For Florida School Shooting At The Feet Of Video Games

from the simple-answers-to-complex-questions dept

In the wake of the school shooting tragedy in Florida that saw 17 people slain and more injured, the following days have played out in a depressingly familiar fashion. It’s somewhat stunning to see such bloodshed result in the predictable retreat by most people to the defensive or offensive ground of their cause du jour. What should be immediately obvious to anyone seriously examining something like the mass murder of school children and teachers is that the reality that surrounds such an event is messy, complicated, and influenced by detail. Yet, as is our wont, entirely too many people decide that the solution to the mass shooting puzzle is made up of one or two pieces, rather than hundreds and thousands. It’s guns. It’s specific types of guns. It’s mental health. It’s rap music, or the waltz, or comic books. It’s one of these things that deserve our ire, or maybe two if we’re feeling generous.

Well, it was only a matter of time, but contributing to this non-conversation is Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, who has yet another cliched scapegoat upon which to place the sins of the shooter.

“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,” Bevin said in an interview on WHAS’ Leland Conway show Thursday morning. “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.”

“These are quote-unquote video games, and they’re forced down our throats under the guise of protected speech,” Bevin continued, seemingly referring to a 2011 Supreme Court decision that prevents content-based restrictions on games. “It’s garbage. It’s the same as pornography. They have desensitized people to the value of human life, to the dignity of women, to the dignity of human decency. We’re reaping what we’ve sown here.”

We are indeed, except what we’ve reaped has been a vibrant culture in which art and expression are both liberated and celebrated. We owe that to the very First Amendment protections at which Bevin finds it so easy to sneer. Importantly, at no point did Bevin suggest that Nikolas Cruz himself had any affinity for any particular video game or games. For Bevin, such details matter not. A campaign against video games has been the Governor’s aim since long before Cruz shot up his former school and the shooting simply provided an excuse to rant against a favorite whipping post.

If that sort of co-opting of real violence doesn’t outrage you, it certainly should.

As should how divorced from the facts Bevin’s claims are generally.

International comparisons of per capita spending on violent games and gun-related murders show a negative correlation between the two. And meta-analyses of video game violence studies have found no real link between imaginary on-screen violence and actual aggressive behavior.

With that in mind, understand that Bevin, the head of a state in our union, is suggesting an attack on the First Amendment protections of a form of art in response to a correlation to violence that is at best unproven, and for which much evidence to the contrary exists. Whatever that is, it isn’t good political leadership.

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Comments on “Right On Time: Kentucky Governor Lays The Blame For Florida School Shooting At The Feet Of Video Games”

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268 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Games are not exclusive to the US and yet we don’t see nearly as many (if any) mass shootings as in the US.

For one thing, while other countries allow the possession of arms, they expect safe locked storage, with guns and ammo in separate storage areas. Also, they do not generally allow guns be carried ready for use, but rather in a case when traveling to and from the range or hunting area.

The US has an unhealthy approach to guns, where they are viewed as protection against criminals, and often kept handy and loaded. In what other country can a child pull a gun out of its mothers handbag, and accidentally shoot her while shopping in a supermarket.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The problem was, it was another dumb GUN FREE ZONE! When I see one of those, I think EASY TARGET!!! Any sicko can then go in and shoot a bunch of people before the police show up with guns.

Which by the way, if the police show up with Guns in a GUn Free Zone, are they not breaking the rules? I think the police should drop their guns and walk in with knives and whatever else instead.

Or maybe criminals don’t give a crap about laws and rules!!! Maybe if they didn’t have those dumb signs, and some of the teachers had guns on them, far fewer kids would have been shot, to NO kids being shot at all as the shooter would have known people actually had guns in the school and so not gone there in the first place.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

I was being kind, as I’m not sure how it averages out across time. Even the US has points in time where murdering children isn’t the top activity.

Meanwhile, the UK hasn’t had a school shooting since 1996, when the Dunblane massacre caused handguns to be banned. I wouldn’t like to give him cause to whine about causation, but there does seem to be some correlation, at least.

(and yes, I know there have been other kinds of shooting and attacks using other weapons, but the conversation is about school shootings)

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“When you say tomato he thinks you are talking bout ketchup”

More like everybody else is talking about ketchup, you wander in here trying to change the conversation to tomatoes then whine like a little girl when I point out that tomatoes are the main ingredient in ketchup.

But, you haven’t even tried addressing the facts in this thread, just complained when I presented them to you and whined more when I called you an idiot for acting like one. Very sad.

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

I think there’s a fair argument to be made that guns really are different for that case, specifically because of the imbalance of dangerousness created.

Most, if not all, of the things restricted by those other laws don’t make their owner/user more dangerous – but guns do.

Therefore, criminals having those things when non-criminals do not does not make the criminals proportionally more dangerous – but criminals having guns when non-criminals do not does do that.

That difference in the nature of the product, so to speak, seems substantial enough to justify different treatment in this regard. At the very least, arguments which treat the two types of laws as equivalent but do not take that difference into account are unlikely to be persuasive.

Dingledore the Previously Impervious says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

But you have to start somewhere.
To claim it’s too late because criminals already have guns is defeatist and plainly silly.

Firstly, there will be plenty of criminals who carry guns purely because they will likely come across other “non-criminals” have guns. Fewer guns will result in fewer criminals carrying guns, even if it’s a small percentage.

Secondly, fewer guns sold increases the scarcity and increases the cost to criminals to buy guns.

Thirdly, and if it’s not already (I hope it is, but you never know with the US), it makes is completely viable to have a charge of carrying a gun whilst commiting a crime and add years onto a sentence.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Good argument, but we’re forgetting a few things. Here’s how a pro-2nd Amendment supporter won me over to my current POV:

1). Guns are primarily for self-defence. In a land where the cops are either more likely to shoot you than the criminal or will most likely show up far too late to be of any use, they’re a necessity.
2). In rural areas, this is particularly true. In one case there’s a woman who carries a handgun at all times to fend off bear attacks after nearly being killed by one.

As I’ve repeatedly said, guns aren’t the problem, gun culture is. Increasing the scarcity wouldn’t necessarily reduce the number of guns in criminal hands. What we need to do is stop presenting violence as a solution. We also need to promote a one-another culture where it IS your job to help out the vulnerable, even the ones you disapprove of. Where that is absent, killing someone to make yourself feel better is easier.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Guns against bears

To be fair, bear mace (actually bear-caliber pepper spray) is considerably more effective than handguns against bears. Anything short of a high-powered rifle will only make it mad, at least until it bleeds out.

Pepper spray will ruin its day pretty instantly.

The same is true regarding incidents that are close-quarters enough that handguns are effective. Riot-control pepper spray (which is not the same stuff that’s typically sold) has a better take-down rate.

In a major reform of law enforcement in the US, a switch over to pepper spray riot guns (without the giant riot cannister) might make them more effective while encouraging them to kill less people.

The only problem is that, like Tasers, police might be inclined to draw them sooner on the presumption they’re not lethal.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Gun free zones...

These guys tend to have a Rambo fetish, where they can be the hero if only they’re allowed their toys. The facts that most shootings won’t be stopped, and that increasing the presence of firearms actually makes students less safe for the most part (risk of accidental shooting, risk of disgruntled student getting the gun when they wouldn’t have brought one in to use, etc).

A bunch of them tried a recreation of the Charlie Hebdo shooting to prove that their fetish items could have saved those poor unarmed Parisians. They failed, as does any such fantasy scenario when met with the real world.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/15/texas-gun-group-charlie-hebdo-paintball

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Police with guns

At this point in the US it’s been demonstrated the police cannot be trusted with guns.

The problem is we need the people to be responsible for things we can’t trust them to be responsible for (guns, votes, heavy machinery, raising kids, etc.) but we have no one else to turn to, to be responsible for them.

I don’t yet know any good answers for that.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Gun free zones...

“By that logic, you should never call the police to stop a mass shooting, because bringing more guns can’t possibly do anything to improve the situation.”

Only if you feel the need to reduce the argument to an absurd false binary choice. There’s a slight difference between trained professionals being called in to active situations and fetishists needing to have their toys everywhere just in case they get a chance to be a hero. The example above is a bunch of fetishists trying and failing to prove that their “everyone should have guns at all times” argument in nonsense, not an argument for whatever words you were poorly attempting to put into my mouth.

But, for some reason gun nuts do have a need to reduce arguments down to absurd levels because the facts aren’t typically in favour of their side of the argument.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The problem was, it was another dumb GUN FREE ZONE! When I see one of those, I think EASY TARGET!!! Any sicko can then go in and shoot a bunch of people before the police show up with guns.

Right. About that.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/fla-school-officer-waited-building-minutes-killings-happened/story?id=53288339

"Fla. school officer waited outside building for 4 minutes as killings happened, sheriff says"

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You know what? You’re right!
We should arm the principals, the teachers, the janitors and heck, even the kids too! If everyone had access to guns, there’d be no-one getting shot!

Except for you know, a kid might get angry and draw a gun on someone and get shot in self-defence. Or a teacher might shoot themselves after a hard day. I mean, it’s not like access to guns is the problem, is it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Except for you know, a kid might get angry and draw a gun on someone and get shot in self-defence. Or a teacher might shoot themselves after a hard day. I mean, it’s not like access to guns is the problem, is it?

So then the problem would actually be: The fact that those willing to use the gun, have already justified the act of murder / suicide and therefore we as a society have already failed before the gun is even thought of as a means to an end?

Oh, whoops! We can’t have tidbits like that in here. Nope no siree, we’re the best country in the world. We don’t have any of that mental health bullshit. Silly me.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 I've got ZERO problem with letting a law-abiding sane responsible person have guns as long as they do no harm to innocents.

Exactly. The recent school shooter, the Vegas shooter, many others – while there were warning signs that seem obvious in hindsight, one thing they shared is that they hadn’t actually committed any major crimes before they started killing people. But to suggest that maybe Americans should be more choosy about who they hand the weapons to is tyranny.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 I've got ZERO problem with letting a law-abiding sane responsible person have guns as long as they do no harm to innocents.

Trouble is, they all start out as “law-abiding” … until they floor the accelerator and drive into a crowd.

And anyone who cares to can use a car to run someone over. If ‘it can be used to break the law/injure/kill people, therefore it shouldn’t be allowed at all’ is your argument to be consistent you better be pushing for a ton of things(not just guns) to be not just restricted but outlawed.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 I've got ZERO problem with letting a law-abiding sane responsible person have guns as long as they do no harm to innocents.

Except, that usual deflection is really missing the point. The primary purpose of a gun is as a weapon. Now, lots of people use it for other purposes, such as target shooting, and it has secondary benefits that come as a result of its design as a weapon, such as self defence. But its primary purpose is to cause harm.

There are other things you can use as a weapon, but their primary design purpose is not to harm or kill. The car is a method of transportation, the baseball bat a sports item, the knife a kitchen utensil. They can be used as weapons, as can most things, but that’s not their primary purpose.

That’s the differentiation, and I don’t see people arguing for any other type of weapon to be used as widely as people want guns to be used. I don’t see a samurai sword lobby arguing for them to be carried around legally, I don’t see people demanding that people be allowed to keep hand grenades in their home or drive with rocket launchers to the range. The reason for that seems obvious in my mind – when an item is primarily used as a weapon, it’s right to be careful about who can have that weapon and where. It makes less sense to restrict the ability of people to have other items, just because it’s possible for them to be used as weapons as a secondary usage.

I hope that makes sense. From an outsider’s perspective, it just seems like an odd thing that general weapons control seems to be accepted, but one type of weapon is demanded as an unquestionable right.

There’s no inconsistency in the argument you responded to, unless you fail to understand why people believe that guns should be treated differently to transport and household items. You may not agree with the distinction, but the tactic of going “but what about cars” like gun folks tend to do in the discussions is always going to be a failed argument from the get go, because they are not even remotely similar arguments in the mind of a lot of people. Other items maim or kill when they are misused or used for something they were not designed to do,. Guns maim or kill when they’re operating exactly as designed.,

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 I've got ZERO problem with letting a law-abiding sane responsible person have guns as long as they do no harm to innocents.

My comment was primarily meant to address the point raised by Lawrence which I read as arguing that Wendy’s position of ‘guns are okay for law-abiding people’ was flawed because anyone can use it for illegal use by swapping out guns for cars. Yes anyone can, but if you’re going to base decisions on worst-case scenarios then it’s inconsistent to not apply that standard to other items like cars.

For clarification I’m not in the ‘GUNS FOR EVERYONE!’ crowd, and tend instead towards ‘ownership is allowed, but there should be sensible restrictions in an attempt to curb misuse based upon what evidence suggests would decrease that’.

Similar to what Wendy said above I’m okay with ownership, what I object to is what I see as the two extremes of ‘No guns, period’ and ‘Guns are a right and how dare you try to put roadblocks in place regarding them’. Cars are dangerous, society recognizes this, and as such there are restrictions on their acquisition and use. I don’t really see why guns should be treated so differently in general, even if the details might be.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 I've got ZERO problem with letting a law-abiding sane responsible person have guns as long as they do no harm to innocents.

“Yes anyone can, but if you’re going to base decisions on worst-case scenarios then it’s inconsistent to not apply that standard to other items like cars.”

But, again, it’s not inconsistent when you look at the fact that when cars kill it’s not their primary use, whereas guns are specifically designed to kill. There’s no getting around the fact that while a car can be misused as a weapon, a gun is primarily a weapon. Yet, some people object to guns having the same level of restrictions as cars do.

Plus, cars driving into crowds of people is still rare enough that it’s a major news story every time, whereas a day with a gun death the the US is merely one with a y in the name. Then cities take action to try and prevent similar deaths, while any attempt to mitigate the next gun death is opposed virulently.

“what I object to is what I see as the two extremes of ‘No guns, period’ and ‘Guns are a right and how dare you try to put roadblocks in place regarding them’.”

I believe that the majority of people really don’t hold either of those positions. The problem is that, be it because of a loud minority on both sides or a deliberate distortion of opponents’ positions, enough people seem to hold them that it derails the conversation every single time. Nothing ever gets done, because people pretend that anyone who disagrees with them holds the most extreme opposing position. That seems to be the poison that infects every American political issue at the moment.

It’s sad, but going “what about cars?” when gun control comes up really isn’t helping you have a real conversation either, let alone take real effective action to prevent the next needless massacre.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 I've got ZERO problem with letting a law-abiding sane responsible person have guns as long as they do no harm to innocents.

Yet, some people object to guns having the same level of restrictions as cars do.

Which is not a position you’ll see me sharing, as I’ve noted above.

I believe that the majority of people really don’t hold either of those positions.

Most, probably not. The one I was responding to? I would be incredibly surprised if he wasn’t in the first category, based upon all his comments on the subject.

Nothing ever gets done, because people pretend that anyone who disagrees with them holds the most extreme opposing position. That seems to be the poison that infects every American political issue at the moment.

Tribalistic thinking is bad, and it’s gotten significantly worse lately, you’ll certainly get no argument from me on that subject.

It’s sad, but going "what about cars?" when gun control comes up really isn’t helping you have a real conversation either, let alone take real effective action to prevent the next needless massacre.

The only reason I brought up cars originally was to highlight what I see as a flaw in the counter-argument, that of(as I’ve pointed out multiple times now) that anyone can use something to kill. It had nothing to do with anything beyond that.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 I've got ZERO problem with letting a law-abiding sane responsible person have guns as long as they do no harm to innocents.

“Which is not a position you’ll see me sharing, as I’ve noted above.”

I never said you did. But, enough people do (or claim to) to make the discussion unworkable.

“Most, probably not.”

Are you sure? I mean, what do you base this on? Heated online arguments at times when people are most emotional? Or, people you actually know or can have civil discourse with but not have it turn into a heated battle?

Generally speaking, this is the kind of issue where I find that most people will candidly agree if they’re able to talk moderately, but take extreme opposing views if they feel they are being threatened. That’s why this never gets resolved – people might agree with some kinds of extra controls, but it runs into a shouting match as soon as one party decides that the other is taking about taking all guns, for example, even if their real position is not that at all.

“The only reason I brought up cars originally was to highlight what I see as a flaw in the counter-argument”

But, again, not only is it not a flaw (unless you can explain why I’m wrong about the distinction being there), the whole “what about cars” is a tired and much-debunked route that always appears in these discussions. It’s normally used as at least an attempt at distraction, if not an outright indicator that the person using it doesn’t understand the arguments being made at all.

My apologies if this doesn’t apply to you, but if your response to “you probably need to have a better handle on how you supply weapons to people” is “but these things can be used as weapons as well”, you might not be having the same argument. You accept plenty of controls on all sorts of weapons, but even daring to suggest that maybe guns need to be better controlled after your weekly mass shootings is somehow beyond the pale. As an outside observer, it’s very strange.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:6 until they floor the accelerator and drive into a crowd.

Do you see a pattern here? Killing lots of people with a vehicle is pretty hard — a “weapon of mass destruction” it is not. A gun, on the other hand …

The other irony is that the least deadly of these attacks is the one that gets classed as an act of “terrorism”; none of the gun attacks seems worthy of the label.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 until they floor the accelerator and drive into a crowd.

It only seems to get the label if the perp is from a Muslim country, let’s get that out of the way.

I’ve said this before: guns themselves are not the problem, it’s the perception that the gun is the ultimate problem-solver and indicator of bad-assery where terrifying violence = trash taken out, problem solved, job done.

Why do LEOs go into every situation (or so it seems) guns blazing whereas back in the day, a career cop might only pull his gun once? Gun culture is tied in with notions of self-sufficiency and personal prowess. Taking a gun from a gun nut would literally leave them feeling naked and emasculated.

I repeat: guns aren’t the problem, gun culture is. There’s the problem, that’s where you start.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Sickos getting hold of guns

The problem is that for every sicko there’s countless others that have the same indicators of sicko-ness and yet will not ever cross that line to homicide or suicide. It’s the fatal flaw in the Evan video from the Sandy Hook folks.

That’s part of the job of the psych community (guys like me). Like James Bond, we save the world (sometimes every goddamn day) and the world never notices, because averted crises (thankfully) don’t make news.

And to be fair, in many cases (most, really) the sicko in question is going to think about it a lot (what we call ideation) and then cry a bunch and move on. But in some cases, they’re really on the edge of that threshold, and we can’t always tell. But having a community there to say wow, you are hurting a lot and yeah things suck right now, but shit will get better if you can get past this moment is enough to stop them from going Columbine.

What’s scary is that much of the US thinks the alt-right playbook (dismissing everyone else as being whiny snowflakes) is an acceptable way to conduct themselves. But this pushes more Kaczynskis and McVeighs into the threshold of killers. It also provides terror groups more recruits that they only need to steer, and their dirty work is done for them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

What else is the root cause if open to discussion, but I’m sure the ubiquity of guns helps them do it.

Thereby proving Timothy’s point: "Yet, as is our wont, entirely too many people decide that the solution to the mass shooting puzzle is made up of one or two pieces, rather than hundreds and thousands. It’s guns. …"

Michael Moore did look into the gun theory in Bowling for Columbine, comparing to countries with similar levels of gun ownership (such as Canada, which has much less gun violence). There were differing cultural views of guns, but there was not one obvious thing to pin this on.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

There’s a number of things wrong in America – lack of access to healthcare, especially mental healthcare, a fetishisation of guns, easy access to said weapons and a political desire to find easy scapegoats and easy re-election rather than make hard decisions that are actually effective. My main takeaway from Moore’s documentary was when he compared US news to that of Canada and noted the relentless fear being peddled 24/7 – something I’ve noticed myself when in the US.

The fact is, all of these things need to be dealt with. But, if you have to pick one, it’s the sheer number of guns and their ease of access to those who would use them to murder. Say what you want about the desire to kill no matter what weapon the killer has, but I’d sure have preferred the Vegas shooter to have only been able to get his hands on knives, as an example.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“If we ban them, or severely limit their availability wouldn’t that at least help the problem?”

Nope, reports show that there is zero correlation between the presences of guns and homicide or suicide rates the world over. Japan has a nasty suicide problem and they have far less gun availability.

The only thing that can be said that guns make the success of killing easier. And that is not a meaningful argument because lots of other things make killing easier too and they were not created for the purpose of killing anything.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

First off; It’s very hard to take you seriously when you describe supporters of our 2nd amendment as “gun nuts”.

But to your points.

“Alcohol and cigarettes are heavily regulated and restricted already.”

So are guns. Age limits, licensing, background checks for special licensing all exist. Got a mental condition? Are you a convicted felon? Buy all the booze and cigarettes you want, but legally (depending on state) you can’t own a gun.

“scream bloody murder every time people suggest putting controls in place”

You have your fringe in every debate, agreed. I would actually consider you fringe. Reading your posts, your black and white idea of banning guns is as absurd as giving a uzi to a 4 year old.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

From Reason:

_A year ago, Congress and Trump eliminated a proposed rule that would have included in the federal government gun background database people who received disability payments from Social Security and received assistance to manage their benefits due to mental impairments.

This is a regulation that potentially deprived between 75,000 to 80,000 people of a right based not on what they had done but on the basis of being classified by the government in a certain way. The fact that these people may have these impairments did not inherently mean that they were dangerous to themselves or others and needed to be kept away from guns.

As I noted when the regulation was repealed last March, this rule violated not just the Second Amendment but the Fourth, because it deprived the affected people of a right without due process. The government does have the power to restrict and even deny gun ownership to people, but it has to show that these people have engaged in behavior that makes weapons dangerous in their hands._

He either made it easier for people with mental health issues to get hold of guns or he didn’t. Per Reason, he did because the burden of proof on the government had not been met to deprive certain people of gun ownership.

While it is true that not every paranoid schizophrenic is inherently dangerous to themselves and other people I would still think twice before letting anyone with a tenuous grip on reality possess a gun. Reason is working from principle alone which is why I usually take issue with it; I’m on the side of practicality.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“First off; It’s very hard to take you seriously when you describe supporters of our 2nd amendment as “gun nuts”.”

People who reasonably support that I have no problem with. It’s the people who insist that the mentally ill should have access to military hardware because otherwise their rights are being infringed who I refer to as gun nut – and I’ve seen no reasonable arguments here thus far. I’ve seen a lot of self-important whining and a refusal to admit that countries with heavier restrictions really don’t have these sorts of massacres.

“So are guns. Age limits, licensing, background checks for special licensing all exist.”

Yet, the gun nuts want to get rid of even those, refuse to close loopholes and argue against background checks.

“Buy all the booze and cigarettes you want, but legally (depending on state) you can’t own a gun.”

I’m fine with that. It’s when those positions are reversed where it gets weird.

“your black and white idea of banning guns”

If you read carefully, I’ve actually stated no such thing. In fact, I’ve outright stated that gun restrictions aren’t the solution, although reducing access to the things isn’t a bad idea while you sort your other problems out. I’ve not advocated an outright ban at all.

But, gun nuts do tend to get angry and hallucinate when they feel their toys are threatened.

“as absurd as giving a uzi to a 4 year old”

I’ve seen many people argue that they’d rather do that than they would demand that the guys buying his 20th gun this year wait too long to get it home. That’s barely even hyperbole from what I’ve read, and some of the fringe elements are in elected positions of power.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Total Strawman argument.

Kids have used knives to kill family members too. They have also ran over their own family members with their own cars.

Sure it is sad when it happens but like everything else, those are usually because the adult in the situation was not being an adult.

“In what other country can a child pull a gun out of its mothers handbag, and accidentally shoot her while shopping in a supermarket.”

This can happen anywhere, it is just more news worthy when it happens in America because of the politics. Japan is far more racist than most other nations and very discriminatory with its immigration policies but they are rarely talked about over it.

The idea that this problem is only in America shows a complete lack of global awareness. Kids are still stepping on landmines, go and read UNICEF’s report that an estimated 15,000 – 20,000 people die from landmines every year.

It is nothing more than politics and a perception war and you got suckered just like the people that CNN likes to hunt down and publicly shame for being suckered.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

oh dear, the gun nuts are offended again…

“Kids have used knives to kill family members too”

Yes, how often does it happen compared to gun use, though, especially accidentally?

“This can happen anywhere, it is just more news worthy when it happens in America because of the politics”

Bullshit, it would be massively newsworthy if it happened in most other first world countries, because people don’t tend to go shopping with guns on them!

“Japan is far more racist “

Huh. Nobody else mentioned race. Why did you? False equivalence, or did you want to say something?

“Kids are still stepping on landmines”

In major first world cities, or warzones? Also, last time I checked, nobody claims landmines for self defense in peacetime, but that’s usually the reason people claim to buy the guns that accidentally kill people.

Stop being defensive and look up context. You seem to be missing it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

We know PaulT, people must think and believe how you believe or it means they want kids to shoot each other in school.

Have you considered seeking the assistance of a medical professional? Your constant attempts to drive the conversation in a single direction could be a sign of instability.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

According to the CDC, about 260 people under 25 are killed per year by accidental gun shots. Also, just under 1.7 MILLION people under 18 live in households with registered firearms. So I’d say the chances of accidental death from guns is DAMNED TINY compared to almost any other form of accident. Yes, we can do more to reduce this, and we should, but let’s not jump into a bunch of bad laws because of hysteria over rare accidental deaths.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Because of their political religion, they are not allowed to engage this conversation without resorting to the usual bashing, bigotry, and vitriol.

If they do, they will only be attacked by their own kind. They know how nasty they can be, it helps to keep them in check.

I call this part of the “risk averse” culture. Like all the people that instantly called a woman that got stabbed insane for helping a homeless person by inviting them in her home but simultaneously call everyone not helping a homeless person heartless.

They think that everyone must help the way “they say they must be helped” or they attack them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Because of their political religion, they are not allowed to engage this conversation without resorting to the usual bashing, bigotry, and vitriol.

Totally agree. You know, I for one would like to see more guns. Many more, in fact. You know where I’d love to see them? Predominantly poor black neighborhoods.

After all, if guns are such a necessity to protect innocent civilians from harm, then what better way to help those who desperately need it?

And as far as the police, they will just need to suck it up and take it. No more "fearing for their lives" bullshit. Because fuck their fear – those black folks have a right, goddammit. And their rights are just as important as yours or mine.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

You are mistaken, I fully appreciate condescension, especially when it does not rely on a bunch of false equivalents like yours does.

I am just saying you were terrible at it. I will have something more constructive to say when you do.

“Or is a discussion of gun control off the table when cops or poor black people are involved?”

Take this comment for example. Gun Control is a nonconstructive political term used to imply that gun control is about what you want it to mean instead of what it really is.

I am all for gun control too. Proper aiming, trigger control, not carelessly handling them, keeping them away from children, learning how to maintain and use them properly.

Now which gun control are you talking about? Are you talking about federal gun regulation?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

Can you frame that discussion up a little bit?

What do poor blacks and cops have to do with it?

Are you claiming they should have less/more guns, checks, liberty? What? If you could just give me a solid question and no some nebulous idea that could be used to imply multiple things I would be able to give you some ideas about my positions on them. To me it sounds like you are just on a fishing expedition.

Ask a direct question, get a direct answer. As a nebulous question get a request to clarify in response… not rocket science, but maybe for folks like PaulT, it is rocket science.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

It’s pretty clear. I think there should be more guns in the hands of poor black folks in high-crime neighborhoods. As you state above:

Nope, reports show that there is zero correlation between the presences of guns and homicide or suicide rates the world over.

My plan would accomplish two things:

  • They would have the ability to protect themselves
  • The threat of mutually assured destruction would deter crime

Per your statistical nugget, there would be no notable increase in homicide as a result.

As for the police, they would be faced with more armed people. Or, more to the point, more people exercising their right. Historically police tend to take issue with people exercising their rights, so I’m proposing that they lead by example and not constantly fear for their lives at the mere sight of a gun.

Rights shouldn’t scare people, including police.

Is this something you can get behind? It’s a total about face from gun control (which is just a political term anyways).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re:

“It’s pretty clear. I think there should be more guns in the hands of poor black folks in high-crime neighborhoods.”

Forgive me if I do not assume you are actually serious. Poe’s law fits your post to a tee!

I am very pro 2nd amendment and very strong on the constitution and I don’t think “more guns” is the answer. If it were then the idea of less guns would be equally valid as an answer too, and it is not. It is not about the availability or amount of guns, there are zero studies that show it. It is about the cultural ecology and political atmosphere far more than anything else.

If you gave them more guns, the problem “might” reoslves itself, it also “might” exacerbate the problem.

The ONLY thing that can be said is that guns make killing easier and that varies by the weapons used and the situation, so if someone wants to go “literal crazy” then unfortunately guns make the damage much easier to achieve initially. The problems comes in the trade off. We already know criminals don’t care about the law, and guns are not the only ways to mass kill people. You can use gaseous chemicals, fire, demolition, explosives, vehicles, and sometimes even just well timed words to do it.

“Per your statistical nugget, there would be no notable increase in homicide as a result.”

That is an irrelevant support for my argument, which is why it is an irrelevant support for their argument.

“As for the police, they would be faced with more armed people. Or, more to the point, more people exercising their right. Historically police tend to take issue with people exercising their rights, so I’m proposing that they lead by example and not constantly fear for their lives at the mere sight of a gun.”

True, the change in attitude will most certainly alter the enforcement landscape. I just wish cops would understand that if a shoot out did start, I would support them as best I could not just stand around like an invalid “protect me” waste of space.

People have long forgot what the words… “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Notice they never mentioned the innocent and incapable? Because in this context they don’t matter.

“Rights shouldn’t scare people, including police.”

But they do, and they cannot overcome that irrational fear. They are willing to sacrifice everything for even the most temporary and fleeting of safety real or imagined. It is how we go here to begin with. Most people in the developed world have zero idea of how good they have it compared to others, including those that claim they do. I know hunger and starvation, but not close to the level of a POW or the children in Africa.

“Is this something you can get behind? It’s a total about face from gun control (which is just a political term anyways).”

I have already intimated my thoughts about the words “gun control”.

People mean “Federal weapons regulations”, but they don’t like to call it that because they are busy trying to misrepresent things as usual to make them sound nicer than they actually are.

Answer this one.

Should a person with a felony record be allowed to own a firearm after being let out of prison?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re:

Forgive me if I do not assume you are actually serious. Poe’s law fits your post to a tee!

I’m as serious as a person who believes the second amendment was written in the context of protecting oneself from criminals, rather than an invading army.

If you gave them more guns, the problem "might" reoslves itself, it also "might" exacerbate the problem.

So 50/50 at best? I find your comment interesting, given this comment you made further down:

You call the preference to own and carry a gun irrational and we consider your fear of them and desire to remain defenseless irrational.

And then there’s:

We already know criminals don’t care about the law, and guns are not the only ways to mass kill people.

I can’t see the reason for your waffling. The fact that criminals have a clear advantage coupled with the irrational desire to remain defenseless suggests that giving these people guns would be a departure from what clearly doesn’t and cannot work.

I just wish cops would understand that if a shoot out did start, I would support them as best I could not just stand around like an invalid "protect me" waste of space.

Absolutely – you could just simply tell them you’re the good guy. I’m being facetious, of course.

Should a person with a felony record be allowed to own a firearm after being let out of prison?

It would be irrational to leave them defenseless.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:15 Re:

“So 50/50 at best? I find your comment interesting, given this comment you made further down:”

Context is key here. Do these people getting these guns want them? If not, then its a bad idea to give them to them. A person unwilling to pull the trigger is little more than a gun rack holding an available weapon to be used by the first person with initiative.

“I can’t see the reason for your waffling.”

No waffling, it is just as wrong to take a weapon as it is to give one to them they did not ask for. Liberty is my foil, they must be free to decide for themselves. You can’t do it for them.

“The fact that criminals have a clear advantage coupled with the irrational desire to remain defenseless suggests that giving these people guns would be a departure from what clearly doesn’t and cannot work.”

See my gun rack reference above. Yes gun laws give criminals a clear advantage, but the defenseless can remain defenseless if they choose. I just make the point that the defenseless have no right to remove the weapons from those willing to defend and that if someone desires a weapon they need to at least have an ask for one, just just one being handed around like candy at a party.

“Absolutely – you could just simply tell them you’re the good guy. I’m being facetious, of course.”

That is a problem and created the “everyone is a criminal” mindset the police have. The occasion is just too exceptional to use as a justification for police to remove constitutional rights. If the police can say, I don’t trust you you must give me your gun, you have no rights.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:16 Re:

Do these people getting these guns want them?

If they don’t then they’re irrational, correct? After all, who wouldn’t want to defend themselves apart from an irrational person?

That is a problem and created the "everyone is a criminal" mindset the police have.

Perhaps we’re getting toward the root of the problem. The police, out of a desire for self-preservation want people to act irrationally and not defend themselves. Self-preservation of one group with guns over those without.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:17 Re:

“If they don’t then they’re irrational, correct? After all, who wouldn’t want to defend themselves apart from an irrational person?”

That is a specious argument. Fear is not irrational. A person should not forced to defend themselves just like a person should not be forced to be harmless. They must make that decision themselves. Not sure how many ways to tell you it just must be their choice, not yours.

“Perhaps we’re getting toward the root of the problem. The police, out of a desire for self-preservation want people to act irrationally and not defend themselves.”

Not a Root, just one of the factors. If the police escalate, so will those they are antagonizing escalate which quickly becomes what is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“Self-preservation of one group with guns over those without.”

Nut shell, those with the guns are the slave owners. Those without guns are just slaves. The best way to take their guns is to get them to give them up willingly. It really is not that hard to trick people into killing themselves.

cattress (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

I’m unclear if this suggestion was supposed to sarcasm or satire. Because I think black citizens 2A rights are unjustly and systematically curtailed. The most restrictive gun laws are where the highest amount of violence occurs, which are also poor and predominantly black. Decent law-abiding people are prohibited from effective means of self defense, while those who don’t care about laws, commit crimes against them knowing they can’t fight back (I don’t know the stats, but I suspect a lot of crime occurs criminal on criminal, like gang violence, which is perpetuated by over criminalization and central planning that squashes economic opportunity)
And I agree that the cops need to get over pants-wetting fear of armed black people, but it’s not so easy as waiving a wand.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

but I suspect a lot of crime occurs criminal on criminal, like gang violence, which is perpetuated by over criminalization and central planning that squashes economic opportunity)

I’ll give you props for every paragraph bar that one, Cattress. It’s the final clause I have the problem with.

Over-criminalisation? Yes, you’re right about that.

However, it’s not central planning per se that’s the problem. It can be done right. You do know it’s used for the military, for example? You can’t co-ordinate mass actions, e.g. deployments, without it, so don’t blame the buzzword. What’s actually happening in those places is under-investment in education and a lack of opportunities to engages in the economy. Guns won’t do anything to fix that. Working with the community to reduce the crime rate till it’s under control will. Then add jobs training and placements to increase earnings, then bring in social housing projects (these can be in partnership with private enterprise) to build affordable housing. Top it off with access to healthcare and watch things turn around.

People turn to crime when they’re either desperate or greedy and selfish. Giving them the tools they need to get on the jobs and housing ladder will reduce the number of excuses to commit crime, won’t it?

cattress (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

Central planning in the context of military action is a very different beast than it is in a city. Each unit has an assigned task, a protocol for completing it and all units are working towards a specific goal, and central planning works. The residents of a any community have similar needs and goals, but how those needs are met and the specific goals are entirely subjective to each and every individual, which is antithetical to central planning.
We have to remember that concentrated areas of poor and minority peoples was a feature of central planning through redlining. Economic opportunities have been chased away by regulations, permitting, land-use restrictions that came from lobbying the bureaucrats and councils by incumbent businesses fighting competition (like we see from ISP and cable companies), various NIMBY activists. These laws and regulations prevent people from creating their own prosperity and effectively dependent on government assistance.
I totally agree that adequate and comprehensive healthcare is necessary for communities to thrive. But one of the most significant drivers of healthcare costs and lack of available care is central planning mistake that created Medicaid and Medicare while maintaining artificial limitations on the number of licensed physicians practicing and students in medical school at the behest of the AMA (I’m not against Medicaid/Medicare). Another central planning idea that limits providers and facilities (to the degree that people die) are CON laws (Certificate of Need) that you might be interested in learning more about. I’m pointing out some of these things to demonstrate the negative outcomes of central planning. Honestly, when you picture a housing project, do you picture a safe, healthy, stable environment? What’s to make anyone think the government would get it right this time?
I used to think that the government should “do something” or “fix” the problem, or “there ought a be a law!”. But eventually it dawned on me that the government almost always either was the cause of a problem, or it made the problem worse. I know that isn’t always the intention, but if you go back and research the original “progressives”, you’ll find the “welfare” they advocated had sinister ulterior motives. Just because the motivation of today’s progressives has changed doesn’t mean the outcome of the same welfare efforts has changed.
Certainly I don’t think guns will fix broken communities, but I think the members of those communities should not be subject to lesser rights than anyone else. It would huge step forward for black communities to be able to exercise their 2A rights the same as white communities because disarming them has always been a means of control and limitation and representative of inequality.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

Central planning in the context of military action is a very different beast than it is in a city. Each unit has an assigned task, a protocol for completing it and all units are working towards a specific goal, and central planning works. The residents of a any community have similar needs and goals, but how those needs are met and the specific goals are entirely subjective to each and every individual, which is antithetical to central planning.

I’m not sure about that…

Consider the general needs of a given community: water, housing, schooling, healthcare, fire and rescue, infrastructure for those and for commercial premises. Central planning enables that. Where specific individual needs are concerned each tax-funded unit has an assigned task, i.e. my doctor’s surgery (office) has the assigned task of meeting non-urgent medical needs and referring people for treatment at the hospital for further intervention as and when required, e.g. to get me seen by a Rheumatologist once a year to keep an eye on my arthritis. Even if you leave out healthcare, try running a town entirely on voluntaryism. Can I watch? It doesn’t scale. While individuals may have a range of needs and goals, they can be divided into scope of responsibility in which there is a fair amount of overlap and much of which is elective, e.g. career choices. I understand that your underlying argument is basically "I don’t want to pay for other people’s ." Okay, but whether you are willing to accept this or not other people are already paying for your "." Infrastructure, for one.

We have to remember that concentrated areas of poor and minority peoples was a feature of central planning through redlining. Economic opportunities have been chased away by regulations, permitting, land-use restrictions that came from lobbying the bureaucrats and councils by incumbent businesses fighting competition (like we see from ISP and cable companies), various NIMBY activists. These laws and regulations prevent people from creating their own prosperity and effectively dependent on government assistance.

Assume that’s true. Okay, we need to identify those regulations that specifically stop people from creating their own prosperity. Assume they’re now gone: what will people do? They can’t all run burger joints, etc. Businesses need customers. What is needed is an economic ecosystem in which businesses can thrive. In my part of the world is the East Lancs Railway. Basically, enthusiasts revitalised the old railway systems and rebuilt the old steam trains, then they got them back in service on small local lines that had been shut down following the Beeching Report 1963. The tourists who went on the old-fashioned steam train visited the villages along the line, revitalising the local economy between Bury and Rawtenstall. Result: dying mill towns brought back to life. Lesson learned: you can’t operate a business in a depressed area unless you’ve got some kind of draw to bring the punters in. I really do recommend going on the East Lancs Railway. Great fun!

I totally agree that adequate and comprehensive healthcare is necessary for communities to thrive. But one of the most significant drivers of healthcare costs and lack of available care is central planning mistake that created Medicaid and Medicare while maintaining artificial limitations on the number of licensed physicians practicing and students in medical school at the behest of the AMA (I’m not against Medicaid/Medicare). Another central planning idea that limits providers and facilities (to the degree that people die) are CON laws (Certificate of Need) that you might be interested in learning more about. I’m pointing out some of these things to demonstrate the negative outcomes of central planning. Honestly, when you picture a housing project, do you picture a safe, healthy, stable environment? What’s to make anyone think the government would get it right this time?

You’re pointing out flaws in the planning itself. Your government, from what you’re saying, is riddled with special interest group suck-ups who put party donors above public service. It seems to me that if they thought from a military point of view the problems might resolve. There are also ideological considerations: where political "ownership" of a particular district is in flux you will find orders and countermands. In such cases, the civil servants carrying out policy may find they are constantly dealing with the messes created by each administration based on what their principles are at the time. I’d like to see policy-making based on evidence, not ideology but I guess I’ll be waiting in vain.

I used to think that the government should "do something" or "fix" the problem, or "there ought a be a law!". But eventually it dawned on me that the government almost always either was the cause of a problem, or it made the problem worse. I know that isn’t always the intention, but if you go back and research the original "progressives", you’ll find the "welfare" they advocated had sinister ulterior motives. Just because the motivation of today’s progressives has changed doesn’t mean the outcome of the same welfare efforts has changed.

Ah, yes, the liberal progressives… the word we’re looking for here is "paternalism." People need to be enabled to meet their own needs as much as possible instead of having them met for them. Treating people like babies just makes them dependent.

Certainly I don’t think guns will fix broken communities, but I think the members of those communities should not be subject to lesser rights than anyone else. It would huge step forward for black communities to be able to exercise their 2A rights the same as white communities because disarming them has always been a means of control and limitation and representative of inequality.

Indeed, I remember reading somewhere that the emergence of the Black Panther movement was the catalyst for gun control laws. However, given a choice between improving their access to a decent education and lucrative careers and improving their access to guns we both know what I would choose.

Thanks for the debate! 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

We have to remember that concentrated areas of poor and minority peoples was a feature of central planning

Actually it is more a case of people moving to areas where there are other people from the same country, religion etc. Indeed urban areas often cycle from well to do, to poorer people, as the building become outdated and cheaper to buy or rent. Often that cycle continues unto the buildings lower in value to the extent where it is worth a developer buying it up and refurbishing, and the area becomes gentrified one again. Economics and a desire to live in a community of like minded people are the drivers of the cycling of areas between well to do, to poor and back again

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

That’s where social housing projects come in. They don’t necessarily have to be government-funded. I live in a Housing Association property. Do they have those in America? The idea is a non-profit organisation builds a housing project for people on lower incomes (I was barely making ends meet at the time). These affordable properties enable people to settle and plan to move up the property ladder, as it were. Some of us decide not to move because we’ve built relationships in the community and invested in the property (I did my own internal decoration, carpets, etc. The agreement allows this).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

This same conversation occurs no matter what the circumstance when a gun is involved, but I did notice the drive for everyone to keep trying to shoehorn the conversation down only one lane.

Except my comment about injecting more guns into poor black neighborhoods to help with the violence there.

You won’t put your car in that lane for some reason.

But you’ll sure whine like a bitch about condescension and narcissism.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“But you’ll sure whine like a bitch about condescension and narcissism.”

That was to prove a point. Often times I take the condescending route and lay it on them thick too, and boy do they whine about it.

I have no problems with people using ad-hominem attack or being rather condescending providing two things are true.

#1. They are not being hypocritical, which is typical for TD.
#2. Not using a fallacy during their condescension to make it valid.

“Except my comment about injecting more guns into poor black neighborhoods to help with the violence there.”

As stated in a different thread, there is no proof of that for the same reason that there is no proof that less guns will stop the violence. You hold paradoxical views and they need to be reviewed, just like the anti-gun nuts here.

“You won’t put your car in that lane for some reason.”
Not sure what you mean there. Are you talking about me leaving my car in an unsafe neighborhood? then yea, I would try to avoid that.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Kids have used knives to kill family members too.

How often do you hear about mass killings by kids with knives?

(a child pulling a gun out of its mothers handbag) This can happen anywhere, it is just more news worthy when it happens in America because of the politics.

Liar. Incidents like this happen orders of magnitude less often – if at all – in other countries because while people can own guns, there are laws enforcing safety precautions.

Japan is far more racist

If true, then why do they STILL have far less gun violence? Why aren’t there regular mass shootings at schools and universities? Because of gun control. Sure the Yakuza (Japanese mafia) still have guns, but they know it means they’ll get 10 more years in prison if they get busted while holding one.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You need to read one of other threads about correlation and causation.

You just proved my claim that people do not learn from history.

“How often do you hear about mass killings by kids with knives?”

We were not talking about mass killings till you brought it up. Looks to me like a cheap attempt to escape discussing the issue. You going to bring up bombs? How many mass killings are done with explosives? How about a lorry, one killed 86 people and injured 458 others. More than enough damage for something that is not even classed as a deadly weapon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Nice_attack

You are clearly in confirmation bias mode, therefore a meaningful conversation is pointless. You intend to bludgeon me with a bunch of political batter until I have difficulty responding to all of the meaningless details.

Too many of you hyper focus on political components, you can’t even have a proper conversation because your dogmatic idiopathic like responses.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Go back and read the thread again.

I was responding to the person NOT talking about mass shootings but the one where a kid killed their mom in a store.

You guys are trying to pull mass shootings into the discussion. Not all comments are ONLY about the article itself you know. Some are just about the comments others have made in the comments.

Do I have your permission to only talk about the things I am interested in talking about or do all of the have to go your way? O right, I forget where I am.

Echo Chamber please… am I right?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“I was responding to the person NOT talking about mass shootings but the one where a kid killed their mom in a store.”

…in the comments section of an article about a mass killing. Do keep up.

“Do I have your permission to only talk about the things I am interested in talking about”

No, when you join the conversation about something, you’re expected to also talk about the things that the conversation already in place is about. In this case, the subject was mass shootings.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

How many ways can I tell you that that is not what I am talking about before you understand?

Should I get you a Dr. Seuss book saying it?
How about a children’s poem saying?

Something tells me that you need the conversation to change so you can display your political bigotry and you just hate the fact that I won’t step into your juvenile trap.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

Why, because I dared to disparage your favourite weapons? because I showed you how stupid you were for not realising you had entered a conversation about mass shootings then whined that people were talking about that subject? The fact that the only solution you can think of is giving more people more guns, even though they’re proven to be ineffective in those scenarios and every other nation on Earth avoids these massacres without having to do any such thing?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

Dang man, you may want to wipe the spittle off your shirt. Your hard coded leftism works in Spain and the U.K., but the majority of Americans don’t subscribe to your nanny state ideals.

Doesn’t matter if Amercian’s own a gun or not, the vast majority of us believe it is our right either way and that it should stay that way. As a result, we will have to deal with these types of shootings. Freedom isn’t free.

http://news.gallup.com/poll/108394/americans-agreement-supreme-court-gun-rights.aspx

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

It does not help when trolls like you come along and respond with repeated strawman arguments.

The lack of intellectual stimulation around here is more than abundant. I am not advancing a cause, I am trying to inform you that you have been divisively politicized to the point where you cannot hold a meaningful discussion.

You remind me of the admonition for not having arguments with idiots. They first try to drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“It does not help when trolls like you come along and respond with repeated strawman arguments.”

Which arguments were they then? I directly answered every point raised, and instead of refuting me you’ve whined about being asked about school shootings in a thread about school shootings.

It’s hilarious that you’re trying to act like the intellectual here. You just admitted you didn’t know the subject of the very conversation you dived into.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

I will accept the criticism, I should have avoided directly calling them a troll.

There is insufficient proof that he is indeed trolling though I believe that there is plenty of evidence of it from my point of view. He may very well believe in his positions to the point where is unable to hold meaningful conversations about certain subjects without presenting a assertive, bigoted, and close-minded facade.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

“considering no one has brought up racism until you”

Hmmm…

Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2018 @ 7:29am

“Japan is far more racist”

Is this performance art, or are you just unable to understand the words both you and other people are typing? If neither of those, I’d be more concerned about what’s causing my memory loss than what people are saying about your favourite murder wesapons.

JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

"The lack of intellectual stimulation around here is more than abundant."

Tries to insult the intelligence of others using big words, butchers the English language instead…

"I am not advancing a cause, I am trying to inform you that you have been divisively politicized to the point where you cannot hold a meaningful discussion."

Not sure if you realize how hard you’re projecting here. There’s nothing political about wanting to reduce gun violence, that’s just basic human decency. On the other hand the staunch defence of gun rights in the face of overwhelming international evidence of the success of gun control laws is steeped in partisan politics and political corruption.

"You remind me of the admonition for not having arguments with idiots."

Again, avoid using the big words, you’re not great with them.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

“There’s nothing political about wanting to reduce gun violence, that’s just basic human decency”

The solutions can be political, but wanting to stop being the only developed country on Earth where teenagers regularly slaughter each other with military weapons should be something where the politics are at least bipartisan.

Hey, at least he’s not one of the nuts who thinks that everyone in these shootings are all actors and nobody really died (yes, those people actually exist).

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“You need to read one of other threads about correlation and causation.”

I’ve not claimed any kind of causation, though?

“We were not talking about mass killings till you brought it up”

Erm, look up. The article is literally about a mass killing. Are you actually so fired up about your fetish that you forgot what you were responding to?

“You going to bring up bombs? “

I’d like to be less of those around, too.

“More than enough damage for something that is not even classed as a deadly weapon.”

Which happens more? School shootings in the US or bombing in the rest of the developed world?

You gun nuts are really dumb when your favourite toys are questioned.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

I know what is causing you to be an idiot, in fact I told you why, but you ignore it.

Stop the false equivalents or misrepresentations and attempts to de rail then we can chat.

Until then… why do you think you are worth responding to other than to be told that your political dogma is in the way?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

“Stop the false equivalents or misrepresentations and attempts to de rail then we can chat.”

Please do that. You’re the one who entered a conversation about mass shootings and then whined that people were talking about mass shootings. I’m only reacting to the ridiculousness of what you say and the refusal to address any points raised in response to your ridiculous assertions

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Uhhhh… Last I checked, bomb ownership is far more heavily regulated in the U.S. than firearms are. Also, I don’t know anyone who’s anti-guns but pro-bombs.

PaulT tried making that point, but you couldn’t get past the “ad hominem attacks” to notice the real point he was making. Basically, your counterargument does nothing to support your main point.

Also, sure you can say “correlation does not equal causation” all you want, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t use correlation as a tool to help determine causation. Without more, it’s a weak counterpoint given the other points made.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“PaulT tried “

PaulT failed, by using a false equivalent and rewording what I say or imply to construct a narrative that derails the specific subject I was responding too. Why do you folks keep getting bent out of shape because we can see you coming a mile away?

You may not be aware, but the signs are all stamped on your forehead like a billboard.

“but you couldn’t get past the “ad hominem attacks” to notice”

Ha ha ha… TD endlessly whines about people using ad homimen attacks, but when I cell them out on it the responds “get over it”. The hypocrisy is rich.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“PaulT failed, by using a false equivalent and rewording what I say or imply to construct a narrative that derails the specific subject I was responding too’

No, I quoted what you said, and laughed at you while explaining how ridiculous you were.

You’ve still refused to address any actual point, you’ve only whined about the subject of the comments being constant outside of your own, and that people are calling the idiot in the room an idiot.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Incidents like this happen orders of magnitude less often”

Exactly. Someone being found going to the supermarket with a gun in the first place would be a major news story where I live, no matter what did or didn’t happen with it.

If he honestly thinks that people are being accidentally shot in public in other places but he’s just not hearing about it, he ,might be too far down a particular rabbit hole already…

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

I was responding to the point you made, you mental midget. You’re the one who made the claims about supermarket shootings being more newsworthy in the US due to politics. Whereas the rest of us are pointing out the reality that they would be exponentially more newsworthy in other countries because people aren’t in the habit of taking any damn guns shopping!

Seriously, is this feigned ignorance or are you literally just unable to follow the conversation?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Wow, you did completely misunderstand what I said. Okay then… I guess that explains a lot.

You said…
“Absolutely, which is why the moron’s claims that it would be less newsworthy than in the US for someone to be accidentally shot is hilarious.”

What I said…

“This can happen anywhere, it is just more news worthy when it happens in America because of the politics.”

I clearly said MORE newsworthy not LESS newsworthy.

PaulT, you should not stick your foot in your mouth so easily. I did not expect you to so willingly prove my claims that you are willing to misrepresent what people say.

This is what happens when you like your political ideology drive you crazy, you cannot think straight because you are nothing other than a hammer looking for a nail. And when a peg comes along, you try to screw with it forgetting that you were supposed to be a hammer!

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

You said "it’s more newsworthy when it happens in America" (by implication, vs. when it happens somewhere else).

This is equivalent to saying "it’s less newsworthy when it happens in places other than America" (by implication, vs. when it happens in America).

PaulT did not say that you said such things are "less newsworthy in the US"; he said that you said they are "less newsworthy than in the US". (Emphasis mine.)

To my eye, this seems like a perfectly consistent representation of the position you expressed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

“This is equivalent to saying “it’s less newsworthy when it happens in places other than America” (by implication, vs. when it happens in America).”

I see what you are saying. You are not correct. Let’s make a different comparison for effect.

Saying a house costs “more” in America is not the equivalent of saying that a house outside of America costs less “less” on those merits alone.

For example, if another shooting happened this week, it would be more newsworthy than it was last because because NOW we can add more emphasis to “frequency” to the issue making it more newsworthy. It is cognitive dissonance to use this to imply that somehow a shooting in the UK in a UK school would now become “less newsworthy” for people in the UK.

You guys really need to stop making false equivalents! More here is not an automatic less there! THAT IS THE POINT!

Get it yet?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

You guys really need to stop making false equivalents!

If you’re going to use this term over and over again to try and make yourself appear intelligent, you should really start using it properly. It’s false equivalence.

Sorry about the correction, but I can’t stand it when folks like you show up armed only with the Wikipedia link for "List of Fallacies" and can’t even bother to cut & paste properly.

Get it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

“If you’re going to use this term over and over again to try and make yourself appear intelligent, you should really start using it properly. It’s false equivalence.”

Yes, thank you for the correction. I do prefer accuracy over most other things.

“Sorry about the correction, but I can’t stand it when folks like you show up armed only with the Wikipedia link for “List of Fallacies” and can’t even bother to cut & paste properly.”

Never apologize for correcting anyone, if you are actually sorry, then you would not have apologized. When people make mistakes they need to be able to own up to them and make efforts to correct them. The people that get bent out of shape because they go corrected are often the worst of all.

Also, if it were a cut & paste, then it would not be my fault for the error… would it?

JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

*"What I said…

"This can happen anywhere, it is just more news worthy when it happens in America because of the politics.""*

We know what you said, you’re just completely wrong. In most developed countries gun deaths are rare and newsworthy. Politics has nothing to do with it, most cultures just don’t accept such unfettered gun ownership and the well-proven consequences.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

I’m wondering what he actually thinks. He seems to be claiming that other countries have shootings but they just don’t get reported because it’s more politically convenient to only report on the US. That the entire news media internationally is out to get the US for whatever reason.

That’s a scary bubble, though I presume it’s necessary to live there in order to believe that the US doesn’t have a major gun violence problem that’s out of step with the rest of the developed world.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“Another “we are right because majority” claim?”

No, it’s a “we are right because we have real, documented, verifiable facts on our side”.

Few developed countries have the same level of gun ownership as you, and the majority of those have much greater restrictions on who can own them and how they’re used. Many countries simply don’t have the guns. You know what they also don’t have? People accidentally shooting others in a damn supermarket – which is why it would be much more newsworthy than in the US and why your laughable claim is contrary to reality!

Stop playing the victim and just accept that you were wrong according to any measure of reality.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“I clearly said MORE newsworthy not LESS newsworthy.”

Yes you did, I typed the wrong word. Hazards of arguing with idiots on the internet while I’m supposed to be working and getting distracted by a server outage. I apologise.

It should however be noted that you were utterly wrong in your laughable claim, and the rest of the thread is people explaining to you why. But, you’d rather whine and attack me personally rather than accept that you are provably, utterly wrong about your claims.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: I will grant you gun CULTURE in the US is abominable

I once observed how commonly it comes up in gun dialogue the assumption that the right to bear arms is the right to use those arms to murder someone. I’ve heard it / seen it implied from both gun-rights and gun-control advocates.

So yes, in the United States, gun culture has gotten a bit weird. In the 70s and 80s, the gun owners I knew were all about proper handling and cleaning protocol, proper gun safety, not missing and avoiding hitting others behind your intended target.

These days people leave their loaded guns on the coffee table as a demonstration of exercising their rights or more accurately, dissing the bleeding-heart left.

I still don’t thing this is a reason to abolish guns, and I still think assault weapons bans are heavily problematic. It feels more like a social sickness, say a response to scarcity and a feeling of powerlessness that is driving people to idiocy.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: I will grant you gun CULTURE in the US is abominable

Popular culture has a bigger effect than we’re willing to admit. I wouldn’t blame games but if you look carefully at the messages being pumped out in TV shows, films, and the media what are we being told?

Time was, the Dirty Harry/Death Wish mentality was fringe. Now it’s mainstream. This is at the heart of the problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

you are just looking in the wrong set of statistics data, a slight adjustment here or there and voila… evidence that people ARE wanting construction jobs because of Minecraft with just two simple questions.

1. Did you work for or apply for a job in the construction industry?
2. Have you played Minecraft?

BAM!

PaulT (profile) says:

It’s been said, but bears repeating – the vast majority of the Western world plays the same games as these American kids do. They play the same Call Of Duty series, the same PUBG, the same GTA, the same Rainbow Six series, etc. In most cases there is no difference in the code running, except perhaps for translation to other languages. Yet, those other countries don’t have the same problem with school shootings. Some countries can count the distance between them in decades, yet the US can barely manage weeks if they’re lucky.

There is a major difference between the US and the rest of the world that’s causing school violence. Videogames should be one of the first things you can eliminate from the equation due to the above. Yet, there’s always some grandstander intent on catering to the ignorant.

I actually think there is a difference that’s explained by something more than the mere presence of guns (though, of course, the guns make it easier for people to die needlessly). What a shame some people are so intent on demonising something that it demonstrably cannot be, rather than searching for what it really is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

There’s really no need to search. We already know what the cause is and what to do about it. Multiple other countries — let’s take Japan and Australia as two handy examples — have nearly eliminated mass shootings, and they’ve done it rather quickly.

Maybe we should do what they’re doing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“The abundance of guns is clearly a major factor, but it may not be the root cause.”

Wow PaulT almost the first half intelligent thing you have said in a good while.

Pointing at guns avoids looking at the root cause as you said. There is a lot of water in the ocean too, should we get rid of that do people can’t be murdered in the ocean by drowning them? Do you remember the dihydrogen monoxide issue? Proof that you can get stupid people to agree to stupid things by sounding all scientific about stuff and that you delusion is quit possible with nothing but the truth.

That is the anti gun debate in a nutshell. Using the truth to advance a total lie/delusion. Those are some of the worst truths to walk the earth!

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Even when you agree with me, you’re an obnoxious dickhead with only a glancing familiarity with the truth. What a pathetic human being.

Enjoy your guns, safe in the knowledge that children are dying preventable deaths every day so that you can keep hold of them. I’ll be happy over here, in a country where I don’t risk being accidentally shot in the supermarket in the way you claim wouldn’t be newsworthy here.

“Pointing at guns avoids looking at the root cause as you said.”

Not really. It’s possible to both reduce the risk of guns getting into the hands of killers and deal with the root causes of why they wish to kill at the same time. Unless you’re completely stupid, you should realise that it’s possible to deal with multiple things at once.

The problem is, your politicians would rather talk about irrelevant scapegoats while you gun nuts won’t allow them to even talk about stopping killers from getting guns. You refuse to deal with either the cause or the symptoms, so enjoy your dead children. I’ll continue being happy to live in a country where we talk about the time between gun massacres in years or decades, not day or weeks.

Dingledore the Previously Impervious says:

Re: it's not the mere presence of guns

It’s the culture that believes that guns are ‘a solution’ to anything other than a threat to kill someone. It suggests that the people don’t trust the very laws they themselves put in place to protect them.

And it’s where the individualism inherent in ‘the American Dream’ tells everyone that the sign of success is personal wealth irrespective of how it was gained.

An Onymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Nothing?

Proper parenting can prevent it. If you have a maladjusted kid at home then perhaps you shouldn’t let him purchase his own rifle. If you’re unaware he’s maladjusted then perhaps someone needs to invent a time machine so they can neuter the both of you before you can produce such offspring.

Guns and video games are not the root cause. But the root cause is far harder to treat and doesn’t rally the masses like a good false scare can.

cattress (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Nothing?

The kid in Florida was actually an adult, so a parent’s ability to control this was limited. And he is an orphan, his adoptive mother died only last November. We don’t know if the reason for his maladjustment comes from biological parents or adoptive parents, and we probably never will.
We don’t know what the root cause of this particular attack, just like the Vegas shooter’s motivation is not known (or not revealed at this time). But, we do know that this kid was flashing red all over the radar, probably more than any other successful mass-killer, and the FBI and the Sheriff dept failed to act. And the last line of defense, the armed school resource officer, was a coward. Too bad the masses won’t rally to hold the LEO liable.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Nothing?

Agreed in full. The adulation of LEOs on principle has got to stop. This kid should never have been allowed to get near a gun, end of discussion. Where was the damn surveillance machinery that allegedly keeps us safe?! They could have confiscated his weapons and referred him for psychiatric treatment. Why didn’t that happen?

As for the root causes of his (and every other mass killer’s actions) I daresay it’s in the fetishisation of guns as the ultimate problem-solver and proof of individual awesomeness. The rest of us don’t see them that way, so we don’t have as many incidents. I believe that the perception of violence (of any kind) as a solution is the problem.

Narcissus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Lets all say it together now...

Great sir, you solved it! Correlation IS causation, super.

So, the US has the largest number of guns in private hands and the largest number of mass school shootings.

Now, we learned from our history major that correlation IS causation so guns cause mass shootings!

Thank you, game over.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Lets all say it together now...

I don’t think you are connecting the dots properly. This is why wisdom falls flat on your folks. Many of you get the exact opposite of what I said. Or you are like PaulT lie and say that I said something I didn’t say, which is not new either. I guess sticking to what you know is comforting, even if it is wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Lets all say it together now...

Hey dumbass, if so many people get the wrong impression of what you said, now stay with me here cause this may blow your mind. But what if your ability to communicate effectively is the problem. And double maybe, you being a smug cunt who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else is a huge part of said problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Lets all say it together now...

“But what if your ability to communicate effectively is the problem.”

So you operate under the false assumption that if a “majority belief” or “understanding” is automatically the correct one?

So tell me… do you still think the World is Flat? That used to be a popular belief and a lot of people of the times “could not understand it” when a few people said otherwise. Does that make them bad communicators, some of them got murdered?

Or are you just bad at reading & comprehension?

There is more than one explanation. Though I do admit that I happen to think you guys are more intelligent than you think I believe. Which is why I assume you should be intelligent enough to understand what I am saying (Corollary to Dunning Kruger effect), but I would like to thank you for making it clear to me that I should get a little more basic to help you understand.

How tell me. What about my response to Nick-B did I not make clear.

According to history, people equate correlation and causation the vast majority of the time. It is human nature, as natural as bias is, yet while we have at least learned to ask people to control their bias, we still do very little to educate people on critical thinking. In fact the very creation of groups and classes are to eliminate that critical thinking and then we group people into those groups and classes at every attempt to marginalize them politically. It is written all over this forum and this news article!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Lets all say it together now...

Are you sure you know what you are saying?

What you said could be taken that you agree that I am intelligent and knowledgeable to the degree that I cannot come down to your level to explain things.

I don’t think you are are total idiots because you can improve. But you won’t waste a moment believing that I am a total idiots. But that is problem with your intellectual dishonesty. I think you guys can improve if you just have the desire to do so. The problem is the desire you seem to be missing.

Anonymous Coward says:

I read some time ago that many of the children who act out violently had recently stopped taking their anti depressant medication. This story seemed to have legs and then simply disappeared. I wonder what happened to that study they said they were conducting. I think the us is the only country that medicates their children at such an alarming rate.

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Maybe it’s based on the idea that (even) people who didn’t really need antidepressants in the first place might have a disproportionate reaction to the changes in internal chemical balance from going off of them?

I’m not sure the conclusions are sound even based on that, but it’s the best logic I can think of for connecting the two statements from the first and last sentences of that comment.

cattress (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes, anti-depressants and other psychological meds have clear warnings not to suddenly stop taking them, as well as to immediately contact your doctor if you develop suicidal thoughts. I can tell you from experience that some meds have horrible side effects just from missing a single dose- something called “the zaps” that feels like being electrocuted inside your brain for a few seconds at random- but severe reactions from sudden stoppage don’t usually happen until someone has been on a full therapeutic dose for a little while.
I think we like to throw terms like over-medicated around because Big Pharma and doctors are favorite scapegoats, just like musicians, movie and video game producers. Certainly some kids are being put unnecessary medications because parents are ill-informed or maybe even lazy. But likewise, some kids (like the killer in Sandyhook) have conditions that need medication and significant therapeutic support that never get it, because the parent may be resistant to such treatments, or again, too lazy.
I don’t like to defend Big Pharma, but I can’t deny that medication has drastically improved my life. The key is having access to a wide selection and finding the right provider.

David says:

Re: Freedom is messy

Uh, you don’t have more freedom. Freedom means being able to make and defend your own choices. Guns in private hands are totally not contributing to that since there are laws against making them count for any purpose, and law enforcement (and ultimately the army) have bigger guns: this just leads to an escalation of force but does not change the balance.

What people don’t understand is that nothing is more likely to get you killed by criminals than your likelihood of carrying a gun. Criminals have less restraint than non-criminals.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Freedom is messy

So your idea is
“It’s OK for a criminal to be armed and you yourself be defenseless “
If you want to be a quivering mass of shit in the face of danger , that is your right .
It is not your right to tell me that I too must be a
cowering little pussy afraid to stand up for myself.

I say we hold a test for all of the so called “gun control advocates”

Start with a father , mother , 17 year old “child”
who wants someone else to protect them .
Have 3 cells with a convicted murderer the worst of the worst .
Cell # 1 in with nothing
Cell # 2 a knife
Cell # 3 with a Gun

Then let them choose what cell they want to enter with the criminal , being that whoever survives gets to be free .

Pretty sure all would choose option #3
I know I would . And sure as hell I wouldn’t want someone to tell me ” Oh no I’m afraid for you to be armed it scares me”
Well….. those people ….Just put them in cell # 1 .

And for those who say above isn’t real, True , but
in the moment when your faced with pure evil , don’t you want to be prepared for it with all that is available ?

Better to be armed and never need it than be unarmed when you need it most .

And to those who say it will never happen to me .
Ask someone who it did , if they survived it that is ………..

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Freedom is messy

The point is that your irrational fears are not sufficient to remove his right to carry or use a firearm to defend himself.

You call the preference to own and carry a gun irrational and we consider your fear of them and desire to remain defenseless irrational.

Sure everyone would like society to be able to go anywhere without ever seeing a single gun, but it is not realistic to burden the innocent with laws that protect them less.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Freedom is messy

A gun is no help to defend against a gun. You’ll be dead before you even have a chance of pulling. And when you are concealed carrying, the criminal will not even be committing murder since he acted in self-defense.

The “irrational fears” make it more than tenfold more likely to get killed by gunfire in the U.S. than in civilized countries, and the majority of homicides are actually between people knowing each other.

In that view, it’s more an “irrational adoration” of guns rather than an “irrational fear” that has to be stated. And this adoration contributes to an unparalleled death toll the U.S. carries. And part of it is due to the militarization of police who, like criminals, prefer to be the first to kill when in doubt.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Freedom is messy

Maybe you should.

Show me a single military or police force that does not use or possess a single gun? They all have them and they use them to varying degrees.

I bet you think someone dies with every pull of a trigger too don’t you?

“A gun is no help to defend against a gun.”

This statement is so terrible you make it incredibly hard to even take seriously.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Freedom is messy

–A gun is no help to defend against a gun. You’ll be dead before you even have a chance of pulling.

Your statement shows exactly how little you know about guns.

My brother was shot point blank range by robbers.
After being shot he pulled out his legally concealed weapon, returned fire sending both criminals running. Both criminals received multiple gunshot wounds, my brother only had the one initial wound.

All three are alive today, two of them behind bars for 20 years.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Freedom is messy

Single facts are called “anecdotes”. Comprehensive facts are called “statistics”.

Statistics show that U.S. gun laws command a tremendous death toll compared to countries with otherwise similar conditions.

Any statistic will have outliers. On the whole, having both criminals and non-criminals able to run around legally with guns turns out to be a worse deal than having neither run around legally with guns.

Because before committing a crime, you have the approach. If the whole approach becomes illegal because of carrying a gun, you’ll think twice before doing so.

And again: most gun deaths in the U.S. are not from serial criminals but from people you know. Those where the gun provides the opportunity for committing the crime (or accident) in the first place.

Again, statistics. Comprehensive collections of facts.

cattress (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Freedom is messy

Most gun deaths, by like 2 to 1 are suicides.

And I bet the surviving members of the Texas church shooting would argue that it was a better deal for them that a good guy with a gun engaged the shooter when he went out to get another gun from his car. The shooter could have gone back inside and killed a bunch more people, but was shot and forced to flee by a good guy who made it there before the cops.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Freedom is messy

And I bet the surviving members of the Texas church shooting would argue that it was a better deal for them that a good guy with a gun engaged the shooter when he went out to get another gun from his car.

Funny that. I’d have expected them to argue that it would have been a better deal for them when the bad guy hadn’t been able to buy all those weapons in the first place.

And while automatic weapons are not legal in private hands either, the supply chains for semiautomatic weapons and unrestricted handguns are quite more related (and thus harder to police) than the supply chains for semiautomatic weapons and video games.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Freedom is messy

That’s an interesting experiment, but of course you’ve never actually run it. How can I tell? Because the outcome wouldn’t be what you think it will be.

On the other hand, I HAVE run an experiment — a number of trials of it, in fact — to find out just how well someone who’s well-trained with guns can defend themselves. I did with the cooperation of a family member. He is (a) an Army Ranger (b) a combat veteran who did four tours of duty and has a Purple Heart. He’s less than half my age, he’s in incredible physical shape, he’s proficient in all kinds of weapons, he’s proficient without all kinds of weapons, and in a fair fight, he would likely dispose of me in 10 to 20 seconds. If it even took that long.

Our agreement was that I would attempt to faux-incapacitate him before he could either hit me or pull his gun and point it at me. (Yes, he carries one.) We agreed that he would be unlikely to miss at close range, so “pointing” would be considered a win for him.

I beat him 14 out of 14 trials.

How? I didn’t fight fair. I hid behind things, I snuck up behind him, I distracted him, I cheated every possible way that I could. And if the bat I was holding had been a Louisville slugger instead of a Nerf bat, he would have gone down with a fractured skull every single time, I could have relieved him of weapon, used it on him, etc. His hand never got anywhere NEAR his gun. He might as well have been carrying a banana.

I could do the same thing to you, although it would be easier because you lack training and experience. And the best part for me is that I don’t have to buy a gun: you brought one for me. I just have to take it away from you, and that is FAR easier than you think it is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Freedom is messy

Agreed, too many of the proponents of gun believe what Hollywood shows them, that is successful use of weapons against a surprise attack. However the actors have an advantage over real life situations, the attack is not a surprise.

It has also been shown that starting at about 15 yards, a knife in hand beats a gun in a holster every time. Indeed the best self defense is an unarmed combat skill, as if you see an incoming attack you defend yourself, rather than trying to draw a gun and letting the opponent hit or stab you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Freedom is messy

Guys, your scenarios are super specific and exceptionally dishonest.

Yes, in those situations the dynamics of having a firearm changes, but the idea that it negates all of their other circumstantial benefits, well lets just say is obtusely ignorant.

In most place knifes and YES BATS suitable for defense against a gun at close range are still illegal to just carry around with you so get a new argument. People have been arrested for having a bat in their trunk!

Get a grip!

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Wouldn't let my kids play them ether.

Or someone who actually follows the facts, which don’t always fit what is “common sense”. The overwhelming majority of studies on what connections, if any, exist between violent video games and violent behavior, in general or with specific violent behaviors, show no evidence that playing violent video games leads people to act more violently. Those that do tend to have preexisting mental illnesses that make them more impressionable or more predisposed towards violence without video games than the average person. It doesn’t matter what seems obvious to you; it doesn’t change the facts.

Furthermore, it’s your prerogative as a parent to decide which games—if any—your kids can play at any given age. I don’t think anyone is saying otherwise. However, that’s a far cry from imposing government regulations on what games can be sold or to whom. That’s infringement on free speech/expression and a restriction on creativity.

Finally, regarding the “desensitization towards violence”, one thing that is often forgotten or ignored in these conversations is the distinction between desensitization towards seeing or hearing violence and desensitization towards committing violence. It’s possible that violent video games do desensitize kids towards violence in the former sense, but it’s clear based on decades of studies that they don’t in the latter sense.

wereisjessicahyde (profile) says:

A solution

“there’s nothing to prevent the child from playing them”

I propose we create a new concept to solve this problem. My idea is that after the child is born someone looks after the child in a role I have coined “parenting” (patent pending).

How it will work is a ‘parent’ will say to the child “I’m sorry Tarquin, but although I understand that playing ‘Call of Doom Medal Shooty Face Death GTA11’ will not turn you into a mass murderer, I’m not complete idiot. But I don’t think it’s suitable for a 9 year old. You’re not playing it, go and take the garbage out”

It’s so simple it’s genius.

David says:

Re: A solution

“If I can’t shoot the demon in the face in effigy, I’ll just take your gun and shoot the teacher instead.”

That’s the U.S. solution. Guess which country has the higher abortion rates: the U.S. where premarital sex and abortion are evil and the devil’s work, or the Netherlands where either are not particularly stigmatized.

Guess who is more obsessed with porn. Puritanism doesn’t work.

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: surprise?

It’s funny, but the other side of the political spectrum has EXACTLY the same sentiments about modern Democrats — they like in an alternate reality where facts are biased and reality is fake news.

The thing people need to get their heads around, is that BOTH sides have gotten so distanced from reality, albeit in different ways, that BOTH need a reality check upside the head.

Anonymous Coward says:

It isn't accidental that nobody is investigating actual cause

Clearly there are a lot of kids who are suffering serious disorders for one reason or another. They weren’t born this way. There is a causality.

Games may help kids develop skills required for the job. But that isn’t the same thing as repeated emotional battery that conditions them to the degree of fatalism and dispair that ultimately resulting in DOING the job. There is a huge difference.

We know that people are experience much more third party interference with their emotional welfare than ever before. But you will NEVER hear a politician talk about that. That’s because they won’t get any air time if they say advertising and particularly ad-tracking are deleterious to the public health.

So instead you’ve got people running around trying to drum up support for gun control, that is going to have the opposite effect of what is intended. The result will be gun bunnies will get more vocal, and the kids that previously at risk, will be easier to recruit. This will result in higher recruitment for the ultra right and left, and greater social and economic dischord.

Which is great, because more violence is really good for getting people to watch advertising.

Yes, there is an industry perpetrating psychological war on the youth of this country. No it isn’t computer games. It’s advertising. Particularly ad tracking based advertising. And if you become aware of the techniques that they use, and are able to identify them, you’ll find that the dischord and emotional toxicity that your subconscious has been exposed to your whole life will become evident. And every time you see what these fuckers are doing, you will feel dirty, and want to go and wring somebodies fucking neck.

The difference is that if your healthy, you know this is wrong, and you walk away. If you are unhealthy, as most of us are, you don’t experience it at the conscious level, but you do at the subconscious level. And that builds up until eventually, grabbing an AR15 and wasting a bunch of people seems like a good idea. The conscious mind is just trying to resolve the severe long term harm that the subconscious mind has been experiencing for years.

And the fact is the perpetrators of the abuse are aware of what they are doing. Perhaps if people are going to protest, what they should be protesting about is picking better targets.

The long and short of it is this: Your use of technology to exercise your civil rights, is being leveraged to harm you. While the harm is difficult to quantify because of its nature, the harm IS quantifiable nonetheless. (psychology is actually a statistical science) The technical means by which this harm is being vectored at you, is implemented within the technology that you use, without your informed knowledge or consent.

I understand that what I’m saying disagrees with almost everything that you’ve ever heard from any and all pop culture sources.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: It isn't accidental that nobody is investigating actual cause

You are ignorantly assuming that people don’t pick on each other than call them names, ridicule them, gang up on them, bash them, throw things at them, and in general sneer and make fun of them.

the OP is right. people just want to blame guns as a shortcut issue because it fits into an agenda for political expediency.

It is just too much work to tell society, stop being divisive about everything and stop trying to take everyone rights away so you can live in a cocoon away from anything that might challenge your delicate psychological state.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: It isn't accidental that nobody is investigating actual cause

“What you’re saying also assumes that the harms outweigh the goods,”

What I’m saying is that the exercise your civil rights does not implicitly give permission to mega corps, or the state to fuck with your mind.

The unfortunate reality is that a lot of these school shootings are, in the shooters minds, acts of self defense. This dynamic is typical with abused persons, who see their abusers as saviors, and everyone else as the enemy.

So the kids keep getting traumatized by big media conglomerates, and they keep shooting up schools. Then the same media conglomerates declare that it must be guns, or computer games, or etc. etc. etc. But never, NEVER will they ever say that it’s advertising.

And since my post, already I’m catching a shit ton of propaganda about this issue in my nonconsensual brainwashing feed. Everything I used to enjoy about the Internet is now intolerably infested with mind rapists.

People have a right to defend themselves. In the case of school shootings, what your looking at is kids who are willing to defend themselves with violence, but are so fucked up by mass media mind rape that they don’t even know WHO they should be defending themselves against. So they end up shooting innocents because: “FUCK! I have to do SOMETHING!”

And they are the brave ones. God knows how many suicides are the result of this same basic dynamic. The tragedy is not that there is violence. The tragedy is that it is misdirected.

hegemon13 says:

He started to say something important...and then video games

Part of what he said is correct and very important to acknowledge. We have a culture of violence in our country, and though some gun controls should be investigated to help control the symptom of increasing mass gun crimes, that culture of violence won’t disappear with the guns.

The fact is, people are increasingly hateful to each other. Political polarization has reached the point where people don’t just disagree with the other side, they flat hate them. Collectivism is as rampant as ever, fueled by ever-present media tailored to reinforce your own views and tell you what you want to hear. The tribal “us against them” mentality in this country is at a fever pitch, and for some, it goes much too far. At the same time, for young people, technology and social media has extended the reach of bullying and ostracizing far beyond school and made it an inescapable element of every moment of life. Finally, mental illness is approached with destructive stigma in this country, where it should be approached as a health issue, no different than being afflicted by diabetes or another physical illness.

Compile these together, and you have desperate young people unable to escape, surrounded by anger and hatred, fueled by tailored and extremist news feeds, whose mental health challenges are either ignored or used as an excuse for further ostracizing them…and then they have unfettered access to guns.

Yes, it’s simplistic to blame guns. It’s also simplistic to blame games or social media or any other symptom of the larger disease. Yes, we have to treat the symptom (guns) now, but it’s far more important to fight the disease. We’re doomed if we can’t restore the value of human life to our culture, even the lives of those who have hurt you, stolen from you, and hold views repugnant to you.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: He started to say something important...and then video games

Part of what he said is correct and very important to acknowledge. We have a culture of violence in our country, and though some gun controls should be investigated to help control the symptom of increasing mass gun crimes, that culture of violence won’t disappear with the guns.

^This. So much this!!

John85851 (profile) says:

I know the facts don't matter, but...

Two things to consider:

1) Years ago (maybe 10 years) Penn & Teller’s “Bullsh*t” show had an episode on gun violence. As a probably inhumane and unethical experiment, they found an 11 year-old who was an expert in the latest first-person-shooter and gave him a real machine.
After the kid fired a few rounds, he was a crying mess because he couldn’t stand to shoot a real weapon.
Granted, this was one kid and it was hardly a scientific experiment, but the fact was that this kid was an expert in video games and it didn’t translate into shooting a real gun.

2) I know the facts don’t matter to people like the governor, but it would interesting if the video game industry itself put out some statistics to finally debunk the “let’s blame video games” idiocy.
For example, how many millions of people have played Doom? Yet some people think it was the cause of the Columbine shooting because the shooters made a map of their high school within the game.

How many people have played Quake or Call of Duty or even Warcraft or Starcraft?

Yet some mass shooters maybe played a video game at some point, so the entire industry should be blamed? Really?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I know the facts don't matter, but...

Facts only matter if they support your politics, otherwise those facts are to be ignored or misrepresented followed by ridiculing those with differing opinions.

The “Games cause Violence” has long been settled, but people have short memories and each time something bad happens they just have to go back and dredge it up like it’s new science.

There is zero correlation between violence and games/movies/art/books/music.

David says:

Re: Re: I know the facts don't matter, but...

Oh, I certainly would expect there to be correlation. If somebody was planning to commit a shooting, why wouldn’t he be interested in training material?

It’s just that I’d consider the causation to be rather unilateral. And if we wanted to minimize the danger of a potential shooter, restricting access to guns would seem more effective than restricting access to books and video games.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: I know the facts don't matter, but...

“Oh, I certainly would expect there to be correlation. If somebody was planning to commit a shooting, why wouldn’t he be interested in training material?”

You have already spoken against yourself. If you intentionally go and get a game to “train” as you put it then the violence is clearly already there. The game really had nothing to do with it.

The claim is that video games are generating the violence, NOT that the violent are using video games to train!

Anonymous Coward says:

FTFY

Congress… It’s garbage. It’s the same as pornography. They have desensitized people to the value of human life, to the dignity of women, to the dignity of human decency. We’re reaping what we’ve sown here.”

Quote seems much more appropriately applied to Congress than to Video Games… Time for Anonymous to expose all the things that our ‘elected representatives’ are up to online…

Anonymous Coward says:

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb 22 (Reuters) – The armed sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Florida high school where 17 people were shot and killed has resigned rather than face suspension after an internal investigation showed he failed to enter the school to confront the gunman during the attack, the county sheriff said on Thursday.

Deputy Scott Peterson, who was on duty and in uniform as the resource officer posted at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was the only law enforcement officer present at the campus during the six-minute rampage last Wednesday, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.

Peterson’s actions were caught on video during the massacre, which ranks as the second-deadliest shooting ever at a U.S. public school, carried out by a lone gunman wielding a semiautomatic AR-15-style assault rifle.

THIS IS WHY I CARRY
YOU CAN”T TRUST ANYONE ELSE TO PROTECT YOU EXCEPT YOURSELF .
END OF DISCUSSION

Diane Develyn says:

Fox news conversation

I want to compliment and agree with you on your opinions
of what is going on in the Country today. The TRASH one
see’s on television is disgraceful and the music these
kids listen to is disturbing HOMES where children are brought up are not really traditional anymore they are just
houses where there is NO right or wrong – and this also comes from the ‘so called’ parents. We are in trouble.
Thanks for stepping out there and telling the TRUTH.

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