Pundits And Politicans Very Quick To Blame Video Game & Movie Violence For Newtown

from the of-course-he-does dept

The tragedy last week in Connecticut is still horrifying to think about on many different levels -- but the constant search for blame, and using it to support pet political ideas is troubling. This isn't to say that we don't necessarily need to have a "conversation" on various hot potato political issues, but basing it around an event like this isn't likely to be a productive and informed conversation, but one driven purely by emotions. I understand the desire, and the idea that making use of such a tragedy to create political will to do something, is all too tempting. But I fear what happens when we legislate around emotions, rather than reality. And, no I'm not even going to touch the question of gun control or mental health treatment. Both obviously evoke strong opinions from people on all sides of the issue (and, contrary to popular opinion, there are more than two sides to those issues). Instead, let's talk about the rush to blame video games and TV shows, as seems to happen every single time there's a mass shooting -- and almost always done with no evidence.

We already talked about people rushing to blame a video game, after the incorrectly named "original" suspect in the shootings had, possibly, at some point "liked" the game on Facebook. But, of course, now the politicians are stepping in, and retiring Senator Joe Lieberman is using the tragedy to push forth one of his pet ideas that he's brought up in the past: violent video games and TV must have something to do with it. He's trying to set up a commission to "scrutinize" "the role that violent video games and movies might play in shootings" among other things (yes, including gun control and mental health care).

Lieberman, not surprisingly, was not the only one. A large group of politicians and pundits immediately jumped to the conclusion that video games and movies must have something to do with all of this:

A disturbing number of public figures have lashed out at video games since the atrocity committed at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday. A bipartisan group of legislators embraced this scapegoating on the Sunday news programs; from Democrats like Sen. Joe Lieberman and Gov. John Hickenlooper to Rep. Jason Chaffetz and former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge.

They were joined by members of the media – sadly, too many to count.

On MSNBC on Monday, Chris Jansing asked her guests what connection Adam Lanza’s interest in video games had to his murderous shooting spree. She quoted senior White House advisor David Axelrod who tweeted “shouldn’t we also quit marketing murder as a game?” Liberal contributor Goldie Taylor revealed that she refused to let her child play games until he was 14-years-old.

[....]

On Fox & Friends on Monday, legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. delivered an offensively sermonizing renunciation of entertainment producers and videogame makers who are “clinging to guns economically.”

“They are glamorizing guns in this country. They are the scourge in terms of these guns,” Johnson Jr. said of game and filmmakers

Of course, time and time again when these shootings happen, the reports later show... that video games and movies played little to no role. Yes, sometimes the killers played these games, but it's difficult to find teenagers these days who have not played a violent video game or watched a violent movie. It's like saying that we should explore "the role that breakfast plays" in such shootings. How many of the killers ate breakfast that day? In fact, studies seem to suggest that, if anything, violent movies may actually decrease incidents of violence.

Bizarrely, the person with the most thoughtful explanation on some of this might be movie critic Roger Ebert, in a review of Gus Van Sant's movie Elephant from nearly a decade ago. That movie portrayed a similar school shooting, and did so by making it clear that sometimes there are no answers and there is no "other thing" to blame. Sometimes (perhaps many times) these things don't make sense, no matter how many times we want them to make sense. But Ebert also points to another factor that rarely gets discussed:
Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. "Wouldn't you say," she asked, "that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?" No, I said, I wouldn't say that. "But what about 'Basketball Diaries'?" she asked. "Doesn't that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?" The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it's unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.

The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. "Events like this," I said, "if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn't have messed with me. I'll go out in a blaze of glory."

In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of "explaining" them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.
Meanwhile, Danah Boyd has a related, but somewhat different perspective on the whole thing, noting how the media frenzy around these events also tends to mess with everyone else who are trying to cope with the situation, and makes sure their lives can never go back to any semblance of normalcy. She talks about running into some kids who had gone to Columbine high school, a few months after those attacks:
What I heard was heartbreaking. They had dropped out of school because the insanity from the press proved to be too much to deal with. They talked about not being able to answer the phone – which would ring all day and night – because the press always wanted to talk. They talked about being hounded by press wherever they went. All they wanted was to be let alone. So they dropped out of school which they said was fine because it was so close to the end of the year and everything was chaos and no one noticed.
As she notes, it's not the press's fault either. They're also giving the public what they want -- and, she agrees, that some of these topics are important and should be discussed. But the focus on the people in Newtown isn't helping.
But please, please, please… can we leave the poor people of Newtown alone? Can we not shove microphones into the faces of distraught children? Can we stop hovering like buzzards waiting for the fresh meat of gossipy details? Can we let the parents of the deceased choose when and where they want to engage with the public to tell their story? Can we let the community have some dignity in their grief rather than turning them and their lives into a spectacle of mourning?

Yes, the media are the ones engaging in these practices. But the reason that they’re doing so is because we – the public – are gawking at the public displays of pain. Our collective fascination with tragedy means that we encourage media practices that rub salt into people’s wounds, all for the most salacious story. And worse, our social media practices mean that the media creators are tracking the kinds of stories that are forwarded. And my hunch is that people are forwarding precisely those salacious stories, even if to critique the practices (such as the interviews of children).
What happened last week was senseless and tragic and painful to think about in all sorts of ways. And, yes, there are reasons to hope that such an event might lead to ideas that would prevent such things in the future, but the way we go about things on such discussions doesn't provide much hope that we're going to do anything valuable or thoughtful in response. Instead, it becomes a rush to do something purely out of an emotional response, and it's unclear how that helps.


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    Martin R (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:05pm

    Some bloke tries to get a bomb onto a plane in his shoe and everyone has to take their shoes off before being allowed to board a plane.
    30 plus massacres since Columbine and nothing gets done.
    The land of the brave uh?

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Here's a fix: Turn off the stupid news! Stop watching that crap.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:11pm

    Guns don't kill people, video games do.

     

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    Jeremy, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

    Yes Yes, guns don't kill people, people don't kill people...

    ...video games kill people. Lets ban them.

    If only we could ban ignorance from serving in a public office, we might get something worthwhile done.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:18pm

    Yet more idiocy from a country that is becoming more and more idiotic by the day. If you are not careful you could become like my country, Northern Ireland, where we have bloody riots over a decision not to fly a fucking flag all the time.

    Sorry for the bad language, I am wound up.

     

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    Brainwashed retard, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:18pm

    Police don't exist to catch outlaws

    It's not guns....... it's lack of adequate medical treatment for mental patients.

    It's not guns....... it's violent culture.

    It's not guns....... it's criminals.

    It's not guns....... it's not. It really isn't.



    If guns are outlawed , only outlaws will have guns.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

    Re:

    where we have bloody riots over a decision not to fly a fucking flag all the time.

    We already have those, every time some redneck gets elected and tries to fly the Confederate flag somewhere.

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

    Re:

    This. I have read precisely two articles related to the shootings, and they were both from Techdirt today and that's only because I read all of the articles here. I first heard about it on the radio after work, and immediately turned off the radio. Have not watched the news (do I ever?) about it at all. It's not because I don't care about what happened, but because my instantaneous knowing of all the latest details and speculations doesn't do a thing for the people who are trying to cope. Let them grieve for crying out loud.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Simple retort

    One simple and trumping response to anyone blaming video games or violent media for tragedies, and it's only one word:

    Japan.

    End of story. Find another scapegoat...or, better yet, the actual cause. Retreading old pet tropes actually HARMS the efforts to make sure unspeakable shit like this doesn't happen again....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    like others before it, this was an absolute tragedy and all those concerned deserve all the sympathy and help available. but like so many other things, it's easier to blame the first thing that comes into focus than to focus on the first thing that should be blamed.

     

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    Old Man in The Sea, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:29pm

    People with agendas love "The Blame Game"

    This incident is the result of many decisions and choices, as will be the aftermath.

    The shooter made choices (for which he is solely responsible) that led to this. Other people have made choices (for which they are solely responsible) which have led to this - who they are is unknown.

    The media staff covering this and the owners of the media companies have all made decisions in the aftermath (for which each of them is solely responsible for) which have publicised the event. There are others who will make decisions based on what they see and hear about this and then do something stupid (for they are solely responsible for), including politicians, researchers and the public.

    I saw a while back some tests done with young people on violent video games and the results were interesting (though not unexpected). Two grouping were used (with I believe some crossover between the groups) and after on grouping that used the violent video games, it was found that this grouping were not more violent but they were less sympathetic to the plight of others.

    I think that it this is found to be the general case then the graphic media coverage of actual violent events leads to people making decisions that lead them to being less sympathetic to the victims and other affected people.

    I believe playing video games is another form of the activities of young people similar to playing Jedi knights with broom sticks, playing super heroes or cops and robbers or cowboys or indians or soldiers at war.

    This is something that has happened for centuries and will continue to happen.

    Banning guns will only lead to the situation we have here in Australia. Criminals and the government forces (police and military) will have all the high powered fire power. That problem will not away.

    So in relation to what has happened here, leave the people alone to grieve without making their lives a living hell of a spectacle for the world to see. If you have a mind to, make a decision to treat everyone you come in contact with with respect and kindness and gently lead them to a better way.

     

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    Forest_GS (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:29pm

    Re:

    USA TV news is ALL over-hyped junkfood.

    Canada has a much better TV news system.

     

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    Jeremy, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re:

    Also This ^^^

    Just because information moves fast doesn't mean I want to digest it fast. Just because enough cameras exist to capture every tear by every victimized family member doesn't mean I want to be having political discussion while they're still dropping. Just because media organizations trying to make a dollar for their shareholders by holding the attention of their thoroughly market-researched audience exist doesn't mean I want to listen to them when shit hits the fan.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re:

    Let them grieve for crying out loud.

    It has become — with a capital “P” —   Political.

    “The NRA is the enabler of mass murderers” by Alex Seitz-Wald, Salon, Dec 14, 2012
    In the wake of today's shootings, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler says we need to wage "war" on the gun lobby

    New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler called for a “war” on the National Rifle Association in light of the mass shooting in Connecticut today in an interview with Salon, saying the gun lobby group is the “enabler of mass murderers.”

    [...more...]


    Capital “P” Political.   So much for grieving.

     

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    Scote, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

    Sadly, 22 people murdered by gun is a drop in the bucket.

    The outrage over this tragedy is understandable but flawed. Every year around 13,000 people die by gun in the US. If gun violence is outrageous then we should be outraged year round.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    Assign blame where it belongs

    If "they" want to blame someone, blame McCain for the NDAA which declares the whole of USA to be a battlefield. They say that's where automatic weapons belong.

     

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    Jeremy, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Simple retort

    Japan doesn't have mass murders because their culture is so homogenous that mentally disturbed individuals are easy to spot and deal with. They also have a societal family structure that is so rock solid it cannot compare to America where the word family comes in 1000 flavors, many of which involve some parent who isn't around.

     

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    Justin (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    We don't blame Sports games for making Athletes, or racing games for driving behavior, or Mario for people jumping on Turtles, so lets not go blaming violence on video games either.

     

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    Rekrul, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    A large group of politicians and punidts...

    "punidts"?

    When I went to the doctor last Friday, they were listening to the reports on the radio and when the young nurse took me in to the exam room, she was in shock over it, asking how someone could do something like that. I told her that in a day or so, they would start blaming violent video games and movies.

    I've watched violent movies and shows since I was young. I've played a ton of violent video games, and yet I've never killed anyone. I've also watched a lot of porn and never raped anyone.

    My father carried a gun for probably 30 years and the only time he ever took it out of the holster was if he was at a range, showing it to someone, or taking it off for the day. This despite the fact that he actually had a pretty bad temper and liked to yell & break inanimate objects when he got mad. He even bought himself an assault rifle (an AR15) just because he liked the novelty of owning one and he wanted to get it before they were made illegal. He was a member of the NRA and a big believer in the second amendment.

    When he died, he owned three handguns and two rifles, which passed to me. I don't have a permit to carry a gun and so have never even taken them out of the house. And yet there has never been a single gun related incident linked to my family, not even an accident. I wonder why that is...

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    We hold this truth to be self evident...

    Remember when all the kids were determined to become farmers during the Farmville boom?

     

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    DannyB (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    Re:

    > We don't blame Sports games for making Athletes,
    > or racing games for driving behavior,
    > or Mario for people jumping on Turtles,
    > so lets not go blaming violence on video games either.


    But clearly Brain Damage causes Football, since a link between the two has been established.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

    An amoral society ruled by murderers at the top.

    Here's an almost random story that just happens to be up right now; I hadn't seen it before purposely going to look for a similar event that most of you would otherwise never read about, nor will you care now because it happened far away to someone else:

    http://news.antiwar.com/2012/12/17/unexploded-ordnance-kills-10-afghan-children/

    "Ten Afghan girls, aged from nine to 13, were killed on Monday when an unexploded bomb or landmine detonated as they were out gathering firewood near their village in eastern Afghanistan.

    Years of war have made Afghanistan one of the most heavily landmined countries in the world and, as has been the case in Indochina, unexploded US bombs will continue to kill and maim innocent Afghanistan for years, probably decades, to come."

    Your tax dollars and countrymen are creating endless horrors around the world, not the mythical "Al-Qaida".

    The moral decay of the US definitely isn't helped by video games, violent or otherwise.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    Re:

    You make an excellent point there. The reason we have pointless security rules that accomplish nothing comes from the irrational need to do something.

    Once rules or legislation like taking shoes off in airplanes get put in place, they are rarely repealed because the inconvenience is minor by comparison, so no one wants to spend their political capital on something so trite. Little things add up, and eventually when you're doing a hundred different small inconveniences in the name of "doing something," you begin to regret that moment of weakness where you gave in to the knee-jerk reaction of that tragedy.

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Re: An amoral society ruled by murderers at the top.

    ok, boy blue: i have to stand 100% behind this post of yours...

    gosh, you mean THE most militaristic (by just about any metric) society in the his story of the universe which has been directly and indirectly responsible for murdering millions has a violence problem ? ? ?

    as horrible as a couple dozen (mostly) white, (mostly) non-destitute first world kids/teachers getting murdered is, i think they call that 'tuesday' in pipelinestan...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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    Old Man in The Sea, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Simple retort

    Dark,

    In this you are seriously wrong. You have missed the lessons of history, young fellow.

    Sadly, the actual answer is "You". Each one of us is responsible for our decisions at what we want to play, watch, read, discuss and then do.

    No-one is exempt from this. The media is made up of people, video games are written by people, the customers are people, Japan is made up of people, USA is made up of people. You yourself are a person, as am I. We all make decisions that can make life better or worse for those around us and those we influence.

    To take an item and use it as a weapon against another is a decision made. Whether one wants to attribute it to a mental health problem or a societal problem or not is actually irrelevant. The individual has made a decision or a series of decisions that have led to this place.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re: Simple retort

    Jeremy...
    "Japan doesn't have mass murders because their culture is so homogenous that mentally disturbed individuals are easy to spot and deal with."
    Nope.
    The culture is so homogenous (and repressed) that mental disturbed individuals are swept under the rug and the matter is not discussed.
    "They also have a societal family structure that is so rock solid it cannot compare to America where the word family comes in 1000 flavors, many of which involve some parent who isn't around."
    Partially correct.
    The divorce rate in Japan is 33% as opposed to 50% here.
    However, even with divorce, Japanese parents are more involved in raising (and disciplining) kids than American parents.
    Plus, the percentage of unmarried adults to married/divorced adults is greater in Japan than America.
    But, the unmarried adults who have kids assume a greater parental-type role in the childrens' upbringing than Americans in the same situation.
    Try again.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    Re: An amoral society ruled by murderers at the top.

    "... unexploded US bombs will continue to kill and maim innocent Afghanistan for years, probably decades, to come."

    The mine could be a Taliban anti-personnel device or old Russian mine.
    How do we know it was American, boy?

     

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    cosmicrat (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

    A big scaffold of little sticks

    Of course violent videogames are "one of the causes" (if we must put it that way) of mass killings. However they are only a small stick among the many that form a huge scaffold.

    We must stop to remind ourselves that people who commit acts like this are mentally ill and usually suicidal. To ascribe normal reasoning processes to them is a bit of a stretch. But we can probably understand some of what goes through their heads. At the heart of our world is a dogma that equates being a real man with being a warrior. This is millennia old. This cultural mythos is reinforced throughout our culture in movies, TV, videogames, comics, magazines, books and on and on. It so happens that the modern definition of warrior includes carrying some high power guns, so that becomes part of the mythos.

    When a certain kind of mentally ill person tries to process that mythos and be a "real man", bad things can happen.

    I certainly do find the violence in video games disturbing and think we should take notice and question it, however we just as much should question all those other cultural influences. Unfortunately for video game enthusiasts, it is largely a young persons hobby, and most politicians are old. They are much more likely to focus blame on the newfangled thing they don't much care about rather than examine the media they have been enjoying all their lives.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

    Hysterical mass media is more to blame than any violent video game or movie ever made. A creep tunes in to the news, sees what's going on, feels the need to top that, does something even worse, and be remembered as a bigger monster instead of just offing himself in obscurity. I never heard of any instance of a game inspiring youths to grab a chainsaw and slaughter everyone in Chinatown or go to raves just to eat other people after popping a few pills.

     

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    Mike Brown (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Simple retort

    "However, even with divorce, Japanese parents are more involved in raising (and disciplining) kids than American parents."

    Nail hit squarely on the head.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

    Any person that can not tell the difference between a game and real life has more problems than just game playing. Over the years, it's been comic books, tv, movies, games, crap you name it some idiot group out there has a reason it should be banned.

    If they really wanna do this attitude adjustment on the public I suggest they start with lamescream news. All information the public receives is pretty much negative with bias that goes against most readers (the majority).

    People are taught at an early age, this world sucks from such messages. Not long after the politicians decided their retortic was too inciting, Mrs Griffords got shot in a public appearance.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Simple retort

    But why bother looking at yourself and your problems when you can just blame those dirty Other-types instead?

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

    Actually...

    "If guns are outlawed , only outlaws will have guns."

    Actually, that last bit...

    That doesn't work.

    Why?

    Because there are parts of the country where you kind of NEED a gun.

    Someone who lives on a farm in Texas, Oklahoma or Montana gets attacked by a wild animal or something else?

    Unlike the cities which can have police there in under 15 minutes, in those places, you can be hours away from the nearest town or city.

    Plus there's hunters.

    No, we don't need to go overboard on anything.

    That's the problem.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    Belfast is peace compared to........

    bout ye ! (Belfast here)
    Those Americans are in a different league. ( Far worse situation than N.I )
    Have to give the majority of them a by ball tho. They be completely brainwashed.


    As for the riots.
    Very little support in Belfast.
    protest at bottom of my road (large "protestant area"), Friday night, 11 people showed up
    Most people think it's stupid.
    Most people hear the arguments put forth by protestors and think they are retarded.
    Even the hardcore bigots think they are mostly retards.

    ""Belfast is under attack"" , ""we have to stand up and be counted""

    [ typical response from Belfast person ]
    Huald on a minute... WTF are you retarding about. It's a fucking flag you retard.
    You are not even from Belfast. We are the ones that live here.
    You retards trying to play peoples emotions will get people killed.
    It's OUR friends and family that will turn into killers and our friends and family that will be killed.



    "prods" in Belfast generally do not support the retards and the media does not encourage them.

    In America the story is different. You have businesses profiting from selling guns, Lobbyists buying politicians, media fueling the pro gun propaganda and spewing "NEVER is the right time" to talk about gun control.

    Take all our brainwashed retards, multiply misinformation X1000, fuel their hate, give them guns.
    Then we would be close but as for now, America is in a different league.



                Kids killed by gunfire in the United States

                                   is 25 times the rate

    of the 20 next largest industrial countries in the world

                                            COMBINED




    btw... irrelevant but hey. Was born a prod. I fucking hate religion. Always tick [other] when the question arises.

     

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    cosmicrat (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    Missing one big point about Japan

    They don't allow civilians to have guns. At all (for practical purposes). They don't even allow citizens to own a sword without a fairly expensive and time consuming permit.

    There are plenty of suicidal "mass killer" wannabees in Japan, but they never kill anyone because they don't have the firepower.

     

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  36.  
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    Tom, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

    I know that blood lusting gamers are crapping their pants at the thought of missing a day of slaughter, so this denial is very self serving. But the fact is, to younger, formative minds, the brutality of movies and video games is clearly desensitizing.

    While dramatic plot lines have generally involved violence and even murder, it was historically either mainly off camera in movies, or portrayed in an illustrative style in video games. It's only this current generation that has grown up subjected to the flood of first person photo realistic gore that has been foisted on them.

    This is used effectively to dull the consciences of military professionals, and like alcohol, can be reasonably consumed by most mature adults. But it is delusional to think that someone who has begun to consume this violence in their pre-teens, with realism that is barely distinguishable from life, will feel any of the shock or revulsion they would normally at the thought wholesale violence.

    That's not to say that many would be driven to commit it. But those already on the fringe, who struggle to communicate their frustrations, and might normally act out in more isolated ways, are now bred and challenged to amplify their impact in the new relative scale of horror that these games and movies have taught them.

    Numb to what would have formerly shocked them, just like pre-teen drinkers build a tolerance to, and dependence on alcohol, the magnitude of the violence that the causes their desired endorphin level is escalated.

    The argument is then not about banning violent video games and movies, but about exposing youth to them. There has long been a strange priority in American culture, where children are shielded from the dreaded sight of a breast, where the appearance of one in a movie would exclude an unaccompanied child. They even draped a statue that showed one in a public place. But regulators will allow a child a fusillade of gunfire and barrage of exploding body parts before they have their cereal in the morning.

    It's just not a mystery that, just like alcohol, hyper-violence needs to have age restrictions.

     

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  37.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re:

    > but because my instantaneous knowing of all
    > the latest details and speculations doesn't
    > do a thing for the people who are trying to cope.

    And it turns out that most of what the media was reporting was flat-out wrong anyway. Whatever happened to journalistic ethics and sourcing, vetting, and confirming reports before airing them?

    • For hours on Friday, the shooter was identified as Ryan Lanza, with his age alternatively reported as 24 or 20. This case of mistaken identity was painfully reminiscent of the Atlanta Olympics bombing case in 1996, when authorities fingered an innocent man, and the news media ran with it, destroying his life. Such damage was averted in Ryan Lanza's case largely by his public protestations on social media, repeatedly declaring "It wasn't me."

    • The media repeatedly reported that Lanza's mother, Nancy, was shot at the school, where she was a teacher. Neither was true. She was shot at home and was not a teacher.

    • The media reported that Lanza had used two pistols in the attack and left a rifle in the trunk of a vehicle. The police have now released the facts-- that all the victims were shot by a rifle.

    • The media reported multiple versions of what Lanza was wearing, including camouflage attire and black paramilitary garb. He was not wearing anything like that.

    • The media reported that were two shooters. That was false.

    And on and on. In the hyterical need to be first(!) with some crucial bit of information, these supposedly professional news departments are rushing on air with every tweeted factoid they come across and it's doing no one, least of all themselves, any good.

     

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  38.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Actually...

    > Because there are parts of the country
    > where you kind of NEED a gun.

    Pretty much everywhere. Take where I live, for example. Los Angeles. Leaving aside the home defense argument, which the gun control advocates dismiss with a "That's what the police are for" hand-wave, I know it's probable that one of these days there's going to be a significant earthquake around these parts and if I'm here to see it, I don't expect the police or other emergency services to be any more available in the aftermath than they were in New Orleans after Katrina. The Los Angeles mayor has even made public announcements to that fact. He routinely tells citizens they need to be prepared to 'survive on their own for an extended period of time' because the city's resources won't be adequate to handle a disaster like that.

    All the folks who constantly claim that we should just rely on the police don't seem to have an answer as to what we should do when even the police themselves say they won't be able to help.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The media reported that Lanza had used two pistols in the attack and left a rifle in the trunk of a vehicle. The police have now released the facts-- that all the victims were shot by a rifle.

    Do you actually believe this?

    Video shot from a helicopter showed the police removing a long gun from a vehicle. The video was widely seen.

    Afterwards, stories came out to correct the narrative.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    Mostly agree...but

    agree...sorta
    ■ Hunting is a sport. Should require a very strict license to partake.
    In the U.K you even need a license to go fishing. (UNDERSTANDABLY)
    ■ Farmers legitimately need guns for pest control. Should also require a license.
    ■ The police should be in charge of protecting the public.
    Like in other countries, if a persons life is in danger, they get a special license to carry a gun for protection.
    Police response times are police business. They need to serve.



    There is a massive fact that is ignored in America tho.
    The correlation between guns and gun crime.

    ZERO GUNS ---->--->--->--->--->--->--->--->---> LOADS'A GUNS

    ZERO GUN CRIME --->--->--->--->--->--->--->---> LOADS'A GUN CRIME



    Can't deny the FACT that America has LOADS'A GUNS & LOADS'A GUN CRIME

     

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  41.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: An amoral society ruled by murderers at the top.

    > you mean THE most militaristic (by just about
    > any metric) society in the his story of the universe

    How can you possibly know which society is the most militaristic in the entirety of the universe?

     

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  42.  
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    gorehound (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

    Hi I'm Commander Shepard

    After playing Mass Effect for like 5 hours today I feel like Murdering People.
    Was it because I played as a Renegade ?

     

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  43.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 3:05pm

    Sadly, 1 person murdered by a traffic collision is a drop in the bucket.

    The outrage over this tragedy is understandable but flawed. Every year around 13,000 people die by gun in the US. If gun violence is outrageous then we should be outraged year round.

    Sadly, there is no outrage over the 30,000+ killed each year in traffic collisions. Traffic collisions account for the most child deaths in the country. People should be very outraged by traffic collisions and cars should be outlawed.

    /sarc, if you didn't figure it out.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

    Music!

    It's got to be the music. Everything from gangsta rap to Foster The People. Tipper Gore, we need you now more than ever.

    *sarcasm*

     

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  45.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Missing one big point about Japan

    No, there is a specific type of person to own swords.

    This is the same country that used the citizenry for sharpening weapons. Only blacksmiths are applied to have weapons and that is kind of a big deal.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    Looks like you need a proper police force.
    People over here in the UK go apeshit if the police response times are too slow. We expect a lot from them. We expect them to do their job right. Especially here in N.I where the police are criticized like fuck, for every little thing they do wrong. (which is a good thing, keeps them focused on serving people)

    Sounds like you Americans have completely given up on public policing.
    Sad as fuck man..... Sad as fuck.
    You shouldn't have to carry a gun for protection as standard.
    I understand. If I were you, I would carry a gun too.
    Still a sad as fuck situation.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    I blame video games for this too-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster

     

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  48.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 3:20pm

    Re:

    > Looks like you need a proper police force.

    Well, as that's not likely to happen any time soon, I can either deny reality or equip myself to act in my own defense when they're not around to do it.

    When seconds count, the police are only five minutes away.

    > People over here in the UK go apeshit if the
    > police response times are too slow

    When was the last time you had a magnitude 8.0 earthquake in the UK?

    > Sounds like you Americans have completely
    > given up on public policing.

    The police are reactive (yes, even in the UK). Absent luck or coincidence, they rarely are on scene to stop a crime from happening. The vast majority of the time, they react to a crime that has already occurred, investigate, and catch the perpetrator. While that's great for society in general, it's little comfort to the victim of the crime.

     

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  49.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

    Re:

    It is not guns that kill people it is crazy people. When are we going to realize that.

     

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  50.  
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    Michael, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

    Re:

    I'm also not able to bring crates of snakes onto planes anymore, and that movie completely bombed.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Mostly agree...but

    But remember, the police have no duty to protect you or anyone. Their only purpose is to serve...the government. This according to the supreme court.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re:

    Suppose the big difference is.....

    UK possession.
    Minimum 5-year sentence for carrying a gun if you're over 18. If you're under 18, you could still go to prison.
    You wouldn't usually get a thief using a gun in the UK. Maybe a bank robber would.(they get 15 years+ anyway, even without a weapon)
    A thief might get 1-3 years just for stealing.
    Automatic 5 years just for having a gun. (separate count added to punishment)

    It just doesn't pay for criminals to use a weapon and especially a gun in the UK.
    The fact that guns are not common is also relevant.

    I personally, living in the part of the UK, with by far the most guns per capita, do not feel the need to own a gun for protection. I don't even have a bat.
    It really is sad that people feel so threatened that they must carry a killing device for protection.


    also....
    99% of robbers in the UK wouldn't rob your house if you were in it.
    Sentences for that are like 10-15 years. Old people getting robbed like that is instant 15 years.
    Even stealing a mobile phone is 1.5 - 3 years WITHOUT a weapon.
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/robbery/


    If I lived in America now, I would own a gun.

     

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    cosmicrat (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 4:13pm

    U.K. also bans knives

    I have heard your country also bans the carrying of knives. Is that true? What does say a chef do when commuting to work? What about other people who use knives in their work?

    What are the rates of simple and aggravated assault? Rape? Might a citizen use a handgun to defend themselves in such cases?

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Re:

    Besides that, snakes on a plane could be essentially put to sleep by using the A.C. to drastically lower the temperature. Why didn't anyone think of that? Buck Rogers used that tactic against the Saurians.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 6:19pm

    Re: Police don't exist to catch outlaws

    I will be an outlaw!

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re: An amoral society ruled by murderers at the top.

    "How do we know it was American, boy?"

    probably because the US have a long history in delivering weapons to both sides of a conflict

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 7:40pm

    Gun death - Blame the shooter.

    Under 18
    Violent video games - Blame the parents.
    Violent movies & music - Blame the parents.
    Bad internet habits - Blame the parents.

    Over 18
    Violent video games - You should know the difference between fantasy and reality by now.'
    Violent movies & music - You should know the difference between fantasy and reality by now.

    If 9/11 has taught us anything it should be that using a tragedy to strip freedoms away only makes things worse for the American citizens.

    What happened was completely fucking sick and twisted but we cannot use it as a reason to chip away some more at our rights.

    We already have way too many laws that were built upon foundations constructed of emotions. They'll fade away in time as old wounds heal. If you want to make a law that's fine but at least wait till you have a clear head.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 10:26pm

    So these retards are blaming virtual guns, but real guns according to them are sacred?

     

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  59.  
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    ChrisH, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 10:26pm

    You say now is not a good time to talk about the issue but then you quote large sections of an article that does exactly that. The article just argues the opposite, that video games have _nothing_ to do with real violence. The quoted article even drags out the "for the children" argument.

    Both sides understandably want to conclude that video game violence either has a large effect or no effect. The truth is probably more complicated. My own gut feeling is that personalities matter and so there's probably many (most?) folks that won't be influenced by video game violence while others will be.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 10:43pm

    Re:

    "Some bloke tries to get a bomb onto a plane in his shoe and everyone has to take their shoes off before being allowed to board a plane.
    30 plus massacres since Columbine and nothing gets done.
    The land of the brave uh?"

    if someone else hasny then i will

    http://xkcd.com/651/

     

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  61.  
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    aerilus, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 11:04pm

    Re: An amoral society ruled by murderers at the top.

    you should really read that article a little closer especially the source it is based of off which states

    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-07-28/news/bs-md-unexploded-afghanistan-20120727_1_a fghanistan-ordnance-explosive-remnants

    "The United States, which began working in the 1990s to clear Afghanistan of the explosive remnants of war, is the largest donor in the international effort to eliminate the threat within a decade.

    The U.S., the United Nations and others have paid to train 14,000 Afghans to identify, safely handle and dispose of unexploded ordnance, Rice says. If there is continued funding, she says, the work is on schedule for completion in 10 years."

    i don't think we had any businss dropping daisey cutters over there just for shock and awe but give some credit where credit is due

     

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  62.  
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    Wally (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 11:25pm

    Violence in videogames the cause??

    The real blame should be on parents for allowing their children to play said violent videogames...Unlike the MPAA rating system, the ESRB rating system is based around the studies you've mentioned. By 17, the average person has had time to develop a sense of sympathy.

    I cannot, however, stress it enough that videogames have in deed gotten more violent. Growing up, I owned an Atari 2600, NES, SNES, and a PlayStation. My first violent game was the SNES port of Mortal Kombat II. I am completely and utterly sympathetic towards those who are victimized at the violent hand of others. However, that was a different era of video games...that and my parents set my moral compass.

    It was admittedly cool to see gibs for the first time playing Half-Life. Half-Life was my first M-rated PC game, but by then my parents raised me enough to discern that it was entertainment and not really real at all.

    I can assure everyone that if you take the time to do research on violent videogames over the years, a lot of the pervasive violence didn't start until after Halo came out.

    So by this point people are going to ask me my point. It is simply that it's up to the patents to raise their children to discern when empathy and simpathy should come out. The violence in videogames has practically quadrupled in the last decade or so.

    My wife and I have both agreed to given out children, when we have them, the basic stuff when I grew up. The Atari 2600's poor graphics forced me to have an imagination. The NES gave me Mario, Megaman, TMNT, and Zelda. The SNES taught me money management with JRPG's (specifically Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana). The PlayStation basically expanded the environment quite a bit.

    I learned from videogames, and from my patents wise decisions in games. Mortal Kombat II, I begged for it.


    Ugh, tangent aside...it is up to the parents to raise their children accordingly. The fact that videogames remotely got blamed for this incident is an absolute joke and I hate how the whole situation has become immediately politicized by the media in general.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 12:33am

    we all know why this happens to you Americans

    you have simply the most stupid, moronic and deadly idea that guns somehow make you safe. After all you don't want the King of England coming over there and taking over your country do you !!!!!!

    it 'might not be guns' but when it comes right down to it, what is THE COMMON FACTOR to these "shootings"..

    it all comes down to their ability to easily get guns, and a complete (and moronic) belief that guns to not kill people, and that guns are not designed and built and sold "FOR ONE PURPOSE ONLY" that is to kill people.

    they may of may not be video game players who do these shootings, but the common factor is clearly GUNS.. guns and more guns..

    oh but don't let simple logic and common sense get in your way, you just keep dragging out the straw man arguments.

    and try not to mention the common factor to all these killings and what must be a simple and obvious resolution to this issue..

    This could be the thing, that shows the world that America actually has some brains and can work out simple things..

    because if you cant work this out, there is no hope for you people at all, and you might as well keep you guns and have another civil war and kill each other.

    but look forward to this happening again, and again and again and again and again forever as long as you can't get your tiny minds around the obvious elephant in the room..

    it's just a shame young children have to lose their lives and suffer because dick head adults want to feel tough (and be the big man).

    The people of the world are disgusted with you Americans because of these issues.. absolutely disgusted, how backward is your country, an embarrassment...

     

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  64.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 1:17am

    Re: U.K. also bans knives

    "I have heard your country also bans the carrying of knives. Is that true?"

    To some degree. It depends on the type of knife, the situation and if you can give a reasonable explanation for carrying one if caught. If you bothered to Google, the first result is this, which gives a brief official outline: https://www.gov.uk/find-out-if-i-can-buy-or-carry-a-knife

    "What are the rates of simple and aggravated assault? Rape?"

    Lower than the US, generally speaking (i.e. per capita), although some reports will differ due to the different ways each crime is treated and reported in each country (e.g. simple assault (and those resulting in no injury) is more likely to be reported in the UK than the US, which skews the results if you only look for "assault rates"). You can find results claiming either way, but normally they don't compare apples to apples.

    Somehow, I don't think that suddenly getting people to carry guns around with them will help, but generally speaking we don't have the same culture of either guns or fear either.

     

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  65.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 1:48am

    Re: Violence in videogames the cause??

    "I cannot, however, stress it enough that videogames have in deed gotten more violent."

    There is one very simple reason for this - games are just another form of media. Like any form of media - be that books, magazines, music, comics, movies, TV, whatever - they're just a way of communicating ideas. There's plenty of horrific and violent games going back to even the early days of gaming, and there's as much of a market for those as there are for the next Mario or Sonic game. No problem with that - unless you want to pretend that everyone has to be fed kids' stuff because some people don't want or like the violent stuff.

    Or, to put it another way - games are enjoyed by adults. All of those people who grew up with NES, Genesis/Megadrive and Amiga are adults now. Some of those adults enjoy violent content. Some people want the new Mario game, some are waiting for the next GTA, some people enjoy both equally. None of this is a problem until you make it one.

    "my patents wise decisions in games"

    Exactly. If kids are being exposed to unsuitable material underage, it's their parents to blame, not the game. If an 8 year old is playing an M rated game, it's no more the developer's fault than it's Lionsgate's fault if a kid gets hold of a Saw movie.

     

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  66.  
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    Pete Austin, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 1:52am

    It's very simple

    It's not about the media, or games, or an imperfect health system. All these exist everywhere. Government can't stop people doing stupid or insane things, but then can reduce the chance of them getting guns and body armor.

    There was a very similar attack in China at almost exactly the same time. 22 children were injured there, some seriously, but none died. This was because the attacker, who was probably mentally disturbed, had a knife instead of several guns.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-20723910

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 1:56am

    Re: Re: Actually...

    need to be prepared to 'survive on their own for an extended period of time'

    so you translate that to the ability to KILL someone mother, father or children ??? what to eat ??

    do you honestly believe your survival will depend on your ability to kill ?? is that what you would have done if you were at Katrina ?

    or are you going to live on the population of stray cats ?

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 2:15am

    Re: Sadly, 1 person murdered by a traffic collision is a drop in the bucket.

    and lets not forget the billions and billions of dollars spent on vehicle improvements, crash testing, road development, lighting, the creation and enforcement of road rules. and the development and improvement of safety issues and recalls.

    Air bags, seat belts, tyre development, road improvement..

    someone earlier said it well,

    Americans are scared, they are scared of themselves therefore they think owning a gun will make them braver. Except then you are just scared of your neighbour who is now armed.

    no one comes to anyone's aid in America (in a normal fight for example) because they are scared of being shot.

    In Australia, if someone is beating up someone else, other people will intervene to help the person.

    You are safer here without guns than you are with your own gun.

    Odd are if you own a gun, the first (and last) person you will shoot is yourself.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 2:20am

    Re:

    your the 999,999 out of a million for that to be true, I would expect the vast majority of gun owners to have similar stories.

    it's the 1 in a million that you have to worry about.

    in Australia that million is probably more like 1000, so the 1 in a million incidence does not occur.

    but if everyone has a gun, you don't need a high percentage of that large number to go rogue for you to have the massive problem you have now.

    Yes, I can trust you, but can I trust everyone in your street, state ??

     

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  70.  
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    Ninja (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 2:34am

    Re: We hold this truth to be self evident...

    Do not forget "The Sims" boom when everybody wanted to play "real life". Oh wait...

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 2:58am

    Re: we all know why this happens to you Americans

    The people of the world are disgusted with you Americans because of these issues.. absolutely disgusted, how backward is your country, an embarrassment...

    You have made yourself clear:   You dislike Americans.   Intensely.

    You are very pursuasive.

     

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  72.  
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    John Doe, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 5:13am

    Re: Re: Sadly, 1 person murdered by a traffic collision is a drop in the bucket.

    Americans are scared, they are scared of themselves therefore they think owning a gun will make them braver. Except then you are just scared of your neighbour who is now armed.

    I can't even begin to fathom how you believe this is true. I am not the least bit scared. And yes, I own guns. I hunt and target shoot. I don't carry a gun though, they rarely leave the house. I do avoid areas where I might need to carry. The US is not the wild west, we don't all go around strapping a gun to our side.

    Tell me why you believe outlawing guns would work? We outlawed alcohol and it didn't work. In fact, it gave rise to the mob who are still with us. Drugs have been outlawed for decades and yet they can be bought on every street corner in America and arguably lead to much of our gun violence. So yes, if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. There will be an illegal trade of guns coming through the Mexican border in the same shipments as the drugs.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 5:26am

    As she notes, it's not the press's fault either. They're also giving the public what they want

    From the founding of the nation to drone warfare what The Nation wants is violence.

    If leadership wants to "lead" and lead by example it'll have to figure out how to not use violence as its response.

     

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  74.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re:

    Actually XKCD has it wrong - a short circuit is much more likely - and will make a bigger explosion.

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The media repeatedly reported that Lanza's mother, Nancy, was shot at the school, where she was a teacher. Neither was true.

    Someone with a LIBOR axe to grind was claiming she was the LIBOR whistleblower. Which doesn't make sense - given the LIBOR epicentre is far away and separated by an ocean.

    Worry not about the truth in this case - now the local police in this case have a grand proclamation about how they will take anyone to the legal woodshed who posts things to the InterNet that they, the police, did not release 1st.

     

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  76.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Actually...

    Wild Turkey, Goose, Pheasant, Deer, Duck, Bison...

    Oh wait, sorry, that's where I live, not New Orleans.

     

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  77.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 6:00am

    Re: Missing one big point about Japan

    Actually, people in Japan CAN own guns, but it's mostly not worth the hassle to have airguns or shotguns.

    You have to have a license renewal every 3 years, you have to have your gun and ammo locked up in two different locations AND you have to let people in the area know that you have it...

    Oh, and the police are allowed to come into your home at any time to make sure that you have what you say you have.

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Re: Missing one big point about Japan

    "They don't allow civilians to have guns. At all (for practical purposes)."

    Not "allowing" civilians to have guns doesn't stop them from actually having them.
    How many criminals have licensed weapons?

     

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  79.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Try living in Rural America...

    Just try it without a rifle or shotgun to protect yourself from wild animals...

    I, in no way, condone people who use guns to shoot up people, but blaming the guns for what people do is just stupid.

     

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  80.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 6:09am

    Re: Mostly agree...but

    I'm not saying guns shouldn't be licensed. I agree with that.

    If you must know something, most of the gun crime happens in large cities and urban areas.

    If you look at the U.S. and the gun crime that happens, you'll find that the middle of the country (mid west) has far less gun crime rate than the east or west coasts, despite the fact that EVERYONE in the midwest has access to guns.

    Loads of guns does not mean, necessarily, that there's lots of gun crime. (600 K people in one area and only, at most 3 gun deaths a year when most of them have guns?)

    Problem is, it just takes a few crazy people to ruin it for the rest of us.

    BTW, should we ban gasoline, matches, dishrags, glass bottles, etc simply because that can be used to light people and houses on fire?

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 6:11am

    Re: Re: Re: An amoral society ruled by murderers at the top.

    ""How do we know it was American, boy?""

    "probably because the US have a long history in delivering weapons to both sides of a conflict"

    Which makes no sense, whatsoever.
    Why would anybody provide weapons to both sides simultaniously?

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 6:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: An amoral society ruled by murderers at the top.

    Why would anybody provide weapons to both sides simultaniously?

    It's crazy, isn't it.

    Gun sales surge after Connecticut massacre” by William La Jeunesse, Fox News, Dec. 18, 2012
    • The Colorado Bureau of Investigation says it set a new record for single-day background check submittals this past weekend.
    • In San Diego, Northwest Armory gun store owner Karl Durkheimer said Saturday "was the biggest day we've seen in 20 years. Sunday will probably eclipse that."
    • In southwest Ohio, from dawn to dusk a Cincinnati gun show had a line of 400 waiting to get in, said Joe Eaton of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

    Absolutely crazy.

     

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  83.  
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    Rekrul, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 6:33am

    Re: Violence in videogames the cause??

    The real blame should be on parents for allowing their children to play said violent videogames...

    A lot of parents, especially in the US, are quite frankly stupid. They believe that video games are a children's hobby (or for immature adults), and so in their mind all video games are for children. Just like all comic books are for children, and all all cartoons are for children. They have a hard time wrapping their head around the idea that such things could be designed, marketed and meant for adults.

     

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    Rekrul, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 6:42am

    Re: we all know why this happens to you Americans

    and try not to mention the common factor to all these killings and what must be a simple and obvious resolution to this issue..

    I assume that the "obvious resolution" you're talking about is to ban gun ownership?

    Exactly why do you think that will work?

    It's against the law to just shoot people. Therefore the people who do it, aren't obeying the law to start with. It's also against the law in most places to bring a gun onto school property, but you see how well that law has worked.

    So when they pass a law banning gun ownership, exactly what is going to convince people who already don't obey the law, to obey THAT law?

    Sure, it will take guns out of the hands of law-abiding people, but the ones who are the most likely to use their guns to commit a crime, or kill someone, aren't going to obey a law that says that they have to surrender their guns. Don't think that the police will just be able to take them either. If guns are banned, I suspect that suddenly, a lot of registered guns will be "stolen", right before the police can show up to confiscate them.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: An amoral society ruled by murderers at the top.

    'why would anyone supply arms to both side of a conflict'?

    herp derp: the worship of mammon...
    THAT is our god...
    haven't you noticed all the shiny idols ?

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  86.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 7:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: An amoral society ruled by murderers at the top.

    "Why would anybody provide weapons to both sides simultaniously?"

    Sometimes a misguided attempt to guide the conflict in a certain direction, sometimes to gain political capital following the conflict regardless of who won. Sometimes for good old-fashioned profit.

    The US aren't unique in doing this, and sometimes the people doing so aren't official actors for the state, but it happens. The Iran-Contra affair might be a good place to start (highly simplified version: the US illegally supplied Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, while also supplying some weaponry both officially and unofficially to Iraq).

     

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  87.  
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    The Real Michael, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Never let a good crisis go to waste. The mainstream press is utilizing this tragedy to put forth their own political agenda of rescinding the Second Amendment, playing off the grief-stricken community of Newtown for their own advantage. Freedom is on the chopping block.

    Had someone been present and armed at the school, this whole tragedy could've been averted, but I guess we'll never know now. Banks have security, as do many businesses, yet children are left vulnerable and helpless every day.

    Columbine occurred with the assault weapons ban still in place, so what difference would a ban achieve here and now? Such a ban would only affect the law-abiding citizens, leaving them more vulnerable. The criminals will always have easy access to guns of every variety.

    We shouldn't rely on the government to take care of society's problems. Heck, they'll probably make things much worse. War on drugs anyone?

     

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    The Real Michael, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Worry not about the truth in this case - now the local police in this case have a grand proclamation about how they will take anyone to the legal woodshed who posts things to the InterNet that they, the police, did not release 1st."

    Yeah, I heard that statement. Basic translation: we'll step all over the First Amendment and do as we please.

     

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    The Real Michael, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 7:28am

    Re: Belfast is peace compared to........

    So in other words, you're in favor of eliminating the Second Amendment, using *security* as justification, and then the inevitable totalitarian government. Just like Stalin, Hitler and Mao.

    "I fucking hate religion."

    I bet you do. You'd probably enjoy watching innocent people get caught up in genocide, just like in communist states, because they're religious and therefore you hate them.

     

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    The Real Michael, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 7:38am

    Re: Mostly agree...but

    Darr, way to go captain obvious.

    What you conveiently ignore is that even with a ban in place, the criminals would still have full access to guns. Clinton's assault weapons ban sure did nothing to prevent the Columbine massacare, just as it did nothing to prevent other gun-related crimes. Chicago has the strictest gun control in the country and yet also the worst gun violence.

     

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    The Real Michael, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: Sadly, 1 person murdered by a traffic collision is a drop in the bucket.

    Your entire post is so flawed, so devoid of logic, that it just hurts. Where you get these blind assumptions and generalizations is beyond me.

     

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    The Real Michael, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re:

    Actually, there's millions of legal gun owners in the US, yet most of the gun violence is due to gang-related violence. It's rather easy for a criminal to get a gun, whether by stealing or purchase off the black market.

     

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    The Real Michael, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: An amoral society ruled by murderers at the top.

    You probably won't hear about this story in the mainstream media.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dsV6TCwd0o

    The Clackamas Town Center shooter was stopped by an armed citizen.

     

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    The Real Michael, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 8:10am

    Re:

    The mainstream media's primary function is to foster an emotional reaction to a crisis and then sell a "solution" which is really a thinly-disguised means for the government to erode more of our civil liberties.

     

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    The Real Michael, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    Re: It's very simple

    Yeah, so? Ten people were shot in Chicago last Friday and none of them got killed either. Your point?

    If they really wanted to help prevent another mass killing at a school, they should have armed security present so as to deter would-be perpetrators. Even if someone did start shooting, at least the school would have a fighting chance.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Belfast is peace compared to........

    Yes, that's right, attack someone who lives in a city torn apart for decades by violence, primarily split along religious lines, for having a problem with religion. That'll change his opinion on the subject, especially since a chunk of that violence was financed by god fearing Americans such as yourself. That'll work.

    Oh, and you think that genocide only happens in communist states? You sound like the kind of person who has no idea what communism or genocide actually are, so I assume you're as well educated on other subjects.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 10:24am

    accept it..... stop being in denial

    You make no sense at all. All excuses and attacks in an attempt to justify a society where everyone carries guns.
    Guns are weapons to make killing people easy. Deal with it.

    Trying to take the religious moral high ground.....please.
    Did the GOOD CHRISTIAN priest fuck you good and you liked it ?
    Did your country or any country, NEVER go to war or commit genocide in the name of god ?
    I do fucking HATE religion.
    NEWSFLASH: Religion is not people.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Re: accept it..... stop being in denial

    Guns also make it easy to kill rabid dogs, mountain lions, coyotes and bobcats. That's while still being in a major metropolitan area. It gets a lot more interesting once you're out on the countryside.

    Let the heavily populated and well settled colonial states ban "scary guns". The "but nobody ever needs to defend themselves" argument probably makes some sense there.

    The eastern megacity could have done that themselves a long time ago. Since they are a bunch of Blue states, that should not have been so difficult.

    A national ban is simply unnecessary.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    Apples and rutabagas.

    > Looks like you need a proper police force.

    When has the UK ever had to deal with anything remotely comparable to what the OP was talking about?

    It's easy to be good at a trivial job that doesn't really challenge you.

    Cops are not soldiers. They will not act like soldiers when the sh*t really hits the fan. They will run screaming into the night like pansies and all of the other civilians.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 11:07am

    Re: Mostly agree...but

    Disraeli said it best: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    Plenty of places in the US try to control access to guns. It's much like how they try to control access to narcotics and just as successful.

    Although this particular incident might have gone differently if the perp wasn't able to use his mother's guns.

     

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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    Re: Yes Yes, guns don't kill people, people don't kill people...

    Yeah, yeah, War on Video Games! No, wait, War on Guns! Ooh, ooh, War on Video Games That Use Guns And Also on Real Guns! Dammit all, we need a War on Something!

    -- Joe Politician

     

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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 11:20am

    Re: A big scaffold of little sticks

    Of course violent videogames are "one of the causes" (if we must put it that way) of mass killings.
    Of course, yes, of course... wait, no, you're wrong. Completely and totally. While I will grant you the possibility, you have the same problem as the media in that you are so willing and eager to bestow your opinion as a freaking fact. And just FYI, when I see a post start out that way, I'm roughly (well, precisely) 100% likely to disregard the rest of your post.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 11:25am

    Closing Pandora's box.

    Even if you "banned" firearms in the US, there would still be all these cops wandering around with guns. They would have to be supplied. So both the cops and the suppliers could be robbed. Or you could simply buy your gun from a corrupt cop.

    That's assuming someone in Montana or San Jose couldn't just build you one from scratch.

     

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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Re:

    Hey smart guy, here's a possibility that it seems you haven't considered: perhaps ultra-mega-hyper-violent videogames actually provide an outlet for humanity's built-in violent tendencies. I submit that humans are violent by nature, and that society has provided a powerful "taming" influence, which greatly limits the number of outlets available to vent those violent impulses. I won't speak for everyone of course, but I feel more relaxed after I play my ultra-mega-hyper-violent games. Is it likely that many people are affected differently? Absolutely. Is it even likely that some few are 'desensitized' and grab up real-world weapons in order to act out their fantasies? Unfortunately, yes. But I believe, in the absence of hard facts to the contrary, that the vast majority of society, including our youth, are able to keep fantasy and reality separated.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    The real culprit.

    > I know that blood lusting gamers are crapping their pants at the thought of missing a day of slaughter,

    Who needs fake violence when you can have the real thing? If anything contributed to my dire and nihilistic tendencies when I was a young man, it was CNN rather than "violent media".

    Video games are fake. CNN is the real thing and it's genuinely depressing. It's the bad news channel and it only gets worse over time as the need to retain eyeballs increases the hype level of what they show.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > now the local police in this case have a
    > grand proclamation about how they will
    > take anyone to the legal woodshed who
    > posts things to the InterNet that they,
    > the police, did not release 1st.

    And then the person that they harass will take the police to an even more expensive (for them) legal woodshed and sue the bejesus out of them for deprivation of civil rights under color of authority.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Actually...

    > so you translate that to the ability to
    > KILL someone mother, father or children ???

    Umm...no, I translate that to mean I'll have the ability to KILL someone who's trying to take *my* food, water, belongings, or is attempting to do me or my family harm.

    Whether that person is a mother, father, or someone's son or daughter is irrelevant. If they attack me, whether they have relatives or not is the least of my concern.

    Inglewood, Compton, and Watts are a mere five miles away, and they're just jampacked with gang-banging sociopaths who-- thanks to our recent spate of class warfare-- are just itching to take what they've been told the 2% owes
    them. And they don't care about obeying gun laws.

    If and when that day comes, and they realize the police have been overwhelmed and rendered powerless to stop them, this place will be a nightmare.

     

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    Tom, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Risks of underage exposure to the commercial violence industry

    Good research on that, but you'll note that event was the product of a deranged plot, conspiring to commit a single malicious act, not the sustained application of violence that role playing murderers commit.

    No one's claiming that the media is the cause of most, let alone all violence. Bombings, and mass murder plots, have been committed though the ages, since mental illnesses is as old as mankind. The genocidal and political murderers in history didn't play video games. Even the first publicized murderer to "go postal" was not a product of video games.

    The growing blight is most evident in the uptick in youth who murder while engaged in role play as an avatar in a fictional world. As they occupy that world with increasing immersion, where the most vulnerable allow it to overtake their reality.

    That's not to say there is a high count of these cases relative to the other public hazards. Of the 16 mass shooting in the past year, only a few of them appeared to be game based.

    The Connecticut school, the Aurora theater, and Oregon mall shooters, all behaved consistently with the detachment and reflexive behavior learned in their FPS game. The Swedish mass murderer even had withdrawals, complaining of cruel and unusual punishment when restricted from playing his FPS games in solitary confinement.

    While the crimes facilitated by media induced violence overload are still relatively few, the victims and relations of any one of them could have been spared, and future victims will likely be spared, with the same kind of age restriction that applies to alcohol.

    Age restrictions on visually violent media, (the influence of violent audio, such as rap music is less virulent, tending at worst to victimlessly hinder education more than directly train for violence), will reduce these incidents. It can be readily acknowledged that restrictions against underage drinking has averted more than a few tragedies and, just as some other seemingly oppressive laws, such as those for seat belts, has saved lives.

    While the industry and its lobbyists will object vehemently, and will be the only one to suffer any consequence from this regulation, the deferment of the pre-teens and teenager's immersion in blood splattered virtual reality is an is a small sacrifice for the significantly improved protection of their mental health.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, to paraphrase Eddie Izzard...the guns help!

     

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    Pseudonym, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Actually...

    This is why the US can't have a sensible debate on gun control. People on the gun control side think that the gun owners' argument is "we need to allow all guns", and people on the gun owners' side think that the gun control argument is "we need to ban all guns".

    As an aside, I partly blame the NRA for this. The NRA is a lobby group which represents the interests of gun manufacturers, and a few gun nuts. There is no lobby or advocacy group which represents the interests of responsible gun owners.

    It doesn't help that gun control advocates are often quite ignorant about guns, which is why you hear words like "assault rifle" and "automatic pistol" thrown about as if they mean something.

    Most civilised countries in the world have:

    - An upper limit on magazine size. (9 rounds is common)
    - Restrictions on items that would make it possible to circumvent the intent of the magazine size limit in a "mass shooting" scenario, such as revolver speed loaders.
    - An upper limit on handgun caliber (.38 is common).
    - A lower limit on handgun barrel length (4″ or 120mm are common).
    - No concealed carry.
    - Open carry typically only available to those who can show a genuine need for it.
    - Long lists of prohibited weapons. Typical lists include include fully automatic weapons, semi-automatic rifles, and pump-action shotguns. None of these have any realistically legitimate civilian uses. (Repeating rifles are usually okay, by the way; genuine hunters do need to access a follow-up round quickly for humane purposes.)
    - No private sales. (Typically, sale or transfer must be done through a licensed dealer.)
    - Restrictions on how a firearm must be stored in a private property (e.g. no keeping guns loaded when not in use, guns and ammunition to be stored in separate locked containers/cabinets).

    They also typically have strict licensing conditions. Some highlights are:

    - Frequent renewals and automatic expiry.
    - Strong background checks.
    - An exam on proper firearms safety prior to obtaining a licence (much like a driving exam).
    - Bans on owning certain classes of guns (e.g. any handgun at all) unless you’ve used it for a certain amount of time (six months, perhaps) in the context of a licensed gun club, military/law enforcement service or something similar.

    Some of these things are more realistic in the context of the USA than others (you could argue with the specific prohibited weapons list), but the majority of these seem perfectly reasonable, and compatible with the second amendment.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 6:59pm

    Re: Try living in Rural America...

    rural America is like backyard Australia, HAHAHA, yes, you have to watch those new super animals like the FLYING FOX and the ELECTRIC EAL.. !!!

    lets just face facts, American's are scardies, they need a gun to make them feel like a man..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 9:59pm

    Re: Re: we all know why this happens to you Americans

    You have made yourself clear: You dislike Americans. Intensely.

    no, not at all, I have been to your country several times, and the people I have met were very nice, and friendly.

    sure, I agree that I do not 'like' some of you attitudes and beliefs, but that is because it's so obvious to an 'outsider' to see it for what it is.

    It is insane to believe that by owning a gun and letting everyone else own guns somehow makes you safer !!

    So I like Americans, and I would like to see more of them, I would also like to see less of you being shot and killed for no reason.

    I would also like to see a lot of you come to your senses, and take a look at your situation from an objective perspective.

    You're a modern, technological society, with more than your share of intelligent people, why are you still under the misunderstanding that having 9 guns for every 10 people makes you better off, and will not result in more and more of these things happening, roughly every 6 to 9 months.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 10:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sadly, 1 person murdered by a traffic collision is a drop in the bucket.

    I can't even begin to fathom how you believe this is true. I am not the least bit scared. And yes, I own guns.

    I can believe it is true because it is true, you confirmed it yourself!!!!!

    And yes, I own guns.

    it does not really what you can fathom or not, the facts are the facts, you feel safe because you have guns..

    I feel perfectly safe, (in a very rough area) and I have no guns, or knives or any weapons what so ever.

    I'm an experienced shooter, and military trained, I know just as well as you do what the purpose of guns are for.

    You don't have the right to take another's life, so why want to tools and abilities to do that ?

    Statistics will show that if you own a gun, and you die by a gun it will probably be the gun you own that kills you..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2012 @ 12:53am

    Re: Re: we all know why this happens to you Americans

    so this person was planning to do this all his life ?? and it was not because he had easy access to semi-automatic weapons that caused him to do what he did.

    you're saying they he would of held an illegal semi-automatic 'just in case' one day he was going to commit a crime ?

    you're saying if there were laws against such weapons he would of kept on illegally ??

    and you believe he would have been able to kill that many people if he was not given access to semi-automatic weapons ?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2012 @ 12:56am

    Re: Re:

    but the news of the shootings happened AFTER the shootings, so how could that be the cause of the shooting ?
    Don't you see how irrational you are when it comes to the subject of gun laws !

    clearly you don't.

    nor do you see how stupid you sound with your half assed 'excuses' as to why you need to pack iron.

     

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    Tom, Dec 19th, 2012 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re:

    It's completely analogous to alcohol consumption. The vast majority of adults handle it just fine, but it's recognized as developmentally damaging to pre-teens and teens. Even then, with some context and adult supervision, some underage consumption can occur without developing a dependency and higher tolerance. It is undoubtedly an outlet that can be used responsibly.

    There's no suggestion that it's uniformly damaging, only that it has the risk of breeding certain behavioral problems during developmental years, when combined with other factors. Allowing regulation of it based on age simply allows the supervision that could intercept many of those circumstances.

     

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    Tom, Dec 19th, 2012 @ 7:05am

    Re: The real culprit.

    Real life does sadly present a steady narrative of violence. The news however does not create the immersion that the directed violence from the commercial violence industry portrays. It's that first person immersion that presents a developmental risk to kids.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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