The only people who need military-style semi-automatic weaponry, large-capacity
ammunition clips, and bullets designed to do maximum damage to human tissue are
those who intend to eventually wage-war on other Americans who do not like them
(i.e. other Americans with whom they disagree) because they cannot accept a
democratically-elected leadership and have a psychotic notion that they will
eventually have to wage war on their neighbors.These are not
sportsmen, hunters or simple gun enthusiasts. These are people blinded by their
paranoia that they are losing their way of life and will have to fight to keep
it. It's those who are calling for secession after losing a presidential
election. It's those who believe that half the population are interlopers,
illegal foreigners, and not "real Americans" because they don't
think the same way they do.If you want to have a discussion of
mental illness, you have to include the psychosis of the fringe survivalists who
cannot accept the democratic process and will fight for a dictatorship of
themselves in order to keep change from happening and their extremist thinking
relevant in today's world.
I agree. Over the past few decades, the US has developed a culture of violence.
It permeates so much of what we see and hear. It just continues to grow worse in
as entertainment purveyors try to shock us with even more horrific violence,
because we have gotten used to the previous level. Until a majority of this
country stands up and rejects this deluge of violence, I am afraid we have not
seen the last of these horrific events. I doubt the effectiveness of laws as
much as our society collectively preventing these purveyors from making a profit
from what they do.
"Among the O.E.C.D. countries that the World Bank groups as “high
income,” America has the highest gun homicide rate, the highest number of
guns per capita and the highest rate of deaths due to assault. In fact, America
has more homicides by gun than all of the other high-income O.E.C.D. countries
combined."The chart supporting this is in the new york times.
Yes, I understand that the NYT is left leaning. Feel free to challenge the data
but preferably with facts.
While I certainly share this writer's dismay over the horrific recent
events, I think it's simplistic to blame video games or other kinds of
media. In fact, a national reduction in violent crimes has coincided with huge
increases in violent games, both in terms of availability and how graphically
acts are depicted. I'd like to suggest, in fact, that such games can be
cathartic; a way of safely acting out violent fantasies.
Blaming guns for crime is as logical as blaming spoons for causing obesity or
matches causing arson. What has happened in America is the same ideology that
other countries have experienced; increased dominance of the secular
progressive, moral relevance (liberalism) politics. What I find incredibly
sadly ironic is that Barrack Obama only recently instigated a fast and furious
gun running operation to Mexico where those guns were used by drug dealers to
murder perhaps dozens of innocent people and these secular progressives, who are
running our country turn their hypocritical heads and hearts to claim they care
deeply about protecting innocent people, not from evil, sick people but from
"evil" guns! What they can't promise is that any gun control law
will be obeyed by evil people. So gun laws never work, never have, never
will.I own guns partly because there are evil people running loose who do
not obey our laws against murder, rape and robbery and they certainly will not
obey any gun control laws either. A gun in my hand is much better for my family
and me than a cop on the phone.
But Eric, there is sometimes a very fine line between acting out violent
fantasies with a game and doing it in real time.When I was in 6th
grade, my family lived in Austria. My father was with the U.S. occupation
forces there after the war. One day some of my friends and I were playing
cowboys or soldiers or something with our toy guns.An Austrian
police car stopped and the officers took us into custody. They drove us home
and explained to our parents that the Austrian people had had enough guns during
two world wars. They warned us, turned us over to our parents, and confiscated
our guns.Now I know that this post will probably bring down a rain
of condemnation from those who revere guns, but maybe we should look at the
murder rate in present day Austria.
Eric Samuelson:While I usually agree wholeheartedly with your
thoughtful comments, this time I don't. To my knowledge, there is no
scientific evidence to support the popular notion that aggression is cathartic
(and I even wrote a paper on this topic in college, while majoring in
psychology). To the contrary, studies suggest that acting out aggressively only
leads to an increased tendency to repeat or increase aggressive behavior. If
you have contrary information, please share it.
I think you're all right. What kind of society makes billions of dollars
from displaying murder and mayhem, encourages its citizens to fantasize about
it, has 350,000,000 million guns, and then has a health care system that locks
out tens of millions of its citizens from seeking preventative mental health
care?Life is brief, random, indifferent, and cruel by it's
nature..but my word, no sane society would build this reality into their
The letter writer fails to recognize these "young adults" -- Whether they are shipped over seas or not -- have all grown up now most
of their lives in a constant back drop filled with real WAR, with
REAL bullets and REAL dying.Most of them now have never known
anything else.But go ahead, blame your fanatsy world of make
believe.Deny reality all you want.I for one think these
violent video games are more Art Reflecting Reality, than your belief it
is reality reflecting art.
Remember the first book in the bible. I recall a story about Cain and Able.
Where was the video games and television telling Cain to murder his brother?
The most violent acts in history predate our internet and video games (see circa
1900-1945). So I agree that we should limit our children's exposure
to questionable media. However, I think its good to remember a lot of media is
just for fun, and it is fun. Play the blame game if you want, but ultimately
personal responsibility is what governs our actions.
Eric,I am afraid I disagree. If it were here and there, I might go
with the cathartic argument. But that is not what I see. I see young men who
play these VERY realistic first person shooter games for hours each and every
day.James Allen's oft quoted riff on Proverbs is "As a man
thinketh, so is he". I look at how I am affected form a single well done TV
show, movie or play. How it can make me think and think again about something
and change my mind. Surely this is something you know about well (and have
probably been so affected).So, I find it impossible to believe that
immersing yourself day after day into a world of violence (where you are
"killing" the other characters in the game) has no effect on the young
man. Now, what if we add to the mix a less stable mind? One that might not go
off the deep end other wise but now has this steady diet of violence
"solving" his problems (within the context of the game)?Do I
think this is the only solution? No. But we must do better on this front.
Well if we are going to blame violent media (video games, books, music). Lets
not leave the Bible or the Book of Mormon out. For those who are
well read among these books understand that these books contain violent stories
worse than any video game available in our market.Please be
consistant with all of the media.
"The letter writer fails to recognize these "young adults" -- Whether they are shipped over seas or not -- have all grown up now most
of their lives in a constant back drop filled with real WAR, with
REAL bullets and REAL dying."I disagree.Most
of the folks in our country haven't grown up knowing REAL WAR with REAL
bullets and REAL dying.Those are for folks who volunteer. Or for
poor people who can't afford college.Perhaps if we reinstated
the draft folks would actually learn about REAL violence, REAL war, REAL
bullets, and REAL dying, and shun it. Look at Austria and Germany.
Those peoples finally grew tired of death. Perhaps we need to do the
same? It would keep us out of quagmires like Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. and
perhaps it would teach us the value of life?
Whos Life RU Living?Ogden, UTWell if we are going to blame violent
media (video games, books, music). Lets not leave the Bible or the Book of
Mormon out. ============= I'm pretty sure those in
the Bible and BoM kept things like slings, swords, cimeters, spears, arrows,
ect. out of the honds of children and the mentally ill.The problem
is we have some extremeists in this country who are so freaked out about ANY
loss of "Freedom", that they throw out all common sense.The
don't want to take "personal responsibility" or be held
"accountable" for keeping them secure and out of those who can/will hurt
themselves and others.I spent 12 years in the Military.He were
all trained in using all sorts of "assault" weapons.We all passed
extensive background checks.We all were "fit for duty" - including
"mentally".Guess what?Those M-16 were all placed under
heavy duty lock-and-key -- 24/7/365.MPs at chow had a SAFE in the
dining hall during breakfast/lunch/diner.The problem is
irresponsible Joe-Q-Public citizens.Leave weapons like these only
accessible to those responsible and trained enough to have them.
One last thing -- How do "citizens" have $1500-$2000 for a
Bushmaster XM-15, but can't afford $399 for a 18 gun safe?BTW - It's called a SAFE for good reason!I stand by my
Military training comment I posted earlier.That should be the very
1st question they ask on a weapons permit.Do you have a gun safe?And the 2nd should be – Do you ALWAYS use it?The 3rd
should be – You can and will be held personally responsible for any
and all crimes or accidents for the weapons in your possession.That’s what the mindset and responsibilities he had as soldiers.You know - the guys these weapons (not guns) were designed and intended to
To "JoeBlow" just because there are lots of gun owners does not
correlate to gun deaths. Also, your NY Times statistic is wrong. It is the
number of gun per capita, not gun owners per capita, there is a difference.See "Why Swiss gun love is coming under fire" in The Local.
They have the highest gun ownership rates in Europe, yet have a low homicide
rate. However, you can't just use gun ownership as a measure for criminal
behavior because each country. If you look at gun ownership and overall
homicide rates for a country, there is absolutely no correlation that more guns
makes a country less safe.If you want to make the US safer, change
the culture. If you can figure out how to unite communities into cohesive
groups, you can get the change you desire. Until then you are just disarming
the law abiding citizens.To "Open Minded Mormon" tell me
what the difference is between the Bushmaster XM-15 and a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch.
Why should one be banned and the other remain legal? Just because you were
trained doesn't make you an expert.
Open Minded, your comment is absolutely GREAT!
What's the difference between Cartel Gadiantons&WallStreet
Gadiantons?The only difference I can tell is one is somehow
considered "legal" the other is "illegal".Yet
-- They both revolve around and worship the very same things;$Money$,Guns $,Power $,and Drugs$.------------------ To "RedShirt"USS Enterprise,
UTTo "Open Minded Mormon" tell me what the difference is
between the Bushmaster XM-15 and a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch. Tell me,
What does it matter? Tell me, do you own and use a gun safe?
People on this forum who I really do respect have questioned my previous post
about possible links between violent video games and subsequent violent
behavior. I would simply point out that Canadian kids play violent video games,
including first person shooter games, at a greater rate than American teens do,
and yet behave much less violently. Dutch youth play violent video games for
twice the amount of time daily as American youths do, and yet their rate of
violence is much less than in America. The data simply do not support the
contention that violent first person shooter games have any causative effect on
subsequent behavior.Adam Lanza did, however, play first person shooter
games. A lot. Did those games prompt his horrific violence? How could we
possibly know? We have a violence problem in this country, and we need to
solve it. Let's not jump to facile conclusions, however.
To "LDS Liberal" so then you agree that there is nothing different
between the Bushmaster XM-15 and a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch. So why should we ban
the Bushmaster based on looks?Why does it matter to you if I own a
gun safe? My kids know that guns are not toys, so I don't have to worry
about it. Plus none of my kids have any psychological problems, so again, no
reason to worry there.Why do you support those Gadiantons who are
trying to take away our freedoms based on lies and innuendo. Take a look at the
USA Today artlcle "Cracking Down on Law-Abiding Gun Owners Won't
Prevent Crimes" if that isn't enough for you, read "Disarming the
Myths Promoted By the Gun Control Lobby" in Forbes.Why do you
and your ilk want to take guns away from the law abiding people? Why is it that
your ilk are so afraid of law abiding citizens purchasing guns legally?
Eric, you might want to google "catharsis theory of aggression and violent
video games." The preponderance of research suggests that aggression begets
further aggression, and not just with video games. The population statistics
you cite, even if they are accurate, do not prove that playing video games
decreases aggression. Correlation does not prove causation, as you undoubtedly
know. There are probably many factors that influence violent behavior, but a
conclusion that playing violent video games reduces aggressive behavior is
simply not supported.
What causes "violence"?The answer is so obvious that most
people miss it. Violence is caused by the person who commits that violence. He
or she "chooses" to do something that most of us consider to be
reprehensible. Violence, by definition, means that we have chosen to infringe
on the rights of others; the right to be left alone; the right to not be
molested.A "choice" is made. Muscles do not move until they
are commanded to move. A body does not act until the "owner" of that
body commands the body to act. No matter what outside influences may be
present, it is the "owner" of the body who is responsible for what that
body does. Some tell us that we are incapable of choosing our
actions. I disagree. We can train ourselves to progressively commit actions
that harm others. We can train ourselves to blame others; but, we are
ultimately responsible for every thought and for every deed.We can
help each other. We should help each other, but we cannot pass "laws"
that will ever keep us from harming others. Laws punish us; they do not restrain
us from acting.
Eric,I saw a WP article disputing any link. The ten countries they
used are problematic as the access to firearms is not even remotely similar
among the countries and there are cultural and demographic issues that should be
controlled for. Also, the study assumes similar consumption of game types
(video game sales are studied rather than the sale of first person shooter
games).I understand that my following argument is anecdotal, but I
think you might find it compelling.I have acted in HS (decades ago)
and once in community theater. When I played an angelic personality, I found
that “leaking” into my real life. When I played an evil jerk, that
too “leaked” into my real life. Of course, the play ended and the
effects diminished. I would bet good money you have seen this same effect.Now, imagine you are playing that character every single day for years
on end and two shows a day. Is it not possible that doing so would affect your
real life?Again, I am not arguing that this is the only issue.
Simply that it is AN issue. Clearly the discussion has to be much wider.
I know of no peer reviewed study definitively linking first person shooter games
to actual violence or aggression. I understand why folks might be tempted to
posit such a link, but after all, millions of young men play FPS games, and very
few act violently. Can we at least agree that more research is needed?My
friend Twin Lights: I sympathize with your experience, perhaps more than you can
know. I acted professionally for years. My health forced my retirement from
the stage, but I still work as a playwright, director, dramaturg and critic.
And as an actor, I often played villains. I'm a very big guy, with a deep
voice; my career was spent playing villains, buffoons and idiots. And I am none
of those things. Acting, to me, is just . . . acting. A dramatic character is
simply a fictional construct, created for the audiences amusement. I have known
very prominent actors who spent their lives playing villains--some of the nicest
people I know. I sympathize with your, very different experience. But my
entire life experience persuades me that violent entertainments are not just
harmless, they may do good in the world.
Oh good grief.I remember about 50 years ago, my friends and I made a
backyard "Frankenstein" movie.We made our own props,
costumes, make up, and special effects - including ketshup for fake blood.My friends Mom called KSL to come out and do a story on us.When they arrive from the TV studio, we soon found out that she didn't
want to show how "cute" or imaginative we were during our time of summer
vacation -- but rather she wanted it to show the community the terrible effect
watching Bugs Bunny and B-rated horror movies had had on our young impressional
brains!I grew up to be such a manice to Society!Boo!
All school violence is a direct result of video games, television and movies
violence. Some massacars are forgotten, including the worst in American
history. In May 1927 in Bath, Michigan, Andrew Kehoe set off bombs killing 45
students and injuring 57, becoming the worst US school massacre yet. I am not trying to make light of the tragedy that recently occurred, only to
say that they have been around forever, and will continue forever, so long as
humans are on this earth, regardless of TV, movies or video games. I do not play video games at all, and we do not allow our children to watch or
play violent video games, but this is not because I think they will cause
violence. It may (though I doubt) be possible that some violence is
learned from violent media, but more likely people are sitting around playing
video games, and watching television, or texting etc. so that they are blindly
occupied with mind numbing media than to be out committing crimes.
Kehoe's act of violence was interesting in the sense that he was much older
than the recent mass murderers of school children. It was also very
premeditated as over weeks he planted explosives all over the building.
His"motive" was being ousted in a political position with the school
district. He did use a gun to detonate some of the explosives. But
the most recent school mass shootings seem to involve these elements: mental
illness, alienation, young white males (late teens or early 20's), access
to guns and ammunition (and multiple weapons) and I hate to say it Eric, mass
exposure to violent video games. It would be interesting to see if some studies
of the brains of these perpetrators, along with the deep psychological study of
the Colorado shooter still living. I am wonder if some sort of psychotic break
with schizophrenia is involved, somewhat common at this age.
@ Open Minded Mormon 12/20 9:56 a"I for one think these violent
video games are more Art Reflecting Reality, than your belief it is reality
reflecting art."Agreed. its so much easier for social
conservatives to blame video games, TV/Movies, & even wrestling (ironically
Linda McMahon (wife of WWE's Vince) has run as a Republican).The USA has always been violent or were the war for independence and wild west
a giant liberal conspiracy?
at Mike Richards 5:27 p.m. Dec. 20*What causes "violence"?
The answer is so obvious that most people miss it. Violence is caused by the
person who commits that violence.*Wow! Really? Seriously, this is
the best strange loop/ I have EVER run across.