The NRA had their press conference few days ago. We all kind of knew this was coming, and the NRA generally wait for a bit before unleashing blame on pretty much everything apart from the guns they so love after tragedies like this. I am dealing mainly with the backlash against video games, music and movies. To be fair they also blamed Mental Illness (demanding that we create a database of the mentally ill while using language that invokes the spirit of Bethlem Hospital) and suggested that the solution to guns is more guns. These were both covered by other FTBloggers (FTBullies! Sorry!!!) so I shall go for something that I am passionate about. I agree that this is the least serious thing they blamed, but it is still incorrect and trying to fob the blame off on the arts and media.
I suppose video games and movies (pfft! Squares!) can be considered similar mediums. The differences in method of immersion and method of interaction.
And here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.
Unlike the NRA which is a wholesome family outfit that sells the freedom to protect people by making you very very scary and to defend yourself against oppressive nations.
Not you know… an organisation that turns gun ownership into fetish. That defends laws such as “Stand Your Ground“. It’s an organisation solely dedicated to lobbying people to purchase and use guns for hunting, fun, self defence and other gun related issues. It portrays itself as standing for the second amendment without realising one of the most important things. I have to repeat this but it is necessary.
The right to not get shot is greater than the right to shoot someone.
Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?
If these games are methods of training killers then I clearly missed out the positions of the WASD keys on a gun.
Bulletstorm is a new game that tries to bring back the “fun” of old school shooters like Doom. Where you can plough through the armies of your digital enemies like the Avatar of an Angry God. It encourages you to play for “Style”. It has as much to do with realism as Pokemon has to do with evolution.
Grand Theft Auto is basically a open world sandbox game where you are a criminal. Again, it has you do crime with radio controlled cars, biplanes, combine harvesters and jet packs. It is a humorous take on serious crime. It is also aimed at adults. At this point no adult who plays it is suddenly going to go try and commit crime on a dirt bike because he did it in game.
Mortal Kombat was basically created as a more realistic “Street Fighter”. Street Fighter went on to become the staple of the genre while MK actually struggled due to the fact it forgot that tight game play was more important than silly gore. To put it up as an example is to fail to realise how utterly silly a game it is. And how much we STILL love it as a game despite how bad it was because you were more interested in pulling off the finishing moves than the actual game. I haven’t played the recent stuff but I have heard that they tightened the mechanics to make it an excellent game. To blame a fighting game for crime is like blaming Soul Calibur for knife, sword and nun-chuck crime rather than repetitive strain injury.
I haven’t played Splatterhouse but I am aware it’s a remake of an older game and revels in silly gore. At some point you get your arms torn off and have to fight like the Black Knight from Monty Python. It’s stupid. It’s silly. And it’s not for kids.
If you buy these games for your kids then you are a fucking idiot. You wouldn’t buy Playboy for your kids then why on Earth would you let your kids play these games? When I was growing up we never had age limits on games but in retrospect I wouldn’t let my kids play Mortal Kombat until they understood that they were playing a game.
The last game is a flash game that most people wouldn’t have heard about because it’s a flash game. If that triggered your plans to kill children then frankly the consumption of jelly babies would have you turn to infant cannibalism. Millions of people play Call of Duty. They aren’t the loners that you portray us as. Most of us have rich social lives, friends, family and pets. We go out, we have other hobbies. We hold down jobs that make the world work. We even have well meaning but highly misguided TV Shows that popularise what we do (Big Bang Theory… I am looking at you). We even LOVE guns. But we are not the stereotype that the NRA thinks we are.
We unfortunately do like cats. That much is true.
The day you uppercut an innocent robot ninja outside the boundaries of an Outworld tournament with such force that his head flies off, is the day I accept Mortal Kombat’s responsibility for crime.
Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like “American Psycho” and “Natural Born Killers” that are aired like propaganda loops on “Splatterdays” and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it “entertainment.”
If noticed how he said “American Psycho” and “Natural Born Killers”.
Not Rambo or Die Hard or any movie that uses guns for a positive outcome (Or well meaning. If you are politically savvy, Rambo is less a “hero” movie and more looking at a movie through the viewpoint of a serial killer… He fights in short order Cops, Vietnamese, For the Mujahadeen and for people who smuggle firearms and destroy culture. Granted he may fight people we would not consider nice but he isn’t a hero…)
American Psycho [spoilers] is about the aesthetics of violence. That the people that people in America are so inured to the violence because of media that people seriously think that the titular psychopath is JOKING. That he manages to kill so many people because people think he is joking EVEN when he admits what he is. That the serial killer gets to exist because of society…
In other words, the argument that the NRA is trying to make with regards to popular culture is precisely what the movie makes. They should be lauding the movie as a scathing attack on the fascination with violence that is endemic to America…
But it also slates the NRA because the NRA is also guilty of this. It portrays gun owners as the last line of defence against the nebulous “criminal” who is nothing more than a straw man of crime. They don’t see criminals as humans but as targets.
But is that what it really is? Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?
We don’t fantasise about killing someone when we play games or watch movies. We are viewing a story with different levels of immersion.
If you read a Bible, are you fantasising about stoning adulterers, raping virgins, keeping slaves or genocide? No. In fact Christians get super sheepish about those parts of the Bible. Bringing it up makes their rigid stances on the Bible turn to jelly… Because they know it’s stupid.
I don’t see anyone blaming books for “murders” mainly because books are old hat. And way to drag porn into this. Pornography is about sex, I don’t think most people get their kicks from watching someone die. To claim that we do just denigrates the argument.
Ultimately remember who fantasises about killing someone and getting away with it more. It’s not the movie goer. It’s not the gamer who prefers his murders to be of electronic constructs. It’s the people who think that if they had a handgun they would “stop” a criminal. They claim that if they were there at “x” crime the criminal would be dead. The people who think that if they were at Sandy Hook they somehow would have stopped a man armed to the teeth and wearing bulletproof armour. And that flooding the nation with more guns is a solution to the problem of guns.
This ignores the fact that the first victim of the killer was the source for all the guns this guy used.
In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes â€” every minute of every day of every month of every year.
A child growing up in America witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18.
I bet the NRA think that Pac-man is the reason we like hanging out in dark rooms dancing to electronic music while eating pills…
There needs to be better access to mental health… There does. The stigma needs to stop, the NRA’s stance demonstrates that.
However one cannot argue that guns made Adam Lanza’s crime a lot more deadlier than it would have been if it weren’t for guns. That the guns Adam used were not designed for hunting but for killing humans. They were all legal, they were all purchased by a legal owner. They were all kept according to the rules of the NRA.
All it takes is one bad day to turn someone from a “nice boy” to such a “mass murderer”. That’s the point, we forget that nice people are only nice because they do nice things and they are like any other person capable of doing “not nice” things.
Every NRA fantasy about stopping a criminal involves an ordinary everyday human suddenly crossing the line between nice to “killer”. If the NRA can accept that in the line of saving someone we can “kill” and be regarded as a hero then they should realise that you can kill for anger, lust, hate, fear or the variety of other reasons.