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Jan 31 2013

Hags of Lag – Guns don’t Kill People, Videogames Do

The USA loves scapegoating. The lack of technological acumen within the US government makes them prone to scapegoat things that aren’t really the issue.

You shouldn’t blame sexting on mobile phones, you should blame it on a culture that encourages the sexualisation of children and teenagers. And US Senator Lamar Alexander should know better than to blame video games for being a bigger problem than guns.

Video Games don’t affect people. We aren’t stupid. 

In fact if we look through US History the total number of shootings has gone down year after year yet fear of getting shot has risen to a fever pitch. The USA still buys and sells massive amounts of guns to it’s civilians who think that guns keep them safe when it really is more down to legal policy.

It’s fear that drives gun sales and it is the accessibility of lethal weapons that drive the US murder rate. Not pixels on a screen.

And is anyone surprised that he is a big fan of the NRA?

7 comments

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  1. 1
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    The USA isn’t even the top consumer of video games. South Korea has a far larger video game culture, for instance, as does certain European countries. They don’t nearly have the level of gun violence that we do.

  2. 2
    glodson

    We have a number of people in government, and special interest groups, who are concerned more with protecting the money than coming up with good ideas. The scapegoating to keep people from questioning why we have so many damned guns and the fearmongering which drive gun sells are for the benefit of those that provide the money.

    It is just fucked. I don’t see it getting any better any time soon. And it is exhausting trying to reason with a gun nut who wants to look at any other problem over guns, even going as far to manufacture a gun problem. Here’s a rather stupid man talking about how guns don’t kill people. Read the comments and experience the feeling of losing hope in humanity. This is the type of sophomoric reasoning that is just exhausting.

  3. 3
    embraceyourinnercrone

    And meanwhile this goes on, pretty sure these people weren’t shot with a game controller:

    http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/360161/40/2-shot-at-Atlanta-middle-school-

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-alabama-shootingbre90t02l-20130129,0,2233970.story

    The second story is a school bus driver in Alabama killed while giving his grade school age charges time to flee the bus.(I’m sure the NRA will say this wouldn’t have happened it we armed all the school bus drivers….)

    These stories are both from today.

  4. 4
    Marcus Ranum

    Video game-playing population goes up and up and is now 50 years old and greying (I played the first version of “spacewar” on a PDP-10 back in 1974…) yet violence has not exploded. If Grand Theft Auto was encouraging violence, society would have collapsed by now. So that theory is conclusively disproven.

  5. 5
    American Punjaban PI

    Sadly, as a natural born US citizen I couldn’t agree with you more. Many here wont take responsibility for their own actions, their own thoughts, etc. They always find something or someone else to blame. It’s really quite anything, that we rule our own destiny and can be anything. Yet, somehow when we do something wrong we start turning to blame anyone and everyone else. This is sadly not how I was raised. I only know a small handful of people who will openly admit to making mistakes, choosing wrong things, etc. We are a rare few. Still, I can tell that sometimes it’s still hard not to place blame on our life circumstances.

    In defense of that issue though, we are led into confusion throughout our lives. We are constantly bombarded by contradicting norms and images. Just as an example, in my lifetime I can recall campaigns telling us not to eat eggs because they were unhealthy followed by another campaign a few short years later promoting the health benefits of eggs. The same happens in our personal lives. We’re taught to tell the truth as children and punished for lying but our parents lie to us about false holiday characters or happenings in their own lives. The teachings are so stringent and ordered that when we realize that life isn’t how we were taught, we’re not sure how to live it. I think this is partially to blame for the attitude we take when things go wrong.

    As for video games – someone had to make them, design them, approve them, copy them, sell them, market them, etc. Then the parents of younger children had to buy them and allow them to be played in their home. Some do this against the warning labels and thus the blame does lie with the parents. As for adults, they can’t blame the game makers, they purchased the game themselves. Then chose to continue playing it when they realized how graphic it was. You simply can’t blame the game. This concept is the same for guns as well. The manufacturer never made the gun just so you could go out and kill someone. If you kill, you chose to do it. If you had mental health issues, someone should have recognized it and either kept you from purchasing the gun, taken it from you once they realized you had it etc. The thing is, they won’t do that because we’re taught to stay out of it and not be in someone else’s business. It’s a sad cycle where no one takes responsibility.

  6. 6
    Avicenna

    No one ever blamed Catcher in the Rye for Mark Chapman. We hold double standards for different media. While shows like Dexter, Music and indeed Games are blamed for this we never hold books to that level of responsibility.

    No the major issue here is not the violence in games. I grew up with games like Mortal Kombat. Japan and Korea grow up with such games too. The major difference is the attitude to guns.

  7. 7
    glodson

    The major difference is the attitude to guns.

    Don’t forget the ease of access to guns as well, which feeds this attitude towards guns. Many people I know grew up with guns everywhere in their homes. This becomes a feed-back loop of sorts. And while groups like the NRA wants us to look at video games, and we have as most(if not all) studies have shown no increased rates of violence thanks to violent games played by developing children, the NRA lobbied to include language in a funding bill to keep the CDC(I believe) from investigating violence done with guns by looking at the rates of gun ownership.

    So it is proper to investigate the video-games, for the children, but don’t do research into how gun ownership might effect rates of gun violence!

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