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Sep 25 2013

Baehr Has the Solution to Mass Shootings

Ted Baehr, self-declared movie expert and Worldnetdaily columnist, has a column in Charisma News about the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard and he’s got it all figured out. After going on and on about the shooter’s history of mental problems and violent behavior, he says nothing at all about stronger background checks to prevent him from buying a gun. Nope, it’s all about video games and Jesus.

It’s now clear, if it wasn’t before, that violent video games are a definite menace to society. So, Americans must ask themselves, “When are we going to end the violent video game madness?”

We must wean our young people away from these violent video games, and into more profitable pursuits. We must stop blaming guns for our problems, and start dealing with the troubled and evil people using the guns and the politically correct authorities who fail to enforce the laws already on the books.

But when the government tries to strengthen the background checks and close the gun show loophole to help prevent people like this from getting guns, people like Baehr scream “Nazi! Communist! They’re going to take our guns and throw us in FEMA camps!”

Also, we must end the arbitrary judicial bans on religious and moral teaching in our schools that deprive America’s children of the Ten Commandments that God gave Moses and the Hebrew people on Mount Sinai and the teachings that Jesus Christ gave his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount in Chapters Five through Seven of the Gospel of Matthew and in Chapters 13 through 17 of the Gospel of John.

Yes, of course. Tens of millions of people play violent video games and almost everyone goes to public schools. The percentage of both groups that go on killing sprees is a number so small that it would require several zeros after the decimal point. But yeah, that’s the problem. If we just teach people about Jesus in schools, no one would do this sort of thing. Because that works so well for those who bomb abortion clinics.

26 comments

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  1. 1
    Sastra

    Religion is such a pathetic excuse for instilling morality. Whenever Christians do wrong other Christians are eager to point out that being a Christian doesn’t mean you’re perfect — just forgiven. So that’s a wash. In fact, I would be concerned that teaching children that we are all sinners and that in the eyes of God all crimes are virtually the same — you’re as likely to be sent to hell for homosexuality as for mass murder for instance– would lead to a cavalier attitude towards right and wrong. God can forgive anything … if you’re contrite enough. The gratitude on your side and the glory on God’s side thus increases with the magnitude of the crime. Hint, hint.

    Of course, as Ed points out, there is nothing more arbitrary than What God Wants. It’s laughably easy to redefine the parameters of virtually any situation if you are not only allowed but positively encouraged to add in invisible, untestable, occult “facts” regarding the supernatural gained by special revelation. . A religious shooter could simply go about his or her business with the firm conviction that God is on their side. That’s not going to help.

  2. 2
    Ally Fogg

    There’s an interesting nugget in Michael Kimmel’s new book, in a chapter about high school spree shootings. Between 1982 and 2008 there were 32 such attacks in the US. 22 took place in ‘red states’ and six of the others in Republican enclaves of blue states. So 28 out of 32 in Republican heartlands.

    He (rightly I think) attributes this to the overlap between right wing politics and gun culture, alongside gender and racial traditionalism. He doesn’t mention religion, but I’d be surprised if there wasn’t also a very strong overlap with the fundamentalist Christian belt.

    Obviously Aaron Alexis is a rather different profile and the issues are not the same, but just thought I’d throw that in there.

  3. 3
    Raging Bee

    So, Americans must ask themselves, “When are we going to end the violent video game madness?”

    Is he saying we should have more government regulation of the content and/or availability of video games? Because that could have a real effect on the “problem” here. We have laws to keep porn out of the hands of kids, so it makes perfect sense to have similar laws applied to video games, right?

  4. 4
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    So, in order to be able to avoid commentary pointing out how the huge level of gun ownership in private hands in the US is strongly correlated with a huge level of people who get shot, and to make the point that it would be wrong to take away those guns, he says that we should instead take away video games that have guns in them.

    Because a bunch of pixels looking like a gun are, of course, far more important and lethal than a bunch of steel made into an actual gun.

    ô,Ó

    Okay, playa.

  5. 5
    John Pieret

    Because that works so well for those who bomb abortion clinics.

    Before the invention of video games and before the Supreme Court banned (!) prayer in schools there were no murders, rapes, robberies, gang wars or any other forms of rampant violence in the US.

    Look it up!

  6. 6
    lofgren

    Obviously Aaron Alexis is a rather different profile and the issues are not the same, but just thought I’d throw that in there.

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Are you suggesting that there may not be a single scapegoat that we can blame all mass shooting sprees on?

  7. 7
    democommie

    I would be much less concerned about JESUSY gunzloonz if they started their killing sprees in the fundie churches that stoked their hatred.

    Gosh, I just read that and it makes me seem like a cold, uncaring person and I’m not a registered republican or a member of Gunz Ownerz of MurKKKa.

  8. 8
    Ally Fogg

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Are you suggesting that there may not be a single scapegoat that we can blame all mass shooting sprees on?

    Well, under normal circumstances I’d blame Thatcher, but I’m not sure how well that crosses the pond.

  9. 9
    zero6ix

    Sweet Zombie Jesus. I thought video game hating went away with Jack Thompson. Serves me right for thinking we could all move on with our lives. What’s next? Ripping on rock and roll as the devils music?

    Wait, what? They still do that?

  10. 10
    Modusoperandi

    He’s right. I played Pacman and, before being caught and sentenced to prison, chased our school team around the gym after eating all their basketballs.

  11. 11
    caseloweraz

    It’s a damn good thing you didn’t play Super Mario Brothers.

  12. 12
    dogmeat

    Because a bunch of pixels looking like a gun are, of course, far more important and lethal than a bunch of steel made into an actual gun.

    I would suspect their argument is more about the dehumanizing nature of the victims in these games. Something of an extrapolation of the argument that killing someone with a gun is easier than killing someone with a knife, etc.

    The former being a rather idiotic departure from some studies that have suggested some degree of desensitization, the latter does have some merit which anti-video gamers ignore completely.

    Simple truth is, people have done horrible things to one another for thousands of years, the difference? The ability to carry and conceal man-portable high capacity firearms. In most areas you can’t walk around with a sword or an axe, but you can have a “Wyatt Earp” hogleg strapped and no one says “boo.” We have an annual meeting at my district where they have to remind my coworkers that even if they have a carry-conceal, they can’t bring their firearms on campus (seriously???). On the other hand, I’ve had students stopped for carrying a baseball bat. I had one student who was nearly arrested for carrying his practice sword (he practiced martial arts, it was wooden).

  13. 13
    Morgan

    Because a bunch of pixels looking like a gun are, of course, far more important and lethal than a bunch of steel made into an actual gun.

    Yup. Restricting the availability of lethal weapons is unconscionable. Restricting the availability of entertainment that may, possibly, eventually, tenuously, make the consumer more likely to use a freely-available lethal weapon to kill is just good governance.

    “The politically correct authorities who fail to enforce the laws already on the books.”

    Would this include parents who buy M-rated games for their minor children and yell at store clerks for pointing out to them that the game’s publisher has voluntarily rated it as Not For Kids?

  14. 14
    Ally Fogg

    He’s right. I played Pacman and, before being caught and sentenced to prison, chased our school team around the gym after eating all their basketballs.

    I played Pacman in my teens then spent most of my twenties aimlessly bouncing round darkened rooms to repetitive electronic music and munching on pills.

  15. 15
    Bronze Dog

    One question I ask the “blame video games” crowd: Have you ever considered the possibility that you’ve reversed cause and effect? It seems more likely and parsimonious to me that people with violent natures would tend to buy violent video games.

  16. 16
    Raging Bee

    I’d also add another complicating factor: people who buy video games are more likely to sit around playing the games than to get off their asses and go around shooting people. Real violence takes a lot of exertion, and then your feet are all tired and hurting after running all around town looking for people to shoot who are all running away and making it hard for you. Video games are easier and cheaper, which is why they’re so popular in the first place.

  17. 17
    abb3w

    Looking at one of my favorite “it all looks like a nail” hammers, video game usage correlates modestly but significantly to Social Dominance Orientation. It seems plausible that gun ownership might also.

  18. 18
    Dr X

    We must stop blaming real guns and blame make-believe guns.

  19. 19
    Skip White

    We must wean our young people away from these violent video games, and into more profitable pursuits.

    Meanwhile, Grand Theft Auto V made over $1 billion in its first three days.

  20. 20
    Rip Steakface

    How does someone even determine what makes a video game “violent” anyway? Is it the presence of shooting? Well then, Asteroids and Space Invaders are suddenly violent murderfests on the level of Manhunt. Let’s make it narrower. Is it the presence of guns? Okay then, freerunning games like Mirror’s Edge are now violent murderfests because you’re getting shot at, while gory hack ‘n’ slash or fighting games like Darksiders (for the former) or Mortal Kombat (for the latter) are completely safe and non-violent.

    Even if you find some restriction that seems logical, you’ll still find a game that subverts that restriction somehow, over the rather impressive history that video games have now. Friggin’ Metroid has you commit xenocide against the eponymous Metroids, along with a few other races (the main character has a knack for accidentally destroying planets by killing the final boss). And yet, it doesn’t seem especially violent. The most violent game in the series is the newest (and by far the worst) one, Metroid Other M, and it still fails to be particularly violent at all aside from shooting things with an arm-mounted plasma gun or missiles.

  21. 21
    zmidponk

    To me, saying that that playing games like Grand Theft Auto will make people murderers is as logical as saying that playing Madden will make them an NFL star, playing Dirt 3 will make them a rally driver, or playing Phoenix Wright will make them an attorney.

  22. 22
    scienceavenger

    I hate to get all sciency and shit, but for decades the murder rate has declined, while video game usage has skyrocketed. So… video game usage has REDUCED the murder rate? Ditto for the relationship of viewing porn and committing rape. I’ll even give them a good speculative reason – getting your yaya’s out electronically saps your desire to act on them physically.

    What do I win?

  23. 23
    kyoseki

    So you’re saying I shouldn’t have killed that hooker?

  24. 24
    dogmeat

    So you’re saying I shouldn’t have killed that hooker?

    Nope, that was a poor business model. You kill the other pimp’s ho’s.

    —–

    playing Madden will make them an NFL star,

    What, wait… it wont? Sonofabitch.

  25. 25
    meg

    Biggest drama I ever had was when my bird started imitating the machine gun sounds from me playing too much Medal of Honour (the original, PS version – loved that game).

    @Morgan #13 I used to work in a video store. We have a different rating system here in Oz (only just got R rated games, cause apparently adults don’t play, but that’s a whole ‘nother story). ‘MA’ means ‘restricted to under 15 – need guardian’. I once had a pitched battle with a parent over the phone because she honestly thought calling me and saying ‘it’s ok for him to hire the game’ would be enough. It didn’t matter how many times/ways I explained that it was illegal for me to give him the game with out her being there, she just seemed to think it would be ok. Threatened to lodge a complaint with head office, etc. Didn’t matter that it was illegal. She even honestly said ‘it’s just a game, what can possibly be in it?’
    I suspect the games weren’t the issue here, bad parenting was.

  26. 26
    Morgan

    meg: I can kind of understand the attitude that games (or “cartoons”) are For Kids and therefore harmless – it’s just ignorance, ignorance is easy enough to understand at least in principle. I really can’t get my head around the refusal to listen to, acknowledge, or attempt to process any explanation that “no, really, this one is not For Kids because of X, Y and Z that would get a movie rated similarly 15s or 18s or R or whichever” – how dare you, uh, inform them of the things put there specifically to help them make informed decisions (or as you describe, tell them what you’re legally prohibited from doing)?

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