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Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015

Video games aren't the cause

Thursday, January 31, 2013

While it was exciting Wednesday when BlackBerry came out with a brand new operating system and two new cellphones that run on the OS, all of the news rotating around the gun issue in this country wasn't.

Let's recap. On Jan. 17, President Barack Obama introduced his new proposals for gun laws. This caused thousands of people to literally rise up in arms against him. But since Obama gave his speech two weeks ago there have been numerous shootings across the country. In the past few days there were shootings in Arizona, Alabama, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico. There were also three accidental shootings at gun shows.

It seems there is a shooting every day now. This is probably because the media has done a better job at covering them, since gun control has become the hot-button issue. As a collective, we are paying more attention to those stories.

Not only have there been multiple shootings, but a rival amount of excuses have been flying regarding the cause behind this violence, one of the biggest being video games. Yes, there is a problem with the way care for the mentally ill is handled in this country and that does need to change. But blaming video games, above all things, for the surge of violence, is idiotic.

During a hearing on gun control Wednesday in Washington, Sen. Lamar Alexander said, "I think video games is a bigger problem than guns because video games affects people."

Video games do affect people but not in a violent way. In 2011, the Supreme Court stated that there was no evidence showing that violent video games have a negative affect of kids.

Politicians need to stop trying to find a scapegoat. Or, as Washington lawyer Mark Kogan put it, "The reality is that video games are simply being trotted out in a naked attempt to turn the conversation away from guns. No reasonable person under the age of 30 actually believes video games make you violent anymore than having a driver's license makes you a NASCAR driver."

The majority of gun owners are responsible. It's these bad eggs that ruin it for everyone else. Obama already started to get the ball rolling on this gun control debate. Is it the right one? That is for the individual to decide.

Whether gun bans are passed or not, the issue that needs to be addressed is mental health. There needs to be more help and funding for it, not less.


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I assume the first sentence in the second-to-last paragraph has a typo. In context I think you meant, "The majority of gun owners are responsible." Otherwise you are going to have some angry people on your hands.

-- Posted by Sony on Thu, Jan 31, 2013, at 9:02 AM

Thanks for the edit.

-- Posted by Sony on Thu, Jan 31, 2013, at 4:51 PM

Because video games have been protected by the first amendment as a form of speech, I'm not surprised that the media denies that violent games are not contributors to the increase in violent acts. These games desensitize impressionable minds to a point where killing is "normal". It's a culture change that needs to be reversed.

-- Posted by Culture Warrior on Thu, Jan 31, 2013, at 7:04 PM

What about when the nazis killed millions of people? How about genocide in africa? They didnt have video games. Evil is evil. It is a good persons duty to protect yourself and loved ones from it. A criminal will have a gun cause they wont obey the gun ban. Duh..cause they are criminals. I think good people should arm themselves.

-- Posted by brian48 on Fri, Feb 1, 2013, at 4:27 AM

I had a discussion with my young son about his thoughts on video game violence. I mentioned that some people thought playing video games made kids think it was ok to kill. He said "That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of" LOL I must say I have to agree with him. I remember when I was a kid the paranoid types were on a rant saying Bugs Bunny caused violence.

-- Posted by deweyh on Fri, Feb 1, 2013, at 8:29 AM

In my opinion, the largest contributor to these mass killings is the media frenzy that ensues every time. These killers have been conditioned to feel entitled to "go out with a bang" and feel that everyone needs to know just how miserable they were and how they made everyone pay. They've seen days, weeks, and months of nonstop media coverage making these killers famous, and they want it for themselves. Most are planning on committing suicide at the end anyway, so why not take everyone else down with you and make 'em all sorry in the process? In the hours after Sandy Hook, three different identities were put forth for the killer, two of which had to be retracted. Multiple scenarios were put forth (the mother was in the Jersey apartment; no, she was a teacher at the school and was in the school; no, she was in a home in Newtown...) and were retracted. All of this "reporting" was for naught- it didn't provide ANY accurate information, and only heightened the circus-like atmosphere and made Adam Lanza famous.

Speaking of Lanza, how many victims names can you come up with? How about Columbine victims? Everyone remembers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris years later, but how about their victims? Timothy McVeigh = famous. His victims = not even close. We are making celebrities out of the wrong people. I propose news networks report the breaking news, and then not again until the normal evening news time, and keep it brief and to the point. Only report information that is 100% fact checked. No speculation, no backstory on the killer. In fact, don't show his face. Don't give his name. Don't give him what he wants, even in death. When we stop making killers famous, we may see a decline in their attempts to gain fame.

-- Posted by notinia on Fri, Feb 1, 2013, at 10:29 AM

If you don't want your kids to see violence in video games, don't buy them the games. You have to be a certain age to buy certain games. It's the parents fault that I have some 10 year old calling me the N word on call of duty every night.

-- Posted by PleaseThink on Fri, Feb 1, 2013, at 1:50 PM

PleaseThink said it the best in my opinion. This issue isn't as complicated as some will make it out to be. On the video game point, they have ESRB ratings for a reason. If your child isn't old enough by the rating to play it, it might be best not to let them play it. OR, if you don't like the content, regardless of age...don't let them play it. Music has parental advisory ratings as well. Movies have ratings as well. It's up to the parents to understand what these ratings and guidelines mean and actually use them instead of turning a blind eye or claiming ignorance when they see their child engagning with a game, or a movie, or music that they probably shouldn't have. I'm not trying to start an argument. There should be a level of responsibility that some parents just aren't realizing is there.

@notinia

You make a great point also. The media seems to have a horrible time differentiating between news and ratings. It seems like they will feature a story to the point of exhaustion because it will gather watchers.

-- Posted by lastsonofoa on Sat, Feb 2, 2013, at 4:02 PM

To some extent, it's probably relevant that all of the mass shooters (to my memory) are male, and that most are young men in teens or 20's, and that there's probably a distinct psychology for this group, beside any predisposition to mental illness.

I would point out that, though things have changed over the years, there seems to be different expectations for men. When I hear the terms "winner" and "loser," I tend to think of men: men who either succeeded or failed financially and socially. This might not be entirely relevant to teens, but probably not entirely irrelevant either.

I would also point to the level of inequality in our society and the value placed on success. I think societal factors account for at least part of the gun violence: Because why the U.S. in particular, and not other countries?

-- Posted by JoshP on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 5:11 PM


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Introverted Ramblings