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Government Games Science

School Shooting Prompts Legislation To Study Violent Video Games 1168

Posted by Soulskill
from the blame-game-will-commence dept.
New submitter seepho writes "Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has introduced a bill directing the National Academy of Sciences to lead an investigation to determine what impact violent video games have on children. Senator Rockefeller commented, 'Recent court decisions demonstrate that some people still do not get it. They believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons. Parents, pediatricians, and psychologists know better. These court decisions show we need to do more and explore ways Congress can lay additional groundwork on this issue. This report will be a critical resource in this process.'" This legislation was prompted by reports that Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza was a gamer. A draft of the bill is available online.
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School Shooting Prompts Legislation To Study Violent Video Games

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nhojovadle.> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:32PM (#42338989) Journal
    Gingrich [thinkprogress.org]:

    When you have an anti-religious, secular bureaucracy and secular judiciary seeking to drive God out of public life, something fills the vacuum. And that something, you know, I don’t know that going from communion to playing war games in which you practice killing people is necessarily an improvement.

    Huckabee [thinkprogress.org]:

    We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability?

    • by Svartalf (2997) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:34PM (#42339001) Homepage

      And they're still missing the real problem.

      Adam was very clearly mentally ill. All this BS that they've got going about is just really trying to find something else to blame than the real truth of things.

      • by Thud457 (234763) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:47PM (#42339227) Homepage Journal
        Let's try to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of crazy people, hmmm?
        Even the NRA shouldn't have a problem with people properly securing their firearms.
        • by operagost (62405) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:59PM (#42339463) Homepage Journal
          Mostly, they don't, but since the politicians (especially the far left) always try to seize firearms instead of addressing the issues behind the trigger, we always end up in a useless struggle.
          • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:15PM (#42339733)

            Name one far left politician in America.
            One that actually has had a decent chance at winning a federal office. Remember you said far left, so don't go naming any center right folks.

            I will wait.

            • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:44PM (#42340185) Homepage Journal

              While you're waiting, interesting fact about the infamous "Assault Weapons Ban" that cost the Democrats the 1994 election: it was passed with almost unanimous support in the Senate. Republicans and Democrats alike supporting it in overwhelming numbers.

              Because it was a good bill? Hell no, it's a terrible piece of legislation, but that's not the point: back when it was passed, there wasn't this "Left = gun control, Right = guns for all" crap. Even before the AWB, Saint Reagan himself, as governor of California, had signed into law some of the worst gun control legislation ever seen.

              From what I can discern, the NRA decided that the best way to protect its members was to (relatively arbitrarily) pick a party, and throw its weight behind it knowing that if that party knew that was going on, it would avoid crossing the NRA to avoid losing its support. This policy started in the late seventies, but really took hold in 1994 when they went all out to elect a party that was equally to blame for the hated AWB as their opponents. As long as the supported party stayed in power, and was sufficiently scared of losing support to not waver from pro-NRA positions, the NRA's policies would be bolstered.

              And that action drove the usually civil-liberty-loving liberals into the hands of the NRA's opponents. Take a step back a moment: does it really make much sense that liberals, who detest restrictions on speech, on what you can do with your own bodies, on people being jailed, would actually, normally, be in favor - in principle - of someone owning a device as long as they used it responsibly?

              And that leads to an obvious conclusion: we can safely assume that it's highly improbable that gun control will pass in the next two years, even token gun control. But let's fast forward to 2014. Congress finally is switched to blue in both houses, as the trends suggest (there was a popular vote victory for the Democrats in the House this year and it was only because of the way district boundaries are drawn that Republicans won the House.) The Democrats celebrate by passing sweeping laws outlawing most semi-automatic weapons with a gun buyback program to get the weapons finally out of circulation.

              Who has created the political climate where the Democrats would be so anti-gun it would do such a thing? Where the party of the ACLU would delight in stepping on the rights of millions of peaceful, non-threatening, gun owners?

              Maybe, just maybe, the NRA should change its strategy.

          • by Jawnn (445279) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:34AM (#42347293)

            Mostly, they don't...

            Bullshit. Mostly, they do. The NRA, and their paid lackeys in the House and Senate, have a long history of opposing any and all legislation that would tighten up the availability of guns. Selling guns is the reason for the NRA's existence. Anything that makes it harder to buy guns is bad for business. That the occasional loser who shouldn't be trusted with anything more dangerous than a pointed stick is able to buy as much as he wants is ample proof that we have a problem. Jezuz H. Christ, folks. You need a license and insurance to drive a car. Is it asking so much to demand that gun owners demonstrate similar proficiency and responsibility? Oh, and before you label me as someone from "the far left", keep in mind that I own multiple firearms and have been an active shooter since I was five years old. I oppose most forms of "gun control". I embrace those forms that ensure that fewer people who should not have guns don't get guns. The NRA and their Republican lackeys do not.

        • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:23PM (#42339849)

          Even the NRA shouldn't have a problem with people properly securing their firearms.

          Wanna bet? I have spoken to people at the rifle range about this sort of thing; I get two responses to the "keep your guns in a safe" proposal:

          1. Good idea, and I do it already!
          2. That means I'll need extra time to get my gun if someone is breaking into my house!

          Which response do you think the NRA-types are giving?

        • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:57PM (#42340437)

          I had a friend that lost his mind about 20yrs ago and killed a dude with a hammer. He spent years with psychological issues but there was really no recourse for him. We tried to help him, but mental health issues are shunned. Try walking into a hospital and telling them you're losing your mind. They lock you in a county psyc ward for 3days and then let you out. I've seen it happen. To that guy... and he still killed some one. It was a tragedy for everyone involved including him. Given the correct treatment he could have lead a normal life and the dude that he killed would still be alive today.

          You can make guns totally illegal and it still wont solve the problem. Keep in mind what's going on here. More children died that day in car accidents than in the shooting. 9 kids died in this country from malnutrition (taken from the US yearly average of 1 in 100,000 deaths per year) that day. While this shooting is a tragedy, it's just media glamorizing it that's making headlines. There are far more dangerous and devistating problems facing the children of this country and you are being distracted by decades old intractable issues... you are being played.

          Do you really think any meaningful gun control or video game standards will come out of this? At most, they'll re-instate the assault weapons ban... which was completely worthless and ineffectual. So what if my clip can only hold 10 rounds if clips cost $5 and I can carry 5 clips on me? So what if the gun manufacturer can't call my gun an "Assault rifle"? If that guy had taken the 12gauge into that school instead of the gun he thought looked "Cool" he'd have done a hell of a lot more damage. Any laws in regards to video games will be struck down by the supreme court almost immediately.

          Just like abortion or any other of the non-sensical, unsolvable issues they bring up constantly, these are issues that CANNOT be solved by our government. They are using this tragedy to distract YOU from the real problems they could solve but are not.

          They could easily garner by-partisan support for funding to help support the mentally ill.

          They could pass laws governing the security of schools. Glass doors should be out... windows higher off the ground... Panic buttons in classrooms with deadbolts on the doors. Cheap fixes. When I was a kid in the rural south all the doors and windows at our school had bars to keep thieves out.

          They could change the laws governing how we get the mentally ill committed. It is a VERY difficult thing to do now. In most cases the person in question just has to avoid all the appointments and court appearances and there's nothing you can do about it.

          Personally I think they are using this tragedy to distract us from all the crap they are not addressing in the upcoming fiscal bill. It's disgusting, but that's what our leaders do.

        • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @05:04PM (#42340541) Journal

          Even the NRA shouldn't have a problem with people properly securing their firearms.

          I don't know about NRA the organization - I don't think they've articulated any coherent position on that point so far - but, personally, as an NRA member, I don't have a problem with that.

          In fact, I think we should have laws for responsible keeping of firearms. Pretty simple stuff: if someone takes your gun and commits a crime with it, and it can be shown that you were negligent in securing it (e.g. it was your kid, and you didn't keep in in a gun safe), then you're liable. If we do it for cars already [nashville-...orneys.com], we should definitely do it for guns.

      • by poetmatt (793785) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:50PM (#42339293) Journal

        I'm fairly confident that if they study video games, they're going to disregard the results showing video games to not be a cause (as hundreds of studies have shown) and blame video games anyway.

      • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:03PM (#42339529) Homepage Journal

        It's 911 all over again, complete with horrified overreaction. I wonder how many children died in car accidents [slashdot.org] the day of that shooting? Their parents are grieving just as hard, but they're unsung. You never hear about it unless it happens in your home town. Auto accidents are the leading cause of death among children. You want fewer kids dying? Fix the roadways. Almost NO kids die in school, this horror notwithstanding. Most dead kids are peeled off of pavements.

        Look, folks, your kids are safe in school, or at least, safer than they'd be anywhere else.

        But you're right, his mother was an idiot to have those guns around him, considering his handicaps. I wouldn't be against a law that said if there's someone with certain disorders (bipolar, schitzoaffective, a few others) in the house you can't store a gun there.

        ANY gun. This talk of assault rifles is stupid, half a dozen automatic pistols in his trenchcoat pockets would have resulted in as many deaths -- maybe more, since his rifle jammed.

        • by xevioso (598654) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:28PM (#42339935)

          And yet countries that ban ownership of assault rifles and handguns by the average person don't have these crimes. They just don't.

          We need to be MORE like these countries, not less. We need to ban all assault rifles, and severely restrict the ownership of handguns. One per person, that's it, no more.

          • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @05:10PM (#42340643) Journal

            And yet countries that ban ownership of assault rifles and handguns by the average person don't have these crimes. They just don't.

            Those countries are different in many other ways than gun regulation, though. Are you confident that this single factor is indeed the cause?

            As well, there are countries which don't ban handguns, and give civilians ready access to assault rifles (the real, fully automatic ones, not a semi-auto AR which is not actually an assault rifle) - and they still don't have these crimes. See Switzerland, Czech Republic, Baltic countries etc.

            We need to be MORE like these countries, not less. We need to ban all assault rifles, and severely restrict the ownership of handguns. One per person, that's it, no more.

            Assault rifles, while not banned federally (but they are banned by some states), are already heavily regulated to the point that in the entire history of the USA, there was exactly one spree committed with such a weapon. Of course, an assault rifle, by definition, is a full auto weapon, so vast majority of AKs and ARs in civilian hands today are not assault rifles (as they're semi-auto).

            Banning semi-auto "assault rifles" is rather pointless, since they're not functionally any different from any other semi-auto weapon - hunting rifles, sporting rifles etc. There seems to be this fixation on external visual features such as pistol grip or bayonet lug, which make the weapon "scary" (those two were explicitly in the 1994 AWB), but which in reality don't make it any more or less effective in a killing spree. A Mini-14 is not a gun that people think of as an "assault rifle", even misguidedly - but it's every bit as efficient as an AR.

            Restricting handguns to one per person is completely pointless. What's the difference between having one, and having ten? If you go crazy, either way, you have a gun.

          • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @08:59PM (#42343481)

            We need to be MORE like these countries, not less.

            Why? As I said previously, even if the TSA was effective, I would reject it in its entirely due to the fact that it infringes upon people's freedoms. I would do the same for any legislation seeking to ban guns.

        • by KermodeBear (738243) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @08:10PM (#42343067) Homepage

          This is something that I have tried to explain to my gun-hating friends.

          Banning "assault weapons" (a category which is nebulous anyway - ANY gun is an assault weapon when pointed at someone) won't do a damn thing. A vast majority of gun crimes are done with hand guns. Yeah, I know, those big scary looking rifles sure do look big and scary, but they're rarely used for crime. It's almost all hand guns.

          Besides. A small bullet kills just as well as a big bullet at close range. .357 magnum, .22 short, .17 HMR, they all kill you. Some airsoft pellet guns that can kill someone if it hits the right spots.

          The talk about limiting clip size is also bunk. Ejecting a clip and slapping in a new one takes seconds. It also doesn't stop you from simply carrying multiple guns, or just modifying a clip on your own. A clip is NOT a complicated piece of technology. It's a box with a spring.

          Banning guns also doesn't work. Aside from the fact that we have over 300 million firearms in the USA, people who plan to commit a crime with a gun are going to find a way to get one - especially well funded people like the drug cartels. This just leaves law abiding citizens at a severe disadvantage against crooks of all kinds - including those in government.

          But let's say that we did somehow magically remove all firearms from the world. Well, then Crazy Psychotic Guy will still want to kill people. He will just use a different means to do it. Explosives of all kinds can be made with household chemicals, but why be so flashy?

          Just mix some ammonia with bleach and throw it into a room full of people and lock the door. Slip rat poison into the cafeteria. Want to be sly? Instead of rat poison, try botulism. Angry and on a brutal rampage? Baseball bat, lead pipe, knives, swords. What about a car? School lets out, kids are walking through the parking lot, just gun the motor and run them over.

          Guns are not the cause of murder, crazy people are. You can take the guns away and we will still have mass murders. This guy didn't need a gun to kill 45 people. [ancestry.com]

      • by fragtag (2565329) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:05PM (#42339547)
        I grew up with someone who would later in life be diagnosed with schizophrenia. None of his close friends knew anything about his behavior problems until he started being sent to mental institutions (by his various "girlfriends", who most of the time we had never met). Even then, we didn't believe there was a real problem, because the behavior we witnessed wasn't abnormal to us.

        One day, he came to me while he was having an episode. He was convinced that his mother was a demon and needed to be destroyed, and that I was the only God powerful enough to destroy him. He was taken to a mental hospital yet again, after an overnight at the county jail. We have very little contact with him now, and the last I knew, he was living on his own, outside of a mental institution, but taking his medications.

        The short story is, some people need serious help with their mental problems, and their families and friends won't know when it's time to intervene. Constant supervision is an absolute necessity for some individuals. Its a really awful thing to think about locking up family or friends in a rubber room. Its by far worse to let them be free to harm themselves AND others... I most likely wouldn't hold this opinion if I hadn't been so close to someone who could be capable of the same destructive force that these other mentally ill shooters.

        Its blatantly obvious to me that guns, religion, games, tv, music, etc... are not the issue. All it would take, would be for him to stop taking his medications out of his own free will, and this could all be happening again.
      • by msauve (701917) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:18PM (#42339781)
        "Adam was very clearly mentally ill."

        That's not clear at all. He had autism spectrum disorder, which is a developmental, not mental, issue. There is no evidence, statistical or otherwise, which links autism to violence. Certainly, people look for answers as to why someone would do these sorts of things, and "he was nuts" is an obvious, knee-jerk, reaction. That doesn't make it so.
    • by VickiM (920888) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:40PM (#42339101)
      It's not cool to be anti-Semitic anymore. When will it finally be socially and morally reprehensible to treat atheists like this?
    • by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:47PM (#42339235)

      There are plenty of theories to explain why our society is becoming more violent, including video games and lack of religion in schools. But they are all wrong for a very simple reason: our society is not becoming more violent. It is becoming significantly less violent.

      So let's turn the question around: Why are we becoming less violent? One of the more plausible explanations that I have heard is ... video games. Teenage boys are staying home and playing video games instead of joining gangs and getting in trouble.

      I certainly hope that if this study gets funded, that they have the integrity to look at the issue with a broad scope, instead of trying to avoid an outcome that makes Senator Rockefeller look like an idiot.

    • by DickBreath (207180) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:53PM (#42339345) Homepage
      Here's a theory for Gingrich and Huckabee. Maybe people are incited to violence by the lunatic politicians running things and that the system now seems broken beyond repair? Jobs. Economics. The widening class divide. High Court versus Low Court justice.

      Nah, it's just video games causing violence.
    • by jkflying (2190798)

      Yeah, just like God is doing a great job keeping all the paedophilia out of churches, right?

    • by SirGarlon (845873) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:06PM (#42339553)

      Gingrich and Huckabee would have more credibility on this if they belonged to a pacifist Christian sect like the Quakers or Amish. They don't. Unless I am confusing these men with someone else, they are both historically pro-death-penalty, pro-gun-rights, and pro-imperialism in foreign policy.

      So I question whether the religion they seek to insert back into government institution (namely public schools) will serve the purpose of discouraging violence. I don't even think that is their real agenda when they suggest it.

    • by daem0n1x (748565) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:13PM (#42339689)

      My country has a state-provided, secular education system. Like most of Europe, by the way.

      I wonder why we aren't all shooting at each other, then.

    • by DRMShill (1157993) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:52PM (#42340321)

      At first I thought this was irrelevant, at best a distraction from the serious topics that need to be addressed, such as freedom vs security, the importance of the second amendment, how we as a society treat the mentally ill.

      Then I considered his words and I did some research and it turns out he was on the right track he just didn't take the idea far enough. Allow me to sum up firearm history. Around the third century the Roman Empire adopted Christianity. A few centuries later the Chinese invent the first firearms. Since then firearm deaths have increased roughly 2.9 billion percent!

      The only rational conclusion is that our rejection of European polytheistic religions and religious philosophy caused this tragic event. To prevent future gun violence we as a nation must return to worshiping the Polytheistic gods of our ancestors. Obviously not all of them, that would be chaos. I'd recommend the Celtic gods but I'm obviously biased since I'm of English/Irish descent. A strong case can be made for the Norse gods since their movies tend to gross higher in the box office.

  • by adversus (1451933) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:35PM (#42339015)
    And watches the same movies, and listens to the same music. Yet we're the only ones with a mass murder fetish, and the shittiest mental healthcare. Media isn't the problem.
    • Yes, the rest of the world plays the same violent video games, same movies, same music. And yes, the rest of the world may actually take care of their mentally ill. But there is one big difference between us and the rest of the world.

      We have the mostest, biggest, baddest guns.

      (Baddestest?)
      • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:49PM (#42339263) Homepage Journal

        But there is one big difference between us and the rest of the world. We have the mostest, biggest, baddest guns. (Baddestest?)

        Switzerland issues fully automatic assault rifles (real assault rifles, not just "scary looking semi-autos") to every mentally competent male of military-eligible age. The type of weapons that are incredibly difficult to acquire in the US (for those of us not obscenely wealthy, anyway)

        By your reasoning, Switzerland should be a madhouse of old-west style gunfights; I'll leave it to you to discover whether or not that is the case.

        But there is one big difference between us and the rest of the world.

        Indeed, and you already pointed it out:

        the rest of the world may actually take care of their mentally ill.

        There's the real issue at hand.

        • by sunking2 (521698)
          While at one time they used to issue 50 rounds of ammunition along with it they no longer do. And 90%+ of the ammo that was issued has been returned when requested. You can't buy more, and purchasing another firearm of that type is impossible, and handguns are very difficult. Hunting rifles and shotguns are about it. So a society that has been shown to be responsible is given a gun, and one that is showing it isn't should not be. Trust is not only something you have to earn, but you have to be able to keep.
        • by Albanach (527650) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:05PM (#42339545) Homepage

          If you want to have a reasoned debate you cannot selectively use facts.

          Wikipedia tells me that for the past five years, Switzerland has only permitted 2,000 of those with military issue weapons to store ammunition at home. Prior to that the ammunition was strictly audited. It's hard to kill using a gun with no bullets. Prior to 2007, the auditing requirement would make use of the weapon rare.

          You also neglect to mention that the weapons are issued to civilians who have undergone military training. This is not like turning up at Walmart and buying a semi-automatic.

          Comparing gun use in Switzerland to that in the US is like comparing chalk and cheese. Unless you're suggesting as a solution to gun crime that everyone of age should be conscripted to receive military training and the government should be allowed in private homes to audit your weapons?

          • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:37PM (#42340069) Homepage Journal

            If you want to have a reasoned debate you cannot selectively use facts.

            Agreed, and that's a two way street:

            Wikipedia tells me that for the past five years, Switzerland has only permitted 2,000 of those with military issue weapons to store ammunition at home.

            From the article:

            Prior to 2007 members of the Swiss Militia were supplied with 50 rounds of ammunition for their military weapon in a sealed ammo box that was regularly audited by the government. This was so that, in the case of an emergency, the militia could respond quickly. However, since 2007 this practice has been discontinued.

            Re: selective use of facts - the article refers to government issued ammunition. Waffentragschein (gun permit) holders can still purchase (and, therefore, possess) non-government issue ammunition.

            Pot, meet kettle.

            You also neglect to mention that the weapons are issued to civilians who have undergone military training. This is not like turning up at Walmart and buying a semi-automatic.

            I neglected to mention a lot of things, as they were non sequitur to the point I was making, and I'm not in the habit of needless pontification.

            Regarding this point of yours, I personally believe proper training should be mandatory prior to allowing an individual to purchase any firearm.

            Unless you're suggesting as a solution to gun crime that everyone of age should be conscripted to receive military training and the government should be allowed in private homes to audit your weapons?

            I suggested no such thing - I will, however, recommend for future reference that you fully read and understand the premise of a post before you respond to it, thus assuring that your statements are at least relevant to the topic at hand.

        • by DavidD_CA (750156) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:06PM (#42339571) Homepage

          When bringing up Switzerland in a discussion about gun control, you're being dishonest unless you also point out a few things:

          1) For someone to have a gun, they need to serve three months in the military where they'll be evaluated and trained

          2) The population of Switzerland is smaller than that of New York City. Sample size matters.

          3) The poverty in Switzerland is half that of the United States.

          And finally, Switzerland's voters are increasingly in favor of tighter regulations and ending the military-gun-at-home policy.

          I'm also a bit unclear about some of the ammunition laws in Switzerland. While guns are easy to come by, it seems the ammo is more controlled than it is in the United States. And, the free ammo that the militia get only contains 50 rounds, sealed and numbered.

    • by X0563511 (793323) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:58PM (#42339439) Homepage Journal

      I suggest getting people to watch this video [youtube.com]. That, among other things, is brought up.

    • by Hythlodaeus (411441) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:32PM (#42339971)

      Adam Lanza brushed his teeth. Clearly, toothpaste causes school shootings.

    • by dc29A (636871) * on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:53PM (#42340347)

      Media, as in news media is the problem. Every time a fucked up nutcase goes out on a killing spree, there is non stop media coverage. News media glorifies the murderers yet no one remembers one of the victims. So the next nutcase sitting at home watching this is probably thinking: Man, I could do the same thing and the world will remember me!

  • by raydobbs (99133) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:35PM (#42339023) Homepage Journal

    ...right along with gun owners, we are at the twilight of those two industries unless we put this to a stop. Logical people know video games and guns don't cause violence - crazy assholes do. But as long as we're willing to be vilified, we will be picked to pieces in the chaos.

    • by IceNinjaNine (2026774) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:42PM (#42339141)

      Welcome to being a target... right along with gun owners

      Indeed!
      I'm not a big fan of Reagan, but this fits:

      We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. Ronald Reagan

  • by hsmith (818216) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:36PM (#42339027)
    Endless war, militarized police, drone strikes, torture, gangster lifestyles, and overall general violence, it is all a contributing factor to devaluing life.

    But let's ignore the real problem: mental illness. Lets blame guns and video games.
  • How about money? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:36PM (#42339033)

    Adam Lanza's mother received nearly $25,000 a month in alimony, maybe the should study the connection between receiving ludicrous amounts of money for no reason and violence in children as well.

    • Maybe she should have just used some of that $25,000 a month alimony to get her kid some mental help.
  • It was Star Craft... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kenja (541830) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:36PM (#42339039)
    The shooter played Star Craft. Not a FPS, not some blood and gore style of game, but a strategy game. Its about as violent as chess (ok, it has a bit more blood then most chess games).
  • Starcraft. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Xaositecte (897197) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:36PM (#42339047) Journal

    There have been reports that Adam Lanza obsessively played Call of Duty and Starcraft before he went on a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last Friday.

    Starcraft? Seriously? That breeds killers?

    • by Antipater (2053064) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:52PM (#42339325)

      Of course! Think about it. A swarming, bloodthirsty race spreads from its blazingly hot, otherwise-lifeless homeland across the sector, devouring or perverting everything in its path. After they destroy a civilized human base, do you know what they do with the remnant? They infest it. They implant their essence into the base's very core, and turn it into a breeding factory - for suicide bombers! Poor, twisted versions of what was once human, with no free will, their only actions for the glory of Mohamm - I mean, the Overmind.

      Starcraft is obviously an Islamic plot to destroy the US and Western Civilization.

  • by Artifice_Eternity (306661) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:37PM (#42339055) Homepage

    "They believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons."

    Classic literature and Saturday morning cartoons are, in many cases, bloody as hell. And people have gotten plenty hysterical about them in the past.

    • by TemperedAlchemist (2045966) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:50PM (#42339301)

      As a philosopher, I would assert that some pieces of classic literature can be very dangerous: children may learn how to think.

    • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:25PM (#42339893)
      Lets see, classics: Romeo and Juliet: Massive family feud between two wealthy "merchant" families, resulting in street battles and pub brawls with deaths. Ending with two main characters committing suicide. King Lear: King splits up kingdom to his daughters based on who loves him the most. Two of the three daughters conspire together and lie to get the largest shares. King disowns daughter who didn't lie. Once having the kingdom, the 2 daughters proceed to treat their father like crap, and plot to kill him. The good daughter goes to war with the other two. Good daughter is executed. King finds out his good daughter was executed, dies from grief. King's good servant commit suicide to continue serving the King in the afterlife.... Hamlet: Brother of King, kills the King, and then marries his now dead brother's wife. The son of the original king confronts his mother and can't believe that she would marry her former husband's killer. Girlfriend/lover of the son/prince commits suicide because the prince declairs that marriage should be outlawed in rage of what his mother has done. Oedipus Rex: Son/prince kills father/king. Marries mother who he is in love with.... No, there was no violence in classic literature, as long as you don't consider child molestation, incest, rape, murder, and suicide violent....
  • by Abstrackt (609015) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:39PM (#42339075)

    This looks more like a case of "shit happened, we need to blame somebody" than actually trying to solve anything. If a violent video game is going to turn someone violent it's more likely as a result of a preexisting condition.

    • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:21PM (#42339827) Homepage

      This looks more like a case of "shit happened, we need to blame somebody

      I suggest then they look at the dismal state of the mental healthcare system. It's piss poor in the US, just like it is in Canada. People who should be in supervisory care, aren't. People who should be institutionalized aren't. And people who shouldn't be in the care of family when they can't care for them, are. I could go on, and on, and on with stories from friends who are EMT's, EMS, Police and Fire, on both sides of the border about how they deal with this shit every freaking day, week after week.

      It's right down terrible where I live(Southern Ontario), being that London is near the St. Thomas mental health centre. And it's simply a revolving door. These are supposed to be committed individuals, with some cases a temporary day leave. Who walk out of the facility. End up in London, and end up endangering themselves or the public. They end up at Victoria under police escort--sometimes with the EMS being treated for serious injuries too, go right back in, two weeks later it's rinse and repeat. And my friends down south relate the same things.

      Doesn't help of course that they've gutted the mental healthcare system. 400k+ in care and custody even 30 years ago, it's 40k now. People aren't less crazy, they're simply being dumped out with the public.

  • what baffles me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [erauqssemitelcric]> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:39PM (#42339077) Homepage Journal

    is how nobody understands that in roman times, medieval times, heck, even just 100 years ago, mankind was peaceful and loving

    ever since these video games came out, murder has gone through the roof /sarcasm, for the sarcasm impaired

  • Good (Score:4, Informative)

    by Baloroth (2370816) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:39PM (#42339095)

    Good, so we can finally put that myth to rest. Or by "study" do they mean "find some evidence that shows a correlation between them no matter how faulty the logic may be"? I'm guessing it's supposed to be the latter. After all, you can't earn many political points by commissioning a study that doesn't allow you to create a scapegoat or enact some laws to crack down on the "problem", and the fact he is proposing this now means it is, most definitely, a political move to create the appearance of action (never mind most of the time what should be done is nothing, because bad shit happens sometimes).

  • by DickBreath (207180) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:39PM (#42339097) Homepage
    If there is an actual link between real world violence and violent video games (and I am skeptical of that) then maybe the violent video games merely reflect the world we live in. Saying violent video games cause real violence might be like saying that Brain Injury causes Football. (American type football.) After all, a link has been established between football and brain injury.
  • This again? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gelfling (6534) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:40PM (#42339105) Homepage Journal

    Really? Julius Caesar played violent video games? Ghenghis Khan? Al Capone?

  • by stox (131684) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:42PM (#42339127) Homepage

    has anything better to do. Who cares about the fiscal cliff?

    Preventing events like this is equivalent to trying to stop lightning strikes. In fact death by lightning is more common.

  • by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@[ ]cast.net ['com' in gap]> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:46PM (#42339209)

    Why aren't we looking at keeping the crazy people themselves off the streets? As someone who has known someone that was mentally unstable and worked with their doctors to have them committed it's next to impossible to have an unstable person committed involuntarily. Typically the best you can do is 3 days, and beyond that nothing can be done unless they are an /immediate/ risk to themselves or others.

    The standard needs to be changed to indeterminable risk to themselves or others, as this would make all the difference in the world in keeping unstable people off the streets and the rest of society safe. The standards are simply too stringent and by closing the institutions we have gotten rid of all of the economies of scale that allowed unstable people to have access to the physical and mental health care that they need. The result now is that the mentally unfit are homeless and society isn't protected from the unstable. The idea that this is somehow more 'humane' is ludicrous.

  • by kawabago (551139) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:46PM (#42339219)
    Children in Britain play exactly the same video games that American children play and they don't run around shooting each other all the time. America has a culture of gun violence and until that changes these terrible events will keep happening.
  • by Quantus347 (1220456) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:50PM (#42339287)
    Saying this man killed his mother and then a bunch of children and teachers because he played video games is about and logical as saying he did it because he ate fatty foods, so we need shut down all McDonald's. There is no link whatsoever, beyond the fact that somebody wants to milk the events and the heightened emotions it is generating for their own crusades. Tighter gun control would not have stopped a determined and unstable man from stealing guns to go killing. Even if there had been no guns, Im sure he could have found another way. Hell, this was the 2nd deadliest elementary school killing because the deadliest used a bomb.

    This really is getting ridiculous. I am getting really tired of all the politicians and lobby groups trying to spin this tragedy to their own agenda.
  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:51PM (#42339309)
    The cause wasn't that the shooter played video games, the cause wasn't that the shooter had shot a gun before. The cause was that this guy seriously had some mental issues. You can't fix humanity.

    Look at China, they've got some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. They've got censorship of nearly everything and yet this happens: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2248054/China-stabbing-22-children-elderly-woman-stabbed-outside-primary-school-Chinese-knifeman.html [dailymail.co.uk]

    You've got to strike at the root cause which is the mental issues. Not guns, not knives, not baseball bats, not video games, not comic books, etc.
  • by DigitalSorceress (156609) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:53PM (#42339347)

    This is yet another case of certain people using a given tragedy to push their agenda.

    The folks who already have an anti-gaming viewpoint are always going to use a given media event like this to push for bans on / studies on video games.

    Last time I checked, it wasn't a troubled teenager taking out their peers, it was a legal adult slaughtering defenseless children. You can study the effects of violent video games on children all you want, but it's not going to address a situation like this. Maybe someone might have legitimately wondered about the connection between the Columbine shooters and video games, but I believe the studies that came out then pretty much said that "batshite f-tards will be batshite f-tards with or without video games" (I may be paraphrasing a little)

    Ok, so I don't know either, but just really??? sick bastard ADULT shoots children and someone's proposing studies of video games effects on kids? Yeah, yeah, this guy was a kid once, but honestly - it's pretty obvious that this is yet another "We gotta do SUMTHIN'" knee-jerk response that politicians feel the need to whip out so they can seem like they're taking action... without actually threatening the interests of their donors.

    For the record, it's my opinion that anti-gun folks are pretty much doing the same thing - they're going to take every opportunity to push gun laws regardless of the actual situation - they do it because it's how you move an agenda forward - throw it up against the wall enough and something will stick sooner or later.

  • by fallen1 (230220) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:33PM (#42340011) Homepage

    I think that is your first line of defense, and your first line of inquiry, to start with. How about Mom and Dad stop chasing what the Joneses down the street have? How about Mom and Dad stop worrying about working all the time so they can have a $650,000 McMansion like Sue and Bill do? How about Mom and Dad teaching their kid(s) to be happy with what they have and not lusting for what Bill junior has? How about Mom and Dad get over the stigma of having a conversation with their children and, you know, FUCKING TALK TO THEM - NOT _AT_ THEM? And for the love of whatever you hold dear, do not do this once they are 12. Start the conversations at age 2 - they won't understand it all then, but the topics are there and they will absorb that information. That concern. Those values. Instill in your children respect for adults, respect for others, and respect for themselves. Teach them right from wrong and how to tell fantasy from reality. Do NOT try and teach this to them when they are too old to give a shit what Mom and Dad think or believe - teach it to them from the beginning.

    Tell the government to get the hell out of deciding how we discipline our children. Until and unless one is drawing blood and/or leaving bruises in places they should not conceivably be such as around the shoulders, ankles, chest, head, upper arms and so forth - basically, if it is within a few inches of the ass of that child AND this is not a persistent pattern, then fuck off and let them discipline their children. I'm not saying every child needs a spanking, but I know that my generation (late 30 year old and into 40 year old group) grew up respecting adults, authority, and without the vast sense of entitlement pervading our society today AND most - I would say 90% - of my friends and acquaintances had their ass spanked when needed. Or we were grounded and sent to a room NOT filled with every electronic marvel of the age so it was an actual punishment. We were not bribed to be quiet with a toy. We were told to be quiet or you'd get a real reason to cry... and we believed them.

    I could go on but I think most people get my point. How about we start with getting Mom and Dad to be Mom and Dad and not "that authority figure I can ignore because they are never home and always working"? How about we start taking personal responsibility for ourselves and our children and stop blaming the TV, video games, and everything else BUT ourselves?

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