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Video Game Industry Starting To Feel Heat On Gun Massacres 1006

Posted by samzenpus
from the put-down-the-controller dept.
An anonymous reader writes "While much of the scrutiny following the lone gunman-perpetrated massacres at Aurora, CO and Newtown, CT has fallen on the National Rifle Association and its lobbying efforts against gun control, the shooters in both of the aforementioned incidents seemed to have been encouraged by violence in movies and video games. The New York Daily News' Mike Lupica reported last week that investigators of the Newtown case found a huge spreadsheet in the Lanza home where 20-year old Adam Lanza had methodically charted hundreds of past gun massacres, including the number of people killed and the make and model of weapons used. A Connecticut policeman told Lupica 'it sounded like a doctoral thesis, that was the quality of the research', and added, '[Mass killers such as Lanza] don't believe this was just a spreadsheet. They believe it was a score sheet. This was the work of a video gamer'. In response, the Entertainment Software Association and other lobbyists representing the video game industry have ramped up their Washington lobbying efforts. While still tiny in dollar terms next to the NRA's warchest, this effort seemed to help derail a proposal to fund a Justice Department study of the effects of video games on gun violence, offered as an amendment on the gun control bill by a Republican senator. A spokesman summarized the ESA's position: 'Extensive research has already been conducted and found no connection between media and real-life violence.'"
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Video Game Industry Starting To Feel Heat On Gun Massacres

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday March 25, 2013 @10:44AM (#43271529) Journal

    The New York Daily News' Mike Lupica reported last week that investigators of the Newtown case found a huge spreadsheet in the Lanza home where 20-year old Adam Lanza had methodically charted hundreds of past gun massacres, including the number of people killed and the make and model of weapons used.

    Okay, so far none of this has anything to do with video games -- does it? Anyone with their mind set and with extreme determination to accomplish the goal would do the above. Hell, this sounds more like the fantasy football people at my office than the gamers.

    A Connecticut policeman told Lupica 'it sounded like a doctoral thesis, that was the quality of the research'

    So we should ban doctoral theses? We should halt all research? Yeah, if someone is incredibly determined to do something, they're going to make a science out of it and conduct super extensive research. This is true of anything from baseball card collecting to weightlifting to money management to drug dealing. Name a thing. Anything. Now imagine what someone would do if they took it to an extreme level. Yeah, that's what's going on here.

    '[Mass killers such as Lanza] don't believe this was just a spreadsheet. They believe it was a score sheet. This was the work of a video gamer'.

    You lost me. This is absolute bullshit. Statements that have more to do with a single person's determination suddenly linked to video games in what should be viewed as illogical stupidity. Oddly this statement can work for anything, weightlifters view their personal records and recorded journals as score sheets. Baseball card collectors view their completed sets and insert sets as score sheets. Farmers that are trying to get the most out of their fields look at their yields like score sheets. I mean, what about sports where you have actual score sheets and stats? Why are we not saying this was the work of an NFL running back or a second degree Taekwondo black-belt?

    He did outside research to carry out an incredibly difficult task? Sounds more like your average software documentation than your average video gamer -- time to protect people from research and documentation.

    Christ if you want to talk about restricting and banning things, look at the actual tools that he actually used to succeed in carrying out this horrible crime. Where is the logic that violent video games were instrumental in this horrible attack? Where is the link between his research and video games? Because it's a score sheet? Ridiculous!

  • by night_flyer (453866) on Monday March 25, 2013 @10:50AM (#43271623) Homepage

    "if you want to talk about restricting and banning things, look at the actual tools that he actually used to succeed in carrying out this horrible crime."

    Ah yes, you don't like your inanimate object blamed, so you want to push the blame off on some other inanimate object.

    How about we just blame the person?

  • We need a mirror (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rufus Firefly (2379458) on Monday March 25, 2013 @10:51AM (#43271639)
    Because the only ones to blame is our collective self. Violent media--TV shows, movies, video games, death metal, etc.--are an expression of our society's extreme unfocused anger, not the cause. Silly politicians and your simple solutions to complex problems.
  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Monday March 25, 2013 @10:53AM (#43271679) Journal

    It's not about guns and violence. It's a thinly veiled attempt at widening censorship in general and making it acceptable. Seeing that such propaganda itself is so effective, it's hard to doubt that video games do have an effect on people from that standpoint. The solution is to strengthen resistance to propaganda, something that needs to be done from infancy onward.

  • Blame something! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 25, 2013 @10:57AM (#43271749)

    This is another knee jerk reaction to these recent mass shootings.

    NONE of these shooting would have been prevented with ANY of the legislation that is being proposed by lawmakers. Assault weapons ban, large magazine capacity, even extending background checks to cover the mentally ill. Take a look at every mass shooting we've had recently, and then take a look at all the proposed legislation. Ask yourself: What in these bills would have prevented any of these from happening?

    Assault weapons ban: Wouldn't have stopped any of them as all the proposed legislation would grandfather in existing owners.

    Large magazine ban: Would also grandfather them in.

    Mental health checks: These weapons were stolen from legitimate users or bought legally. You MIGHT have gotten Aurora stopped. But even then, there's a whole lot of "what if's" in that scenario.

    No gun control advocate wants to face the harsh reality: In a free and open society, sometimes bad people do bad things, and there's nothing you can do to stop them until it's too late.

  • by night_flyer (453866) on Monday March 25, 2013 @10:57AM (#43271759) Homepage

    How many laws did Lanza break before even firing a shot in Sandyhook?

    he murdered his mother, stole her guns, used guns in the commission of a crime, premeditated the murder, had guns on school property, and broke into school property, yet he was not apprehended for any of those crimes.

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday March 25, 2013 @10:59AM (#43271777)
    I'm not a big fan of guns or gun rights, but I'm pretty sure that games are not the first scapegoat, guns were. And while I haven't been paying attention to NRA press releases, I haven't heard much noise about the gun industry trying to shift the blame onto videogames either. So I don't see how videogames will be left holding the bag, unless we let pro-censorship groups (I think they call themselves concerned parents organizations or something like that) run wild with it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 25, 2013 @10:59AM (#43271795)

    Or we could, you know, recognize that firearms are a significant force multiplier that make pulling off massacres like this far more trivial than they would be without these weapons.

  • "if you want to talk about restricting and banning things, look at the actual tools that he actually used to succeed in carrying out this horrible crime."

    Ah yes, you don't like your inanimate object blamed, so you want to push the blame off on some other inanimate object.

    How about we just blame the person?

    Wrong. It's about banning speech. If you could show me that the game disc it was printed on had cadmium [wikipedia.org] on it and that it flaked off and was dangerous to human health, I would advocate banning that particular game disc. If you can prove an inanimate object is the reason people are dying, I'll go along with your ideas on restricting it. What I will not agree to is banning books, movies, music, software or anything that represents an "idea" just because you're afraid of those ideas. If I buy a game and download it online, there is no inanimate object. It's information.

    Yeah if all game discs could explode and send a piece of metal or lead into someone's chest, I would be interested in heavily restricting the sale of it. Your apples to oranges comparison of "inanimate objects" could also apply to nuclear weapons, C4, ricin, etc. Have fun living in that society! Comparing guns to information just shows that people don't understand the first amendment's importance as being a civil right and are all for only the second amendment that was written when guns were muskets. You can have all the muskets you want at the level of technology that was present when the second amendment came into effect.

  • by concealment (2447304) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:00AM (#43271811) Homepage Journal

    People don't know the cause of school shootings, so they're trying to chip away at the methods used to achieve them. Banning guns, video games, heavy metal, etc. all fit into this in that people perceive these as being contributing factors to why people shoot up schools.

    But what makes them want to shoot up schools? I'd say there are two issues here:

    1. Mental health, especially undiagnosed mental health issues. In this society, all you can do if someone has issues is either pay for them to get treatment, or start a process that's going to get them confined in mental institutions.

    2. Media coverage, because if you shoot up a school and get a high enough kill count, you're going to be on the front page of CNN etc. for weeks.

    In this society we have an ugly tendency to assume that methods and not inner motivations, including ability and mental health, are important. We think that memorizing facts is more important than having mental ability; we look at whether people are obedient to social norms rather than whether what they're doing is right.

    These types of situations suggest our society has some pathological need to avoid looking at our motivations. Perhaps we're afraid we'll find nothing but making money, watching TV, and eating Taco Bell.

    I hope not.

  • by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:00AM (#43271817)
    This was the work of a video gamer

    Fuck you. Your detective work is the work of an imbecile.
  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:02AM (#43271847) Homepage Journal

    Video games do not disproportionately influence people to kill each other.

    How do I know, aside from my 20+ years of gaming experience, and lack of homicidal intentions?

    The fact that the largest mass killing in US History predates video games by about 100 years. [wikipedia.org]

  • by Anarke_Incarnate (733529) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:05AM (#43271893)

    That's a load of crap. The original argument stands. The risks involved in a "mass shooting" are small compared to the legal uses of such tools. If someone wants to commit harm, they will. Bombs, fire, etc. You can't legislate away crazy.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:07AM (#43271911)

    . . . and somehow, they didn't go around tearing hair out, gouging eyes or putting someone's head in a vice.

    Because they knew that was TV, and it wasn't a grand idea to try it out on your kid sister.

    If video games cause a kid to go postal, there is something else wrong with the kid.

  • Or how about (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:09AM (#43271939)
    we blame the lack of mental health services? I don't particularly care about gun control one way or another, but I am tired of people ignoring root causes. In every one of these shootings there have been signs of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia has been shown to be a brain chemistry problem. Fixing it is very, very, very expensive. Even the guy from Aurora (who's dad had lots of money) would be pressed. You need a lot of very specific treatment. So we waste time talking about violent games and guns and anything else but actually paying to identify and treat these people because that would take tax money, and as we all know we're perpetually Taxed To The Max (TM).
  • by night_flyer (453866) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:09AM (#43271945) Homepage

    oh the good old musket argument... well lets be sure to hold the 1st amendment to the same standard ... technology available at the time of the writing of the 1st amendment Typewriters? Nope! Video games? Nope! Movies? Nope! Internet? Nope! Recorded voice/music? Nope! Television? Nope! Telephone? Nope! By your lame argument, the founding fathers never could have foreseen a world with that kind of technology so it is not protected under the 1st amendment either.

  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:09AM (#43271947)

    Ah, OK, we'll protect the first amendment by gutting the second.

  • by geek (5680) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:09AM (#43271949) Homepage

    Lanza killed a lot of young children. It's the sort of thing the news media eats up because 1) it involves children which immediately gets the attention of every parent int he country and 2) Lanza had serious emotional issues (and psychological ones too).

    It's the type of story no one can ignore and let's face a sad reality. Most people are fucking drama queens. That's why Oprah is successful, why Jerry Springer and Maury Povitch have TV shows. That's why The Young and the Restless has been on TV for 40 friggin years and produced over 10,000 episodes. People or nosey pricks that need to get involved in everything.

    Kids see this and realize "Hey, I can get tons of attention by doing the same thing!" Video games aren't directly to blame. Bad, no, piss poor parenting is to blame. Video games have just made kids a hell of a lot better at it. They now know how to frag large groups of people because they do it on CoD and Halo. It's like free training for emotional disturbed people.

    The solution isn't easy. You have to first make sure that these kids are being found and helped before they become killers. In almost every case people describe the killers as sweet kids pushed too far by home, school and life stresses. If you know a kid like this fucking help them! In addition to this, start cracking down hard on the little fuckers that are bullying in school. I knew plenty of these assholes growing up. Most of them are now rich and successful because they learned bullying pays off. They climbed the corporate ladder being the pricks their parents raised them to be.

    The problems are societal. It's not the guns killing people. It's society eating itself. People blaming it on any one thing need to go fuck themselves. They are part of the problem.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:13AM (#43272059) Journal

    "A Connecticut policeman told Lupica 'it sounded like a doctoral thesis, that was the quality of the research'"

    Has Officer Donut ever seen a doctoral thesis? You'd have to be going to a pretty shitty school if you can get a PhD for going all OCD on the media clippings file and copying down a spreadsheet full of kill stats...

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:14AM (#43272063)

    We don't want to do anything that may jeopardize our political career by limiting access to firearms, so let's start blaming video games and violent movies. Never mind the fact that this media is available globally and the US seems the be the only country having a sizable problem with firearm related violence or that the firearms flowed freely for so long that we will never be able to "put the toothpaste back into the tube".

    Nothing like pretending we are going to solve all our problems legislatively to keep us in office.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:14AM (#43272071)

    3000+ people were killed by people using box cutters

    Oh, there were no planes filled to the brim with jet fuel or high buildings used in that attack?

    You gun nuts take logic and cast it off at the first possible point during an argument.

  • by AllenABQ (987944) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:17AM (#43272123)
    For anyone old enough to remember. D&D was maligned in its glory days as an sinister force that warped its players into becoming suicidal/homicidal recluses unable to distinguish reality from fantasy. There were even "true crime" novels written about people who played the game, and it turned them into murderous psychopaths. This was all total bullshit, of course. Having played numerous RPGs with pen and paper and then later going on to study acting, the very thing these games were maligned for was a grossly simplified (and more rule-based) version of what any theater major would do on a daily basis in a university actor training program. I can't recall an abundance of actors that went on mass killing sprees, even when performing in shows like "Annie Get Your Gun".
  • by night_flyer (453866) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:18AM (#43272131) Homepage

    you don't have he right to protect yourself?

    who's going to protect your precious 1st amendment rights?

  • by bennini (800479) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:18AM (#43272149) Homepage
    It blows my mind that anyone (especially American lawmakers) would seriously consider banning video games before banning guns.
  • by jedidiah (1196) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:22AM (#43272201) Homepage

    Certainly you aren't going to change much by banning the weapons that are the least likely to be used in the bulk of actual murders. Although the dirty little secret there is that nobody cares about poor minorities killing each other. That's where most of the gun crime is. It's tied up in criminal turf wars far away from view. This particular incident is notable in how visible it was and how it involved the children of rich people who have the means to flee the places where most gun crimes occur.

    As soon as people go back to associating gun crime with poverty, the righteous indignation will cease.

  • by hedwards (940851) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:24AM (#43272263)

    And if we took reasonable precautions like background checks and limited magazine size to no more than 10 rounds, it would greatly inconvenience people that want to do this.

    Just because you're an idiot, doesn't make it any less reasonable to introduce moderate gun regulations. But, then again, the Australians banned people from owning guns privately who didn't have a reason, self defense wasn't an acceptable reason, and they haven't had a single mass murder in all those years.

    The reality here is that doing nothing because criminals would just break the law is a really, really stupid policy. The more inconvenient it is to commit the crime, the more opportunities there are for law enforcement to discover the plot and the more likely it is that the plot will just crumble on it's own.

  • by AntEater (16627) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:27AM (#43272293) Homepage

    The individual who committed the crime is definitely where the blame ultimately lies. What people are looking for isn't merely the blame but some cause that can then be legislated away so that this type of thing can be prevented in the future. I don't believe it'll ever be effectively done but I think that is the ultimate motivation. Our society tends to like to find "things" to blame (guns, music, games, etc) rather than addressing some of the social, family and personal issues that lead to horrible actions like this. Banning things is an easier task and creates the illusion of "doing something" about it.

  • by dcollins117 (1267462) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:36AM (#43272479)

    It's really quite a stretch to observe that Lanza entered data in a spreadsheet and conclude that videos games are even partially to blame for the mass shooting. The only link between a spreadsheet and a video game is that they are both applications that run on a computer.

    Makes you wonder what is really going on here; whose agenda is being furthered by making such a connection and calling it "news."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:38AM (#43272501)

    How do you quantify the crime that doesn't occur due to fear of being shot upon entry? I don't see how anyone could figure this out but if legal weapons are removed we'll find out our answers the hard way.

  • by Squiddie (1942230) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:39AM (#43272531)
    Seeing as how you're obviously not a gun owner, I'd say you have no business telling others what they do or do not need. Second, background checks only affect people that are already within the law. What's to stop criminals from continuing to do private sales of illegal firearms? Nothing. Did it stop Adam Lanza? No, because he just took his illegally. I wouldn't give the government the power to track what I do or do not own as far as firearms go. They have no business knowing. I'll stick with my standard capacity magazines, of 17 and 30 rounds, thank you.
  • by hedwards (940851) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:43AM (#43272577)

    Compared with the number of deaths from firearms in the US, the number of deaths from IEDs might as well be zero. There have been rather substantial attacks, but since regulations were put into place to track the people buying those chemicals, we haven't had another WTC bombing or Oklahoma City Bombing in the meantime.

    The point is that firearms are largely unregulated, it's easy to legally buy firearms without a background check. Whereas with explosives, there are specific licensing requirements and the supply of the components is tracked and monitored much more closely. Yes, one can make ones own explosives, but a lot of those folks just blow themselves up as making them outside of industrial facilities with specific safety equipment is very risky. I know the chemistry involved and there's no way in hell I'd be doing that.

  • by poetmatt (793785) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:49AM (#43272693) Journal

    the reason is the same as it's always been. Video Games are basically an innocent cause here but now that the NRA has thrown them under a bus to attempt to save their own skin, politicians are just following along. It's just politics at the expense of everything else everywhere. It's intellectually dishonest and lazy, but that's exactly why they do it.

  • by Bartles (1198017) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:49AM (#43272697)
    I think we should mandate background checks of participants before protests. Think of all the rapes and muggings we could have prevented if Occupy participants were checked out before they were allowed to participate.
  • by Xest (935314) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:50AM (#43272735)

    I have, one of the first things I saw the NRA do after the last school shooting was to blame video games, and mental health.

    Between blaming video games, and lobbying to block laws that impose greater background checks on gun sales (what? didn't they just blame people with mental health problems for these massacres?) it seems obvious the NRA has one interest - ensuring the gun lobby can sell more guns, even to crazy people.

    Whatever the reason for people getting to the point where they carry out these massacres whether it's guns, games, mental health, alien mind implants or whatever other theory you have, one things is clear and that's that the NRA is an evil and hypocritical organisation who on one hand blames mental health, and on the other tries to block laws that would go some way to blocking sales of guns to people with a history of mental health problems whilst also trying to deflect attention onto the video games industry.

    The first thing tells me they don't really care what the real cause is, they just want to sell more guns.

    The second thing tells me that they've got something to hide.

    Neither of these things paints a picture of an organisation that has anything of value to say on the subject, yet if US politicians continue to listen to them, video game players will be the next victim of their extensive lobbying - in this respect, the NRA is a pro-censorship group, whatever they might scream about the constitution when it suits them.

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:56AM (#43272831) Homepage Journal

    Citations?

    Oh wait - let's be careful about those citations. I can find biased reports on both sides of the issue. I really don't know if there is an unbiased source for reliable statistics. I do know that the liberal side is clearly full of lies. The other side? Maybe they are exaggerating their numbers too. But, if so, the lies are not obvious.

    Why is it that the highest violent crime rates in the US of A are in cities with the strictest gun control laws? If/when you can find an explanation for that, I might reconsider my position on weapons.

  • by hedwards (940851) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:58AM (#43272855)

    Are you an idiot?

    If somebody is so good of a shot that they're able to kill 10 people with 10 rounds, then clearly the government needs to do a better job of treating it's own special forces when they're let out of the service. More likely, you're looking at 2 maybe 3 casualties with 10 rounds, and a substantially smaller number than with the sizes that are legally permissible at the present.

    Ah yes, and criminals will break the law, so no point in introducing any regulations. That line never gets old. Whether you care to admit it or not, these people get their weapons and gear from somebody. Either they buy it legally, as they do now, or they would have to try and get it past customs. Stealing doesn't work if people don't have them, and trying to get them past customs increases the risk that the authorities will figure it out.

  • by hedwards (940851) on Monday March 25, 2013 @11:59AM (#43272873)

    Those crimes were 11 and 13 years ago respectively, meanwhile, it's been what, a few months since our last mass murder. Yes, I apparently misspoke, but only a RWNJ would consider a 11 year track record to not illustrate the point that firearm regulations don't work.

  • by hedwards (940851) on Monday March 25, 2013 @12:06PM (#43272947)

    In other words, you don't actually care about making any progress on this front and are attaching impossible to fulfill conditions in order to permit you to pretend to be reasonable.

    I'm all for personal privacy and freedom, but sometimes you do have to give up a little non-essential liberty in order to get real safety. And this is one of those times. Just requiring background checks makes it decidedly less convenient to buy firearms, if you're not legally allowed to have them, and gives that much more chance of people being caught before they've managed to amass an arsenal.

    Compared with other methods of dealing with the problems, a background check is a minor annoyance.

  • It isn't training. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neoshroom (324937) on Monday March 25, 2013 @12:07PM (#43272961)
    >They now know how to frag large groups of people because they do it on CoD and Halo. It's like free training for emotional disturbed people.

    You can't rocket jump in real life. Video games are not realistic. Firing a gun in a video game is nothing like firing a gun in real life. Guns are crude, noisy, horrible, low-tech devices. No matter how much you play a video game, it isn't going to do much for your real-life accuracy. At most, video games can be a form of mental preparation, desensitization or even glorification, but very rarely an actual teaching tool.
  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday March 25, 2013 @12:10PM (#43273003)

    We should outlaw everything that has no "purpose" and only dangers. Let's start with extreme sports, there's exactly zero reason why you should freeclimb that mountain because there's a road up there, ya know?

    There's a big difference between leisure activities that endanger the person pursuing them, and ones that endanger others.

  • by Anarke_Incarnate (733529) on Monday March 25, 2013 @12:15PM (#43273059)

    That's stupid rhetoric that serves no purpose. The "Reasonable" background checks are a registry to be kept for indeterminate periods of time, and as the confiscations in New Orleans showed during the aftermath of Katrina, our rights are in danger when there is a registry. How would you like to have a "Reasonable" set of privacy on the internet, where everything you do is cataloged and kept with your username which also happens to be your real name with home address for anyone to search?

    Australia also did not have as many guns, the density, the crime, the drug issue that we in the US have. Why not talk about Mexico and their "Reasonable" restrictions on civilian ownership. Boy, that is a paradise...

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday March 25, 2013 @12:22PM (#43273175)

    How about recognising that your constitution was not written by God and brought down from the mountain by Moses. Nor is it a universal truth of the physical world discovered by mathematicians or scientists.

    What it is is a bunch of rules that a few men in the 1780s thought were good ideas. Written for the experience that they had of the world in the 1780s. (The American Revolution, the emergence from being a colony, primitive policing, and no standing army.)

    Times change. Smart people adapt, ignorant people cling on to the past.

  • by Squiddie (1942230) on Monday March 25, 2013 @12:24PM (#43273193)
    You might be murdered by a lot of things. I might be hit by a drunk driver. Should we require breathalyzer machines in all automobiles? Should we simply outlaw drinks with strong alcohol content? Why is this less relevant in your agenda than outlawing a firearm which has less chance of being used to murder you than you being struck by lightning. As for how many rounds my pistol carries, that's none of your business. I decide why I need it, and I'll remind you that it's the standard magazine. Why would I want less? Do you want less horsepower in your car? Do you want to be electronically limited to 75mph? Please tell me, I'd love to hear your reasoning against these common sense regulations of alcohol and automobiles.
  • by the_Bionic_lemming (446569) on Monday March 25, 2013 @12:28PM (#43273251)

    Boiled down, Gun control is simply the policy of cutting the antlers off of the antelopes to help keep them safe from wolves.

    Thank you for your answer, but I've found in my experience that the people who fear guns cannot be reasonable in a discussion about gun control.

  • by i kan reed (749298) on Monday March 25, 2013 @12:47PM (#43273531) Homepage Journal

    By comparing against countries that do have guns but also have gun laws?

  • by Squiddie (1942230) on Monday March 25, 2013 @12:53PM (#43273619)
    Putting a qualifier like "gun related" next to murder is meaningless. Do you care about murders or are murders with things other than guns alright? As for guns making easier to kill, yeah, I agree with you. That's why I have one, because I want to be able to totally stop someone that tries to hurt me or my family. The violence in Mexico is very bad, but you know what, free citizens might have an easier time if they could shoot back against the criminals and corrupt police, but they don't have that right. I for one don't want to live like that, and there's nothing stopping this government from becoming corrupt at any level. I guess it's okay that Britain has more violent crime, at least they aren't killing people with guns.
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday March 25, 2013 @12:57PM (#43273665) Homepage

    Seeing as how you're obviously not a gun owner, I'd say you have no business telling others what they do or do not need.

    That seems like circular logic to me: You're saying that the only people who can argue about whether people should own guns are people who have already decided to own a gun. It's sort of like saying that the only people who can hold a legitimate opinion about the divinity of Jesus are Christians.

    What's to stop criminals from continuing to do private sales of illegal firearms? Nothing.

    Nothing except proper police work, you mean.

    They [the government] have no business knowing.

    The government has a clear interest in preventing its citizens from being murdered. Knowing who has large supplies of firearms with large capacity magazines would seem like it might help in that endeavor.

  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Monday March 25, 2013 @01:01PM (#43273723)

    It says a lot of things about individuals being guaranteed a right to bear arms, specifically for military purpose.

    You could argue that "they didnt say anything about ammo", but any reasonable reading of the amendment makes it clear that the "arms" were intended to be usable.

    If you think the amendment is bad, then lets go down the path of amending it proper, rather than trying to cripple it peacemeal and hoping that noone notices whats happening. "I dont like the amendment" doesnt mean you or legislators get to ignore it, or the process of repealing it.

  • by Kaptain Kruton (854928) on Monday March 25, 2013 @01:06PM (#43273799)

    Guns primary purpose is to kill people.

    The primary purpose of a gun is to propel a bullet to hit what the shooter wants. It is designed to ABLE to kill things (including people), but they are not designed so that killing is their primary function. I have several guns, and guess what? The only thing I have ever shot is targets. Am I using them for something other than their intended purpose? No. My grandfather used to go hunting. He killed deer. Was he misusing it because he was not killing people, even though you claim that is their purpose? No. People that say guns are designed for killing people are often the people that do not have any interest in them and do not know much about the other aspects of their uses. If you aren't interested in guns and don't know much about them, fine... but don't make claims about them when your only knowledge of them comes from the skewed statistics from political groups and the media... which is often very inaccurate.

    Some people want guns to be more regulated. I can understand why they would want that... but why don't they focus on enforcing the existing laws as well? I watched one of Feinstein's hearings (she is the CA senator pushing the new gun control laws) in which she had a police commissioner come in and support her bill by answering questions. He pointed out that the background checks stopped thousands ( I think it was roughly 10,000) of people from illegally acquiring guns. That is probably true. However, an opposing senator asked how many of those were actually prosecuted for trying to illegally obtain these guns and the commissioner didn't have any idea. The actual records show that only 18 were taken to court. They would have had to commit a felony by lying on forms that must be completed before a gun shop would even call in a background check. The commissioner responded by stating the police department didn't have time to go after those 'minor offenses' because they were spending their time going after the important ones, such as the murders and robberies caused by guns. I understand that they may not have the resources to go after all of them, but what good are more laws going to be when they won't prosecute the 10,000 obvious felons that were trying to illegally obtain guns? How many of these felons went on illegally obtain the guns through other means to commit the crimes that the commissioner is focusing on? I know there are other mean in which people can try to obtain guns illegally and that people want more laws to try and prevent that. But will making more guns illegal when criminals are not prosecuted with the existing laws in some of the most obvious open & shut cases you can get? I feel that sometimes the 'gun laws only affect the law abiding citizens' argument is overused.... but with examples like this, can you really say that claim doesn't have some validity?

  • by Anarke_Incarnate (733529) on Monday March 25, 2013 @01:32PM (#43274175)

    Did you know a lot of the drugs in this country are illegally brought over from Mexico and other countries? How you ask? Because laws only stop those who obey them.

  • by mariox19 (632969) on Monday March 25, 2013 @01:38PM (#43274237)

    Why bother comparing other countries, when you've got 50 different states right here in this country to compare? Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have high levels of gun ownership and very liberal gun laws—that's "liberal" in the sense of free—and yet are among the safest states in the U.S. in which to live. The picture is far more complicated than "guns, bad."

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday March 25, 2013 @01:52PM (#43274405) Homepage Journal

    And if we took reasonable precautions

    That word doesn't mean what you think it means; "reasonable" is a purely subjective term, and thus what's reasonable to one person may be outright insane to another. Therefore, making laws based on "what's reasonable" makes about as much sense as laws based on popular opinion (i.e., none whatsoever)

    ...like background checks

    OK, they already do background checks. What's not reasonable about the current process? What changes to the current process are you referring to as "reasonable?" "Like background checks" doesn't tell me shit about what you intend, and seems intentionally vague - thus, an unreasonable proposition by itself.

    limited magazine size to no more than 10 rounds

    Again, what's reasonable about that, or rather, what's unreasonable about larger magazines? Can you provide research that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that infringing the right of the citizens in this manner will have a measurably positive effect on society? What about the military and law enforcement, will they be held to the 10 round standard as well? As the recent episode with Chris Dorner taught us, even the venerable LEOs can be capable of going on killing rampages, so wouldn't it stand to reason their magazine capacity be curtailed as well? Again, your suggestion is far too vague in scope to be considered within "reasonable" spec.

    Just because you're an idiot...

    Attempts at marginalization via childish insults do nothing to assist your efforts, and in fact retard them. Keep that in mind.

    doesn't make it any less reasonable to introduce moderate gun regulations.

    Define "moderate regulations." Specifically.

    the Australians banned people from owning guns privately who didn't have a reason, self defense wasn't an acceptable reason, and they haven't had a single mass murder in all those years.

    Funny, you must get your news from somewhere other than, you know, news sources:

    In 2002 -- five years after enacting its gun ban -- the Australian Bureau of Criminology acknowledged there is no correlation between gun control and the use of firearms in violent crime. In fact, the percent of murders committed with a firearm was the highest it had ever been in 2006 (16.3 percent)

    And that's not even mentioning the other issues Aussies have had to deal with since the gun ban:

    - In 2006, assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.

    - Rape cases increased 29.9 percent.

    - Some dickhead broke into a girls house and strapped a (turned out to be fake) bomb around her neck. [nbcnews.com]

    - Overall, Australia's violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent since the ban was enacted.

    So yea, less "mass killings," but shitloads more rape, robbery, and assault. Doesn't seem like that one belongs in the "win" column, now does it?

    The reality here is that doing nothing because criminals would just break the law is a really, really stupid policy.

    Perhaps... but equally-if-not-more stupid is the idea that we must place further restrictions on the Constitutional rights of citizens because a certain subset of those citizens who are ignorant pussies, scared of their own shadows, scream "OMG, Something(TM) must be done!" Bonus points if you shrill some nonsense about doing it "For The Children(TM)."

    The more inconvenient it is to commit the crime, the more opportunities there are for law enforcement to discover the plot and the more likely it is that the plot will just crumble on it's own.

    A better argument for the dissolution of the First Amendment, I have not heard.

  • by Mycroft_VIII (572950) on Monday March 25, 2013 @09:17PM (#43278097) Journal
    And yet it used to be "you don't need a handgun to hunt, lets ban them", isn't it rather interesting how when it comes violating peoples rights the reason always changes to attack the current defense even when it invalidates the last excuse.

    Mycroft
  • by loneDreamer (1502073) on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @04:09PM (#43285443)
    I've said this before, and I'll say it again. When I moved to the US one of the things that I immediately noticed is how violence seem a valid approach to conflict solving (at both the individual and nation scale) and is constantly defended and praised. It's not about guns, it is about the social context of the people using them. In some places desperate people might kill themselves, here if you think life has wronged you you might as well take as many as possible with you. It's your right. You are a hero.

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