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Senator Feinstein: We Need Video Game Control 424

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-need-our-guns-to-have-always-online-DRM dept.
ducomputergeek writes "Since the assault weapons ban seems to have died in Congress, it looks like Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) now turning her attention to video games...again. '"If Sandy Hook doesn't [make game publishers change] then maybe we have to proceed, but that is in the future," said Feinstein. She went on to claim that video games play "a very negative role for young people, and the industry ought to take note of that."' Yet, as the article points out, since the introduction of games like DOOM, the crime rate in the U.S. has gone down. Dramatically. Correlation != causation, and all that jazz, but there are a lot of violent video games these days and yet crime has continued to go down."
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Senator Feinstein: We Need Video Game Control

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  • by X0563511 (793323) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:37PM (#43372487) Homepage Journal

    News at 11...

    • I'm surprised... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Firethorn (177587) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:41PM (#43372523) Homepage Journal

      What's really newsworthy about this? The NRA and Feinstein agreeing on something...

      I'm checking the temperature in Hell right now, expecting record lows... /NRA member, wrote to complain to them after their little news release.

      • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:54PM (#43372723) Homepage

        What's really newsworthy about this? The NRA and Feinstein agreeing on something...

        Well, Feinstein has figured out banning the guns won't work, and the NRA just want to Blame Someone Else.

        I wouldn't go around thinking they've suddenly agreed about something.

      • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday April 05, 2013 @05:14PM (#43372997)

        The NRA and Feinstein agreeing on something...

        Video games don't commit crimes . . . children commit crimes! It's really about high time that we start cracking down on the real problem, children.

        . . . or, maybe . . . like, criminals . . . ?

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          How about their parents? They had them, they raised them or failed to raise them. They are responsible.

        • by Firethorn (177587)

          Video games don't commit crimes . . . children commit crimes! It's really about high time that we start cracking down on the real problem, children.

          Hehehe...

          Part of the problem I have is that in some ways we're actually cracking down on criminals too much. We're punishing them so much that we're being counterproductive on reform. Now, catching and prosecuting them in the first place, that can always be improved. The certainty of punishment is more effective than the severity of the punishment past a certain point.

          But I mostly agree. One of these days I should write a book, and just reference people to that... ;)

    • by linebackn (131821)

      > News at 11...

      Right after a dozen graphic "news" stories about shootings and other violence just like any other day.

      But first the 9 O'clock movie featuring people shooting at each other and getting blown up in various ways with blood and guts everywhere.

      Yea, video games are the problem. :P

    • We don't need censorship. But a hint to the next Nancy Lanza- IF your child is diagnosed with a mental illness AND plays a lot of violent video games, perhaps you should think twice before giving him a gun safe, guns, and ammo as a present.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I mean, with the certainty that the "leaded gasoline -> crime" study had, it should stand to reason that the only criminals left are ones who play with discarded car batteries or maybe gnaw on certain chinese made baby toys. I think the continued presence of crime can be explained one of two ways (Certainly not both) that there is secretly lead in our water supply, or that violent video games are lead infused.

    Science!

  • by backslashdot (95548) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:38PM (#43372493)

    Fact is that video games have made us safer. Population has increased yet the number of psychos per 100 people has decreased. Homicide rates have decreased. The murder rate in the prohibition era (1920s) was 4 times higher than today's rate.

    • by Feyshtey (1523799)
      And there's a hell of a lot more plastic today than in the 1940's, proving that plastic helps reduce the murder rate as well.
  • by decipher_saint (72686) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:39PM (#43372507) Homepage

    Thanks to banning violent comics in the 50s there was no violence in the 60s.

    Absolutely no seducing your innocents allowed.

  • What do you expect? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by macbeth66 (204889) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:41PM (#43372521)

    It is the usual democratic knee-jerk reaction.

    As opposed to the alternate republican knee-jerk reaction.

    I don't even think that these people believe the verbal diarrhea they spew, but it plays well to their constituents.

    Overall, across the country, crime is down. Way down, and that includes murder and murder by gun. That doesn't seem to get considered in their posturing.

    • by Sulphur (1548251)

      It is the usual democratic knee-jerk reaction.

      As opposed to the alternate republican knee-jerk reaction.

      I don't even think that these people believe the verbal diarrhea they spew, but it plays well to their constituents.

      Overall, across the country, crime is down. Way down, and that includes murder and murder by gun. That doesn't seem to get considered in their posturing.

      Posturing positions that the other side can't possibly accept.

    • There a truly schizophrenic nature to American society today. While the economy could certainly be better, life ain't bad. We're basically safer, healthier, better fed with access to more information than ever and yet there exists a constant state of moral panic and outrage.

      School shootings are incredibly rare. While there are about 2 per year since 2000, there are 100,000 public schools in the US, with an average school year of 180 days. So you've got 17,999,998 school days each year where no shots are fi

  • by He Who Has No Name (768306) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:42PM (#43372541)

    Every time she opens her mouth these days, stronger and stronger derp comes out.

    Recently she's gotten up to weapons-grade stupid. Time for her to go.

  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:43PM (#43372547)

    What part of the First Amendment doesn't Diane Feinstein understand? The courts have (rightly) ruled that video games are a constitutionally protected art form. The government has no more right to censor video games than they do books, plays, movies, or any other type of media.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:49PM (#43372655) Journal

      Just classify them as "Obscene". Nobody actually seems to know what that is; but rigorous empirical study has allowed me to reach the conclusion that, functionally, "Obscene" is a shorthand term for "It isn't covered by the first amendment if it hurts my feelings sufficiently".

      • Re: Obscene (Score:5, Informative)

        by SpaceManFlip (2720507) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:59PM (#43372811)
        Obscenity is defined by the "Miller Test"

        If an artwork/material/etc is considered obscene by the moral standards of the general community at large (in the pertinent locale) AND has no redeeming social/educational value, then it is considered obscene and should be banned.

        Any "obscenely" violent vidya game could simply take a page from Playboy's playbook, and insert some kind of PSA like "give the gift of Literacy" somewhere within the work that is prominently visible, and it would fail Part 2 of the Miller Test and therefore be Not Obscene.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by fredprado (2569351)
          Bullshit. Obscene is defined by whatever the person that holds political power and is willing to define it want it to be. That is the problem with creating loopholes in constitutional principles that should be absolute.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by SpaceManFlip (2720507)
            I will see your call of "Bullshit" and raise you 1 citation of Current Law:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller_test [wikipedia.org]

            In the USA, fortunately, no one person holds all the political power.

            • I know about Miller Test, but it is far from being an objective test and basically gives ground for a judges to consider whatever he wishes as obscene.

              And although no one person holds all the power in US, you are ridiculously deluded if you think that in US or in any country there aren't very small groups of people who do hold all the power. Usually those "people" are called corporations.
        • If an artwork/material/etc is considered obscene by the moral standards of the general community at large (in the pertinent locale) AND has no redeeming social/educational value, then it is considered obscene and should be banned.

          So in other words, it's completely subjective. What a surprise!

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      Well, they can at least prevent them from being sold to minors. Of course, the ESRB already has exactly the same non-government-enforced ratings concept as the MPAA does for movies - both systems clearly tells parents what age range is appropriate for a given title. This is hands down the parents' responsibility to decide what media their children should be exposed to.

      If they try to regulate one they should be required to regulate both... and I hope they try. That way the anti-regulation side will have t

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Should be "What part of the constitution" doesn't she understand? She doesn't understand the 1st or 2nd amendments.
      • by msk (6205)

        Since I don't have mod points today, I will say "mod parent up". Seriously, Feinstein should have been recalled or impeached decades ago.

    • by Feyshtey (1523799)
      It has nothing to do with Constitutionality, dont you get that? It has everything to do with a "living document" that is "outdated", and that these people are far more capable of choosing for you how you should be living.

      So just shut up and let them make things better.
    • by ageoffri (723674)
      I don't understand how she keeps getting elected. She doesn't respect the Constitution at all. Her latest attacks on the 2nd Amendment are failing, so she moves onto attacking the 1st. Really past time that she is stopped.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:45PM (#43372593) Journal

    What sort of cultural dysfunction makes wrinkly old people in positions of authority so insufferable? Is it the rock and roll devil music that they were exposed to as children?

  • where are the Dead Kennedy's when you need them?

    • by Algae_94 (2017070)
      Sadly they got embroiled in royalty disputes that broke up the band. I hear they have reformed without Biafra, but that's not exactly the DKs is it?
  • I have an idea (Score:5, Informative)

    by VGPowerlord (621254) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:46PM (#43372623)

    I have an idea, why doesn't the United States do what they did with movies and put ratings on every video game, and then refuse to sell ones aimed at adults to children?

    Oh wait, they already did that [esrb.org].

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      The MPAA and RIAA were existing industry organizations that voluntarily created ratings in order to head off government regulation.
      The ESRB is also a industry created organization. Unlike the **AAs, it was created exclusively to deal with the issue of video game ratings.

      All the music/game/movie ratings are voluntary.

  • OR in otherwords.

    STFU Feinstein....pass the stupid budget...balance it...or we'll beat you to death with our Halo 4 game box.

  • Both parties about nothing but bread and circus.
  • I just don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by prelelat (201821) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:54PM (#43372731)

    This isn't some confused 14 year old who went out and started shooting the place up it was a 20 year old. A 20 year old that should have had 20 years to learn that life isn't a video game. Learn that you don't go killing people just for shits, because you're pissed off, or what ever. Myself, and I dare say millions of people in world have played violent video games since the day they were able to sit at a computer(now a console I suppose) and to this day we have maybe a handful of incidents that cry out tragedy. That's some fucked up math. You want to point a finger at guns, sure they were probably used in 90% of these attacks(I recall one where some asshole blew up a school decades ago with TNT). Guns are not the problem here either, it's not the media glorifying it* though I dare say that has more of an affect on children than video games.

    The problem is mental illness. This guy was sick, that's all there is to it. How else do you explain the millions of people that play video games and nothing happens. How else do you explain people that have gone through so much tragedy seen so much worse from such horrible backgrounds not going out and killing a swath of children with semi-automatic guns. He was sick, and no one gives a fuck about it. No one wants to explore a health care system that would try and reach people like this early. They don't want to try and help the people like Adam Lanza because he wasn't at fault, it was the guns, the video games heaven forbid they found milk in his fridge and blamed the milk man.

    *The media does more to glorify killing than any video game, they play on repeat hours and hours of footage of what happened they immortalize the killers. Some guy who said to himself all his life "no one knows who I am no one understands me" all of the sudden realize "If I shoot up a school people will look at me and know my name, they will know who I am and spend years trying to figure me out" Shits fucked up.

    • No one wants to explore a health care system that would try and reach people like this early.

      The problem is that people don't wan't to admit that their love ones are crazy. You see all kinds of warning signs and you explain it away as bad behavior.

    • We decided to destroy our national ideals of liberty on the altar of security after the events of 09/11/2001. We increased the powers of the state, increased the powers of the police, and made airports into little gulags in response to those events.

      Every time someone like Adam Lanza decides to go out and murder a bunch of unarmed victims, we find out all over again that all that we've done has been completely futile, and we could have kept our America.

      We'll never know if Adam Lanza had some grievance he th

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:54PM (#43372737)
    This is one of the few topics where we should all be able to paste that classic animated gif of the guy beating the dead horse. I suspect these politicians don't actually give a crap about video games. They are just pandering to a noisy few people who pester them about it.

    I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia where the municipal politicians have internationally humiliated themselves regularly every few years over proposed Cat bylaws. I asked one councilor why they would ever bring up the stupidest idea regularly every half decade or so and he told me that it was the number one thing that people whined at him about; not taxes (which are off the charts in Halifax), not potholes, not all the crime, the dirt, the lack of jobs, the money wasted, or any of the actual pressing matters but the thing that made people intercept him in the grocery store was cats crapping in their gardens. So he just proposed the stupid bylaw and weathered the storm of stupidity so that he could shut them up.

    I suspect that these people who whine about Video Games are low IQ types who don't really understand the real issues facing the US but think they have wrapped their pea brains around an issue and then go off on their moral quest. Their parents were probably on about rap music and their grandparents had their knickers in a knot over satan's rock and roll.

    The ironic thing is that these same people were probably all wound up about a tiny rule stating that the president has to be born in the US while ignoring the most important, and first, amendment in the constitution they claim to hold in nearly the same esteem as their bibles. What I think it all boils down to is that people that drive laws like this don't like people having fun that they don't understand.
    • by jittles (1613415)

      I suspect that these people who whine about Video Games are low IQ types who don't really understand the real issues facing the US but think they have wrapped their pea brains around an issue and then go off on their moral quest. Their parents were probably on about rap music and their grandparents had their knickers in a knot over satan's rock and roll. The ironic thing is that these same people were probably all wound up about a tiny rule stating that the president has to be born in the US while ignoring the most important, and first, amendment in the constitution they claim to hold in nearly the same esteem as their bibles. What I think it all boils down to is that people that drive laws like this don't like people having fun that they don't understand.

      I find it ironic that you suggest that these people are conservative idiots when Feinstein is one of the most liberal senators in the US. How about we just call them idiots and not right or left wing idiots?

  • The first victim of the Sandy Hook event was the mother of shooter. 'Mom' gave the gun to the shooter, and taught the shooter to shoot. What saddens me more is that the shooter did not immediately turn inward. Thanks 'Mom'.

    Guns in the hands of the mentally unbalanced seems to be the most ignored issue, why?
    • Guns in the hands of the mentally unbalanced seems to be the most ignored issue, why?

      Why would politicians want to tackle a difficult social problem when they can just demonize gun owners or gamers and still act like they are trying to "do something"?

  • Since virtually every console and most games now require internet access and use back-end servers for something, the manufactures/publishers just need to add age restriction enforcement to their TOS agreements. "You must be 18 years old or older to play games rates M" and such. Then just have the feds arrest the little violators and charge them under the CFAA.

    Fixed! They were probably going to grow up to be felons anyway, so this just nips it in the bud early. As an added bonus since they will now be fe
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:57PM (#43372783) Homepage Journal

    Let's get some control on Congress and the Corporations -- like that will ever happen. If I recall -- Feinstein was among the members of Congress found to be actively engaged in INSIDER TRADING by dealing in information given to her by Industry Lobbyists in exchange for "favors" and GIVEN A PASS! These members of Congress had claimed that they didn't know that Insider Trading was bad and inappropriate -- no charges or even fines will ever be levied against the Members of Congress or the Lobbyists who supplied the information by the SEC or DoJ.

    In the last 30 years Congress has redefined "The People" as the Corporate Entities and the .5%. They see their job as handing as much power and control over the Subjects of the US to them as possible. Controlling Freedom of Expresion and curtailing the Constitutional Rights of the Subjects is needed to achieve that end.

  • Out with the old. (Score:4, Informative)

    by HeckRuler (1369601) on Friday April 05, 2013 @04:57PM (#43372787)

    Dear Senator Feinstein,

    The demographic you're trying to fear-monger votes out of is dying off and an ever-increasing percentage of voters think this makes you look like an unelectable fool.

    Sincerely,
    A democrat under 30.

  • People like Feinstein don't want to face the judgmental reality that some people are just incorrigibly violent and dangerous. Many others are such that they won't have an epiphany about not hurting their fellow man until the system rains down fire and brimstone on their heads (ex. many small time violent criminals) often in a way that ruins their life.

    You are trying to understand low to non-existent empathy people from the perspective of normal empathy. You can't. Their brains are probably almost as alien i

  • This will be forgotten in a couple days.
  • The truth is, our Senators are failing at their jobs. They make laws they know nothing about, and make a lot of laws that seems to be straight from corporation playbooks. But the sad truth is, the law makers do NOT understand Technology.

    Look, if video games were that bad, then most of us would be killers. Instead of me laughing at dumb ass people, I'd shoot them. Since I've played a lot of Grand Theft Auto, in reality I must be stealing cars and killing people right and left. But oddly enough, I

  • by Memophage (88273) on Friday April 05, 2013 @05:06PM (#43372903)

    Mother Jones recently published an article America's Real Criminal Element: Lead [motherjones.com], detailing the correlation between decrease in environmental lead levels (mostly due to unleaded gasoline laws) and the decrease in crime rates (with a 20-year delay). The numbers are impressive, and they've correlated across areas of the country that enacted lead control laws at different times. The research is thorough and they make bold claims: "Gasoline lead may explain as much as 90 percent of the rise and fall of violent crime over the past half century." I highly recommend giving it a thorough read.

  • If you support gun control now, you are just helping lay the groundwork for stringent GAME control later.

    Just published, a good article on Kotaku [kotaku.com] making the case why game and gun supporters need to start treating each other with respect, instead of as enemies.

  • Bombing people with drones and 12 years of endless war is ok, violence and murder is fine on television and in movies, but make a game about it? HELL NO!
  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Friday April 05, 2013 @05:10PM (#43372961) Homepage

    Every shooting in the USA, every single one, without exception, has taken place in a state which had at least one Senator. The majority of shootings took place in states with two Senators.

    That even includes the District of Columbia, which is afflicted with two Shadow Senators even though it isn't a state.

    It's obvious even to a child of six that the problem is not video games, not guns, not even lack of access to health care for the mentally ill, it's the presence of Senators.

    Abolish the Senate and I guarantee you that the problem of shootings taking place in states with Senators will go away immediately.

  • These people spend all their time trying to deny other people of freedom. If we need any kind of control, it's Senator control.

    Geez.

  • by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@@@comcast...net> on Friday April 05, 2013 @05:21PM (#43373067)

    Feinstein has always had problems with Constitutional protections for anything she doesn't like. She likes to pretend that the Constitution only protects the things that she favors. If a Senator will blatantly attack the 2nd amendment, why would it surprise someone that she would go after the 1st?

    You have to give her credit in her consistent disregard for peoples rights, her track record is as bad as other Senator currently serving in Congress. She's a hardcore extremist and thinks nothing of using the law to trample anyone that doesn't think like she does. Left wing and right wing extremists are both just as bad at having trouble understanding rights are rights and that they should not mess with them.

    Moderate in the middle that supports all rights.

  • There already seem to be laws against everything, so why do we need more? If we aren't enforcing the laws we have, we obviously need a law making it illegal to break the law.
  • She couldn't do what she really wanted to with the gun industry, so she sets her sites on video games. Less lobbyists = easier targets. (Puns might be intentional.)
  • by pubwvj (1045960) on Friday April 05, 2013 @06:51PM (#43373913)

    What we really need is to get rid of the politicians that can't understand the Constitution & Amendments. Feinstein is near the top of the list with her failure to comprehend the 1st Amendment and 2nd Amendment as well as the basic concept of limits on government.

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