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President Trump: 'We Have To Do Something' About Violent Video Games, Movies (arstechnica.com) 866

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In a White House meeting held with lawmakers on the theme of school safety, President Donald Trump offered both a direct and vague call to action against violence in media by calling out video games and movies. "We have to do something about what [kids are] seeing and how they're seeing it," Trump said during the meeting. "And also video games. I'm hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is shaping more and more people's thoughts." Trump followed this statement by referencing "movies [that] come out that are so violent with the killing and everything else." He made a suggestion for keeping children from watching violent films: "Maybe they have to put a rating system for that." The MPAA's ratings board began adding specific disclaimers about sexual, drug, and violent content in all rated films in the year 2000, which can be found in small text in every MPAA rating box.
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President Trump: 'We Have To Do Something' About Violent Video Games, Movies

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  • Lazy cops and FBI (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 22, 2018 @05:32PM (#56171525)

    How about appropriately blaming the Police and FBI that ignored multiple blatant opportunities to catch that nutjob. Heck, he used his real name to threaten school shootings online, and one of his relatives called the FBI tip line in January.

    • by supremebob ( 574732 ) <themejunky@noSpaM.geocities.com> on Thursday February 22, 2018 @05:42PM (#56171603) Journal

      Now, now... I doubt that anyone in Washington actually wants to fix the problem. They just want move it from an anti-gun story (that Republicans hate) to an anti-Hollywood story (that Democrats hate).

      • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @06:17PM (#56171951) Homepage Journal

        Now, now... I doubt that anyone in Washington actually wants to fix the problem.

        Every time "the problem" rears its ugly head, Washington does everything it can to expand its own power.

        Doesn't sound like it's a problem for Washington. Kinda the opposite.

      • Re:Lazy cops and FBI (Score:5, Informative)

        by Falconnan ( 4073277 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @06:37PM (#56172171)
        I don't think you're inherently wrong, but "I keep hearing" is a tired refrain. How about, "There are peer-reviewed, replicated study results"? Violence in media, last I checked, has not shown a strong correlation with violence in society. Gun availability has shown a weak-to-moderate correlation. The FBI not taking obvious tips and especially blatant threats seriously would seem likely to have a strong correlation. As much as I'd like to see reasonable adjustments to gun policy, it's hard to argue the laws need revision when they aren't enforced now.
        • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @09:39PM (#56173303)

          The problem wit solid scientific results is that they universally say this effect does not exist or that there is an effect to the contrary (people pouring their aggression into a game and being less aggressive as a result), and that does not fit the political narrative (vulgo: "lie") they want to promote. Otherwise it would become very obvious that they are actively and fully knowing do nothing about the problem.

        • The FBI not taking obvious tips and especially blatant threats seriously would seem likely to have a strong correlation.

          At what point do you swat the young guy and remove his weapons?

          Is removing weapons from a person that has committed no crime a violation of his or her second amendment rights.

          What is the metric?

          This only looks simple to people who forget they are looking in reverse, which is acutely sharp and unerringly accurate.

          Ever see the shit young people write? Damn, should we institutionalize every student who says "I could just kill myself" or tells another they'd be sorry is they did something?

          I know of

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Banning the assault-style weapons for everyone obviates the need to differentiate people on mental health basis. Yes, I realize that may require amending the US Constitution, but it does seem like the best option for stopping these assaults. At some point, the inalienable right to life has to beat the alienable right to arms.
            • by amxcoder ( 1466081 ) on Friday February 23, 2018 @01:25AM (#56174235)
              This doesn't solve the problem though. The root problem is not the guns, these are being used as tools, the root problems are these individuals. Taking away the guns from everyone, because of a few bad apples is not only punishing lots of people who don't commit crimes with these guns, but also not actually solving the underlying problem that is causing this. It's a band-aid that makes it look like something is being done, but isn't fixing the problem, and has lots of collateral damage as well, like taking away people's rights that are in the constitution as being "off limits".
        • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @11:22PM (#56173717)
          There is actually a very strong correlation between gun availability and shootings. Go look it up in some of those peer-reviewed, replicated study results you mention.
    • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @05:45PM (#56171627)

      To figure out how blatant the opportunities were, we need to ask how many online threats and how many "my relative is..." tips the FBI gets. (Keep in mind the Orlando shooter had also been reported to the FBI by relatives.) There is a huge difference between "these reports were two in several million, and therefore only valuable in hindsight" and "these reports were among the three dozen that they investigated that year".

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Additionally, with the FBI, you have to ask if they would be able to investigate at all. A guy threatening to kill another guy isn't the FBI's job unless its on federal land or crossing state lines, or somehting else the FBI actually investigates. Phoning in a valuable tips about a school shootings into the Secret Service or the Army probably doesn't work out well also. Reporting is great, but take the time to report it to the right people who can act on it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by scdeimos ( 632778 )

      How about appropriately supporting parents and teaching them how to raise their children?

      That would sure beat the currently screwed-up system where both parents have to work, put their kids into day care as soon as they possibly can and expect/rely on staff and teachers to raise their children for them.

      The government should see this as an investment in their future - they want kids to grow up healthy and well-adjusted so that they're not a burden on the health care and correctional systems.

      • You can't keep all parents from being duds. If you come up with a solution to that then you should speak up. That's almost as hard as making sure people don't have mental health issues in the first place.
        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          Sure, and even good parents can end up with a child that goes bad. BUT, when both parents end up working full time and still have trouble making ends meet, they are less effective than they would have been back when one income was enough.

          If parents see a potential mental health problem with their child, they need to have affordable mental health care available. Otherwise, all they can do is worry and pray.

          Given that relatives reported him to the FBI before the shooting, the point about mental health care is

      • by fox171171 ( 1425329 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @06:30PM (#56172077)

        The government should see this as an investment in their future - they want kids to grow up healthy and well-adjusted so that they're not a burden on the health care and correctional systems.

        Except they don't. Private health care and private prisons are big money.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      Why don't we go back and find out why two different FBI field agents were told to stop their investigation of reports of people learning to fly jets but not take off or land.

      Also, the 9/11 hijack leaders were in this country under their names, names which were on the "Do Not Enter" list but who also overstayed their visas.

    • I'm going to uncharacteristically praise Trump here. Sure, it borders on actual, identifiable retardation, but at least he is trying to suggest something PROACTIVE. Something that in his fevered imaginings might PREVENT this from happening again. You just seem to be content to point the finger and wait for the next shooting. Don't worry, I am sure you will find someone else to nail to the cross then as well.

    • Re:Lazy cops and FBI (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Xylantiel ( 177496 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @06:51PM (#56172303)

      What are they going to do, take away his guns? But that would require gun regulations... I don't think this is about laziness. Our criminal justice system has become so broken going after non-violent offenders, that actual threats, which should be treated as a crime, just get ignored. This guy should have been charged with making a substantial threat multiple times, and his access to firearms removed as a result. (i.e. not only could he not buy them, he could not possess them.) But that would require a working, effective criminal justice system and some sort of firearm ownership regulations. Neither of which we have in the U.S.

    • No, Broken Society. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @07:45PM (#56172679)

      How about appropriately blaming a society where:
      a) There are guns everywhere.
      b) There is very little social responsibility (its always someone ELSES fault).
      c) Being the Alpha is what matters, be it through money, force, or fame.
      d) Not 'fitting in' is punished by being socially ostracised, and told there is something wrong with you.
      e) A Police force that will thunder through the door guns blazing in response to a phone call.
      f) Living in a constant media and social deluge reinforcing all of the above.

      Disenfrancise enough people and this is the outcome. Congratulations America, I guess this is 'The Dream'.

      But dont worry, just arm more people, because escalation works.

      (btw, no, video games wont work - many countries, especially Asian boys, LOVE violent video games, and have very very very very low rates of these crimes)

  • uh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 22, 2018 @05:34PM (#56171545)

    There are violent movies and video games in other countries and they don't have the same issues with gun violence.

    • Re:uh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @05:53PM (#56171701) Journal

      There are violent movies and video games in other countries and they don't have the same issues with gun violence.

      This. Trump, and others, are once again trying to blame gun violence on everything but guns.

  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @05:38PM (#56171573) Journal
    Never mind that numerous studies have been done showing that video games and movies don't have any impact on the behavior of normal, well-adjusted people, only people who already have mental illnesses or mental deficiences to start with, oh no! If Trump is going to ignore science on so many other issues then why the ever-loving fuck wouldn't he ignore the science on this issue, too? Anyone want to lay bets that Pence is as much behind this as possible, too?
    • by sinij ( 911942 )

      Never mind that numerous studies...

      What makes you think that people that ignored numerous studies on climate, economics, and many other areas are going to act differently in this situation?

    • by sycodon ( 149926 )

      normal, well-adjusted people aren't really the problem when it comes to mass shootings.

    • Fact 1: Roughly half the US murder rate is attributable to big cities comprising about 20% of the total population. The rest of the country is about as safe as Europe in terms of murder rate per capita. Sources:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate#By_country
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_cities_by_crime_rate

      That violent population is one problem, and it's probably got more to do with economics and culture than it does with violent movies and vid
      • Fact 1: Roughly half the US murder rate is attributable to big cities comprising about 20% of the total population. The rest of the country is about as safe as Europe in terms of murder rate per capita.

        I'm pretty sure that Europe has big cities too. What do their rates look like if you remove the cities comprising the most murderous 20% of Europeans.

    • MENTAL ILLNESS is completely mishandled and misunderstood by Americans it would be embarrassing if more people were educated.

      Movies, Video Games, Speeches, and BOOKS can get crazy people to do crazy things. Crazy children usually grow up into crazy adults... we don't really care about children in this country, it's just lip service. If people actually cared they'd do something more than just get ribbon stickers and bracelets... like actually THINK and not just emote the same old rehash.

      We should put psycho

    • by drnb ( 2434720 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @06:08PM (#56171871)

      Never mind that numerous studies have been done showing that video games and movies don't have any impact on the behavior of normal, well-adjusted people, only people who already have mental illnesses or mental deficiences to start with, oh no!

      The same can be said for guns. Mental illness seems to be a recurring theme in these mass shootings, well the ones that are not terrorism related.

      If Trump is going to ignore science on so many other issues then why the ever-loving fuck wouldn't he ignore the science on this issue, too?

      Ignoring science in this debate is common on both sides. For example the AR-15 being no more lethal than other semiautomatic rifles that are not part of anyone's "assault weapon" list. Put a low capacity hunting magazine into an AR-15 and how is it different from the semiautomatic hunting rifles? Both sides are picking the respective scapegoats.

      The real problem is likely in US social policy. We've had magazine fed semiautomatics for nearly a century. The civilian AR-15 for 50 years or so. Something changed, it wasn't the guns.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      This isn't about fixing the problem, it's and trying to distract you from the issue they won't deal with.

    • Oh here we go again is right: studies say ...

      You ever hear of publication bias?

      There ain't no money in showing violent media is correlated to violent behavior.

    • We have empirical evidence that advertising and media drives behavior. That is why we ban cigarette adverts and run anti-smoking and anti-drug campaigns. We also know that movies and TV drive social trends, fashion and interest in various locations, behaviors, animals, etc...

      Why is it you think that movies and video games created and deployed with the same techniques in the same media have no effect?

  • 1st amendment issues with any kind of censorship and then there is the 2th amendment issues after that.

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @05:41PM (#56171595)

    "Maybe they have to put a rating system for that."

    Uh, they have a rating system. Been in place for a long damn time now, not quite show how the hell Trump could have not known this.

    If he's looking for more than that, there's an easy answer. It's called Parenting.

    • ot quite show how the hell Trump could have not known this.

      I'm not sure how he would know. His kids are too old (and he probably wasn't involved in helping choose their movies/games) for him to have personally seen it. Heck, I had no clue about the MPAA adding subratings, even though I've sat through that screen, because ratings have no information that I need to make decisions (at least right now). I know TV did, but only because they verbally announce the rating.

      • ot quite show how the hell Trump could have not known this.

        I'm not sure how he would know. His kids are too old...

        Too old? MPAA subratings have been around for almost 20 years, 4 out of his 5 children were under the age of 18 when they came out, and Trump has a young son born in 2006.

    • by sycodon ( 149926 )

      Parenting is so 50s

  • We're not going to regulate guns like we do cars. There's just no stomach for it. Even without the NRA money you've got millions of single issue voters.

    I don't think folks have thought much about what an effective universal background check would look like. We can't just look at their criminal record. Most (all?) of these shooters didn't have one. We'd have to start looking at their mental health records (which would discourage anyone who likes guns from seeking help) and their social media posting. If
    • When you read that 97% of Americans support background checks nobody realizes there's a lot of variations in what a "background check" entails...

      If someone is too dangerous to own a gun, why are they allowed to roam the streets? If someone has served their sentence for committing a crime, shouldn't they have their rights restored to them after that?

      • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @05:56PM (#56171763)

        If someone has served their sentence for committing a crime, shouldn't they have their rights restored to them after that?

        Because binary "you are being punished" or "you are not being punished" is coarse, stupid and was done away with a while ago. We recognize that serial DUI drivers don't ever deserve the freedom to not have an interlock that technically prevents (or at least inconvenience) drunk driving. We recognize that wife beaters should be forbidden from making contact with their wife after they get out. We recognize a need for a parole system that manages behavior while still allowing for some freedom.

        I'm not saying every crime needs to have an inability to own a gun, but there are definitely some where that right should be forfeit forever.

      • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @06:14PM (#56171927) Journal

        If someone has served their sentence for committing a crime, shouldn't they have their rights restored to them after that?

        How about their voting rights? In Florida, there are 1.5 million people who are denied voting rights because they were convicted of felonies, even after they've served their sentences.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    • by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @05:57PM (#56171773)

      I don't know how things work in the US but most countries already have a system in place for doing assessments: driving tests, welfare assessments, social services, etc.

      One thing that might be a start is that if you don't have a conviction but you do have lower-level things (e.g. violence on your school record, DVO/ASBO/whatever, maybe even "police were called" one too many times) you are on probation for N years and can't get a firearm, or perhaps can't get a firearm over a certain level of "power" (e.g. centrefire rifle, anything that holds more than two rounds/shells). The probation can be lifted by having an assessment.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        How about having to prove you are responsible and stable enough to own a gun? People are required to prove they can drive safely before being allowed to get behind the wheel without an instructor.

    • Most (all?) of these shooters didn't have one.

      While most don't have a criminal conviction, they do usually have a record of interaction with the police.

      We'd have to start looking at their mental health records (which would discourage anyone who likes guns from seeking help)

      I thought, to encourage people to get help, their records were sealed and unopenable without their explicit consent. Or are there records of involuntary commitments that you are referring to?

    • by drnb ( 2434720 )

      I don't think folks have thought much about what an effective universal background check would look like. We can't just look at their criminal record. Most (all?) of these shooters didn't have one.

      That why people are suggesting raising the minimum age to 21. So there is some time on the clock for that adult criminal and mental history check.

      We'd have to start looking at their mental health records (which would discourage anyone who likes guns from seeking help) and their social media posting.

      Not all people who come into contact with the mental health system are doing so voluntarily. Are the extreme anti-social and/or violent going in voluntarily, or is it the suicidal going in voluntarily. Harm others vs harm self may come to the attention of the system in different ways. We need to update the privacy laws.

      If we're going to go that far that means we have to have someone make decisions about who's allowed to have guns and who isn't. Are we going to do jury trials for every failed background check?

      Not all judicial proceedings get a jury. But

  • He said he's going to do it, so that means he's NOT going to do it, right?

    Build the wall, Mexico will pay - No wall built, Mexico not paying.
    Lock her up - Hasn't locked her up.
    Drain the swamp - Created more swamp.
    "No Collusion" - There was definite collusion.

    • Build the wall, Mexico will pay - No wall built, Mexico not paying.

      In fairness,you are at least half wrong. If there's no wall, then you can validly say that Mexico paid for it (or Greece, or you personally).

  • Now I'm not saying that one necessarily has to do with the other directly but the rise in youth gaming culture directly parallels a long term decline in youth violence. At the very least, violent video games can't be hurting things too much, if not at all.

    Sound's like Trump is just scape-goating to appease his base.

  • Let's face it. You can blame guns for the violence but guns have been part of America's fabric for as long as it has existed. There's something unique to this era happening with the massive uptick in mass shootings. The FBI, Homeland Security and every other policing agency at the federal level should be studying this phenom and trying to figure out why and how to address it.

    The last assault weapons ban established by Pres. Clinton in the 1990s, and which lasted for a decade, was widely studies and found to

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The last assault weapons ban established by Pres. Clinton in the 1990s, and which lasted for a decade, was widely studied and, based on studies funded and directed by conservative think tanks, was found to have zero effect on gun violence.

      ftfy

      Take a look at this chart. [wikipedia.org]

    • What is the life span of a gun? It's going to take a hell of a lot longer than a decade to make a difference.
  • by mrun4982 ( 3875585 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @05:53PM (#56171717)
    Right wing conservatives are so quick to point out when someone even hints at possibly affecting their second amendment rights but have absolutely no problem at all with stripping away 1st amendment rights.
  • by grahamtriggs ( 572707 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @05:54PM (#56171733)

    We absolutely must end the ability of people to pretend to kill others, whilst doing nothing to stop people being able to kill each other.

  • He's trying to bring unconstitutional laws. He's a criminal. He's a rapist. And sometimes, I assume, he's a good person.
  • by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @05:58PM (#56171775)

    "I'm hearing more and more people say Trump is an idiot."
    "We should do something about that."

    Politifact has a rating for Presidents' lies. It's been around since about 2000 also.

  • by Major_Disorder ( 5019363 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @06:00PM (#56171795)
    At least for me, they were an escape from what I endured day in and day out in that festering shithole they called a School. The hell I endured being a computer geek in the 1980's, just so I could go to school and get an education.
    It paid off, I make a good living, and have a great life now. But on many days going home and playing violent video games saved me from doing something I would now regret. (Not that they didn't have it coming, but jail would not have been a happy environment for me.)
  • Don't Worry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @06:02PM (#56171811)

    He probably just had a meeting with Pence or some other social conservative who wants government censorship of immoral content in games.

    Sooner or later he'll get another meeting with an alt-righter concerned that the alt-right will be vulnerable to censorship and the idea will be forgotten.

    The only policies that Trump follows through on are things that enrich him personally (pass through tax rate) and anti-immigrant measures. Everywhere else he does what the party wants, the best model is an establishment conservative without accountability.

  • by atomicalgebra ( 4566883 ) on Thursday February 22, 2018 @06:37PM (#56172157)
    Seriously video games and movies have been shown to decrease violent tendencies in young men because they are an outlet for youthful aggression.

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