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The VT Shootings: Blaming Gaming

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April 20, 2007 4:59:49 PM

We've just added links from the video pages into the forumz. I received a number a really interesting and heartfelt emails on this subject, a few of which I've posted below (I apologize in advance for the formatting).

-Ben Meyer


1.
> Hey guys, great response. It is good to see people stand up for this
> issue to oppose all of those ignorant bigots that draw their own
> conclusions. The debate can go on and on but it really comes down to
> people trying to find most publicly accepting target to point a finger
> at for the source of someone's madness. I find it funny how poorly
> people blame games and how absurd they sound making false conclusions without any data what so ever linking the two. It sickens me however that people in the audience literally get brainwashed and buy into their ignorant rants. Sure these insane gunmen play violent video games; any young male that you randomly pick from a crowd will have played a violent video game these days. The fact that is overlooked is that it is not a rare statistic that someone plays a violent game. If you survey all
> players of violent games, I would put money down that the majority
> would not have criminal records and be pretty well grounded people.
> Getting to my point, blaming video games as being the cause of
> violence has equal validity as something completely asinine such as
> blaming internet pornography for higher teen pregnancies. “Sure
> your 13 year old daughter got pregnant; with all of that internet
> pornography corrupting our children these days, what did you expect?
> “ I can see that coming out of Dr. Phil’s ignorant mouth as well.


2.
> Let's assume here for a minute that the VT shooter did in fact play
video games...maybe some CS, maybe some FEAR, or whatever. He probably also watches porn, action movies, and the news about Iraq. Using the same logic as someone like Dr. Phil, this guy probably should have raped someone, killed a cop, and stabbed an Arabian if he were so easilyswayed by semi-realistic graphics or game immersion. People in other countries come up with reasons to shoot each other every bloody day, and THEY don't play video games. They do it for religious beliefs, arguments over land/politics and some just because they can. Are
> we as Americans above this sort of behavior? Afterall, we're all
human.

> It begs the question:
> Why do some Americans think that our lives are so perfect that some
sort of catalyst has to be in place in order for someone to go haywire?
Why can't the guy just have a screwed up life and not be able to handle
it?
>
> If people think that kids are getting into video games too much, then
what about movies? Once again, using the same logic from before, anyone
that's delusional enough to act out something they saw in a video game that is made up of rendered graphics is just as likely to act out something
they saw in a movie. I mean, why not!? How many movies are out there that portray the "bad guys" killing the good guys, or killing innocent
bystanders for some sort of thrill? Sure you're not actually moving
the actor around so he can kill things, but there's nothing like
strategically infiltrating someone's hideout so you can kill all people who've done you wrong, and getting away with it.
>
Take the movie Crank for example. Someone tries to screw him over, so what's he do? He hops in his car and goes out to find the guy who did
it.Lots of blood, lots of gore, lots of sex. He even ends up dying in
the end by jumping out of a helicopter to kill the guy he's wanted to kill
all along. Doesn't that parallel what happened at VT? Maybe we should
sue the producers of Crank? Yeah...right.
>
All in all, even if video games did cause violence or make certain
kids act out differently than they would otherwise, it ends up being an
acceptable loss. How many people have died in the past 5 years now
due to school shootings? 40 maybe? No one can seem to prove that these were due solely to video game playing, yet people are more than willing to jump onthe "ban video games" bandwagon. What happens if video games of that calibur DID get banned? How many people would lose their jobs? How would international commerce be effected? How would the US unemployment rate be effected, and how many people would die or have their lives ruined because of it?
>
> The odds of being attacked by a shark in the US are 1 in 8 million.
> Roughly 40 people die from shark attacks every year in the US, so over
the last 5 years that's 200 people. Sure it sucks to lose those 200
people, but does that outweigh what would happen if we went around eradicating all the dangerous sharks out there? Of course not. Sure there's not much comparison between a shark and a video game, but your chances of getting killed by a shark are higher than you dying from a school shooting,let alone one driven by a crazed video game player.
>
I think a lot of people need to just get things in perspective, just
like what Rush said. People don't want to blame those that are dead b/c
they feel sorry for them, when in reality they could possibly have
contributed to his actions just as much as a video game. Kids get picked on every day, get put down, and are made to feel left out. Most people handle this in a more mature fashion, but for those kids who can't see any other way out, they turn to violence (animal instinct anyone?).
>
> So, who's to blame? The people who pushed him to that point, the
parents for not raising their son in a different manner that was more
conducive to him not killing people... or the medium through which he probably didn't get the 'VT Massacre' idea from? Welcome to the blame game!


3.
why do you guys even give people like jack thompson the dignity of a
> response? And you're talking about cable news. The same two channels
who use dramatic pictures and close-ups with captions like "campus
massacre" or "campus rampage" in bold red letters. They're all about
> sensationalism! you can't take anything they do seriously, they treat
> themselves with way too much self-importance. Cnn still has Larry
King on there, the guy who fails to ask probing questions and likes to buddy up to his guests no matter who they are.
>
> anyway, fewer people these days care for stricter gun control laws
(49% in 2005 vs 55% in 2000). one could guess that the sentiment is more one of personal responsibility and parenting these days. In short, you're being a bit paranoid :) 


> Excellent video regarding gaming and violence. My respects also to
the two gentlemen for not attempting to redirect the unfair criticism onto > guns or gun owners. Neither guns nor games create disturbed
individuals.
>
> Good show.
April 21, 2007 12:46:31 AM

Umm - forget gaming. What about blaming MOVIES? Violence in gaming is the same as violence in movies. Only interactive.
April 21, 2007 12:47:32 AM

I get so sick of seeing violent things being blamed on video games, you'd have to be a fool to even think that video games are to blame in the first place. Yet no matter how many times it's proven that violent games don't make people violent, these ignoramuses keep going off about it. You've been proven wrong, now give it a rest. When I play gta, I don't say "you know I sure feel like running over a hooker today." Furthermore, this guy was of college age, he knows right from wrong, he knows the difference between video games and real life, and from what I hear he didn't even play many video games. The guy was mentally ill and that is the bottom line, there is nothing and no-one else to blame, except for the people who knew he was unstable and did nothing about it. I'd like to add that it's been proven that violent video games release anger, while games such as puzzle games induce anger. So if anyone thinks video games make people violent, you should be complaining about puzzle games instead...or just not complain about it at all, because we're sick of hearing you spout off your misinformation.
Related resources
April 21, 2007 12:49:41 AM

Quote:
Umm - forget gaming. What about blaming MOVIES? Violence in gaming is the same as violence in movies. Only interactive.


Well because people get it in their heads that if someone does something in a video game they'd be more inclined to do it in real life - why they feel this way I don't know, but there's a lot of stupid people out there.
April 21, 2007 1:55:17 AM

It is a well documented fact that ALL violence is video game related.

That plane crash thing - must have been playing that uh, oh wait, there was no video game where you crash planes into buildings. In fact, now that I think about it, when I was watching the History Channel about 'siege machines', I don't remember them saying which video games they copied the design from...

I don't think that Ghengis Kahn, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Hitler, Cortez, Stalin, or even that Dracula guy ever played video games either. Violence has been around since the begining of mankind. Crazy people have been around for a really long time too, I'm pretty sure.

The plain and simple fact of the 'video game' link is that it's easy and relatively conclusive. It also allows for justification of more tightly regimented control over content - censorship, basically.

Did anybody ask if maybe GUNS are TOO EASY to get? In a shooting, of all things? "Nah, that's an invasion of 'my rights' to bear arms; but I don't care if I can't see animated violence or not..."

Another thing I see happening, before the finger pointing began, is that the issue was quickly canvased into a localized security issue, from the much more disturbing reality that it is actually public safety issue. There are much larger issues that go completely misaddressed. We have created a society with an oppressive middle class. The combination of expectations, encapsulated lives and the media induced isolation and desire for success drives people to cling to illusions/dreams, escapes like drugs and alcohol, and pushes people over the edge.

This society also breeds a kind of selfishness through competition and isolation which causes people to often think only of themselves, their own problems, their own successes, failures, and pain; not of the people whom their actions effect. This mentality can be seen in as everyday a situation as driving on the freeway, and the way people do stupid and dangerous things just to get a few cars ahead or save 2 minutes. It is overlooked, and written off in our everyday lives, this growing 'f-you, I don't know you' kind of aggresive apathetic interaction.

The individual is responsible, and absolutely is the one to blame. However, monsters are not born, they are made. There are some pretty screwed up individuals out there. Collectively, it's pretty screwed up out there too. Not everywhere, or all the time, but enough that it's disturbing at least (unless we ignore it).

Er wait, no, it is definately mostly because of video games I mean.
April 21, 2007 2:02:19 AM

Well said :wink:
April 21, 2007 2:08:00 AM

I've used Tom's hardware for a few years as my resource for deciding what to buy. I didn't expect you guys to get into this issue, but since you did, I thought I'd back you up.

I'm a student at Virginia Tech. I live off campus now, but my freshmen year I was a resident of Barringer Hall. I lived in 212 and Cho Sueng-Hui lived in 213 right across the hall. As far as I know, I never saw him playing a video game or watching movies. He was a loner and tried to avoid anyone who would come in his room. I was friends with his roommate at the time who was a complete slob. Cho got permission from the university to leave that dorm room 3/4 of a way through the first semester. We didn't really notice him leaving except for the fact that his roommate was happy to have a room all to himself. I think if Cho had played video games he would have had more in common with others on the hall, who were pretty much addicts(as most college students are). But thats speculation.

The only thing I would liked to have seen out of you guys would have been some expression of sadness at the events that took place, but it has been echoed to us from so many across the world; it really would have been more routine than meaningful. Also, I'd appreciate if you'd remove the part of the clip stating that he lost a girlfriend. Emily Hilscher should not be slandered in such a way. She was an acquaintance of mine. (I don't blame you guys for saying that though as the media at the time made it seem as such.)

Thanks for listening.

David Carwile
dcarwile@vt.edu
April 21, 2007 2:17:34 AM

Why do some people develop a mental illness, a drug addiciton or decicide to go out and kill someone while some people do not.

It is a very complicated subject with no real easy answer. You can have two people even siblings grow up in the same home and one becomes a doctor while the other becomes a criminal.

Is it nature or nurture or both. Most likely it is both and most likely there are people becuase of their genetic makeup are predisposed to develop problems. I am certain that these problems can occur and be influenced by any number of things. A novel, a video game, a movie, a parent, sibling, or friend. You see where I am going with this. You just never know how things will effect someone.

Remember when reading certain novels/books was bad for you. Playing dungeons and dragons would make you want to kill yourself or others or made you worship the devil. Don't look a pornography.......etc etc etc... I could go on and on.

Since these things are so horrible people need to find a reason why and they need to blame some thing for why people are killing people. So they look at things in popular culture and what is going on.

I would say that people with weak minds or who are mentally ill can be easily influenced by the media, movies, games, etc. and may decide to kill but that is the exception and not the rule. There is no way to really know and it is very hard to predict or prevent these tradegies.

I just think that the kid who murdered all of those people was a very sick person and that tradegies like this really defy explanation. There is no reason at all for the slaughter. It is a very complicated thing because there are so many variations on why people would do this kind of thing. Not all of the people that do this are mentally ill and some do it for religion or another crazy reason. Like I said it is difficult to come to any kind of logical reason as to why people do this.

Plus what the thecleeze posted :wink:
April 21, 2007 2:24:49 AM

Not that I think that video games should be banned or anything, but I would simply like to point out that video games *have* been shown to change people. If I recall correctly, that's why the U.S. Army came out with America's Army-to show people what it was really like. According to Wikipedia at least(I am not sure if it is true, but I assume so), games can be used as a training tool. (Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americas_army)

I'm sure I've read something along these lines before, I just forget where.
April 21, 2007 2:37:20 AM

Just about anything can change a person. Drugs, a new job, a divorce, the birth or death of a loved one, a head injury, a near death experience, a religous experience, an illness, video games, movies, a novel, war, school, friends/peers. Etc. Etc...........Some people can handle diversity in their lives and others can not. Not all people who are affected in a negative way by life events go out and kill people or themselves. It is an enigma.
April 21, 2007 2:39:25 AM

America's Army was meant to get the video game generation interested in joining the army. Its just like putting another Army of One commercial out there. It just touches a different audience.

I develop Navy data tools and at conferences I see lots of military simulation software. They are not near as enthralling as video games. They are meant more to teach someone what to look for, what orders of events should be initiated and how to operate equipment. I reviewed Army medical training software once, but it doesn't make me want to or qualify me to perform mass triage.
April 21, 2007 6:30:10 AM

Quote:
I would say that people with weak minds or who are mentally ill can be easily influenced by the media, movies, games, etc. and may decide to kill but that is the exception and not the rule. There is no way to really know and it is very hard to predict or prevent these tradegies.


If someone is that unstable that a video game sets them off the edge, it's only a matter of time before something else set them off. People who wanna ban video games are only trying to put a band-aid on the problem, not fix it, and as I said video games don't make people violent.
April 21, 2007 8:57:43 AM

There was obviously a serious lack of mental stability in this individual. But as for gaming causing it, I find it pretty preposterous. The man was in his 20's wasn't he? But I do agree that youth ( as in 13 or 14 or less), need to have restrictions placed on what games they can and can't play. I can see video games, whether they be violent or not, being influential on pre-teen children. China has a huge problem with children addicted to video games. Parents need to monitor their children while they are under their care. I think this is what Bill Gates envisioned when he implimented the parental controls built into Vista. Making sure their children don't have access to adverse material.
But like I said, as for this individual in his 20's, it goes far far beyond any video game, and that is just a cop out on the part of pundits looking for some form of reasoning to sastify the public. They are using gaming as a scapegoat in this instance.
April 21, 2007 11:53:28 AM

Here is an interesting article on the subject of an actual study that had been done

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=6781

People like Dr. GotsABigMouthPhil are ignorant walking baboons. All they are good for is throwing their s*** around at people when ever they talk. You can blame video games, movies, ect; all you want but it is only a handful of people whom are unstable that go out and commit these crimes. I have noticed over a dozen (+/-) mass school killings since the news coverage of the Columbine massacre. This begs me to ask several questions. 1 Has the news media coverage of the 1999 Columbine massacre actually increased the number of school shootings over the years since it was aired (IE copycats, sparking the idea)? If I remember correctly but in some of the news coverage Columbine had been used as a reference by the killer(s) including the recent VT killings. 2. Has the news media emboldened these people to go and commit these crimes by showing them the carnage that they are capable of? Can you blame the news media? Probably not. You can’t blame the news media without going into a free press and censorship debate.

Also if I’m not correct, gun checks only check to see if you have a criminal background and nothing as far as mental health is concerned. The guy would not have been sold a gun if there was a menal health backgrond check. After all he did have a past of mental health problems.
April 21, 2007 9:56:39 PM

I love how you guys defend video games saying its not their fault and its because of peoples own free will that they go and massacre people (which is true), and then blame guns. Last I checked guns do not just shoot random people, a person has to pull the trigger. How about actully doing something when its cleary shown that someone is demented. This guy had a long history of mental problems and something should have been done about it.

Take notice that all of these mass killings have occured in "gun free zones". Mass killings do not happen in well armed areas for obvious reasons. There are plenty of examples of law abiding citizens carrying weapons and stopping these mass killings. For example at Pearl High School in Mississippi a principal retrieved his legally owned handgun from his car and stopped a Columbine wannabe from continuing his massacre at another school after he had killed two and wounded more at Pearl. How about More recently at a law school near VT, two law school students ran to fetch their legally owned firearm to stop a madman from killing anybody he pleased.

Gun-free zones and increased gun legislation is not the anwser. Now before you start the "Oh well England has no crime because guns are banned" crap, do some research. England has the highest crime rate of any civilized country. English crime is also more violent and in your face because the criminals know that no one is armed. For example 53% of burgaries in England occur while the vicim is at home. By contrast only 13% of US burglars strike while the victim is at home.

I did not mean to be so rude about this but it just angers me as a gamer and agun owner that you would just jump on the bandwagon like this. Use common sense people.
April 22, 2007 4:58:42 AM

"You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts."

This is a great saying and what I'm seeing here is a decided lack of facts from both sides.

First of all, let me say that I am a gamer. These week, I have played F.E.A.R., Call of Duty 2 and a little bit of Counter-Strike Source (at which I really, really suck so far). As of now common sense tells me that the link between video games and violence is weak. There are just as many avid gamers in Sweden as there are here, but Sweden's crime rate is well below ours. Still, by saying this, I'm talking out my ass because I don't have any real facts.

I'm using my own anecdotal evidence: 1) I'm a gamer and I haven't gone and shot up the local college. Yet. 2) I know (or suspect) there are a lot of Swedish gamers. I know the violent crime rate in Sweden is low. (Actually, that's the only "fact" I'm pretty sure of.) Still, there haven't been any scientific studies to connect these events.

What I saw in this video is all too common in American discourse: The Battle of the Talking Heads. Dr. Phil is a dick. But ANYONE who would put ANY stock in ANYTHING Rush Limbaugh says has zero credibility. The guy is a proven liar, asshole, hypocrite and general all-around loser. Please, don't cite someone else's worthless opinion to bolster your own. This is an informal logical fallacy: appeal to authority. And it doesn't even quite qualify as that because Rush Limbaugh is not an expert on video games or violence. The only thing he's an expert on is running his own mouth.

Please, American society: Try something other than agreeing with talking heads and naked assertions, okay? Geez.
April 22, 2007 7:59:36 AM

I've been playing games since I was 5 with some violent titles(double dragon/street fighter) up till now. I turned out fine.
April 22, 2007 8:55:03 AM

Im from Australia and and my family and I where horrified at what happened.

Im a gamer and love my multiplayer games like BF2 and COD2.

To me games are abit of fun interaction on some nights before I go to bed. Its all fun like any game should be.

It has no effect on the way I think in any way. Im not interested in buying or owning a gun and no game will convince me otherways. I just dont like guns, period, but I do like my games.

My view is, You live by the sword, then you will die by the sword.

USA must change their ways on gun ownership, if they want this to never happen again. That is the only way.

From stats that Ive read, 30,000 ppl die every year in USA from gun related deaths.
In Australia we have about a dozen deaths from guns.

We have alot more strict policies on guns and that is why we have such low numbers of gun related deaths in this country.

USA think they should blame not the gun, but the person who uses it, but they are wrong.

Stop blaming games when its guns that are the real problem in the USA.

Start the change now on gun laws or expect another gun related death to happen. There is a good chance someone has just died in the USA by a gun as im posting this. :roll:
April 22, 2007 9:27:49 AM

Yes, we must ban guns!

A 1997 Justice Department report on murders in the U.S. shows that our country has a murder rate of seven victims per 100,000 population per year. There are a number of well-known examples of countries with more liberal gun laws and lower murder rates than the U.S. One is Finland, with a murder rate of 2.9. Israel is another example; although its population is heavily armed, Israel's murder rate is only 1.4. In Switzerland, gun ownership is a way of life. Its murder rate is 2.7.

By contrast, consider Brazil. All firearms in Brazil must be registered with the government. This registration process can take anywhere from 30 days to three months. All civilian handguns are limited in caliber to no more than 9mm. All rifles must fire handgun ammunition only. Brazilians may only buy one gun per year. At any one time, they may only have in their possession a maximum of six guns: two handguns, two rifles and two shotguns. To transport their guns, citizens must obtain a special police permit. CCW permits are available but are rarely issued.

Therefore, it should not be a revelation to anyone that Brazil has a thriving black market in guns. Virtually any type of gun is available, for a price. Incidentally, Brazil's murder rate is 19 victims per 100,000 population per year.

In Cuba, Fidel Castro controls every aspect of life with an iron hand, including gun ownership. Castro remembers well how he and his rag-tag armed Communist rebels overthrew the government of Fulgencio Batista and set up a Communist dictatorship. An armed populace is threatening to a repressive government. Still, somebody in Cuba is obtaining guns and using them to murder fellow citizens. Cuba's murder rate is 7.8.

The former Soviet state of Lithuania is now an independent democratic country. But it still retains some vestiges of Stalinism. Lithuania's citizens must obtain a police permit to buy a gun. All guns are registered with the government. Somehow these restrictions are not deterring the criminal element; Lithuania has an unenviable murder rate of 11.7.

Gun control in Mexico is a fascinating case study. Mexican gun laws are simply draconian. No civilian may own a gun larger than .22 caliber, and a permit is required to buy one. All guns in Mexico are registered with the Ministry Of Defense. Guns may not be carried in public, either openly or concealed.

Mexican authorities seem to take a particular delight in arresting and imprisoning unwitting Americans who are not familiar with Mexican gun laws. Americans may not bring legal guns or ammunition into Mexico. Possession of even one bullet can get you thrown in a medieval Mexican prison. The State Department says that at any one time there are about 80 Americans imprisoned in Mexico for minor gun crimes. The State Department even went so far as to issue a special notice to U.S. gun owners, warning about harsh Mexican gun laws. Americans are allowed to hunt in Mexico, but they must first obtain a permit from the Mexican Embassy or a Mexican Consulate before taking their hunting rifles south of the border.

Mexico's murder rate is an eye-popping 17.5. Mexican authorities are fond of blaming the high murder rate on firearms smuggled across the border from the United States. Nonsense. The U.S. has many more personal guns than Mexico, yet our murder rate is far lower than Mexico's. It is Mexico's absurd gun laws that prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves against illegally armed criminals.

Guns are effectively outlawed in Russia. Private handgun ownership is totally prohibited. A permit is required to purchase a long gun. All guns are registered with authorities. When transporting a long gun, it must be disassembled. Long guns may only be used for self-defense when the gun owner is on his own property. By the way, Russia's murder rate is a staggering 30.6.

It is surprising to learn that there is gun trouble in the tropical paradises of Trinidad and Tobago. Here a permit is required to purchase a gun. All guns are registered with the police. In spite of (or perhaps because of) these restrictions, Trinidad and Tobago together have a murder rate of 11.7.
April 22, 2007 11:24:50 PM

If YOU have to blame someone for the murders at Virginia Tech, then why not blame Cho Seung Hui! This sick puppy did it and he'd have done it with a fertilizer bomb if he couldn't get guns. I am sure HE would have found guns if they were illegal at the time. You think banning guns will lower the rate of people killed by guns! Does banning illegal drugs reduce the amount of illegal drugs? Some people are too willing to piss away all their rights just because the buy some DUMB idea these bleeding-heart pussies have! It's pussie thoughts like that that will bring this country down eventually!

If you haven't the stomach to do what's need here or anywhere else, GTFO!


If you're happy with the gun laws in Mexico, then go live there. Enjoy the dysentery.

have a nice day!
April 23, 2007 1:14:17 AM

Quote:
If YOU have to blame someone for the murders at Virginia Tech, then why not blame Cho Seung Hui! This sick puppy did it and he'd have done it with a fertilizer bomb if he couldn't get guns. I am sure HE would have found guns if they were illegal at the time. You think banning guns will lower the rate of people killed by guns! Does banning illegal drugs reduce the amount of illegal drugs? Some people are too willing to piss away all their rights just because the buy some DUMB idea these bleeding-heart pussies have! It's pussie thoughts like that that will bring this country down eventually!

If you haven't the stomach to do what's need here or anywhere else, GTFO!


If you're happy with the gun laws in Mexico, then go live there. Enjoy the dysentery.

have a nice day!


Well said.
April 27, 2007 8:10:10 PM

Folks,

I'm a gun owner and an avid video gamer. I've had these conversations about video games, firearms, and violence many times.

The fact of the matter is that it's extremely difficult to determine why people do what they do, but you can make some generalizations.

Running out saying the firearms should be banned because 33 people are dead in a country with a population of 300,000,000 is basically an over reaction. It's a bad thing - period - that these students were killed. The fact that it was done using a firearm doesn't make it any worse, or any better. Dead is dead. Every loss of life is tragic... However, statistically, when you compare 300,000,000 to the 11,000 people a year that die in firearm related crimes, it's not any better or worse than, say, motor vehicle related deaths. People are not clamoring to outlaw cars, but the distribution of deaths is evenly distributed between reckless drivers who kill themselves and others!

Most of the issues purported with US firearms laws, or lack there of, are actually a load of bunk. Mostly, there is significant hype associated with the political campaigns of MOST of our politicians. They try to pretend that outlawing firearms is going to make us safer and that supporting their candidacy is what will achieve the banning of firearms. …After all, on the surface, everyone to like to see any crime related to firearms eliminated. The problem is that most politicians conveniently ignore the fact that mentally competent and legal firearms owners statically almost never commit a firearms related crime. So that means that the majority of firearms related crime is conducted by people who are part of the criminal element... and they don't care about the law.

However, I have to admit that it appears the influence of media is causing our younger populations to think firearms usage is a game. Think of the movie "Lethal Weapon," were Mel Gibson shoots 16 rounds out of his 92F pistol and apparently hits everything he aims at... and you’ll understand what I mean. Look at the number of copy-cats that have started to show up in the last week or so due to what happened at VTech and the massive media coverage. (There have been several at least, and then a bunch of non-firearm related ones seeking attention because they know they’ll get it!)

When you think of the fact that there are well over 300,000,000 FIREARMS in the hands of the US population (that's right, at LEAST 1 firearm for each person in the US), it's a pretty amazing testament to human beings that we have such statistically low gun related crime.

Now, in so far as firearm injury statistics from the late 90's: You need to be suspect of those. The previous administration (Clinton) was almost as bad as the current administration (Bush Jr) with respect to a willingness to pull shenanigans when it suits their agenda. The Clintons were/are VERY anti-firearm. The CDC was instructed to report all firearms related incidents as if they were criminal in nature. So that means that if you, for instance, cut your hand while cleaning a firearm and required stitches, then that was reported as a firearm related injury (e.g. as if you were shot).

I’d like to point out why I need a better reason than those currently on the table before I'm willing to jump on the band wagon to outlaw firearms:

There are two issues on the political scene that cause plenty of angst amongst the far right and the far left and I find a matter to step back and wonder what’s really going on…

Gun Control:

I find it very interesting how the far Right (republicans) in the US is the group that supports the right to have firearms. So this means, in simple terms, they want to own the option to take a human life.

Pro-Choice:

If also find it very interesting how the far Left (democrats) in the US want women to have the right to choose if they want carry a baby to full term or not. So this means that expecting mothers should have the right to take a human life.

The two groups are, in general, diametrically opposed in their view points, but it’s interesting to note that the both want the option to kill off a human life.

I’m not the sort of person that’s going to judge either of the groups, per se. I’m pro-gun and I’m pro-choice. However, I think both of these groups need to get a life and pay attention to the fallacy of their extreme views.

The reason video games and the media are blamed for the violence we are saturated with on a daily basis is that NO ONE WANTS TO TAKE RESPOSIBILITY for ANYTHING.

…we’ve become a society that seeks to make others responsible our own failures by passing laws.

My neighbor is bothed by the idea that someone else might have power over him by the very nature of the fact that they own a firearm, so he seeks to outlaw firearms to help compensate for his own insecurities. Of course he's not going to say that to anyone, so he looks for whatever reasons he can find to outlaw firearms...

or

The woman next door seeks to have the right to have an abortion because she doesn't want to have to be stuck raising a child, or can't afford to... but someone else feels that should be telling her what to do with her own body and what's moral or not...

Amazing...

In the case of the VTech shootings it’s not the gun laws that failed us, it’s the State of Virginia that failed us by not property upholding the laws and preventing an obviously deranged person from purchasing a firearm.

Video games are not causing this problem is out society, but they may have an influence when coupled with other things.
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