Please Just Go Away and Die Young

Dan Senor, whose role as disastrous asshole for the Irag CPA and whose status as shameless warmongering neocon fluffer have been discussed at length, is married to a former member of the liberal media establishment, Campbell Brown. Today, Mrs. Senor takes to the pages of the WSJ to bemoan the lack of video game scrutiny in the aftermath of our daily shootings:

There was something missing from President Obama’s Wednesday speech in Denver about gun violence. He focused almost exclusively on passing gun-control laws, and not at all on one of the nation’s biggest promoters of violence: the entertainment industry.

The president’s campaign against gun violence has produced a stale debate marked by lots of speeches with little achieved. A more creative chief executive would have used this moment to widen the discussion by drawing attention to the increasingly graphic violence so pervasive in television shows, movies and videogames. Mr. Obama is particularly well positioned to challenge Hollywood because of his special relationship with the media world’s elites. They might be more likely to heed criticism coming from Mr. Obama than from any other president or member of Congress.

In January, when announcing his gun-violence task force, headed by Vice President Biden, Mr. Obama paid lip service to the subject of media violence. The president’s gun-control plan, based on Mr. Biden’s recommendations, addressed the matter only by asking the Centers for Disease Control to “conduct research on the causes and prevention of gun violence, including links between videogames, media images, and violence.” He asked Congress to allocate $10 million for the research. In Washington terms, that’s a pittance.

Dr. Victor Strasberger, the leading researcher on media violence for the American Academy of Pediatrics, could tell the CDC and the president what to expect: “All our studies show portraying violence is extremely dangerous,” Dr. Strasberger recently told me. “Kids become desensitized, numb to suffering around them and aggressive.” He also says that when you add in other factors like poverty, abuse or mental illness, “you have a perfect storm. This can and does lead to violence.”

There is no causal link whatsoever, despite decades of research by people much smarter than Campbell Brown and her Likudnik husband assertions, to suggest that gun violence is caused by video games or movies. None. Zero.

These privileged know-nothing assholes are now branching out beyond pumping up Israel to fellating the NRA and parroting their rhetoric. The money must be good, because these two fucking sociopaths have chosen evil every chance they get. And since they are both young and for some reason Dan Senor is not hanging by the neck until dead at the Hague, we’ll have to listen to these insufferable pricks until, well, we shuffle off the mortal coil.

I hate these fucking people. Oh, yeah. CNN and NBC. Your “liberal” media. And btw, Campbell, you media bimbo, Marilyn Manson did not cause Columbine.

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160 replies
  1. 1
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    You know what all mass shootings have in common? Guns. Weird, huh?

    ETA: I don’t think the death penalty is allowed at the ICC, just sayin’.

  2. 2
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    When someone actually KILLS someone w/ a video game…

    Ya know, beats them to death w/ the the console or whatever…

    THEN I’ll believe there’s a meaningful link between video games and murder…

    Until then…

    Sorry… had to make that point…

  3. 3
    Ted & Hellen says:

    for some reason Dan Senor is not hanging by the neck until dead at the Hague, we’ll have to listen to these insufferable pricks until, well, we shuttle off the mortal coil.

    You have President Obama to thank for that. None of the Iraq War criminals have been or will be called to account. “Look forward, not back” don’t ya know…

  4. 4
    KG says:

    I play Madden and NCAA Football, have since the late 90s, yet I neither played football collegiately nor in the NFL… I must have done something wrong?

  5. 5
    Lolis says:

    I’m grateful that Campbell Brown has revealed herself to be an A grade wingnut because before she started writing all these dumb editorials I had no idea.

  6. 6
    DPS says:

    DougJ’s “Tom and Daisy were careless people” quote of the other day seems apposite again:

    They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.

    There are no consequences for these motherfuckers, and they don’t have to care whether what they say and do harms anybody else.

  7. 7
    Ted & Hellen says:

    There are no consequences for these motherfuckers, and they don’t have to care whether what they say and do harms anybody else.

    The Obama JD has made certain of that, indeed.

    I don’t know why you are so upset about something that is, after all, in the rear view mirror.

  8. 8
    dollared says:

    @DPS: I seriously think of that quote at least once a day. It is the perfect description of the Villagers.

  9. 9
    trollhattan says:

    To be fair, MS Flight Simulator caused 9/11. You could look it up.

    Murdoch sure has improved WSJ, hasn’t he?

  10. 10
    KG says:

    @trollhattan: Sim City caused the Tea Party?

  11. 11
    Redshirt says:

    Is anyone claiming video games have Zero influence on people?

  12. 12
    Chris says:

    Obama’s “special relationship with media elites.” Lolololol. Here we have a case in point of exactly what that “special relationship” looks like.

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Show me the 2/3 of the Senate that will ratify the Treaty of Rome. Then we can send people to the ICC.

  14. 14
    MikeJ says:

    @trollhattan: The new version sucks. It’s only online, no big planes, and only a few planes available. In the old, good version anybody could create planes and there was a thriving aftermarket in which people would sell good models (which made MS want to move in) or even give them away. in the old version you could fly anywhere in the world in damn near any airplane ever made. Now it’s an ultralight over Hawaii or nothing.

    I was never a reflexive MS hater, but killing FS was the worst thing they ever did.

  15. 15
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    It’s enough to make ya wanna beat ’em to death with a video game cartridge. Do they make those anymore? Prolly a safer world without ’em.

  16. 16
    Redshirt says:

    Because video games have an influence on people. Just like TV has an influence on people. And books. And art. Etc.

  17. 17
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You know what all mass shootings have in common? Guns. Weird, huh?

    If owning guns don’t lead to people violent situations as much as videogames do, then why are we trying to control videogame sales but not gun sales?

    Aren’t they worried that an army of teenagers who can’t buy Modern Warfare IV or GTA V are going to murder them just for kicks?

  18. 18
    Mike in NC says:

    I think it’s “Shuffle off this Mortal Coil” (Hamlet)

  19. 19
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Redshirt: And so does what one had for breakfast. Seriously, Mark David Chapman claimed that The Catcher in the Rye led him to kill John Lennon.

  20. 20
    KG says:

    @Redshirt: sure. But this isn’t any different than blaming assassinations on Catcher In The Rye

  21. 21
    KG says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: get out of my head!

  22. 22
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I always found that defense to be quite phoney, if you want to know the truth.

  23. 23
    amk says:

    wondering when senor and his neocon ilk will start beating nk war drums.

  24. 24
    MikeJ says:

    @Mike in NC: Their cover of Kangaroo is pretty good. Not as good as the original obvs, but introduced more people to it.

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    Aren’t they worried that an army of teenagers who can’t buy Modern Warfare IV or GTA V are going to murder them just for kicks?

    Only if they listen to Ozzy Osbourne. So I think we are safe.

  26. 26
    dance around in your bones says:

    Colbert just smeared Jeremy Irons all over the floor with his “I don’t have strong feelings either way” about gay marriage and Irons then going on at great length with a pile of inanities.

    Colbert’s a great mimic.

    Sorry, OT!

  27. 27
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @KG: I posted first. Get out of mine.

    @Suffern ACE: I don’t buy the blame the media/books/music/etc. excuses in general. If someone is mentally healthy, these things won’t cause a problem; if one isn’t, it is impossible to figure out what might be a trigger.

  28. 28
    Petorado says:

    Campbell Brown has a point. It’s been all downhill since Space Invaders hit the scene in 1978. Maybe just not in the way she means.

  29. 29
    Suffern ACE says:

    @amk: Their silence has been kind of weird. Maybe it’s because they’re actually obsessed with the middle east and they want Syria and Iran OOOOHHH so badly. Getting bogged down in NK will distract from the true mission.

  30. 30
    The Moar You Know says:

    I’ve been hearing the same stupid shit out of these people since the 1970s.

    Back then the culprit de jour was Dungeons and Dragons. Something about wizards and hating Christ.

    Gotta be a wad of money in this racket cause it just doesn’t stop.

  31. 31
    MikeJ says:

    @Petorado: “If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.” Marcus Brigstocke

  32. 32
    Redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I don’t think you can completely divorce a culture from the people who grow up in it.

    American culture is violent. Does that cause violence in turn, or does it only reflect the violence already inherent in that particular society?

    My answer: Any piece of art influences the culture in which it is produced/consumed. Thus, the nature of the culture’s art matters. And so violent video games matter.

  33. 33
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    First I went looking for the Vault on Pandora, and there was this big giant monster that I had to shoot in the eye a lot and ended up with squat. Then, when I return to Pandora, I find out that the voice in my head was working for the bad guy.

    So, I did learn not to trust the voices in my head.

  34. 34
    Petorado says:

    @MikeJ: A portend of house music, no doubt.

  35. 35
    trollhattan says:

    @KG:

    I think it was lampreys.

  36. 36
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Petorado: I’m curious why it takes the plunge it does starting in about 95.

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Redshirt: And so do The Catcher in the Rye, Caravaggio’s paintings, Anne Rice novels, The Big Bang Theory, and the music of Nick Cave. Now what? None of this makes Campbell Brown’s op-ed less inane.

  38. 38
    Chris says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    There is. The wad of money the NRA and anyone else who benefits from gun sales will pay people to muddy the waters by talking about anything other than the actual problem.

    The inanity of our political discourse and the amount of time it spends on irrelevances isn’t only due to the bloody mindedness of conservative voters.

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Redshirt:

    My answer: Any piece of art influences the culture in which it is produced/consumed. Thus, the nature of the culture’s art matters. And so violent video games matter.

    But do they matter as much as having instruments of death close at hand and easy to acquire?

    As all of us have pointed out before, many countries around the world not only consume American pop culture, but they produce incredibly violent pop culture of their own. Eli Roth can only aspire to make horror movies as brutal and disturbing as the ones they’re making in France or South Korea. Some of Dario Argento’s Italian films are still censored here because they’re too violent for the American market.

    So why don’t they have the same mass murder rate we do? Why aren’t their violence-loving kids killing each other in the street in the numbers ours are? Because they don’t have easy access to as many guns as they can carry.

    Worrying about video games when violent people still have easy access to guns is like worrying about whether or not you have your seat belt on while your car is racing towards a cliff. Maybe you need to fix the problem of being in a car that’s about to race over a cliff before you look at the surrounding details.

  40. 40
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Remind us again, douchebag kind sir, which section of Title 18, U.S. Code, is violated by being a shill. Take all night if you need to do additional research. Until you find one, Senor is in the clear.

  41. 41
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Redshirt: Take a look at the link at #28. I think a lot of what our current culture has done is make people think things are worse than they are. While violence obviously isn’t at 0, lots of people think that we’re more violent now than we were back when I was a kid, when the opposite is true.

  42. 42
  43. 43
    burnspbesq says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Mark David Chapman claimed that The Catcher in the Rye led him to kill John Lennon.

    That’s odd. Catcher in the Rye made me want to kill J.D. Salinger. Fortunately, that was well before video games came along, so I was unable to act on my murderous impulses.

  44. 44
    Chris says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    North Korea post nuclear weapon is like al-Qaeda post (and pre) 9/11; it doesn’t fit the script. It’s the kind of unruly Shitty Little Country they would normally recommend picking up and throwing against the wall, but it has nukes, possibly other WMDs, and enough artillery to turn Seoul into a parking lot.

    As we saw after 9/11, in this context, the conservative mind finds it easiest to do nothing and pass the time by going after something else that does fit the script.

  45. 45
    trollhattan says:

    @Chris:

    Oh, yes, this is their bread and butter, never better practiced than by the tobacco industry. Gun folks took copious notes.

  46. 46
    Hungry Joe says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    I’ve been hearing the same stupid shit out of these people since the 1970s

    In the mid-’50s it was comic books; the House held hearings. And long before that, “Huckleberry Finn” was considered one of those “blood and thunder” books best kept out of the hands of children.

  47. 47
    RobertDSC-eMac 1.25 says:

    If video games were the problem, I would have:

    -killed a prostitute and taken her money (GTA series)
    -dropped White Phosporous on civilians (Spec Ops: The Line)
    -purposefully launched a nuclear ICBM (Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2)
    -Slashed with swords hundreds of soldiers sent to arrest me (Star Wars Force Unleashed series)
    -Opened fire on civilians in an airport (Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2)

    And yet, I feel no reason to do any of these things. I’m as hard core a console gamer as there is, and none of these things affect me in any way. Though I must say that dropping WP on civilians takes on an appealing glow if the civvies in question are GOP domestic terrorists and their NRA handlers.

  48. 48
    Petorado says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    The McVeigh Effect: After OKC in April of that year, normal Americans wonder “WTF are we doing to each other?” Insane Americans get ideas about going big.

  49. 49
    dance around in your bones says:

    I remember playing some kind of handheld football game back in the early 70’s in Afghanistan. It involved a bunch of little red rectangles running up and down a ‘field’ to score points. It didn’t make me want to go out and kill anybody.

    Later on I played a game in SoCal that let you fly planes over and under bridges and etc. Never made me wanna go shoot somebody.

    Various herbs were involved during both those games, so there’s that. Maybe there oughta be a law – only play games whilst partaking of the herbs!

  50. 50
    Redshirt says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): No doubt. This is a big influence in the way people think. Helpfully edged on by Fox News.

  51. 51
    The Moar You Know says:

    There is. The wad of money the NRA and anyone else who benefits from gun sales will pay people to muddy the waters by talking about anything other than the actual problem.

    @Chris: But the thing is, it’s not a wad of money. It’s not very much money at all. Go to open secrets and have a look at how much money the NRA dumped into the 2012 elections. It was about a million and a half dollars. The largest recipient was some jerk from North Dakota who got 12 grand. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind having twelve grand, but you can’t even buy a shitty car for that.

    The thing that gets me, I guess, is not that they do it, but that they do it for so cheap.

    ETA: and as for lobbying and jerks like Campbell Brown and her wretched husband – the NRA spent about a half million on that in 2012. There’s a SHITLOAD of people parroting the NRA line. They’ve all been bought – every one of them – for less than the price of an average house in Southern California.

  52. 52
    Redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Video games today are unique in their immersive qualities. No TV show or movie can come close to this effect. Video games as a medium for human development is a huge subject of interest. As we are entering a new age.

  53. 53
    Punchy says:

    I think I will talk to my priest about mass shootings. And my bland-food chef about assault rifle. The NRA’s rhetoric is bullets about the easy access to Dick Lugers. I realize my point may be hollow, but Id like to stay positive, like I was in college at age 0.22.

  54. 54
    lojasmo says:

    @burnspbesq:
    LOL. Truth. It was actually a good book…about a complete douchebag.

    Kind of like how I don’t want to kill JGC because T&H posts here.

  55. 55
    RobertDSC-eMac 1.25 says:

    By the way, when I play as Batman (Arkham City) does that mean I can be a vigilante crime fighter? Then perhaps games do have an effect!

  56. 56
    David Koch says:

    Memo to Dan Senor:

    Even the liberal George W Bush supported the assault weapons ban.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Redshirt:

    Video games today are unique in their immersive qualities. No TV show or movie can come close to this effect.

    Whatever you say, Dr. Wertham. You do realize that the same claims were made about, uh, TV and movies when they first came out?

    There’s always a new society-destroying plague that’s causing our children to be violent, but no one wants to talk about the real reason people keep murdering other people with guns: because it’s too fucking easy to get a gun.

  58. 58
    MikeJ says:

    @David Koch:

    Even the liberal George W Bush supported the assault weapons ban.

    There’s the rub. He’ll say that Bush really was a liberal and that’s why he sucked.

  59. 59
    Chris says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    FYWP ate my response. Short version; just like al-Qaeda circa 9/11, nuclear North Korea is a problem they don’t know how to address. So they ignore it and talk Iran/Syria instead, just like Bush talking about Saddam and WMDs a decade ago.

    @Redshirt:

    Personally, cultural explanations are always my very last go to for social phenomena, for all kinds of reasons.

    Violent American movies and games are perfectly widespread in Western Europe. Easy access to minimally regulated guns is not. It would seem therefore that the latter better explains the difference in gun violence.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Redshirt: Do you think that video games have caused an increase in violence? Stats say otherwise.

    Also, do you have any idea how absorbed a person can become in a book? One can disappear completely into as one reads. What is your real concern here? Guns are the central issue in gun violence. Everything else is commentary.

  61. 61
    David Koch says:

    Memo to Dan Senor:

    Even the Messiah Ronald Reagan supported the assault weapons ban.

  62. 62
    Librarian says:

    Brown was on Morning Joe today, and of course not one of the people there said anything to challenge any of the bullshit she was spewing.

  63. 63
    Redshift says:

    @Redshirt: And movies and TV were far more immersive than books and plays. Plus we’ve had highly immersive video games for how many years now? If you’re going to argue that this time, it’s going to have some transformative effect on people, you need some sort of evidence. Just saying it must be true because it’s so different from what came before doesn’t cut it.

  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Redshirt:

    Also, too, are we allowed to discuss the fact that people’s perception of how violent our society is in fact vastly out of whack with the reality, or are we only allowed to wring our hands about video games?

    Frankly, I think that shows like “CSI” and “Criminal Minds” that show fiendish murderers lurking around every corner do far more harm to us as a society than any video games. They feed a sense of paranoia about crime that is not at all justified by actual crime statistics.

  65. 65
    Gopher2b says:

    If I ever sat in a room with these people and I had any power, I would make them pretty simple offer. I’ll give you all the video games, you give me all the guns. School shooting and childhood obesity solved in a single stroke.

  66. 66
    Xenos says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    I remember playing some kind of handheld football game back in the early 70′s in Afghanistan. It involved a bunch of little red rectangles running up and down a ‘field’ to score points. It didn’t make me want to go out and kill anybody.

    We had that game as kids in the states. ‘head to head foortball I think? Loved it, and after 20 minutes of playing we got fed up and grabbed a football and headed out to the yard… wait a minute!

  67. 67
    David Koch says:

    @amk:

    wondering when senor and his neocon ilk will start beating nk war drums.

    they could care less, there’s no arabs there to kill

  68. 68
    Petorado says:

    @PeakVT:

    Thanks for the link. Great info, but the best nugget for me was: If epidemics spreads along lines of communication, the cause is information. If it travels along major transportation routes, the cause is microbial. If it spreads out like a fan, the cause is an insect. But if it’s everywhere, all at once, the cause is a molecule.

  69. 69
    Redshift says:

    @Redshirt:

    My answer: Any piece of art influences the culture in which it is produced/consumed. Thus, the nature of the culture’s art matters. And so violent video games matter.

    More to the point — if you want to have a general discussion about violence in cultural products, whether it’s good/bad, and what kind, fine. That could be an interesting discussion to have (though I’m pretty confident that if it were based on actual evidence, and not vague handwaving, you’d have a hard time making a case.)

    But if you insist that we really need to have that discussion to figure out what to do about gun violence, when there is copious evidence that the difference between our society and ones with less violence is that we have much easier access to guns, then I’m not going to even start unless you find some hard evidence, because is a dangerous distraction and there are real lives on the line.

    So which is it?

  70. 70
    Redshirt says:

    @Redshift: Oh, I’m not making any gun argument at all. That’s obviously the problem. I’m only talking about cultural influence via external media.

  71. 71
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: was the increase in crime rates in the mid 80s due to the erosion of social welfare programs, the devastation of crack, or the Nintendo game consol? All of them came about the same time.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Redshirt: You are nibbling at the edges. The video games and movies are available worldwide. Why do we have the gun violence that others don’t? Might it be the guns?

  73. 73
    Alison says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Also (and I’ve only skimmed so sorry if I’m repeating something that’s already been noted) bazillions of people play these games. But only a relatively small number of people snap and go on gun-toting rampages or whatever. Lots and lots of people just in the US play video games and never kill anyone or try to or even do anything overly violent.

    IMO, if someone has that capacity within them, possibly violent media can sort of stoke it…but someone who would be capable of something like Sandy Hook or Aurora is going to do it with or without Call of Duty.

  74. 74
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @trollhattan: People who say that ought to be selling their asses for cheap booze.

    @Just Some Fuckhead: They do – but they’re awfully small. Have you seen what a standard-size SD card looks like? That’s how big 3DS games are. Beyond that, it’s pretty much all discs and sigital downloads.

  75. 75
    mouse tolliver says:

    @dance around in your bones: I’m going to have a hard time re-starting my interest in The Borgias when it comes back this season now that I know Jeremy Irons is a homophobic, glibertarian asshole.

    Marriage equality might “debase” marriage, says the hypocritical douchebag who divorced his first wife and then married someone else. We’re just fighting over a word he says. It could lead to fathers marrying sons for the tax advantages.

    But then we’ve all learned to expect this kind of stupidity from people who self-identify as libertarian.

    In the same interview he was all bent out of shape over the attempted NYC X-tra large soda ban. But I bet he doesn’t give two shits about stop and frisk.

  76. 76
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Xenos:

    I can’t remember what it was called, but many hours were whiled away on those little rectangles. We didn’t have an actual football to play with. It was soccer or buzkashi over there :)

  77. 77
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The video games and movies are available worldwide.

    Indeed, the Grand Theft Auto series is written in Edinburgh, and last time I checked, it was a very pleasant city without obvious carjackings, mass shootings or fireballs.

  78. 78
    dance around in your bones says:

    @mouse tolliver:

    Yeah, he acted like a self-important snotty jerk. It was the body language that Colbert captured so perfectly, plus the accent.

    I always liked Jeremy Irons as an actor and now I’m going to have a hard time looking at him the same way again.

  79. 79
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    I used to play Carmageddon (I & II) all of the time and now I’m always disappointed when I am out driving because I can’t find a crate to run over that has the Electro-Bastard Ray powerup in it.

    Frying random people and animals from the comfort of my vehicle has always been a dream of mine.

  80. 80
    suzanne says:

    @Redshirt: I don’t think that anyone is arguing that modern American culture does not glorify violence, especially with respect to masculinity. Consider your man card reissued. But we are literally surrounded by propaganda and cultural products at nearly every waking minute. Mentally healthy people can deal with this.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Redshirt:

    Oh, I’m not making any gun argument at all. That’s obviously the problem. I’m only talking about cultural influence via external media.

    But, again, given how widespread violent video games are across cultures, ignoring the influence of guns in the US is avoiding the elephant that just took a man-sized dump in the middle of the room.

    Other cultures have violent video games, violent TV, violent movies. The only difference between us and them seems to be that they restrict guns, and we allow free access to them.

  82. 82
    Redshift says:

    @Redshirt: In that case, bringing it up in response to a post about wingnut douchebags using it to try to derail gun laws seems ill-advised.

    But since that wasn’t your intent, I’ll have a go. I think, once you factor out the gun problem, there is very little evidence that either American society or American culture (including video games) are more violent than any other modern industrial society. Then add the fact that during the period when video games have been getting steadily more immersive, the level of violence has been declining, and you’ve got a tough row to hoe. Even if, as seems likely, the research covered in Rolling Stone is correct and the major cause of declining violence is the declining influence of environmental lead, if that effect can completely overwhelm any opposing influence from video games, then the influence from video games must be pretty weak it if exists at all.

  83. 83
    Redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: As I said I’m not talking about guns, they’re obviously the problem. Rather, I’m only talking about the effects of media on minds. Video games have a unique effect upon people, in ways TV and movies do not.

  84. 84
    Chris says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    Ditto.

    My opinion of pretty much anyone drops considerably when I find out they’re conservative (or in his case glibertarian). Then it drops some more when they actually open their mouth and talk about it.

  85. 85
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @Redshirt:

    Video games have a unique effect upon people, in ways TV and movies do not.

    [citation needed]

  86. 86
    mai naem says:

    Why doesn’t Campbell Brown(her real name is Alma Brown) ask her Canadian husband Dan Senor if they have video games and violent movies in Canada and the level of gun violence in Canada?

    Also, I can’t stand the way Mika gives Campbell and her hubby a big fat pass, all because they went to HS together and hang out together. Ugh.

  87. 87
    eemom says:

    @Redshift:
    @Redshirt:

    That was freaky. For a minute there I thought y’all two were arguing with yourself.

  88. 88
    Redshirt says:

    @Pinkamena Panic: I only have gut feelings and second hand sources.

    But still, modern first person shooter games are worlds different than any other media in human history, and this difference is measurable in behavior.

  89. 89
    Yutsano says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Frying random people and animals from the comfort of my vehicle has always been a dream of mine

    It would make my drive into work a helluva lot more fun.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Redshirt:

    But still, modern first person shooter games are worlds different than any other media in human history, and this difference is measurable in behavior.

    Okay, here’s a true family story: my nephew ended up having to be sent to a special (psychiatric) boarding school because he was playing video games all day and all night until he collapsed in exhaustion. Wouldn’t go to school, wouldn’t shower, wouldn’t do anything else.

    So you say AHA! And then I tell you something else: my nephew is severely ADHD, bipolar, and both of his parents are addicts.

    Now, is the problem here that video games are so uniquely immersive that he got caught up in them? Or is the problem that he became addicted to video games because he has an addictive personality coupled with a couple of mental health issues that mean he has very poor impulse control, and video games were more available to him than heroin?

  91. 91
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Chris:

    Sometimes I just think “Just shut up and act – no one gives a crap about your stupid opinions because you happen to be a good actor”.

    Gawd forbid someone else might get some rights that he has already had all his life. Oh, the (in)humanity!

  92. 92
    MikeJ says:

    @Mnemosyne: Video games are in no way uniquely addictive. Go to a chess tourney some time. I’ve played in tournaments, I’ve played in parks, I was in the analyst room for the K-K matches in NY, and I can tell you, there are no obsessives in the world like chess freaks.

  93. 93
    Hill Dweller says:

    @dance around in your bones: Colbert beautifully destroyed the Morning Joke crew on Wednesday night’s show for slobbering all over Mark Sanford.

  94. 94
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @Redshirt:

    I only have gut feelings and second hand sources.

    Then you have a future as a Fox Nooz pundit!

    But not as a researcher, or any kind of serious advocate. Until you can back your statements up, once again, [citation needed].

    Personally? I think you’re doing this for gits and shiggles. And I find it fucking offensive.

  95. 95
    Redshirt says:

    @Mnemosyne: Where would that energy have been spent in, say, 1970? An entirely different space, I presume.

  96. 96
    mouse tolliver says:

    @mai naem:

    Also, I can’t stand the way Mika gives Campbell and her hubby a big fat pass, all because they went to HS together and hang out together. Ugh.

    This right here. The bolded portion — is why our “liberal” media is so fucked up. Conflict of interest. They all hang out together in their spare time and have undisclosed personal relationships. They live on the same block or in the same apartment building. Their kids go to the same schools.

    They’re married to people who work in or actually run the industries they report on. (Hello, Erin! Hello, Campbell! Hello, David! Hello, Andrea! Hello, Howard!)

    Campbell Brown’s slogan at CNN was “No bias, no bull.” But she never once disclosed the fact that she was married to an operative from the Bush Administration.

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Redshirt:

    Where would that energy have been spent in, say, 1970? An entirely different space, I presume.

    It probably would have been spent in the same space his father spent it: in petty crime leading up to armed robbery and spending his adult life in and out of prison. Or, as I said, with a needle in his arm.

    I’m not sure that prison is automatically a better space to spend your time than your bedroom.

  98. 98
    Dead Ernest says:

    @suzanne:
    But we are literally surrounded by propaganda and cultural products at nearly every waking minute. Mentally healthy people can deal with this …slightly better than mentally less healthy people.

    I think it still has a deleterious effect on ‘normal’ people. However since that is (by definition) most people, and less dramatic than it has upon mentally unhealthy people, it is not remarked upon. More’s the pity.

    Note: formatting limited on phone.

  99. 99
    kelrian says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Was that before or after the train robbery? (Which totally quotes the “enough dynamite” joke from Butch Cassidy.)

    As to what video games taught me, they taught me never to trust the blonde guy who wears sunglasses indoors. You never know when he might jump-state the zombie apocalypse.

  100. 100
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    I saw that. Colbert just gets better and better, while Stewart gets worse and worser.

    Still don’t know why anyone would subject themselves to Morning Blow.

  101. 101
    Redshift says:

    @Redshirt:

    But still, modern first person shooter games are worlds different than any other media in human history, and this difference is measurable in behavior.

    If the difference were measurable in behavior, then you would have something other than gut feelings and second hand sources.

    “Measurable in behavior” doesn’t mean “I have a strong gut feeling.” It means there are measurements. If you don’t have scientific evidence, it’s dishonest to put your gut feelings in scientific terms. Put up or shut up. (Which is just an expression, since it’s a free country and an open blog, no one is obligated to shut up. But don’t expect any further discussion from me unless you offer something that can actually be discussed.)

  102. 102
    Hill Dweller says:

    @mouse tolliver: The Village is also very thin-skinned. The number of journalists whining about lack of access since the election has been nauseating.

    I honestly believe the Village’s shameful coverage of the sequester, Obama’s missed jump shots, his daughters vacation, etc. is in part retaliation for the former Obama people ridiculing them. Axelrod, Plouffe, Favreau and Vietor all consistently make fun of the Village, and they incessantly whine about it.

    Just this week there was a huge pity party on Twitter with J. Martin, Ron Fournier, Jennifer Rubin, Zeke Miller and Heilemann because the Obama people were mean to them.

  103. 103
    Hill Dweller says:

    @dance around in your bones: Stewart’s bit about the VA was a retread of last week’s bit; and he admitted it. They’ve been mailing it in for months.

  104. 104
    Nutella says:

    @Redshirt:

    modern first person shooter games are worlds different than any other media in human history, and this difference is measurable in behavior.

    Thus implying that you (or someone) has measured this ‘measurable’ behavior difference. Link us to some of the data.

    If you can’t or won’t do that we’ll know for 100% sure that you’re just bloviating.

  105. 105
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Hill Dweller: And using some lousy mail service as well.

    I said this here a few days ago – I can watch The Daily Show and barely crack a smile; Colbert makes me laugh with tears rolling down my face. In a good way.

  106. 106
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Getting bogged down in NK will distract from the true mission.

    Nah, it’s just that NK has enough fissionables — not to mention support from a seriously powerful nation the neocons & their enablers don’t want to get caught dissing — that they can’t treat it as their version of a violent video game. Syria gets turned into ‘the next Iraq’, the Kristols and Perls figure it’s only a problem for the natives plus whatever American untermenschen get shipped over to LARP the first-person-shooter bits. Iran, they’ve convinced themselves, can be turned into a sheet of volcanic glass between tiffen and dawn, without so much as mussing a hair on the tv announcers’ heads. But you get too bossy with that young nutball hanging like a dingleberry on the PRC’s broad arse, that is most definitely going to screw up next season’s fashion rollout of austerity theory and banana republicanism.

  107. 107
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I’m curious why [the crime rate] takes the plunge it does starting in about 95.

    Mandating unleaded gasoline in the mid-1970s had something to do with it. Hell, I remember a study from the end of the 1980s linking airborne lead emissions with ACT scores, so it’s not like it was a surprise to anyone who cared to look.

  108. 108
    Bruce s says:

    If anyone has any doubt that Dan Señor is a total piece of crap, remember that he’s a regular on Morning Joe. Proof enough. Campbell Brown is his Mika – dumb as a post.

  109. 109
    Micah616 says:

    @Redshirt: Trusting gut feelings and second hand sources made Bush the worst president in history.

  110. 110
    Anne Laurie says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    Sometimes I just think “Just shut up and act – no one gives a crap about your stupid opinions because you happen to be a good actor”.

    To be scrupulously fair, a lot of movie viewers think Jeremy Irons is gay — IIRC, it was one of the reasons American fundamentalists took against The Lion King, of all movies. So he may be a little overdefensive about not playing on that team, as some straight men can be.

  111. 111
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Well, that’s HIS problem. He needn’t inflict it on the rest of the world. Though I do appreciate you being scrupulously fair :)

    I mean, what he said was thoroughly offensive. He was just noodling about, letting his id run wild. All the while rubbing his hands and looking pretentious and serious. Gah.

  112. 112
    thalarctos says:

    @eemom: Oh, good. I thought I was the only one.

  113. 113
    fuckwit says:

    @trollhattan: WIN.

  114. 114
    fuckwit says:

    @Anne Laurie: Um. No. It’s about Israel.

    Iran and Syria scare Israel, so they must be invaded and liberated RIGHT THE FUCK NOW.

    North Korea? Meh. Who in DC with bottomless lobbying budgets gives a fuck? Maybe the military-industral corporations do, but they’re lobbying for Star Wars contracts, not invasions.

    This is not hard. Iran and Syria are prime targets for US military action because they are threatening to Israel. North Korea is not, so we’re not going to go acting all policeman-like there.

    China, however, might up and slap a bitch. I will bet they are getting seriously pissed off at their dysfunctional neighbor.

  115. 115
    Darkrose says:

    @mouse tolliver: Jeremy Irons <<<<<<<<< Ian McKellan

  116. 116
    Darkrose says:

    @Redshirt: I’m currently at 984 hours on Skyrim. Aside from the strange compulsion to pick random flowers and eat butterfly wings to see what they do, I haven’t noticed any changes in myself.

  117. 117
    BruceK says:

    I’ll tell ya, I played one of the Call of Duty games, and one of the weapons you got was a German G3 rifle. Then I got conscripted into the Greek army, and was issued a G3.

    The experience of handling the G3 in a video game did not translate to an ability to know how to use the thing in real life. For one thing, it’s a lot harder to get the bullets to go where you’re pointing the gun; for another, the game doesn’t give you any clue of how the various fiddly bits on the real rifle affect it.

    I was only marginally competent with it because I remembered some basic pistol-handling instructions given to me by a police academy rangemaster about twelve years earlier.

  118. 118
    Xenos says:

    I have long wondered how much of the billions of dollars that went missing under the watch of the coalition provision authority was simply snagged by the corrupt weasels selected from the wingnut welfare system. I wold be surprised if Senor himself did not have a couple millions socked away in one of those BVI trust accounts.

    Someday, if they get FATCA really working, we could find a way to collar the whole mess of grifters.

  119. 119
    Xenos says:

    @BruceK: Conscripted? Was this one of those extended holidays in the old country that wound up being really extended? I need to warn my sons about that risk…

  120. 120
    CaptMaggie says:

    Speaking of JoeScar’s show, Mika takes exception to Obama’s remark about Kamala Harris being good looking because it divides women and talk of women’s looks at work puts them under stress. Funny. http://img.gawkerassets.com/im.....iginal.jpg

  121. 121
    Dan says:

    -@amk: I know that it is way upthread,, but they won’t be beating any war drums over n korea cause nk isn’t threatening Isreal. Only the United States.

  122. 122
    Dan says:

    What? Jeremy Irons is straight??

  123. 123
    Kay says:

    She gets a huge forum because the excuse is she was a “serious journalist” prior to full-time shill.
    But she’s a terrible journalist. I watched her CNN show during the flu epidemic. I couldn’t tear myself away it was so bad.
    She scolded the DHS flu expert the whole time based on the fact that several Brown-Senor friends had emailed her and had to wait for vaccine. The flu expert is this cheerful, no-nonsense logistical person who had to explain to Brown that flu response goes federal-state-county health, so if certain wealthy neighborhoods in NYC did not have adequate vaccine, Brown should contact the county.
    It was like a parody of what people make fun of in cable news. Fake “hard questions” designed to promote the host, no understanding of the process, no real information exchanged.

  124. 124
    NorthLeft12 says:

    I found this quote interesting;

    when you add in other factors like poverty, abuse or mental illness, “you have a perfect storm. This can and does lead to violence.”

    But don’t even think of addressing poverty, abuse, or mental illness because…….FREEDOM!!! or the obvious that those issues will cost real money and are long term committments. Passing a bill that recreates an existing rating system or does nothing? We can do that!

  125. 125
    Marc says:

    @dance around in your bones: “Colbert just gets better and better, while Stewart gets worse and worser.”

    This. I seriously couldn’t believe Stewart implied that Bobby Jindal’s approval ratings were cratering because he made that “stupid party” comment and not because, you know, he sucks as a governor.

    But acknowledging that would be admitting that reality has a well-known liberal bias.

  126. 126
    Kay says:

    I know pundits aren’t accountable, ever, but I would just like to remind everyone that Brown wrote in the NYTimes, based on get exhaustive journalist study of 4 females she is related to, that womens’ reproductive health issues would have no bearing on the 2012 elections.
    She said liberals were making up a gender gap, and President Obama was patronizing women by talking about birth control because no one in Brown’s immediate family cares about birth control.

  127. 127
    Kay says:

    @Marc:

    It’s too bad, because the truth is pretty interesting.
    Jindal changed the tax code to put the heaviest burden on working class people. It’s unpopular.
    Another conservative tax theory bites the dust.
    We’re seeing the same thing in OH. Republicans here are (now) running away from it.

  128. 128
    qwerty42 says:

    @amk:

    wondering when senor and his neocon ilk will start beating nk war drums.

    They’d love to, but it would distract us from the ginormous threat we face in Iran (worse than the Third Reich, Imperial Japan, the USSR, Cobra Commando and the Evil Horde combined!) and maybe Syria. Plus, there is no way any of their crackpot ideas do not restart the Korean War, and oddly, that is not seen as a popular option.
    I drop in on Larison periodically; his contempt for these nuts is well-honed.
    (and yeah, I’d *love* a Judgement at Nuremberg-like trial of these creeps, complete with MPs in Ike Jackets.)

  129. 129
    Cassidy says:

    So, my own personal, non-scientific pet theory. Video games, in no unecrtain terms, do not cause violence.

    That being said, my generation, and those before grew up with a “settle it on the playground” *mentality that our Dads and most teachers expected of us. If we had a disagreement, we got to slug it out for a second, then it got broke up, and everyone went about their business with their pride intact. Sometimes you won, sometimes you lost, but int he end, we got the violence out of our system. As we grew into manhood, we already knew how to win and lose and learned how the pecking order works and how to function if you’re not on top of it.

    I believe that without that outlet for violence and pride that males inherently have, these last few generations are growing up with a lot of internalized anger and lacking the ability to process loss, humiliation, embarassment, etc. I think when you couple that with hours spent playing violent video games, their is a conditioning process that flips a switch and teaches that level of violence is an acceptable form of conflict resolution.

    *The same thing could apply to competitive sports, which seems to be on a decline.

  130. 130
    debbie says:

    I don’t play video games, but I’ve watched them being played. It seems to me that players win by spraying as many bullets as they can and hoping that something will hit the target. This seems to be just what Adam Lanza was doing.

    I don’t believe video games will turn a person into a mass murderer, but I’m wondering whether the way most kids “learn” to use a firearm is through playing them. I would think people with military training would be more disciplined shooters. Maybe it’s the way the games are set up that’s the problem.

  131. 131
    Xenos says:

    @debbie:

    It seems to me that players win by spraying as many bullets as they can and hoping that something will hit the target. This seems to be just what Adam Lanza was doing.

    That is not at all what he did. He shot in short bursts, systematically killing each child and moving on to the next victim. It was cold-blooded murder using the gun exactly as he had been taught to handle it through the NRA-based teaching program.

  132. 132
    rea says:

    Did Andrew Kehoe play video games?

  133. 133
    debbie says:

    @Xenos:

    I stand corrected then. I know nothing about NRA training. But I still wonder if this is why people are so freaked out about losing their 30-bullet clips. Spraying or short bursts is the only way they know how to shoot.

  134. 134
    Lori says:

    John – agreed with you on all this, but hate the word ‘bimbo’. It’s a female-specific putdown that is offensive. You’re better than that, so I know it was an oversight. Could you please switch it to some other word that means ‘stupid’, just without the misogynist overtones?

  135. 135
    Cassidy says:

    @debbie: People are freaked about losing their 30 round mags because “shut up, that’s why”. That’s not being a smartass. Most of your sporting (hunting, target) rifles only have an ammo capacity of 5 rounds. Their designed to be precision instruments and you odn’t need 30 rounds if you can do the job with one. Assault weapons are designed to put as much lead downrange as fast as possible, hopefully, with a modicum of accuracy. The reality is that in a firefight, lots of ammo is expended at nothing. The only purpose of the 30 round magazine is to carry as much ammo on my person as humanly possible in an organized manner. Standard military combat load is 7 magazine, 210 rounds. personally, I carried between 8-10, plus we had boxes of preloaded magazines in our vehicles. It has no bearing at allon the accuracy or functionality of the weapon or the training and ability of the user. It’s all about capacity at hand. These yahoos fancy themselves as modern day Rambos without the pesky Special Forces training and imagine themselves running through the hills like Mel Gibson with a Ranger Rack and magazines of ammo because they were PREPARED TO DEFEND FREEDOM FROM TYRANNY!!! hyuck, hyuck.

  136. 136
    Xenos says:

    @debbie: I made a couple inferential leaps there. Lanza received training, basic handling and safety lessons, when he went to the local range. These classes are all certified through the NRA.

    The basic approach to this sort of weapon is to use short bursts. Soldiers usually leave their fully automatic weapons set for the exact same sort of the-bullet setting that semi-automatics have as the maximum setting. When used according to proper training thee is little significant difference between automatic and semi-automatics.

    ETA. If you have any questions, ask Cassidy while he is here, as he is the expert.

  137. 137
    Del says:

    @debbie: Gun nuts have an obsession with the whole “you’re not the boss of me!” mentality. An unhealthy percentage of them actually think their tricked out crappy m16 variants can actually go up against the real thing and/or predator drones if they ever get their little revolution going. They’re the actions and thoughts of an unsecure child trapped in a pissed off adults body.

  138. 138
    Cassidy says:

    @Del: What’s really funny is when they spend thousands of dollars on high end AR’s not realizing that military tolerances exist for a reason. Their weapons won’t survive in the field because they’re too “tight”.

  139. 139
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Petorado: Facts. How do they work?

  140. 140
    debbie says:

    @Cassidy: @Xenos:

    Thanks to you both for your explanations. I knew I know nothing about this kind of thing. And now, I also know I should stop trying to find a reason for all this.

    @Del:

    I remember a commercial, where a bunch of kids were gaming online. Whoever they were playing against kept out-maneuvering them, and they were dumbstruck that together they could not stand up to whoever this player was. Cut to a soldier, sitting in a tent in some desolate spot. He sits back in his chair and speaks: “Like fish in a barrel.”

  141. 141
    Del says:

    @debbie: Heh, that commercial speaks my language. In every game I play I turn into the matches ‘designated camper’. Most PvP FPS players hate people who can consistantly pull off long shots.

    Can I do that in real life? Hell no. The only animal I’ve ever shot was a deer at a little over 700 yards with a 338 bolt-action at my wife’s uncle’s place. I’d spent all week sighting it in and practicing but when it came time to pull the trigger and shoot an actual live animal? Too much adrenaline in my system caused me to shake like a leaf. I missed with one shot, spooked the deer, and then was stupid enough to try and fight the bolt to get a second round in. That was probably the single most difficult eye-hand coordinating action I’ve ever attempted.

    I managed it, and I got the deer (and wasted a perfectly good hindquarter in the process), but I never should have attempted it. Video games have nothing on the real thing. Anyone who’s ever used both knows that clear as day.

  142. 142
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Redshirt: Megan? is that you?

  143. 143
    Cassidy says:

    @Del: Run and gun is not a suggested tactic.

  144. 144
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity: Also too, guns don’t kill people, VIDEO GAMES DO!

  145. 145
    Redshirt says:

    Forgot to use my sarcasm tags. Dang!

  146. 146
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Librarian:

    Brown was on Morning Joe today, and of course not one of the people there said anything to challenge any of the bullshit she was spewing.

    It is an established fact that TV shows can cause violence, because everytime I see the Villagers blathering on the tube, I want to kill them all.

  147. 147
    Jebediah says:

    @eemom:

    @Redshift:
    @Redshirt:
    That was freaky. For a minute there I thought y’all two were arguing with yourself.

    Glad I wasn’t the only one.

  148. 148

    I remember well the time, when I was much younger, when a bunch of video games in an arcade ganged up on me and took all my quarters.

    Came back the next week, and they did it again.

  149. 149
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Cassidy:
    Interesting theory (I also grew up in a “fisticuffs after school” environment – an ethnic working-class neighborhood in Cleveland – was in any number of such fights myself as a kid, grew out of that and haven’t had a violent encounter of any kind since senior year HS decades ago).

    But I think that the places in our country where most of the serious (and sometimes deadly) violence now occur have a different dynamic from the rest of our society.

    That is, the ghetto and the barrio, mostly.

    The young men (and it is mostly young men, teenagers and twentysomethings) in these places live very much like primitive warrior societies, without the benefit of wise guiding elders.

    Extreme macho-posturing, rampant chip-on-the-shoulder attitudes regarding anything perceived as disrespecting, clannish solidarity (gangs), and the many life-constricting impediments of endemic poverty (like the expectation of, even pride in, going to jail) all combine to make many young men in these areas much more prone to crime and violence than their better socioeconomically-situated peers.

    Add to that the far greater availability of guns today than previously, and that’s why, though overall we are seeing a decline in crime and violence, we see just the opposite in our poor and “broken” places.

    So my Scottsdale neighborhood, for instance, is quite peaceful and crime-free, while the inner west-side and south-side of Phoenix (as well as my old neighborhood in Cleveland, which is now significantly poorer and quite ghetto) have far higher rates of violence and crime.

    It’s really not a mystery.

    First-person video games that mostly suburban kids (and not ghetto gang-bangers) play?

    What a fucking joke!

  150. 150
    JCJ says:

    @eemom:
    @Jebediah

    I say we ask them to change their nyms to RedshiFt and RedshiRt or something so we we don’t get so confused!

  151. 151
    Cassidy says:

    @DFH no.6: I agree with that. I would add that the level of violence in the ghettos and barrios is relative and consistent with the neighborhood, as in you can find a consistent social foundation for why it happens and the violence still follows a set of rules, per your warrior society explanation. There is a normalcy to it, for lack of a better way to put it.

    I think I’m referring more to the spree shooters and mass killings in that those aren’t committed by poor kids in the barrio/ ghetto exposed to real violence every day, but [typicaly] by ill adjusted white suburbanite boys who completely lose their shit.

  152. 152
    SteveinSC says:

    Dan Senor is not hanging by the neck until dead at the Hague,

    Yeah, my wet dream is a sort of Endlosung for the Neocon Wizard of Oz crowd with Senor (the Strawman without a brain) Dick Cheney (the Tinman, without a heart)and George Bush (the drug and Jim Beam addicted, dry drunk and cowardly lion) all swinging together in a sort of rotting end to their slander on the American Republic.

  153. 153
    Del says:

    @Cassidy: I completely agree. The moment that deer perked up I should have cut my loses. Why I thought I could handle the gun my uncle in law borrowed to me I don’t know but, from what I know, the 338 is a beast and my 5’3″ frame felt that week for a month. I’m pretty sure they had me use it as a joke and never expected me to be able to hit anything at the distances they marked out. Pride’s a bitch, and if I had to do it all over again I’d have cut my loses and waited for another shot. Still, at least I scored major points with the family by hitting a moving target at 700-ish yards. That’s got to count for something, right? ;-)

    As for video games causing violence? No connection’s been found. Temporary increases in aggression? Sure, but no more than if you measured someone after they struggled with a difficult puzzle. But “smash the windows & beat your parents with a crowbar”-type violence? No link found. Gut instincts on the issue are worthless because the evidence says they’re either wrong or so subtle as to be nonexistant. Access to guns is the issue, not our entertainment media of choice.

  154. 154
    Cassidy says:

    @Del: Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think video games cause violence in any way, shape, or form. I can’t help but think there has to be some link to the ever increasing amount of time spent in front of violent video games and the increasing level of violence being perpetrated by young, white males, but there is no science or evidence to back that up.

  155. 155
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Cassidy:
    It does appear to be the case that the (mercifully rare) spree shootings and mass shootings are usually committed by ill-adjusted suburban white guys (even that horrible asshole Breivik who perpetrated the massacre in Norway fits that norm) and not by ghetto gang-bangers.

    Like serial killers tend to be creepy white guys such as Tend Bundy.

    I just can’t buy that video games have fuck-all to do with it, or even that (as in your theory) such perpetrators are made more prone to truly insane acts like gunning down movie patrons or children at an elementary school because they were not afforded the opportunity to “get the violence out of their system” via old-fashioned fisticuffs like we did when we were lads.

    Many millions of boys have grown up in America in the way you describe (i.e., little to no actual physical conflict and hours daily on video games) and only an infinitesimally-small number of them turned into mass murderers. So few, in fact, that we can easily name (or come close, anyway) almost all of them in the past twenty years or so – Kleebold and Harris, Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Cho (the Korean shooter at Virginia Tech).

    These were horrific crimes, obviously, but their extreme rarity, I think, makes any claim of widespread modern societal norms different from the past (like endemic video games and fewer schoolyard fights) as causal in any way not just suspect but incredibly, incredibly unlikely.

    Mental instability (to varying degrees) in these individuals combined, especially, with ridiculously-easy access to guns ‘n’ ammo, along with our free and open society (so that schools and movie theaters, for instance, are expected to be peaceful and easily-accessed gathering places and not guarded compounds) are all the explanation needed for mass shootings, IMAO.

  156. 156
    Tonal Crow says:

    Denver (Faux News). Today, four people were killed in a convenience store on Denver’s northwest side. According to the store’s videotape, the assailant asked the clerk for a pack of Camel cigarettes. When her back was turned, he brandished a .44 caliber Cadillac hubcap, then beat her to death in the face with it when she turned around.

    He then aimed the hubcap at two patrons, but it failed to discharge. One patron rushed the assailant, but he produced a .38 caliber Dodge hubcap from his waistband, and beat both patrons to death with it. He turned to exit the store and ran into a police officer in the doorway, whom he then killed with a point-blank beating in the groin with the .38 caliber hubcap.

    The suspect is still at large. Police say he is extremely dangerous, and possibly armed with more than the two hubcaps he’s used so far. Citizens are advised to report him immediately to 911.

  157. 157
    Cassidy says:

    @DFH no.6: Quite possibly. That’s why I made sure to say it was a completely non-scientific pet theory. lol

    And I mean that. There is no scientific or measurable basis and it’s probably nothing more than correlation re: video games. It’s easy to correlate a rising trend of spree killers and rising trend of violent video games that coincidentally coexist in similiar time frames.

    I do think males have a pre-diposition to violence as an outlet for other emotions. Anecdotally, it was the losses that taught me to keep my chin up and handle losing more than sports. I think that ritualized combat is something we’ve lost as a society and should be an integral part of a young child’s growth.

  158. 158
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Cassidy:

    I think that ritualized combat is something we’ve lost as a society and should be an integral part of a young child’s growth.

    So you think that kids should post comments on blogs from an early age?

    Well, I for one welcome our new toddler troll overlords, but I’m afraid John’s gonna need a bigger server.

  159. 159
    Cassidy says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I think PE in school should involve boxing and grappling, but that’s just me.

    I don’t think we could handle anymoer toddler level intelligences here.

  160. 160
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Cassidy:

    I think that ritualized combat is something we’ve lost as a society and should be an integral part of a young child’s growth.

    I actually agree with you on that, but maybe that’s just my deeply-ingrained patriarchal prejudices and masculine privilege showing.

    I boxed (Police Athletic League) and wrestled (high school) along with the aforementioned “street fights” as a kid, and I turned out fine and well-adjusted.

    Just ask me!

    And yes, Campbell Brown is a horrible person, and Mr. Campbell Brown should be hanged by the neck till dead, along with all the other Bush war criminals.

    Well, been good talking to you, fellow Obot (I’m with you on that “Obama’s failed us again! He’s attacking Social Security!” thread today, just didn’t feel like posting any comments). This thread is surely dead now, though. See you on the flip side.

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