Skip to main content

View Diary: Stop Blaming Newtown Tragedy On Mental Illness (301 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Hi, Kvetch. Quotes from other arguments I've had. (9+ / 0-)
    There is such a distinct difference between reality and fiction here, that if anything, I would argue they typically reduce violence. Not by catharsis, which is largely disproven and discredited; the only available studies actually suggest that violent video games, like all violent media - extending to film, TV, and books - do increase short-term aggression slightly.


    However, they put this sort of violence neatly in a box. First-Person Shooter games almost never take themselves too seriously and gamers associate an inherent absurdity to violence as a result. Evidence? This is entirely non-scientific, but World of Warcraft - which is not an FPS but has a significantly overlapping demographic - had a quest where you had to torture a prisoner.

    No reactions were graphically displayed. There was a simple, low-quality set of basic 'ow' audio files used for the prisoner's reaction, no effect on his model, and a simple set of canned, repeating text responses. You did not have to persist in it very long.

    Despite such a very small level of abstraction being broken, the quest was somewhat renowned (when the content was relevant) for leaving a lot of people with a very bad taste in their mouths.

    And (sorry to spam your status, dude) to prevent the facile comparison with drug laws which fail to prevent access, when someone smokes pot, you have no idea they did it if you're not drug testing them or breaking down doors. It is also an act which does not inherently harm anyone. Ease of end-users avoiding detection and the lack of a direct social harm from using the drugs creates a bigger end-user market, and has plenty of enablers willing to look the other way. These things are not true for guns. You know when someone has fired a gun, and it is very easy for gun usage to directly lead to the harm of another person. The market cannot persist the way it does for entertainment contraband.
    This is not going to be true for media consumption of any kind. Yes, the arguments for defending free speech and defending gun rights are similar. This is because they are both arguments in defense of rights. However, the two are completely non-comparable in every way, so what is a specious argument for gun control is not for video games.

    I note that you don't advocate control of violent literature and let me tell ya, I really read some things as a kid my parents didn't want me to and I can't help but wonder if they were a bad idea for me to consume at that age. They had a really, really strong effect on me - more than 30 minutes of curious "vas is das" trial of DOOM ever did.

    Games are very ineffective at desensitization in any meaningful sense. Anyone who games for long becomes constantly quite aware of the fact that they can shut the game off at any time. The games which have broken this most successfully are renowned for being interactive narratives, like Shadow of the Colossus, or horror survival games, which don't so much glorify gore as they try to give you nightmares about it.
    •  Eliminate gun violence from video and see what (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      exlrrp, PsychoSavannah

      happens. Why not? I think you will see most arguments opposed are the functional equivalent of the arguments against gun control. Even the replies above smack of gun advocates: segments of this or that society use video/guns without excessive violence,

      "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

      by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:22:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, Kvetch, a similarity which caused me to think (8+ / 0-)

        on it... but that is because they are arguments in favor of rights, as I said. Ex:

        Freedom of Privacy. Humor me for a minute and imagine what defenses are exercised by gun owners that would not be exercised by defenders of privacy?

        Plenty of people use their privacy responsibly. We shouldn't have it intruded on just because some people have misused the privilege to plot secretly about how to use bananas to take over the Island Nation of Donkeykongistan. Why, I use privacy every day while engaging in consensual non-reproductive social intercourse with a close friend who I would not want to reveal intimate details about. Privacy, exercised responsibly, gives people the freedom to express themselves in different ways at different situations.

        The only arguments that can ever be made in defense of rights and privileges is that they:
        - Offer a direct benefit to the society.
        - Do not harm the society when practiced correctly.

        Which is why it falls on statistics and, where required, res ipsa loquitur - the thing speaks for itself. America's only outliers related to gun violence incidents are our number of them and the number of guns we have roaming around freely; not our media. That is why these arguments are specious when made in favor of gun rights without responsible controls, but not in favor of any other right.

      •  Eliminate Ketchup from Your Diet (15+ / 0-)

        Why not? What's the harm? It's my prerogative to make arbitrary changes to your lifestyle based on my specious whim.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:55:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We know what happens (8+ / 0-)

        when you eliminate weapons and don't eliminate the videos and games. We also know the majority of the people who play those games or watch those movies, don't pick up their guns and start mowing down six and seven year old children.

        I think you can make a general argument about the glorification of violence, I just don't think there is a direct correlation.

        I think it is a mistake to think there is only one kind of personality, with one kind of pathology, with the same motive, who will commit this kind of crime. Even if it would be possible to make a definitive profile, it is impossible to identify an individual person before a crime is commited.

        This is a second amendment problem. You limit the access to guns, you limit gun violence.
        I think it is strange to want to limit 1st and 4th amendmend rights that have no direct correlation, in order to preserve 2nd amendmend rights that do have a direct correlation.

        •  Wasn't Heller decided upon notion that in DC where (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Gun ownership was restricted there was a need for protection afforded by guns BECAUSE of the gun violence DC citizens faced?

          "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

          by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:30:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know enough about (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lakehillsliberal, gramofsam1

            Heller to give an opinion. I do know that there were 14 massacres in Australia, before the massacre in 1997 in Tasmania, that killed 35 people, and that after the gun control law that was enforced after the 1997 massacre, there were zero gun related massacres. A study done about the decade after the law was implemented,  firearm homicide decreased by 59% and firearm suicide fell by 65%, without a parallel increase in non-firearm homocides and suicides.

            I am not saying that other aspects don't have an effect on the motivation of people committing these kind of crimes, but I don't think they should be the primary focus if the goal is to lower the casualty rate caused by guns.

            •  It's the guns. We are too stupid and stubborn (5+ / 0-)

              to admit the obvious.  As Churchill said, Americans will do the right thing when they have exhausted all other possibilities.  We are not the brightest bulbs in any box.

              •  His mum was American so is he a half-wit? N/t (0+ / 0-)

                "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

                by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:42:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I am not an American (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                but I lived in the US for seven years, so I want to offer my defense for Americans.

                One of the reasons I moved back to Europe, was the sustained level of anxiety I felt when I lived in the US. Odd thing is that I experienced some bad things living in the Netherlands, while I did not have similar experiences while living in the US. So while I had no personal reason to believe that my life was more in danger in the US, I did feel danger was more imminent while living in the US.

                I think the US media reports on extreme violent crimes disproportionate to the actual number of occurences more than the European media does. And politically driven groups leach on to this fear, to use it for their own agenda.

                Obviously there are other reasons why the US is a more violent country, but for me the artificial fear driven into the population, is one of the main factors.

                •  I believe you are partly correct but Americans (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  are pre-disposed to this type of fear, they always have been.  I think it is the myth of rugged individualism and a lack of true concern for others(lack of a safety net) that makes people so uneasy and fearful.  So many people live on the edge, it creates genuine fear and they focus that fear on others(usually people of color).

          •  Yes, but DC is a special case. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It is a city. As a city, it actually has very low violence rates. The problem is that DC is bordered by two states and in close proximity of another three, making its gun control laws relatively less important in determining how many guns are around in DC.

      •  Force people to "pray to Jesus" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Silvia Nightshade

        ...and see what happens.  Already we have members of the Religious Right making similar (bogus) arguments.

        Are you a Green who has difficulty telling Democrats and Republicans apart? Well, I have difficulty telling Greens and Maoists apart.

        by Subversive on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:19:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site