Spurred on from the continued cry over mass murderers killing innocents and their connection to video games, I decided I’d weigh in in more than a posting crap on Facebook sort of manner. I’ve always been an advocate for video games, and don’t mind the more violent of the bunch to be played in my house. Granted, I didn’t let Spencer play them until he was a little older, although I’m sure he was able to at other places, but that was me being a parent. Which personally, I think, is most of the problem.
We need parents. Also probably why people get irritated at me for being a liberal. We all want big government in one way or another, I just don’t lie to myself about it. I’d rather put people first rather than corporations and the lobbyists, and in this case the NRA. but I digress, as usual.
My point is, people are violent, greedy, dirty, willing to murder, asshats. We need to be governed, because unfortunately we are unable to govern ourselves. Personally I think once we all realize this, the better off we’ll be.
OH NO! You shout! NO BIG GOVERNMENT.
OK, then. Shut up about violent video games, and stop using them as a scapegoat for this country’s (US) inability to understand that mass murders, and murders in general, have several causes, not just one easy fix that make s all of you gun totin’ constitution spoutin’ people feel good about protecting your family. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sort of ambivalent about the whole gun thing. I don’t particularly like them and won’t have them around, but if you think you need one for protection, so be it. But I don’t like disingenuous people who are jumping on a bandwagon so that they’re guns aren’t taken away. You didn’t give that much of a shit before, so stop pretending you do now. And really, the NRA and gun enthusiasts, who KILL THINGS (and yes I know there are some who never kill things, but apparently like the big boom sound, and the skill related to sport shooting) are going to complain about video game violence???? YOU KILL THINGS!
For fucks sake.
Let’s look at some numbers. You know, those things that lead to facts and proof and the like? Yeah, those.
About 9 people have died related to or from video games more or less directly. One had a seizure, which is why all video games come with a warning. A baby was shaken to death because the mom was obsessed with Farmville and it cried. A couple of boys have starved to death.
That’s pretty minimal.
Now on to the correlation between violent video games and mass murderers. Let me state here that I am not saying that there is NO correlation or causality. I am not a social scientist, nor am I a mental health care professional, and I’m sure there are some neural pathways that are affected by visions of death and destruction. Hmmm, which makes me wonder about some form of PTSD, hmm. Will have to research that!
Anyhoo, the simplest way to negate the “video games are creating mass murderers” is to again, look at the numbers. Over 18 million copies of Call of Duty: Black Ops have been sold since 2010. Grand Theft Auto IV has sold 15 million copies. I could go on, but you should see what I’m saying here. There are not 18 million school or theater shootings every year. Since 1982, which can be considered the video game era, there have been 61 mass shootings, with 28 of those in the 9 years since the Assault Rifle Ban expired. Meaning that prior to 2004, in an almost 20 year span, there were 33 mass killings in the United States. Still a lot, but not nearly as many as before the weapons ban was in place. Personally, if I’m going to see correlation, this is where it would be.
Another aspect, which a lot of people ignore, goes back to what I said in the beginning. We’re a fucked up species. Really fucked up. Historically, which people often ignore as unimportant, dolts, we have had not only mass murder, but mass genocide. GENOCIDE. The Mongols were brutal, ruthless killers who obliterated entire villages in order to scare the shit out of the rest of the population in order to take over. Carthage. The Anasazi. The Armenian Genocide. Native Americans. Germany. Even the Irish Famine is in reality a genocide because the English took all of the food for themselves, leaving the Irish to starve.
Where were the video games? Damn, Hitler must have loved his Wii.
You see my point?
People suck and like to kill things. If you’re mentally ill, power hungry, charismatic, you might even get to kill legally. But they’ve been doing it for centuries, killing. Mostly because they like it in some sick fashion, regardless of what society expects, wants, etc.
This brings me to why I like to kill hookers. When I am stressed, I get angry. I sometimes have things I can do, go for a walk, cook, yell. But the best thing to alleviate this is to play a game in which I can kill things. When I was in school I was incredibly stressed. I wanted to keep my GPA high, had to take care of my kids, had parents who needed some assistance, although not that much at the time, and had a husband who’d never had kids and didn’t really understand why they needed shit. And there was always some jackhammer who thought he was cleverer than everyone else at school who would determine that it was his purpose in life to make the rest of us feel somehow inferior. Thankfully, I rarely felt that way, hah! but it still pissed me off.
So, I’d come home, turn on the PS2 and kill things. Shoot thugs, crash cars, and find prostitutes. Why prostitutes? Because they don’t have guns and they had money in the GTA games. So I could go get a tattoo or a gun or something in game. And it is so alien to my actual personality that I can live vicariously through a thug and blow off steam. And go to bed, when I dragged myself away. I certainly don’t go and kill prostitutes in real life, and neither do my children. Hell, according to Pat Robertson, Dungeons and Dragons is the Devil’s Work.
The issue with these mass shootings, and violence in general, is not video games, media, or even the gun itself, although I do believe that the Assault Weapon Ban should be reinstated. It’s an issue of responsibility. Not just in terms of your own children, but in terms of children and the world at large. Seek mental health for your kids. It’s not shameful to have a child with a disorder, it’s shameful to let them loose on society. And this is where bigger government comes in. We have to have some form of socialized medicine that cares for the mentally ill. We cannot continue to hide from the fact that there are some crazy people out there and even though we may love them they may be so batshit crazy they may kill us with our own guns.
And what kind of parent, knowing about their child’s illness, has those kinds of guns in their house? Because almost all of these mass shooters have those parents.
It isn’t about what you want. It’s about what’s best for all of us. And that’s the problem. People don’t give a shit as long as they can keep their guns. Until a four year old boy accidentally kills his father, a soldier who served for our rights.
If that isn’t tragically ironic, and if it doesn’t touch you and make you rethink the importance of a thing, I don’t know what will.
And yes, I get that to you it’s protection. Fine. But don’t moan and groan when people like me say we don’t like guns. We have rights too. Like living. Yeah I kind of like that right.
As long as the Constitution, as it is interpreted right now, says that you can have guns, I guess I have to support you, because I actually do believe in a living document that can change as we evolve. And even though I don’t hate guns, I fear them. A 14 year old friend shot and killed his step-father accidentally when I was 12. My two year old daughter held a handgun to my head because her father was an idiot. They are dangerous. Dangerous and even more dangerous in the hands of a moron who does not control access to them. And there are many, many of those.
But in this case I am not really angry at the gun owners, but the NRA for deflecting. Have your guns, but stay the fuck away from my ultra-violent video game. Last time I checked it was people with guns who actually kill things, with real blood and everything. These mass shooters may be gamers, and many of them are, but they are also in the age range in which mental health issues worsen for boys and men. Possibly they might beat someone to death with their Xbox 360 or throw a Wii nunchuck at someone’s head, but why the Hell would they do that when they can go into mom’s bedroom or dad’s basement and get an object manufactured for the express purpose of killing people?
They wouldn’t. And neither would any of the other sick fuckers throughout history who have killed. Pretty sure Jack the Ripper and Cortez never had to play a video game to get ideas about how to kill, nor were they desensitized to violence by killing prostitutes on the small screen, no pun…well, you know.
If these killings don’t stop, however, it is a measure of us as a civilization. We as a country must take responsibility, admit that there is a problem beyond quick solutions, and look at ourselves in the mirror. Is this who we really are? Unable to identify mental illness, treat it, or institutionalize those who are that crazy. . If we really care about these children, and I mean the shooters as well, then we must acknowledge that we have failed as parents, failed as protectors, guns or not.
And we will all continue to suffer for a “right”.