The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
Why does anybody need an assault rifle with a high capacity
Why does anybody need a video game where you can kill cops,
steal cars and beat up and rob prostitutes of the money paid to them for
There is a war going on in the United States and whether you
know or care or not is irrelevant - the battle and its outcome will undoubtedly
affect you. Maybe not today, or tomorrow...but in your lifetime, it will.
How many of you are Command & Conquer or other Real Time
Strategy (RTS) gamers? If you have ever played these sorts of games online with
multiple players, no doubt you have encountered the strategy or employed it
yourself, whereby you allow two warring factions to fight their fight while
depleting their resources before launching your own offensive against far
weaker opponents who are unable to defend themselves, assuring your victory a
majority of the time. It's a simple and effective tactic, but also an obvious
one that nearly anybody watching should be able to observe or predict. Yet,
surprisingly no one engaged in the battle ever seems to realize it's happening
to them...until it's too late.
Whenever evil befalls our great nation the common response
is to assign responsibility. Unfortunately, as is often the case, society tends
to focus on everything but the real culprit. In the most recent mass shooting,
video games and firearms came under fire and the only thing gamers, gun owners
and those who oppose both agree on is that these senseless acts of violence are
horrible, atrocious acts committed by a monster and should never be allowed to
happen again. Some of the gun owners point to video games as the cause, and some
of the gamers point to the guns. The gun owners offer up popular titles like
Grand Theft Auto and obscure titles that nobody has heard of or plays, like Kindergarten
Killers. Gamers respond using the buzzwords made popular by the media and
question the need for assault rifles and high capacity magazines. When the dust
settles and the gamers and gun owners have successfully beat each other up and
exposed the dirty truth about the other. That's when those who oppose both will
rally their forces and launch their attack. My guess is they'll go after the
guns first, but eventually they'll turn to the mature and often violent content
found in most of our video games.
Never mind the facts and statistics that prove neither is to
blame. Never mind the fact that proposed legislation being considered to
control and regulate either wouldn't necessarily prevent additional further
acts of violence. Never mind the fact the Constitution of the United States
protects our rights to both.
We live in a country where some states have legalized drugs
the federal government still lists as illegal; where some states are working to
lower the drinking age; where the number one killer of young people are vehicle
accidents and suicides, yet we only get this public outcry whenever an isolated
tragedy occurs and the media works everybody up into a fervor with their shoddy
coverage that only proves their ignorance of both topics while offending those
they misrepresent. Everyday thousands of gamers engage in violent activity found
in mature rated games and every day thousands of legal, responsible gun owners
carry, use and store their firearms without incident. And every day there are
bad people who are going to wake up with evil in their hearts, who are going to
disregard our laws and our rights...and they are going to try and hurt or kill
us. There is nothing we can do to prevent it; about the only thing we can do is
prepare for it. So, how do we prepare for it? Certainly I have my own thoughts
on the matter, but would encourage you to think about yours.
The media is corrupt. You can watch Fox News and get one
perspective and MSNBC and get another, but what you seldom find is the truth. Nearly
every station out there represents their own agenda while misrepresenting the
others. You don't have to watch for very long to realize they know nothing
about firearms, and even less about video games.
I'll give you an example of their misinformation.
Assault Rifles - What is an assault rifle? Who can tell me
what an assault rifle is or why they are the target of nearly every gun control
campaign when statistics show they are one of the least used weapons in gun
crime and when the worst mass shooting in terms of loss of life in the United
States was carried out with a handgun?
Are these assault rifles?
Is this an assault rifle?
Some facts about the pictures above. The guns that look like assault rifles with high capacity magazines have this in common - they all fire a relatively small caliber (.22) bullet. The .22 can certainly kill, but it is far less likely to do so. I don't know of any military or police force (or mass shooting) that has ever involved a .22 caliber weapon. Many of the weapons look like they have high capacity magazines when actually they hold 10 rounds; two of the weapons look like they have silencers, when really they are just shrouds made to look like silencers. The point is people who don't know guns see these and think they are assault weapons, but what is an assault weapon?
The second picture shows a fairly plain looking rifle, but don't be deceived by the wooden stock. This weapon fires a large caliber (7.62) bullet. Sure, it only has a 10 round magazine, but this round is very lethal - it can punch through body armor at close range and penetrate steel. Do you know how long it takes to change a magazine. If you've played Call of Duty you do...seconds.
The .22 is the little one to the left of the penny, the 7.62 is the one on the far right.
The shocking truth is most assault style weapons aren't used by the bad guys because they are too expensive. The Bushmaster that many are talking about and so opposed to used to cost around $1,000 but I've heard now go for up to $2500. The above gun can be found in abundant supply for a mere few hundred dollars. It's also a semi-automatic. They all are.
How does banning a weapon based on cosmetic looks and the fact it holds more rounds make anybody any safer? It doesn't. And banning the video games for the person operating this weapon doesn't make you any safer either.
If we're truly concerned about our schools and children, how
come the college kid in Wyoming who recently committed a murder suicide in his classroom
isn't ever discussed? Is it because he is rumored to have used a crossbow and
that isn't as glamorous as an assault rifle. Even the recent shooting at the school
in California didn't receive that much media attention. Was it because it was a
shotgun or the fact nobody died? Aren't people concerned how he made it into
school with a firearm? But that story was put to rest the day after it
happened. If anything, some people almost seemed remorseful since the shooter
had been bullied and was targeting the students responsible for treating him so
The media doesn't even know how to respond to video games because
it doesn't understand them. They throw out useless information indicating many
of these perpetrators played violent video games, but with such a large
percentage of the population being gamers now, is the fact that somebody played
a video game even a relevant statistic anymore - it's like saying they watch TV
or wear pants. Tell us something worthwhile.
If video games are so bad and cause our young people to be
violent, how come the military / government paid for a First Person Shooter
called America's Army as a promotional / recruiting tool to spark interest in
joining the military? This game that has you shooting bad guys and is rated T -
Teen for blood and violence. How many politicians and citizens do you think are
aware the Vice President might just say that video games are part of the
problem in his report to the President and not have any idea there is a video
game available today endorsing the U.S. Army that you can download for free and
shoot these horrible assault rifles?
What's even more maddening is these same politicians and
media outlets fail to realize who among them are gamers. They prop up former military
and law enforcement personnel as a potential solution to the problem as experienced
handlers of weapons in one breath while condemning video games in the other,
yet they fail to make the connection that many of us are both; that many of us
grew up with guns and games our entire life and are now serving or have served...supporting
the very Constitution they're now working to undo.
If you own guns, lock them up when you're not using them. If
you play violent video games, think about who is present while you play. This is
especially true if you have kids. It doesn't matter how well you think you know
your kids, they observe everything you do. Hiding your gun under your mattress
if you have little kids is not responsible. How many of us have seen parents at
Game Stop just letting their kids pick any game they want off the shelf and
then purchasing it for them without so much as looking at the ESRB rating?
Being a responsible gun owner and/or gamer is not hard, but it is effective.
Sitting on the sidelines will result in whatever happens,
happens. If you care about your rights or if you're interested in voting on
legislation to ban guns or censor video games (or not ban guns or censor video
games), you have to be pro-active. Research the facts and statistics online and
participate in polls voicing your opinion. Most government officials are very
active on Twitter now and it's extremely easy to let your representatives know
where you stand on important issues. Obviously one of the biggest actions you
can take is to vote on representatives that support your interests.
Some of us are torn because we have allegiances to both Amendments
of the Constitution and engage in both activities under attack.
As gamers, it's easy to question why someone feels the need
to own an assault rifle with high capacity magazines but how would you feel if
an organization lobbied to ban the sale of a particular game, something that
routinely happens in other countries around the globe.
As gun owners, it's easy to question why someone would want
a video game that allows the player to engage in illegal activity like murder,
sexual assault, larceny or other unlawful conduct, but fail to realize that just because you can do something wrong doesn't mean you have to...and that most of us are able to separate the difference between right and wrong and real life and video games.
Gamers could argue the difference being guns are the mechanism or
tool with a propensity to kill, but gun owners would just counter-argue that video
games have affected the mental capacity of the person pulling the trigger. Both
arguments are without merit for those of us who engage in these activities as
law abiding citizens.
Ben Franklin said, "They
who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve
neither liberty nor safety."
Those who would advocate the rights of others to be
infringed upon will almost certainly have their own rights eroded away.
The answer is simple, it's called freedom.
NOTE: As if it wasn't obvious, the thoughts and opinions in
this blog represent me and in no way are trying to represent gun owners or
gamers as a whole. I'm not trying to persuade anybody into agreeing with me,
only to make informed decisions.
I have to say, you've totally outdone yourself this time, Saint. This is probably the most well written article I've read on this site, including those written by the staff.
I only have one thing to say, Saint.
Well done indeed.
Couldn't have said these things better than myself, especially with your last points. You never cease to amaze me with your continuous flow of quality work. ;)
An excellent read.
Banning weapons. never makes sense look at d.c. They banned handguns for years so the only ones with a handgun was a criminal and helped make it oneof the murder capitals of the country .WHat we need is a common sense discussion on the mental illness that caused this not blaming,an inaminate object
Very, very true. They say they want to ban semi-automatics, when little do they do all guns save muzzleloaders and some revolvers nowadays are semi-auto: meaning it can fire a bullet and have one in the chamber ready to go thereafter without having to be hammered in again as a revolver does. And don't even get me started on their whole "assault rifle" deal...
Nice blog. Even though I think just not anyone should be allowed to own a gun, banning them really won't solve anything. Being responsible and getting help for the mentally unstable will do much more than banning weapons.
I love your "be responsible" section, Saint. It's very true. Nice blog!
Beautiful Saint! I think that you could not have summed up better how I feel. I think that the biggest problem we here in America have a real problem with not being held responsible. It's times like this though I remember what my father always tells me, All it takes for evil to succeed, is for good men to do nothing.
Great blog, Saint. And good timing, too, as this is the day we're supposed to see a list of recommendations on gun violence delivered to the President.
Yah, I feel that the whole thing with the NRA is stupid. It doesn't make any sense to release a game like that.
This was definitely an excellent read. I don't think there's anyway I could agree more with pretty much everything you said.
Thank You Saint, this is a well written blog with a nice unbiased view on both guns and video games. When ever tragedy strikes everyone starts pointing fingers and in the end nothing constructive is accomplished.
Well put, Saint. I actually disagree on many points, however, I respect your opinion and appreciate the thought and care you put into this blog. And I am especially thankful for the insight you provide into the weapons in question.
What I will say is that I wish people in general would be respective of each other's concerns and be sensible about the problems we face and options for addressing them. These tragedies are not caused by any one issue and all should be on the table when considering solutions.
Central questions are whether certain weapons make mass murder easier, does violent entertainment desensitize or otherwise influence impressionable consumers, can school counselors identify and treat problem students, what security can ensure safer schools, what can parents do differently?
Knee jerk reactions put everyone on the defensive and promote intransigence, but asking salient questions about our society and culture as a whole (and not any one issue independent of any others) can only inform and perhaps provide an outline for actionable items.
Does that mean greater restrictions or censorship? Not necessarily, at least from a regulatory standpoint. But it can help government, industry, services, society and, most importantly, people decide what they can each do to help address these issues, and hopefully work together toward solutions.
For me, this all points to the one thing that is knawing at our society from the inside out. Lack of respect. Few appreciate or respect others or their points of view. Whether government, industry, media, people, etc., mistrust permeates relationships within and between each.
In that context, there can be no dialog. Detente is a lost art on the international scene. There is no political discourse between parties. Industries blame each other. People argue instead of debate. It's no wonder we suffer the same problems again and again when no one even wants to talk.
Dude this is so true the media is a group of dumb ass's that don't know what there talking about. Me I am a gun owner and video game player but I think those people were just screwed up in the head because of how they grew up not video games or guns.
And now my roommate is looking at me funny because I gave this blog a standing ovation. As someone who enjoys shooting guns both downrange and at the Noob trying to camp, this about sums it up.
Good blog saint. As you mentioned the media needs a scapegoat and video games seem to come under attack when there has been no proof that they cause violence in normal people. I don't know much about guns so l leave that subject alone. Problem is that there is always going to be crazy people that do horrible things regardless of whether they play video games or not. Look at America's history long before video games ther have been plenty of serial killers and horrible acts of violence