I agree with you on censorship as a general principle. Absolutely. I have about as extreme a position on censorship as you can have. I just think it's easy for someone to come along and say that obscenity is immoral just as murder is immoral. That's why I think it's so important to keep religion out of public life as much as possible. It protects people from religion based appeals of this kind. Challenges made on behalf of the standards of decency and decorum of any religion should be immediately denied on that basis, imo.
This is a subject I’ve thought about for awhile now and all I’ve done is mess around in this thread. Time to vent a bit. This is all my personal opinion so I’m not going to bother looking up studies and articles I’ve come across.
Spesh’s GET REAL post:
Much about this bill and what is represents bothers me. While I have no doubt many on here feel that way about other bills(and I have no doubt some feel that way concerning any bill), the goals, practical expectations, and reasons for the bill to exist at all bother me.
Anytime anything happens at all people attempt to deflect the blame onto other parties. Its lead to some fairly hideous resolutions yet we continue to do it. In this case, entertainment takes the fall. “Society” has forever been a convenient scapegoat for those who, in my opinion, cannot take responsibility for their actions and inactions. Is it easier deal with the child you just caught having sex and talk to them about the incident or is it easier to blame MTV for their rap videos and write a letter to a Congressmen you didn’t vote for because you forgot about the election?
History has shown this scapegoat tendency to be false repeatedly over the ages. As I mentioned earlier, The Catcher in the Rye has been blamed for assassination attempts and The Beggar’s Opera was blamed for an increase of crime in England. There are countless other examples. Regardless of how illogical is it to blame a book for an individuals decision to commit crime, the book in question is the one that gets banned. Later, in America at least, we inevitably unban it…only to later ban something similar, thus continuing the cycle. At what point do we stop repeating history? At what point do we stop making the same mistakes over again?
Practically, this bill is absurd. Disturbed Shifty hit the nail on the head. The vast majority of the research on “entertainment leading to violence” has shown that family and friends influence behavior far more than “outside sources”. A child who has engaged and encouraging parent’s functions better then a child with negligent parents. A child who is emotionally stable is able to put things into perspective in ways a child who is unstable cannot. If a child’s parents beat them, then they are much more likely to develop long term issues that could lead to aggression. If a child’s parents neglect them or ignore bad behavior, they are more likely to indulge in negative tendencies.
Logically this restriction doesn’t make any sense either. Because our glorious politicians have seen fit to link the two vastly different subjects, I’ll do the same. Everyone agrees that there are gun owners who are responsible human beings and have no intention of committing any crimes whatsoever. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say most gun owners are responsible. And for that reason we cannot ban weapons because it would harm legal owners who have done nothing wrong. To put forward a ban, or even restriction, on video games suggests that people can’t play them responsible. It suggests that a majority of “responsible gamers” should be punished because of a minority of irresponsible gamers. I’m sure everyone here sees the utter hypocrisy of such a stance, not to mention to idiocy of it.
That point leads directly to, what has been for me at least, the biggest elephant in the room:if we cannot use video games responsible how in the hell can we be trusted to use firearms responsible?
Games have evolved. I recall a decade ago I was of the opinion that games were not art. They had done little to earn that description. Granted, even 10 or 15 years ago various companies made interesting visual depictions, but the games didn’t evoke any sort of emotional response other than that of competitiveness. They didn’t require deep thought or introspection, they hardly spoke to our philosophical ponderings. Largely, plot was used only as a justification for lining up crowds of enemies to slaughter.
Times have changed. While there is no shortage of titles that can be described as I previously stated, more and more games are having to develop engaging stories, if only to compete with their competition. Even heavy hitters such as the Halo series, hardly known for its story writing, adapted to the new demand. As a teenager I was forced to volunteer(the irony of that statement isn’t lost upon me) at a Alzheimer’s clinic. Recently while playing Halo 4, I was startled by how utterly familiar one of the characters slide towards insanity sounded. Difficulty completing sentences, violent outbursts, inconsolable depression, floods of apologizes, inability to understand where they were….it was remarkably moving and, as I found my time working with the Alzheimer’s victims terrifying, briefly alarming. I could go on with other examples, such as how exceptional Max Payne 2’s noir love story was or how fascinating it was to watch Assassin’s Creed 3’s uncompromising character in a complex time period, but the point remains that games have in fact evolved into a form of art. Despite being a year of “AAA” titles, games with little to no combat like Journey or The Walking Dead won recognition and acclaim in the various “game of the year” awards.
How is this different then the “attack” against the second amendment? While cases and legislation rise up from time to time, and they almost always include the previous arguments concerning the faults and indecencies of our current society, we largely have a consensus on the first amendment and the reasoning is fairly obvious and sound. Almost everything is allowed, no child porn. We have yet to reach such a consensus concerning the second amendment. What exactly does the language allow and not allow? What were the founders intent? Is it still valid because muskets are obsolete and technology has advances in ways they couldn’t have foreseen? What constitutes self-defense? Etc, etc, etc.
You can ask 10 different people those 4 questions and, as the Trayvon Martin case has shown us, get 24 different answers. The fact of the matter is, most people already agree there are bans on the second amendment. And they wouldn’t agree to lift those bans if they thought about it. You have the right to protect yourself, but you do not have the right to use explosives. You can defend your property, but you cannot use surface to air weaponry. You can defend your family, but you cannot unleash biological agents. Those who want to ban assault rifles and other dangerous weaponry simply want to move the bar slightly more to the left. You can still defend yourself, your property, your family, and we can all continue to live up to the second amendment. Hardly the knife through lady liberties pet bald eagle that many make it out to be.
Only the Alex Jones types, what I personally consider “the fringe”, see the situation differently. They don’t simply want the ability to defend themselves from criminals. They see the situation as a full blown arms race against inevitably government takeover. They see themselves as the last vanguard of liberty. And not only are those of us who aren’t with them against them, we must also have a seething hatred of freedom. The logic behind this type of personality amuses me for many reasons, but 2 come to the top. 1) I imagine they would endeavor to save children when fighting against the government. So: in order to be prepared to protect innocent children in the future, they must keep their weapons at the ready while allowing innocent children to die in the present. 2) They see themselves in an arms race against a nuclear superpower. Good luck with that.
Now that I’m at the end of it, this post was longer then I intended(founder-style). In the end, all of what I wrote is irrelevant. The Supreme Court has already ruled on a video game restriction and found it unconstitutional. With a firm 7-2 previous ruling, I feel confident they won’t reverse course anytime soon. Suck it congress and a special middle finger to Obama for reopening this door.
I don't think Semi-Automatic weapon ownership is as fringe as you might think Spesh. Apparently about 20% of Americans owns some form of semi-automatic weapon (about the same percentage of Americans who smoke pot, give or take). I also don't think there's as much the consensus you believe there to be on this issue as well; the latest CNN poll shows 62% of Americans currently favor a ban on semi-automatic weapons (probably comparable to the percentage of people who support the drug-war), & 38% disapprove. There's a large enough consensus on rgp's, there's a large enough consensus on explosives, but it's perfectly apparent there's no such consensus on Semi-Auto's.
The problem I have is that people automatically associate a ban on something to be an end-all solution to the problem, when I don't believe that to be the case. I guarantee that 20% of 300 million people is a large enough market to justify the rise of illegal gun-cartels. To say that demand will disappear just because guns aren't consumable is to say there wouldn't be/isn't a steady demand for cars or dish-washers. Demand is demand.
I had an easier time in highschool buying a number of illegal drugs than I did buying alcohol from a licensed establishment. Know why there's no black-market for alcohol? Because it's legal; there's no financial incentive. As you know the CT shooter was denied when he attempted to buy guns; what if the purchasing of semi-auto's on the black-market becomes comparable to how hard it is to find pot or cocaine (not hard at all)? These people won't be checking id's & running mental health screenings.
I don't own a semi-automatic rifle, nor do I believe Obama is going to 'take over' (though I will say the man you answer to today may not be the man you have to answer to 20 years from now), so I don't have any vested emotional interest in seeing these things not banned. We both want to limit availability of these guns to mentally imbalanced people, we just have different opinions on how to go about it.
Awesome retort Rob....just awesome
Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life
We agree to disagree on the ban leading to a thriving black market. No doubt there will always be some supply and demand towards illegal substances. But guns, outside of ammunition, by and large do not have the repeat spending quality that drugs do. Once you have one you have it. As well, i would hope all law abiding citizens that hope to acquire protection would just go buy one of the non-banned weapons. Not to mention guns lack the addictive(for some, not all drugs) qualities that make selling drugs such a profit.
Again, as you indicated, we already have bans in place and most people agree with them. There isnt a thriving black market for explosive devices, despite the fact that they are infinitly easier to make than weapons. Flame throwers are another easy to make and (largely) illegal weapon, but i havent heard anything about rampant usage. By all accounts, if we make some weapons illegal and keep some "common sense" weapons(i personally define as appropriate for hunting, sport, and protection) legal then its much more likely that people will gravitate towards the legal weapons.
It might not prevent mass shootings, but the ones that do occur wont have casualties into the 70's like Aurora. Australia banned assault rifles at roughly the same time we did. Their law was much tougher and they made an effort to buy back the weapons from their citizens. So far, mass shootings have virtually disappeared there and i havent heard anything about a increase of black market activity, though its not something ive looked into.
And yes, there is alot we both agree on concerning background checks and mental health issues. Ive found my views to be relatively mild compared to some on here, almost "in the middle" when debates have occured. I think ive only suggested it and not outright stated it, so: all the gun ban proposals that have been listed so far are crap. They will not do anything. Obama has declared he wants a reinstatement of the Clinton era gun ban. It didnt work. The provisions in it were absolutely laughable. 18 guns were banned under that. 18. Oh, and you could still sell them. Hilarious. I want a tougher law that actually addresses the problem, not a face saving measure from Obama. If the choice is between getting a bad bill or getting no bill, i'd vote for no bill, in this case at least.
At the end of the day though, i still stand behind my view on the issue i posted about in my thesis paper above: restricting video games sales is damned silly for a plethora of reasons.