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Op Ed

The Atlantic - How the Video-Game Industry Already Lost Out in the Gun-Control Debate.
As it happens, that's just what happened to games (and popular media more generally) in the NRA's good guy with a gun response to the Newtown shooting. Guns aren't a factor in gun violence for the NRAŚrather, games, media, and law enforcement failures must take the blame. Once the terms of the debate are set like this (and set they very much were thanks to the over-the-top bravado in this press conference) then it's very hard to extract oneself from the debate without shifting the frame, without changing the terms of the debate.

I certainly believe that the White House would like nothing more than to see an end to mass gun murders in America's elementary schools. But the fact remains that gun violence takes place every day, all across this country, at a rate of dozens of deaths a day, and as the leading cause of death among African-American youth. But when the vice president establishes a task force on gun control and violence that includes the media industries that the NRA has once again chosen as their patsies after a particularly heinous and public example of gun violence, all it can do is shift attention away from guns.

IGN - Let's Talk About Violent Video Games.
Distinctions between games for adults and those for kids are fairly clear these days, thanks to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). Formed in 1994, the ESRB rates all video games as a guide for parents similar to the way movies are rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Games are rated ranging from E for Everyone and T for Teen to M for Mature, 17+.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding that games are only for children. This needs to change for the 'violence in games' dialogue to advance.

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29. Re: Op Ed Jan 11, 2013, 12:56 eunichron
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 11, 2013, 12:31:
Meanwhile, back in reality...I'm a firm believer that guns aren't the problem. I do not believe anyone has a right to bear guns anymore than they have a right to drive - it's a privilege. If your argument is hunting then learn how to bow hunt. And people like RT are living proof there are far too many kooks and wackos out there with guns. How thorough is a background check when the feds are running 14,000 of them per day? I think psych tests should be mandatory to weed out potential psychopaths.

I would agree that this is part of it. How many of the mass shootings could have been prevented if the perpetrators had received proper medical treatment? If you agree that guns aren't the problem, then we need to put the focus where these shootings can be prevented; health and mental health treatment and education.

Fines and punishment related to firearms misuse should be extremely stiff. In possession of or used in a crime should be an automatic 10 years for a first offense. Create a strong enough deterrent and then only the most hardcore outlaws will risk it.

They already are pretty stiff. There's a $10,000 fine and possible 10 years prison time just for lying on a Form 4473. I cam across this last night, it's satire, but every regulation and penalty he mentions in it is current US federal firearms law. Many of the restrictions that gun control advocates are debating now are already in place. As the death penalty has proven, strong deterrents don't really work in preventing crime.

The fact is guns do kill - that's their entire purpose - and they do it remarkably well. Just look at that knife attack in the school in China that same day as Sandy Hook. You can always run away or fight back against a knife or a club, not so with a gun. America's culture of pervasive paranoia is the true culprit though. That's why other countries have almost as many guns per capita and none of the gun violence. So until that changes nothing else will change regardless of what's banned or not.

The last figure I saw was 88 guns per 100 people in the US. Approximately 12,000 violent crimes committed with firearms in 2011 (or was it 2012, can't remember, but it was one of those two), and of those 12,000 crimes about 350 were committed with "assault weapons" of the rifle variety. Another figure estimates between 1.5 million and 2.5 million violent crimes are prevented every year by lawful gun owners (of course that figure is hard to track because how do you define a violent crime that is never committed).

Finally, according to this list there have been 64 mass school shootings in the world since 1913. Is it really as prolific as the media makes it out to be?
 
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