Outgoing Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) appeared on Fox News Sunday where he was asked about the mass shooting in his home state and what kind of legislative solutions that lawmakers in Washington could pursue to make sure this situation never occurs again. Lieberman said that producers of violent movies and video games must be asked to “tone it down,” because violence in entertainment is “a causative factor” leading to incidences of violence. Chris Wallace noted that children are exposed to thousands of acts of violence in video games and television in their youth and wondered if policy makers Staff has corrected headline.
Anyone who has ever played or even examined closely one of the immensely popular(and lucrative) "shooter" video games will wonder why such horrible massacres are not more common than they actually are(so far). The media would do Americans a service by showing short clips of these games so that those who are unaware of them can see for themselves what they are like.
The graphic, pornographic violence, of course, is everywhere in the entertainment media today. Besides political correctness, one of the great attractions of zombie shows and games is that the gruesome, graphic murder of figures that resemble, but in theory are not human beings can be practiced with joyous and even meritorious abandon.
Then there is rap. White teenagers have always been the biggest market. A Google search for "violent rap lyrics" will enlighten those who do not yet know just how bad such trash actually is.
Gun control cultists will never admit that these factors are as important as they are. For the gun control cultist, guns are a kind of synecdoche. They fix their gaze on the tool to avoid the truly disturbing things, not least of which is the innate human capacity for absolute evil. The latter, being ineradicable, should not be encouraged nor rationalized by make-believe stories and "shooter" games. Those whose only solution is the reflex to control guns are really in a state of denial. The situation is far worse than they are willing to allow.
Unlike guns, violent video games have no essential purpose. I´d never advocate that government should step in and ban these ultraviolent games. Instead, there needs to be social pressure placed on the so-called entertainment industry to stop making them. What we are seeing is a manifestation of ´garbage in, garbage out´.
Having watched my son play some of these games, I get it. You shoot other people. It´s actually pretty fun, and no one gets hurt. But normal people don´t blur the line from video games to reality and start shooting up schools.
I actually think the horror movies are way more graphic and disturbing. Can anyone sit through one of the Saw movies and not lose a tiny bit of their humanity?
Every year the games and movies become ever more violent and depraved. Do they influence behavior? Of course they do. They probably don´t affect well-adjusted people but you can bet that the mentally unstable are affected in plenty of undesirable ways.
Hollywood will never admit this. They will just keep trying to outdo each other in the violence and porn race to the bottom.
Bans of something by government just tend to create a large underground market for it. See ´prohibition´ for an example. What we got from that was the mafia.
Social pressure on producers of all the extreme violence would work better because then we are hitting them in the pocketbook. Isn´t that the way the market is supposed to work?
I am absolutely not for all the extreme violence in our nation´s entertainment. It offends me deeply as a Christian. But I am not confident that enough of our society has the morals necessary to put the pressure needed on these producers. Too many people are enjoying this sick garbage as their ´guilty little pleasure´ and see no need to give it up. Very sad for them.
Though I understand and fully agree with the choices made by #8, I am afraid it is not possible to avoid exposure to a depraved and violent popular culture, no more than it is possible for someone living on a toxic waste dump nor in a dangerous radioactive zone to escape exposure to their poisonous effects. There are naturally different modes of exposure and a variety of harmful effects. The murdered mother, teachers and children, as well as the suicide of the shooter represent one form of exposure and negative -in this case, lethal- effects. It is most unlikely that any of the victims was a direct consumer of violent pop culture - unless, as one undoubtedly should, they regard the shooter himself as a victim of that culture.
Media isn´t pulling off this ´increase in violence´ on it´s own. Earlier today, a story informs us the Federal DOE is upset over ´discipline, suspensions and arrests´ of *minority* or ´otherwise disenfranchised´ youth, claiming the schools are disciplining too many boys. These would be the same schools that display zero tolerance for something like possession of an aspirin, but are now so politically correct and over-administrated - that any *meaningful* discipline of kids in the public schools is anathema.
There was a time in the US when children were actually disciplined in a sensible fashion - now, the teacher or parent who disciplines a child is likely to face some discipline on their own.
Media doesn´t operate in a vacuum - but it certainly starts the ball rolling downhill at an early age these days - and Lieberman - in mentioning ´games and movies´ leaves out the most damaging of all - the culture fostered via the music industry. The explosion of rap and youth gangs is a pretty solidly linked timeline, and nowhere is this more evident than the President´s ´home town´ of Chicago - which now has an annual body count exceeding Afghanistan.
It seems we are now - as a nation - more concerned with the ´self esteem´ of children, rather than any actual adult or societal responsibility in raising them.
We watched Lieberman this morning with Chris Wallace. Lieberman´s first comments were about ´gunshows´ and ´loopholes´. Joe, Joe.... The maniac stole his mother´s weapons. He did not go to a gunshow and take advantage of those fabled leftist loopholes. Joe, please knock it off.
#3. Here is the problem with your statement above: ´´ ´´shooter´´ video games will wonder why such horrible massacres are not more common than they actually are(so far).´´
You write (so far). It seems that this same conversations about violent games and movies has been discussed for decades. Millions upon millions of people have watched and/or played them. Rarely (fortunately) one of these tragedies occurs and people blame guns and violent media. If the influence was that great, you would think it would occur more often. Some people are just tormented sick people. Nothing anyone can do will ever change that. I am not defending the violence in media, I am also quite disturbed by it. I just don´t see the correlation.
The senator has no credibility with me, but heck, even a broken clock is correct twice a day. I once saw a little boy playing video games. He squealed with delight at the decapitation and disembowelment of the characters. I asked the parents why they allow their child to play this game. They thought I was being judgemental and reminded me it´s only make believe.
If this kid grows up with mental issues, at least, he has the techniques right for killing someone. The CT killer´s (don´t ever use his name) mental state probably upgraded to schizophrenia, so its quite possible he was reliving a videogame.
Expect the video game industry to come out swinging ´not their fault.´
Went to a crowded theater last night and saw The Hobbit. Of course, the place was filled with kids. There were unbelievably violent, disgusting previews of coming attractions that preceded this movie. It started with one about zombies getting shot and also falling in love. Then there were the monster alien movies and the new Tom Cruise movie. They also featured a preview of a film in which a young girl has to decide if she wants to join the dark side of witchcraft or not. All of these previews were introduced by saying that they are intended for "appropriate audiences." Ours was certainly not an "appropriate audience" for that attack on values. Then some Jimmy Kimmel fake commercial about a rapper who suddenly became awakened to family values came on making a mockery of parenting. And Hollywood says that Christian conservatives are preaching to the nation and ruining it?
I have to agree, both the hyper-violent movies and video games, are far worse threats than actual guns. Even the constant diet of perverts and super-criminals on tv shows, much milder than the movies, I think a bad influence.
Maybe most people can draw the lines between these things and reality, but maybe even that is a bad influence, because it makes you think there really IS something between the realities of violence and living peacefully. And then some maniac shows up on your doorstep and you were not wise enough to have a gun, you drew that line but you drew it wrong.
No easy answers here, but I share the senator´s concerns.
I disagree. I think parents should step in and determine whether or not their son or daughter should be exposed. There are already recommended ages for these games. If parents allow their children to play them and they´re kids aren´t mature enough to handle it, then don´t expose them to it.
Go away government. Don´t go away mad. Just go away.
Not this again. Both the left and the right raise this every time something horrible happens, but no link has ever been conclusively proven. The studies are either inconclusive or open to methodological criticism. And no, I don´t play video games or own a video game company or whatever.
I also wonder how much the news media plays into this, with their non-stop coverage. Does that give some with personality problems a reason to do this? Someone looking for some coverage? Who knows what causes someone to go off the deep end and kill others. What about gang violence why is that not covered to the extent this is, what about the innocents killed by gang violence, someone in the wrong place at the time of the killing?
Every problem as a simple solution that won´t work. For some reason, Americans believe that some magic bean can be found to end horrors like mass killings. No such bean exists. In this nation of over 313 million people a few are evil and/or mentally crazed. Gun control, video game control, Hollywood control, TV contol, "improved" school security...none of these will work. Bad things happen...
Aristotle says that it is the mark of an educated man to expect just such precision in demonstration as the subject itself permits(Nicomachean Ethics). Mathematics and politics involve different modes and levels of proof. Certitude is possible in one, probable or likely truth in the other.
Here in a nutshell is my reasoning about the contributory relation of pop culture to calculated and malicious spree killings by young males:
1. Gun availability is not new. If anything, it is less than in former times.
2. Evil is not new - at least to those who think there is such a thing as evil. It is, of course, the denial of evil that is new.
3. Mental illness is not new. For all the complaints about the rules and services available, more attention and effective treatment is available than ever.
4. What is new -besides spree killings of strangers by young males- is a massively depraved, violence and sex-saturated mass pop culture. Anyone can verify this for themselves by reviewing the top songs, movies and TV shows over the decades on Wikipedia.
5. THEREFORE it would appear that there is connection, possibly in some degree causal, between the two things that ARE new: (1) spree killings by young males, and (2) a depraved pop culture.
This is by no means a conclusive demonstration. It could well be mistaken. It is susceptible to analysis of all kinds of logical fallacies, e.g. post hoc propter hoc, petitio princinpii, etc. etc. etc.
Millions of people play these games & watch the movies......and......how many of them become killers..........HUH?
Millions of people are gun owners........and .....how many of them commit crimes.....HUH?
Society has become an enabler by interfering with the natural order of things. Make excuses for weird behavior in children, or better yet, put a label on the kid for life. There´s a place in the world for a swat on the butt, & if a teacher had spanked me in school, when I got home I would have been sitting on a pillow for days after my Dad got thru with me.
Don´t even get me started on the new buzz word.........bullying..!!! There has been bullying since the beginning of time. We use to know who was going to fight after school & where, off school grounds of course, wasn´t any of their business. The boys fought & usually left the area walking together, till next time. There´s a natural pecking order in all animals, including people, until "edikated" people get involved & have to justify their silly ideas.
Kids are not allowed to grow up as normal human beings. I can´t imagine how "damaged" kids are by being kept in a cocoon or "car seat" until they are almost old enough to drive, at least by my standards. I could drive stick shift before I could reach the pedal & see out the windshield at the same time. My son grew up standing in the middle of the back seat watching the world go by & I threw my arm out to stop him becoming a projectile, when necessary. Kids today will never grow up watching the outside world go by, because they´ve been stuck in a stupid seat, "so they´ll be safe".
I am not a lab rat of the progressives & neither is my family.
To note one contributory factor, e.g. a depraved pop culture, is not to negate the possibility of others. There can be little doubt, for example, that the classic problem of the Herostratic criminal outrage(see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herostratus for details)has been magnified many times by the technology and use of modern mass communications. This could be a far bigger factor than we presently realize, one that could conceivably dwarf all others. (The crime of Herostratus, of course, is an example of evil in the form of human pride.)
"Shooter" video games keep score. So do potential mass murderers. It would probably be better not to devote as much attention to these horrible rampages as we are naturally inclined to do. Had every one of the Sandy Hook massacre victims died in a more conventional fashion, e.g. airplane crash or school bus accident, the loss would be just as great, but the publicity and its duration much less.
Thank you #22 and #25. This is again indeed. People have a need after such a tragedy to find a cause so they can prevent it. Guns for dems and video games for Republicans?
There are millions upon millions of gamers. The majority of them young men. I guess it´s as easy a correlation as guns.
Does anyone recall the young man a few years ago who was a life-long gamer before he began a career making violent war video games? He was driving one night, his pregnant wife at his side, when a non-gamer driver, high as a kite, drove head-on into his car. In a split-second this man decided to turn his car to take the brunt of the collision to spare his wife and unborn baby. They survived. He died. Many of our military are gamers...and they play violent games. My sons are gamers. They all have jobs, are gentlemen, and help others in need. They never got into drugs, drinking or trouble and they´ve been playing for years. Halo, Call of Duty, Black Ops, Assassin´s Creed...all violent, first-person shooter games. Even I learned to play them so I could be in their gaming world with them (which tickled my boys to death. They thought it was cool to have a mom to play a zombie match with). The lines I drew for them were no sex and no cursing.
If homicidal tendencies could be linked to gaming...then why don´t we hear about terrorists playing violent video games? What about internet porn? That´s a much more likely connection. These psychopaths are, after all, isolated young men.
Again...I understand the need to find a solution, but the solution is to eradicate evil. Please don´t give the government the go-ahead to try that one. God will take care of it when the time comes.
Increase in population might have a lot to do with it also. People live like rats in some places. My father tells of riding the bus to school in his youth carrying his shotgun to hunt with after school.
Young people today have no conflict resolution skills. Anything resembling conflict of any kind is quickly handled, (usually poorly), and there are few teachable moments for them to learn from. It is no wonder they have little chance of resolving problems within themselves ar with others.
The educational system calling for medicating of mostly boys is also a big problem in my mind. Some children do actually need meds to function in school, but many are put on drugs for classroom management reasons.
It would probably be better to think in terms of risk factors rather than simple causation. There is no reason there cannot be more than one risk factor for spree murders - which, according to experts and statistics, are not really on the rise on a per event basis. (I am not sure about the number of fatalities per event, however).
The vast majority of smokers do NOT develop lung cancer - but it is conclusively established that smoking is a huge risk factor for developing lung cancer. The vast majority of drunk drivers do not cause accidents and injure or kill people - but drunk driving is a major risk factor for such things. Countless additional examples might be cited.
Thus, that the vast majority of violent video game players, mentally ill persons, and consumers of violent entertainment do not go on killing rampages by no means eliminates such things as risk factors. The same can be said of those who own or have access to firearms. It may be that massacres like the one at Sandy Hook involve a "perfect storm" of known and possibly unknown risk factors best understood, if understandable at all, by something like chaos theory.
The level of risk a society is prepared to accept is a political matter, as the example of annual automobile fatalities shows. And the approach to auto fatalities involves reducing risk rather than eliminating automobiles.
World War II in Britain. Children grew up in London and other cities surrounded by the carnage and destruction of the war. Their house might have survived a bomb but the rest of the street was obliterated, close friends vaporized in a second. Incendiary bombs were used too, infernos consuming huge office buildings, department stores, factories, the docks, neighborhoods.
Bombers were shot out of the sky and fell in huge explosions, fighter planes duelling in the air, kids rooting for the ones with the red, white and blue rondels on their wings.
Many children were sent to the countryside and even Canada for survival. Often, they became orphans as parents died in the Blitz.
Men and women, military or not, were crippled and scarred, often more horribly than you can imagine. Kids grew up with those sights. I know, I was one of them. It was normal to play in a fire-bombed shell of a building or a huge crater. After the war the debris might have been cleared from bomb sites but there was always the twinkling evidence--glass sparkling like diamond dust in the sun.
Did the generation witnessing such dreadful sights grow up to be violent? No. Perhaps a very small percentage did, but I have to guess they would have been violent anyway. So why would video games cause people to be violent? I have to think it´s some other cause(s) and a big part of the whole could very well be the "everybody in class gets a gold star" mindset. Kids as victims of "society." We need more conservative psychologists!
That incredibly realistic life-like violence in the entertainment media, including what are called first person shooter video games, multiplayer games like World of Warcraft and many others are a significant risk factor for spree killings can in fact neither be proved nor disproved conclusively. What is certain is that spree killings by young males, like the violent entertainment that is pervasive today, are a relatively recent phenomenon. Perhaps only those who can personally compare the entertainment milieu of half a century ago with that of today, or those who have themselves seen and played shooter video games are likely to be persuaded of a connection.
The Lone Ranger, we might remember, always shot his silver bullets at the malefactor´s weapon, knocking it out of his hand without, one assumes, seriously wounding him. Popular Western movies and TV shows never, ever displayed the graphic and gruesome violence that is routine today. When people were shot shot, they just fell down. No blood, no splatter, no mess. And it was always perfectly clear who the good guys and the bad guys were. The good guys only shot in self-defense, and those they shot always deserved shooting. There was a moral to the story. The moral was always the same: good triumphs over evil. Marshal Dillon opened every episode of Gunsmoke by shooting, or shooting at someone. Ditto for The Rifleman, Lucas McCain. All the rest followed the same pattern. Violence was downplayed and always a last resort. These shows were highly moralistic, not nihilistic like much modern mass entertainment.
If you really truly think this way, how about you NOT let your kids play the bloody, nasty games or watch the violent, graphic movies?? Gee, now there is a thought. Just because you need a night off and junior seems perfectly happy blowing make believe people to bits or watching people dismembered via Netflix, maybe just maybe YOU should take responsibility you signed up for when you had that baby. Our 11 yo son has never played one of these games, never watched one of those movies, doesn´t have a cell phone, doesn´t listen to crap music, and doesn´t behave like a little wild hoodlum. We just DON´T LET HIM. So don´t tell me it is not possible.
As it is, we do this not to prevent him from becoming a mass murderer but to keep his childhood pure and intact as long as we can manage. Children are forced by our twisted culture to grow up far to fast because mommy and daddy just can´t be bothered to do the hard work of parenting and shift the responsibility over to electronic devices and public media.
...And then there is the popular, ´music,´ de jeur, filled withdisrespect, brutality, violence and rebellion. The tainted toon venue is more prevalant in most youth´s world than any other influence!
The fact is today´s PC world of LIEberalISM, (which currently dominates the statist´s media!), increasingly ´´tolerates,´´ and even urges the irresponsible, the unaccountable, the negative, -even evil, influences throughout the USA and beyond, through every venue imaginable while, at the same time, targeting people of faith, ethical principles and good will, for scorn. Such lefty/lib, ´´Political Correctness,´´ holds the public microphone in 2012 and is polluting American society every-which-way.
Come on, it is time to be honest. Violence in itself (war movies, cowboys, crime/drama) will not send people over the edge. But we are bombarded by the most grotesque, depraved, perverted, sick and twisted kind of gore with disturbing psychological aspects (slicing off of skin, chopping body parts and eating them, ritual dismemberment, bloody rape, etc.) than gives the hardest person continuous nightmares nowadays. This is stuff that makes Tarantino movies look like they are G-rated Disney films from the 50´s!! That kind of horrific stuff is what is sending unstable minds over the edge. Plus it desensitizes the rest of us. Add that to the fact that God is now mocked, we live in an anything-goes selfish society with NO moral compass where pornography and perversion are celebrated as well as the thug culture. And heroes now are people you wouldn´t want picking up garbage in a prison. Now tell me again Leiberman is wrong?? We need standards again. I don´t want to infringe on free speech, but there are ways to clean up this mess without making more laws.
The army had a problem. They can send someone through boot camp training but so many of the soldiars just could not aim a gun at another human being and actualy kill them when the time came. Morality and ethics would cause them to hesitate. The army now uses a behavior modification technique called desensitization. Soldiars in training are given non-lethal ammunition to shoot eachother with in training exercises. It´s a game, like paintball, no consequence, no moral dilema. Repetition reinforces the behaviour change. Blink the light, the dog salivates. It is not a theory, it is accepted scientific principle. It is "scientific concensus".
Hollywood, violent games makers and rap music are creating societal risks greater than the threat that the tobacco industry was super taxed, cluster class action suit and demonized for. Change the narrative the liberals want to use, make the liberals live up to their own rules. Make the liberals demonize and economicaly crush their hollywood propoganda arm. Make obama punish the rap music hate mongers. It won´t be hard, progressives happily eat their own.
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I have never been much of a conspiracy theorist. For me it was always Oswald by himself from the Texas School Book Depository and nothing in the intervening fifty years has disabused me of this notion. For the most part, I’m an Occam’s Razor kind of guy — the most obvious explanation is likely to be true. (Snip) To put it bluntly, Occam’s Razor has moved. Things that were once possibilities now seem almost certainties to me. Principal among those is that Obama’s academic records are perpetually unavailable for a reason — and that reason is most likely that they reveal
One of President Obama´s chief political assets has been his ability to excite young people like almost no politician in history. But the days of America´s youth fawning over the president are over. A new Harvard University Institute of Politics poll released Wednesday confirms what other surveys have shown in recent months: Millennials have soured on Obama so much this year that their opinion of him largely mirrors the American public´s. Even though Obama does not ever have to face another election, he should be worried about the findings for a couple of reasons, which we will dive into momentarily.
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Good stuff from Jonathan Turley at today’s House hearing on executive power, although I regret that I couldn’t find a more user-friendly format for you to watch. There’s no compilation clip; you’ll have to make do with the C-SPAN embed by fast-forwarding to the time cues I give you and being patient while the vid buffers (and buffers, and buffers).(Snip)That brings us to point two: Even if Congress can’t stop Obama, the courts can. The problem there, though, says Turley, is that O and the DOJ have argued successfully in many cases that no one has standing to sue him
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