To start off, the First Amendment is under attack as well as the Second. From Bunch Blog:
All of these video games, do they really need to be so violent? is the question that will come next. Studies show that video games lead to murder! ideologues will shout. Why are we teaching our kids to kill? Don’t believe me?
My point? Just this: Gamers should be extremely, extremely wary about the liberal impulse to “do something” in the wake of a tragedy. Guns aren’t going anywhere. Video games about war marketed to easily impressed teens and young adults (the demographic that tends to commit mass murder)? Well, they’re slightly less secure.
Keep in mind the people who wanted to ban music the most in the 1990s were Democrats led by Tipper Gore; and those who went after video games included then-Democrat Joe Lieberman (now an independent due to totally unrelated factors).
Quentin Tarantino’s new movie Django Unchained, which is a dose of the old ultra-violence, struck me as strange over the weekend. Listening to CNN and FOX on XM radio, almost every commercial break from the Connecticut mass murder was an ad for a movie… about mass murder. Is it justified in context of the film? Haven’t seen it. But it brings up some questions, which Tarantino has addressed by having the premier cancelled, but otherwise just saying:
Speaking in New York Quentin Tarantino said: “I just think you know there’s violence in the world, tragedies happen, blame the playmakers. It’s a western. Give me a break.”
The Oscar-nominated director of Inglourious Basterds and the Palme d’Or winning Pulp Fiction, said blame for violence should remain squarely with the perpetrators.
The only people responsible for crimes and violence are those who commit them. Millions of people every day who are also immersed in popular culture don’t go out and commit murders.
Reason Magazine has a couple of good pieces today on how gun control doesn’t work – the first about how mass shootings aren’t really on the uptick:
those who study mass shootings say they are not becoming more common.
“There is no pattern, there is no increase,” says criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston’s Northeastern University, who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, spurred by a rash of mass shootings in post offices.
The random mass shootings that get the most media attention are the rarest, Fox says. Most people who die of bullet wounds knew the identity of their killer….
Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, said that while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, according to his data. He estimates that there were 32 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s and 26 in the first decade of the century.
Another Reason piece highlights the Magical Thinking of Gun Controllers, summed up easily in their last sentence:
The notion that restrictions like these can have a noticeable impact, let alone that they can “end” or “stop” occasional outbursts of senseless violence, is hard to credit unless you believe what Obama insists he does not: that evil can be legislated out of the world by acts of Congress.
And finally, from the Atlantic, a piece that notes that we’ve already had the debate on gun control. And gun control lost to gun rights:
There isn’t anything wrong with gun-control advocates lamenting what, by their lights, is a public that’s reaching wrongheaded conclusions on the subject and is trending in the wrong direction.
But too many pieces I’ve read make a mockery of robust debate in a pluralistic society by ignoring the fact that current policy is largely (though not entirely) a reflection of the U.S. public disagreeing with gun reformers. The average American is far more likely than the average journalist or academic to identify with gun culture, to insist that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to bear arms, to exercise that right, and to support various state concealed-carry laws.
Opponents of gun control have been widely vilified in the past week. Very few attempts have been made to understand what motivates them — and given that they’re a subset of Americans with little representation in the national media, attempts at understanding would likely do a lot to inform the rest of the American public. For the most part, these people aren’t in fact motivated by selfishness, as so many critics have stated or implied in the last few days, and almost without exception, gun-control opponents are as horrified by the events in Newtown as anyone calling for a new assault-weapons ban or better background checks or a ban on ammunition.
The point isn’t whether they’re being treated fairly or not. It’s that a gun debate can only be productive in a country as pro-gun as this one when the folks on either side at least understand the deeply held disagreements at issue. So far, too many newly vocal reformers are operating under the conceit that if only America “finally” had a conversation about gun violence, everyone would immediately see the wisdom of the position reformers have advocated all along.
It’s an interesting piece in that it recognizes that journolists and reporters are widely in opposition to the actual citizenry. It’s somewhat screwed up in that it assumes there’s a debate to have between the wrong (gun grabbers who ultimately support tyranny, whether knowing or unknowing) and right (citizens’ rights advocates). There are a few restrictions (violent felons, mentally ill, etc.) that are important, but beyond those very, rare few who are incapable of being responsible citizens, shall not be infringed means what it says.
Many people need to understand how rights work: