back to article Obama calls for study into games ‘n’ guns link

US President Barack Obama has called for a study into whether computer games are a cause of gun violence. Obama yesterday (UK time) announced a set of measures to control guns, among them regulations to more promptly trace firearms used in crimes that will probably mean DBAs in the US public sector get a hurry-up. The main …

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  1. JeevesMkII
    Holmes

    Want to throw in some D&D while you're at it? I'm sure there's still some good scapegoat juice left in that one even after the satanic panic.

    Anything that gets you away from investigating the real problem. You know, that one that you're forbidden by law from funding research in to.

    1. LarsG
      Meh

      Not the Games it's the culture

      In the 1990's an American chap found that he was being sacked from his printing and sinage firm for poor work, time keeping etc. He said, 'is that so' then pulled a 9mm pistol out and began killing people then after he had enough he killed himself.. I forget his name but he is listed on Murderpedia.

      The previous month he had joined a gun club to learn to shoot efficiently and bought by mail order 12,000 rounds of ammunition. Apparently he had a lifetime history of depression for which he was being medically treated. He did not play computer games.

      Allowing a manic depressive to buy a weapon and ammunition enough for an army without checks is the problem not computer games.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not the Games it's the culture

        I agree checks & balances are needed,

        I hope they never go as far as the Idiots we have in power went.. i.e. banning pretty much anything except shotguns & rifles, yet not tightening up checks on who can own, rather why they can own....

        I know people I would trust to own Assault rifles & hand guns, I also know people I don't trust with a potato peeler, the whole thing should be checks on the persons sanity, and history...

        My dad taught me to shoot at a young age (ok it was air pistols & rifles, but still they are guns)

        I was taught safety and responsibility with weapons...

        Guns don't kill, people kill, people use whatever weapon they can get...

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Not the Games it's the culture

          >Guns don't kill, people kill, people use whatever weapon they can get...

          That's rather the point:

          Pissed off Welshman in a transit van- kills two people.

          Pissed off taxi driver with a shotgun- kills more people (but only killed that many because he was able to keep moving)

          Pissed off youth with a hand gun- kills far more people.

          "Guns don't kill people, people kill people. And monkeys kill people if you give them guns and throw themover the wall of Charlton Heston's house."

          Eddie Izzard

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not the Games it's the culture@AC09:24

          Guns are mounted on ships, artillery for the army, pistols are hand held, rifles have a rifled barrel.

          This includes air 'guns', they are still rifles and pistols, though you may get away with the term gun if they are smooth bore.

          If I am wrong correct me, it will show you are as pedantic as I am and I really don't give a hoot!

    2. 404 Silver badge

      Impossibru...

      It was determined last election that playing WoW is a-ok.

      http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/10/maine-candidates-world-of-warcraft-persona-stirs-debate/

      I/we still play Everquest (yeah e;\l Reg, I note there was NOT an article talking about EQ's new expansion 'Rain of Fear", like there was for WoW's new Kung Fu Panda's, but I digress).

      ;)

      Jeanmirac lvl 85 Shadow Knight

      Getter lvl 70 Druid

      1. 404 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        e;\; Reg....

        Please excuse... my Home Row seems to be off about ten pixels this morning....

        Odd...

        ;)

      2. LarsG
        WTF?

        Apparently

        It is quite common in American Cinemas for audiences to cheer and whoop after car chases and gun battles during the film and then clap loudly cheering the film. The phenomenon was first noted in the US during the screening of Reservoir Dogs.

        This is possibly a good indicator of American Mentality.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Devil

          Re: Apparently

          The "American Mentality"......

          As I sit here hand lapping my ruthlessly sharp cutting tools.....

          Hmmm but America has 5% of the worlds population, consumes 2/3rd of the worlds anti psychotic drugs, a fair slice of the population is incredibly stupid, the American media are a bunch of corporate wankers who tie in with the military industrial complex, and getting their own senators into power....

          So you have a nation on permanent war footing, against imaginary enemies, under the guise of "spreading freedom and democracy" to every other country that has oil or minerals.... that they want to steal by sending in the military...

          And Obama - just how many fucking bullshit studies have been done, so far, that link or not, computer games to nutters with guns?

          One American kid I went to school with, said, some 30 years ago, that gun murders are so common, that unless there is like 20 people dead, a shoot out of 3 or 4 people etc., does not even make the news.

          And yet in Australia, he said, one person gets shot and it's major head lines.... and he could not believe the difference in the way the media here, reported it, as compared to "every day shoot outs" in the USA.

          So Obasma puts his hand on his cock and comes out with another bullshit idiot study that has been done 500 times before.....

          While the amount of drone attacks on people in Afganistan and Pakistan, has multiplied like 10 fold, since he took over from Bush......

          Satan - he was a born liar.

    3. TheOtherHobbes

      Man who...

      ...drops drones on innocent civilians and refuses to prosecute Bush-era torturers prepares to shake finger of stern disapproval at (partially) military-supported games devs.

      Welcome to dystopia. Please leave your morals behind the metal sliding door and proceed to the decontamination chambers.

    4. W.O.Frobozz

      Hey certain quarters are STILL trying to blame the decline of all civilization on DOOM almost 20 years later.

      Government hearings..what could go wrong? Maybe Tipper Gore could help out...John Carmack could end up playing Frank Zappa and CliffyB could be Dee Snyder.

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Guns don't kill people

    Animated sprites of guns kill people

    And the cup-cakes in Pacman caused obesity

    1. Code Monkey
      Thumb Up

      Re: Guns don't kill people

      ... and playing Monopoly as a child made me a millionaire.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Correlation =/= Causation

        Playing video games makes you a killer - doubtful.

        Playing video games and killing people because your parents didn't give you any time - plausible.

        or

        Playing video games because you don't get on well with people - plausible.

        1. Andy ORourke
          Thumb Up

          Re: Correlation =/= Causation

          I agree Dave,

          Maybe they could do a study along the lines of:

          Subject group 1 - Hardened gamers who are able to lay hands on fairly readily available weapons

          Subject group 2 - Hardened gamers who cant get hands on weapons

          Maybe then we can see how many more weapon rampages there are in one group over the other?

          1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: Correlation =/= Causation

            Doubt you would find many that fell into group 2.

            Most hardened gamers have a pretty good idea how to use common household items as weapons, especially if they tabletop gamed for any period.

            Now who's for a game of Killer (tm Steve Jackson Games)?

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Swarthy Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Guns don't kill people

      "If video games influenced life, kids who grew up in the 80’s would be running around in darkened rooms, listening to repetitive electronic music, and popping magic pills.

      ..Oh, wait….”

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Guns don't kill people

        And kids who grew up in the 70s would be playing squash, very slowly, in black and white

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Guns don't kill people

      "And the cup-cakes in Pacman caused obesity"

      Well that gave certainly made me spend the 90s in dark rooms munching pills!

      1. Wize

        Re: Guns don't kill people

        Not to mention all that urban planning fad spawned by Sim City.

        Guns don't kill people.

        Fathers with beautiful daughters do.

  3. ObSolutions, Inc
    Happy

    White House Accused of Lateral Thinking

    This is great news, although somehow I doubt that anyone will listen to the results.

    1. StephenH
      Holmes

      Re: White House Accused of Lateral Thinking

      American right wing groups have a long history of rejecting science or experts in any field and being damn proud of it.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: White House Accused of Lateral Thinking

        If only they would add films and TV into the mix, because it's all media right?

        In a gun game, you usually bring your own morals (up to a point obviously - the game kind of forces you to shoot people).

        In films and TV the morals of the characters are also pushed down your brain-stem - far more influential I would have thought

      2. Gav
        Holmes

        Re: White House Accused of Lateral Thinking

        ... except where it suits them.

        It's a right-wing personality trait the world over to over-confidence in subjective personal experience as a indication of universal "natural" law. If anyone disputes that personal experience as being universal, then clearly they are wrong, probably deceitfully so. This personality also finds it difficult to believe that the rest of us are equipped with just as much intelligence, morals and self-control as them.

        So if their personal experience is to find video games violent, then heaven knows what that must be doing to those weak-willed amongst us! Should any study indicate this as a possibility (and I, personally, can't say it's beyond impossible) then I'm sure the results will be embraced of proof of what they always knew anyway.

        Should the study suggest there is no link, it will of course be indication that it was conducted by idiots who have vested interests in ignoring what everyone knows as common sense. The cancer in our society goes as deep as we always suspected and starts with Obama!

        Either way the right wing believes what it chooses to believe.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: White House Accused of Lateral Thinking

          Every games console should come with the game Flower - you play the part of petal, drifting in the breeze and bringing colour to the meadows of a gently rolling landscape. It certainly calmed me down after I discovered that the last ten years have left my reflexes too blunt to play WipEout HD!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Gav

          The interesting thing about your post is that you could replace every occurrence of "right-wing" with "left-wing" and it would just as true as it is now.

          But you are too bigoted to notice. "Either way Gav believes what he chooses to believe."

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: @Gav

            >The interesting thing about your post is that you could replace every occurrence of "right-wing" with "left-wing" and it would just as true as it is now.

            No, you can't just swap 'right-wing' for 'left-wing'. Here's why: http://www.ted.com/talks/david_pizarro_the_strange_politics_of_disgust.html

            or teacher.edmonds.wednet.edu/edmondswoodway/jspears/documents/conservsatives_are_more_easily_disgusted_than_liberals.pdf [Warning: PDF] if you want the sources.

            Gaz was referring to published articles. It is in fact you, AC, who is believing what you choose to.

      3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Re: White House Accused of Lateral Thinking

        "American right wing groups have a long history of rejecting science or experts in any field and being damn proud of it."

        Including (but not limited to) evolution.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Obsolutions

      I don't think its such great news, but then again I also don't live in the US.

      To me this strongly looks like an issue of shoving away responsibilities. The administration can't (most likely won't / refuses) to make their own stand on a topic which has become a rather sensitive one. And many people getting involved with a topic automatically means many voters may form their opinion.

      The reason I'm so cynical is because this means absolutely nothing by itself. They call out for a study; ok.. Who is going to be researching what exactly, how is the research going to be performed, -what- exactly is going to be researched?

      Because in general a research is as good as the used methods and the (sometimes twisted) way the end results get interpretated. You can easily make a research which proves A look as if it fully proves B by merely presenting the results in a different manner.

      I wouldn't be surprised if the administration eventually uses the results of the study to give the DA office a slap on the hands and then everyone can go on with their lives while in the end nothing has really changed. The major issue is that it really looked good and official on paper.

  4. Mondo the Magnificent
    Devil

    Games 'n guns link?

    I've visited half a dozen firearms dealers and still cannot buy a Flak Cannon, Rail Gun, Rocket Launcher or Health Pickups...

    1. Haku

      Re: Games 'n guns link?

      Let alone a phased plasma rifle in a 40 watt range...

    2. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: Games 'n guns link?

      Try your local flea market. Tha'ts where I got my BFG

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Games 'n guns link?

        I'd be happy with a STA52, or a M82, but anyone know where I could get a Bullseye from?

    3. Z-Eden
      Unhappy

      Re: Games 'n guns link?

      Apparently they don't make Wattz 2000 rifles...

    4. PatientOne

      Re: Games 'n guns link?

      I was wondering where my Raven was... or the Awesome.... or the Atlas... and I was hoping to get one of the new Clan Mech's when they're released, but I'm not sure who will be selling them...

      On the other hand, it's no problem if I did go around slaughtering thousands, is it? After all: They re-spawn after a few minutes, or appear at the shrine, or I can resurrect them, or they can take 100 rounds of .44 exploding magnum rounds and still keep carting that half-tonne flamethrower around...

      1. enerider
        Go

        Re: Games 'n guns link?

        Thank you for the MechWarrior Online reference! (Or as I prefer to call it, Stompy Robots)

  5. tkioz
    FAIL

    Maybe instead of pissing away money the yanks don't have on a study he could simply look at anyone of the dozens of accredited studies that have already been done... you know the ones that show just like any form of violent media, games don't cause violent behaviour, they might escalate it, but the person already needs to be a few bits short of a byte.

    But oh no, let's not deal with the real problems like a lack of mental health treatment or controlling access to firearms, let's blame video games and movies... hell why not claim comics cause homosexuality while we're at it! Oh wait... that's already been done.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @tkioz

      "But oh no, let's not deal with the real problems like a lack of _compulsory_ mental health treatment..."

      Have you got any more superficial observations to make?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: @tkioz

        Piss off AC

        Don't use quotation marks for a sentence that tkioz did not use. He did not say 'compulsory'. If you want to quote someone, but believe the quote is missing a word, use [ ] to denote the words you have added.

        We have enough straw men already, thank you.

      2. tkioz
        FAIL

        Re: @tkioz

        AC, so you are saying that because I think the lack of treatment for the mentally ill I'm in favour of 1984 style mind-control... yeah... bugger off please.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Childcatcher

    Of course there's a link

    This very morning I played Quake III for an hour and subsequently couldn't help myself. I hatched a cunning plan to drop an anvil on a wily coyote.

  7. cyke1
    Boffin

    how about another study

    How many violent crimes these games have PREVENTED over the years?

    1. pixl97
      Joke

      Re: how about another study

      I was going to go beat a hooker to death last night, but I stayed home and played GTA instead.

  8. jake Silver badge

    And television sitcoms cause ...

    ... random acts of comedy.

    Puh-lease.

    The REAL cause of gun violence is bad parenting. End of discussion.

    But then that's not politically correct ...

    1. Vince Lewis 1
      Unhappy

      Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

      What a wonderful black and white world you live in. Must be a bit cold at night sleeping on a zebra crossing.

      A persons personality is affected by more than just their parental guidance. Environment and peers have just as much effect on a person. There is also genetic variables that determine personality.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

        "A persons personality is affected by more than just their parental guidance."

        OK, I'll bite ... let's think this through together, shall we?

        "Environment and peers have just as much effect on a person."

        Until the "age of consent", that's a parent's responsibility, no?

        "There is also genetic variables that determine personality."

        By definition, parental ... I rest my case.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @jake

          "'There is also genetic variables that determine personality.' By definition, parental ... I rest my case."

          Your case is this: a parent with "unfavorable" genes should not have children. It's not often that people will own up to supporting eugenics.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @jake

            "Your case is this: a parent with "unfavorable" genes should not have children. It's not often that people will own up to supporting eugenics."

            Well, there was this Austrian chap, around 70 or 80 years ago. Didn't work out too well though, I seem to remember.

    2. MrXavia
      Thumb Up

      Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

      Completely agree with you, parents need to control their kids, give them a loving home, teach them discipline...

      Unfortunately not every child has a happy home, and the state does have a responsibility to help, so I think schools should also have a responsibility to care for children, to ensure they do their best...make schools the place kids feel safest and happiest... not like when I went to school when I would do anything to avoid it due to the teachers...

    3. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

      "The REAL cause of gun violence is bad parenting. End of discussion."

      Bullshit.

      It's a combination of things. Abusive parents do tend to result in children who are potential problems, but tritely pointing the finger there and saying 'job done' is the epitome in stupidity.

      Other factors include but are not limited to:

      A healthcare system that means those most in need of mental care can't afford it.

      Massive poverty and inequality.

      Ease of obtaining firearms, both for criminals and for those who really shouldn't be owning them.

      An overly harsh system of incarceration that removes any motivation for criminals NOT to carry a firearm.

      A society which is inherently violent and which glamorises and constantly reinforces that violence is a solution to problems.

      A score of other social issues, not least of which is condemning anyone who picks up a firearm in desperation as the problem, instead of a desire to prevent the issues which caused them to do so.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Psyx (was: Re: And television sitcoms cause ...)

        "A healthcare system that means those most in need of mental care can't afford it."

        Parents who are incapable of understanding the need to care for children.

        "Massive poverty and inequality."

        Parents having kids who can't afford to care for those kids.

        "Ease of obtaining firearms, both for criminals and for those who really shouldn't be owning them."

        Parents not properly teaching kids right from wrong.

        "An overly harsh system of incarceration that removes any motivation for criminals NOT to carry a firearm."

        Apparently, the parents in your scenario failed.

        "A society which is inherently violent and which glamorises and constantly reinforces that violence is a solution to problems."

        Oh. You're one of those idiots that thinks TV and video games are more important than parenting. And THAT, friends & foes, is PRECISELY the problem. It has nothing to do with hardware. It's a social issue. Removing any particular bit of hardware from the equation, without addressing the social side of things, will just make other bits of hardware attractive to the social maladroits.

        1. Psyx
          WTF?

          Re: @Psyx (was: And television sitcoms cause ...)

          "Oh. You're one of those idiots that thinks TV and video games are more important than parenting. And THAT, friends & foes, is PRECISELY the problem."

          What kind of dumb-ass counter-argument is that: Telling me what *I* think, just so you can tear it down?

          You don't know anything about my views on parenting so don't you dare try to tell me what they are.

          "Parents who are incapable of understanding the need to care for children." - How about if they can't afford $200 a month for medicine and treatment. All the love and hugs in the world don't solve poverty.

          "Parents not properly teaching kids right from wrong." - I'm pretty sure you'll find that quite a lot of killers had strict religious and moral upbringings.

          If you blame every murder and problem with society on bad parenting, then I humbly request that you don't EVER take a job in mental healthcare, the penal system, social services, or indeed any job where you actually have to think beyond your initial prejudices and actually deal with social issues.

          Kisses and rainbows and reading the bible to your child every night will never ensure it becomes a wonderful member of society. IT WILL HELP -as I did say - but if you think it's the only cause of social issues, then you really need to wise up a bit and take off the rose-tinted glasses.

    4. dogged
      Meh

      Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

      Jake,

      Other nations have video games but didn't have to create a special phrase such as "school shooting" for a regular occurrence.

      Other nations have bad parenting but do not have 900 dead since the last school shooting from GSW.

      The only difference between the societal pressures in the USA and everywhere else are a) availability of mental health treatment and b) availability of guns.

      You could quite easily regard the last 50 years as a double-blind test measuring the twin factors of private healthcare and public access to firearms. The result is clear - dead children.

      Basically, you get to choose. Decent healthcare and less guns or more dead children.

      Your call.

      1. rh587 Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

        "900 Gunshot deaths"

        What a meaningless term. it makes no distinction between deaths at the barrel of legally held firearms, illegally held firearms, or indeed suicides (in 2010, 66% of all firearm-related deaths in the US were suicides - banning all guns wouldn't change that, you'd just see the distribution of methods move to a more British environment where hanging, poisoning, drowning and jumping off high things become more popular).

        - If you want to reduce homicides committed with legally owned firearms, then legislation might help - extra checks for depression, etc.

        - If you want to reduce homicides committed with illegal firearms, legislation won't do squat - they're already breaking the law by just possessing them. That becomes the remit of law enforcement - Operation Trident type territory for guns & gangs units.

        - If you want to reduce suicides by firearm (the most common type of death-by-firearm in the US), then you need to invest in mental health care. The two largest mental health treatment centres in the US are in prisons. If you're not wealthy, the only sensible way to get mental treatment is to get charged or convicted and referred to a criminal health centre. Which is rather shutting the door after the horse has bolted. You could add more checks for depression during firearm purchase, but people would just turn to other methods - as they did in Australia when they tried it. They went after the guns, not the root causes of why people were contemplating suicide in the first place.

        Just saying "guns shot deaths - stop demz!" is an impossibility. It's a very varied issue, some cases involving criminality, some none at all. If Obama is going to go after it with legislation he's going to ignore two of the 3 major causes of firearm deaths (suicide and criminals) all for the sake of going after legal users and sayiong "we banned the bad gunz. vote fer us".

        1. bitten

          Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

          "or indeed suicides (in 2010, 66% of all firearm-related deaths in the US were suicides - banning all guns wouldn't change that"

          nevertheless Obama wants to change that, as Newton was a suicide

          1. veti Silver badge

            Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

            Actually, the evidence suggests that banning guns would lower suicide rates. Compare US (12 suicides per 100,000 people per annum) with UK (6.9).

            Shooting oneself is just easier, and looks more painless, than so many other ways to top oneself. It lowers the barrier to entry, so to speak.

        2. Sooty

          @rh587

          "- If you want to reduce homicides committed with illegal firearms, legislation won't do squat - they're already breaking the law by just possessing them."

          That pretty much depends on where they get the illegal firearms from though doesn't it? If you can't sell them legally, you reduce the supply of illegal ones. You can't steal a gun from someone who bought it legally. You can't break into a gun shop to get them, you can't fake documentation and get them through legal suppliers etc.

          Cutting off/reducing the legal supply of guns also removes a large number of the avenues for obtaining illegal guns. It's never going to stop it 100% but guns have to come from somewhere, and massively lowering the numbers in circulation, will make it a lot harder to get hold of them illegitimately.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @jake

      "But then that's not politically correct ..."

      And probably not often correct at all. Life is not that simple.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

      "The REAL cause of gun violence is bad parenting. End of discussion."

      Well, phew. Here was me worried it was an intangible combination of environmental and genetic factors. Glad that's sorted!

  9. ManiK67
    Boffin

    There must be a link between video games and violence. Where I live you can hardly go anywhere without seeing somebody trying to kill a pig by catapulting birds at it.

  10. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Of course, that's it!

    Because before Pong there was no gun violence in the US.

    Another finger to look at instead of the moon.

    1. Kane Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Of course, that's it!

      I would like to raise you on that point and say, before guns there was always violence in human society.

  11. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Plan B? Plan C?

    There seems to be this massive divide between the merkins who demand the right to bear arms due to something that was written in a 200+ year old document and those who think killing people is wrong.

    Guns don't kill people, bullets do. The US Constitution possibly gives people the rigjht to bear arms, but it doesn't mention a right to bear ammunition. So allow people as many guns of whatever type and calibre they like, but ban the ownership of bullets except under the strictest of licencing systems, and it's a quick trip to Death Row and the hemp fandango for anyone in possession of unathorised ammo.

    Alternatively, change the law so that the 'right to bear arms' is limited to those arms that existed at the time the US Constitution was written - muskets and flintlocks.

    Simples. Everyone happy (or should be if they look at it logically).

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Plan B? Plan C?

      There seems to be this massive divide between the people who think that the constitution is important ("but the prez cannot send me to Gitmo on a whim, what about muh constitution") and those who think that it doesn't ("well, you know, 'arms' are not really 'arms'"). Amazingly they are often the same, Moaning Progressives.

      Shifting the problem to the bullets is trillion-dollar-coin level stupid.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Plan B? Plan C?

      "rigjht "

      I thought you were Welsh ... Icelandic?

      To answer your question, "arms" includes the ability to use such. SCotUS has said so, repeatedly. Besides, you can't ban ammo here in the US. There is too much brass around ... If I can load a flintlock, I can reload brass for my .416 Barrett (admittedly, ballistics & barrel life will suffer).

      As a side-note, people can kill more people with explosives of the non-rifled kind, faster. See any given car bomber. Tim McVeigh comes to mind, good right-wing, Catholic, decorated Gulf War "hero" that he was. This will always be possible, in any nation that sells fuel oil & fertilizer "over the counter". People who massacre quantities of people with rifles and/or handguns and then suicide are criminally insane, by definition, and are probably incapable of realizing that they could get the job done much faster by other means. Surely it's a better idea to remove them from the streets before they snap? It ain't the guns pulling their own trigger, people ...

      1. Grikath Silver badge

        Re: Plan B? Plan C?

        Indeed not, Jake.

        However....

        There still remains the issue that in the US you can get types of weapons, along with rather.. generous.. amounts of ammunition that fall well outside any need for personal protection and/or hunting purposes.

        It just *may* be an idea to seriously limit the types of weaponry and amounts of ammunition ordinary civilians can get their hands on. All other stuff should require more stringent requirement for ownership.

        I am not living under the illusion that will stop criminals or crackpots from wasting human lives, but it will polarise matters to a point where threat detection and prevention may become more feasible.

        1. Greg J Preece

          Re: Plan B? Plan C?

          There still remains the issue that in the US you can get types of weapons, along with rather.. generous.. amounts of ammunition that fall well outside any need for personal protection and/or hunting purposes.

          Because, for the millionth time, the guns exist as a means of potential rebellion, or to fight off invaders. The people who founded the US government didn't trust governments, including the one they were founding!

          You can argue all you want over the current feasibility/likelihood of such things, but it will not in any way change the principle of the document.

          1. Mooseman Bronze badge

            @ Greg Preece

            The right to bear arms was added as an amendment to the constitution as part of an organised militia. The new USA didn't have a standing army at the time, they instead wanted an armed and trained militia ready to fight in the new country's defence at a moment's notice.

            You're not seriously suggesting that the millions of guns held in private hands in the US are there simply to guard against foreign invasion (uh, who?) or to rebel against the government? You may have noticed the US has quite a big army these days.

            The second amendment is over 200 years old and irrelevent to modern life. We have old laws and statutes in the UK too, we (eventually) repeal them or ignore them. Time for the US to move on.

            1. Graham Dawson

              Re: @ Greg Preece

              How do you feel about the first amendment, Mooseman? Or the fourth and fifth? Or perhaps the eighth? All of them are over 200 years old. Are they irrelevant now because of that?

              Or are you going to start picking and choosing? IN which case you need a better reason than "200 years old" to dismiss these rights.

              The security of a free state is no less relevant now than it was then - but that security is not only about borders. A state remains free only as long as its government is beholden to the governed.

              I get the feeling you've not read the Federalist Papers. These documents discussed the intent of the framers of the US constitution in some detail, and much of that intent was to provide the people with every possible means to overthrow their government if it became tyrannical.

              Incidentally, Parliament ignoring old laws that restricted its power are the reason we're in such a cocked-up state right now. Parliament overstepped its legal bounds decades ago by ignoring its foundational documents; the Bill of Rights 1689 (go look it up) and the Act of Settlement placed limits on Parliament's authority and on the King, and restated certain constitutional rights such as the right to move unmolested by agents of the king, the right to bear arms and the right to be free of "unusual punishment", amongst other things. Today these laws are ignored - because they're "old", is the usual excuse, yet they are still as relevant today as they were when they were first drafted, and if they were observed instead of ignored we'd be a much more free and prosperous country.

              1. Psyx
                Holmes

                Re: @ Greg Preece

                "How do you feel about the first amendment, Mooseman? Or the fourth and fifth? Or perhaps the eighth? All of them are over 200 years old. Are they irrelevant now because of that?"

                That's a diversionary argument and has no real place in debate. Just because one thing has not become irrelevant, it does not follow that nothing else has.

                "Or are you going to start picking and choosing? IN which case you need a better reason than "200 years old" to dismiss these rights."

                Yeah, pretty much. Times change. I'm pretty sure there are some bits of paper that say I'm supposed to treat my slaves nicely and kill Welshman. I'm not hanging onto that just because it's on an old piece of paper.

                "The security of a free state is no less relevant now than it was then - but that security is not only about borders. A state remains free only as long as its government is beholden to the governed."

                Hoho. Too late. You have the world's largest and most effective military and the world's largest and most effective organisation for watching its own people for signs of opposing oppression/armed revolt. Don't kid yourself that packing a pistol means that Uncle Sam is accountable to you. Try protesting about the fact that your government is oppressing you or taking up arms and see how far it gets you.

                The idea that firearms in private hands can be used to actively bully and coerce the State into doing what you want is outmoded.

              2. Mooseman Bronze badge

                @ Graham Dawson

                "security is not only about borders. A state remains free only as long as its government is beholden to the governed"

                In what ways do privately held weapons make the US govt beholden to the citizens? You really think if you decided the government was oppressive you could march up to the White House with your friends and start shooting? You'd be shot by the police/army within moments.

                This argument is invalid. You have no chance of changing government by force of arms unless you get the military on your side.

                And yes, I can say that something is out of date. Some laws are worth keeping, othes become outmoded or irrelevant. I'm not a fan of a great deal of what our government does either, but I'm not kidding myself that if I was able to carry a weapon at all times it would make the slightest difference.

              3. Mooseman Bronze badge

                Re: @ Greg Preece

                "Bill of Rights 1689 (go look it up) and the Act of Settlement placed limits on Parliament's authority and on the King, and restated certain constitutional rights such as the right to move unmolested by agents of the king, the right to bear arms and the right to be free of "unusual punishment", amongst other things. Today these laws are ignored - because they're "old", is the usual excuse, yet they are still as relevant today as they were when they were first drafted, and if they were observed instead of ignored we'd be a much more free and prosperous country"

                Um, not entirely accurate. The right to bear arms was a response to the previous (catholic) king's law that forbade protestants the right to be armed but did allow catholics. The Bill of Rights states that people had the right to beear arms for their own defence suitable for their class (all you peasants, use pitchforks) AS ALLOWED BY LAW. In other words, if it is *legal* then all people can carry weapons, not just some.

                The Bill of Rights is a docuent largely curtailing the monarch's powers, following the atempted suppression of protestanism under James I and II.

                Sections of the Bill are occassionally utilised today, if rarely.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Plan B? Plan C?

          "that fall well outside any need for personal protection and/or hunting purposes."

          You have issues with "ordinary folks" using a rifle to explode plastic gallon-sized milk jugs full of water at 2 kilometers? It's really quite relaxing, almost by definition. Try it sometime. Think "grown-up plinking". It's a Zen thing.

          My legal full-auto kit is there just to needle the .gov ... And the civil-war hand-me-down cannons (10 Pound Parrott & 3" Ordinance Rifle) party pieces that I inherited from my Great Grand Father are just that ... an inheritance. Working inheritance, yes, but hardly a public hazard.

          1. Psyx
            Pint

            Re: Plan B? Plan C?

            "You have issues with "ordinary folks" using a rifle to explode plastic gallon-sized milk jugs full of water at 2 kilometers? It's really quite relaxing, almost by definition. Try it sometime. Think "grown-up plinking"."

            Yes, it is fun.

            However, I recognise that my right to merely have fun fooling around with a massively over-powered lethal weapon should not outweigh everyone else's right not to get shot with one by somebody else.

            As great as it would be to live in a world where I could own -say- a heavy machinegun and go down a scrap yard to riddle a few old cars on a Sunday, we do not live in a world where everyone can be trusted to limit the use of said hail-of-death-creating-device not to commit multiple murder. So I man up and do without that particular kick in my life, rather than whining like a selfish child about 'rights'. Likewise, I don't drive everywhere at 150mph on public roads, despite how much fun it is, because I realise that my right to have fun doing so is outweighed by the right of other not to be hit by my car if I make an error.

            "It's a Zen thing."

            No, it's not. It's a fun and relaxing thing. Fun and relaxing !=Zen

            And as fun as relaxing as it is, it's not an irreplaceable feeling. That feeling can be had without recourse to military-grade weapons. And if someone can only obtain a feeling of calmness and relaxation by utilising firearms, then they should NOT be legally entitled to own one, because there is clearly a problem in their head somewhere.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Psyx

              Gonna be the devils advocate here but you say you dont drive 150mph on public roads because its fun. However there are people who do. Should those people be screened for their dangerous and illegal behaviour or should we all be punished by removing cars?

              Not saying thats the argument you have been making but some on here have and you gave a good example to play with.

              I will point out I dont have much complaint at your comment, I agree a machine gun isnt a home item although I could see them being appreciated on a range and the nuts shouldnt be sold a gun full stop.

              1. Psyx
                Pint

                Re: @Psyx

                "Gonna be the devils advocate here but you say you dont drive 150mph on public roads because its fun. However there are people who do. Should those people be screened for their dangerous and illegal behaviour or should we all be punished by removing cars?"

                I used to. I don't now. I kinda grew up and realised that as casually as I disregarded the risks, I did not have the right to endanger other people. But anyway:

                Extending any debate on gun control to 'cars are a lethal weapon'/'screwdrivers are a lethal weapon' is a classic diversionary counter-point, that steps away from the point of the argument. It's a little like being caught stealing cookies and then igniting a debate on an older sibling kissing the next door neighbour's daughter/brother/dog.

                That aside... "Should those people be screened for their dangerous and illegal behaviour or should we all be punished by removing cars?"

                Let's draw a few things in though and make a few loose comparisons:

                Firstly, I am not trusted by the government or fellow road users and recognised to possess such a lethal bit of kit unless I am 17 years of age. And then I must pass a very comprehensive test to ensure that I'm not a liability and obtain a photo-license. Then I am required to take out insurance, and to have my vehicle inspected on a yearly basis. I am required to register my vehicle. I am required to have a little piece of paper with the car at all times which shows that it is legal for me to have it and be using it and that the authorities recognise my ownership. If I sell my vehicle then I am required to say who I sold it to. If my vehicle is stolen, then I am to report its loss promptly because otherwise I might be implicated in and held responsible for crimes that it might be used to commit.

                I am not allowed to use my vehicle while drunk, high, on a mobile 'phone, or otherwise distracted.

                There are many laws surrounding my safe use of a vehicle and the onus is on me to use it safely. If I use it in an unsafe manner - even if nobody is injured - then I will be punished.

                If I become excessively old, suffer a eyesight impairment or epilepsy, or demonstrate that I cannot use my car safely, then I am required to take a re-test to prove that I am still capable of safely using it. If I break the rules surrounding my use of the vehicle or use it in a dangerous manner, I might forfeit my right to drive it.

                And yes: If I am caught at 150mph, then I will temporarily lose my right to use a car.

                These are the restrictions that we put on vehicle ownership. None of them are unreasonable. All of them are there to protect everyone else on the road. If I am not doing anything wrong, I have no cause for concern about these rules. The only times these rules become an issue is if I act irresponsibly, carelessly or criminally.

                Isn't it kinda fecked up that there is far more regulation as regards vehicle ownership and use than firearms use in the US? Firearm legislation and registration should be AT LEAST as carefully and reasonably controlled as access to a vehicle.

                I'm not sure how we'd screen for people who might speed excessively. There are two approaches that spring to mind. One is in place, the other is essentially persecuting a vast and disproportionate number of people for 'pre-crime':

                1) When people commit minor infractions [low-level motoring offences] then in some way offer them a warning and punishment and have these punishments 'rack up' to eventual loss of license.

                Well, we do that already via fixed penalty fines and points.

                2) Prevent every male teenager who wants to impress girls from driving. Prevent everyone who participates in motor racing from driving on public roads.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  @Psyx

                  It is hard to compare guns with anything so lets be more realistic. All gun crimes involve guns, but not all violent crimes are gun crimes. We are talking about saving lives and think of the children.

                  The common issue of the violent crime is the person. So lets do what you all suggest and legally ban people. This way no violent crime can occur because we could all be highly restricted in who we can interact with. To interact with someone requires following various procedures, apply for a licence and any minor infraction revokes the license.

                  I think we have a winner. This way everyone has the right to life while justifiably restricting the dangers of this world. No need for firearms or even self defence. Most crimes wiped out. And you dont mind surrendering your freedoms for it do you? If you do you will be branded a killer, homicidal, nutter, stupid, moron and everything else the law abiding gun community get called.

                  Irrational fear? Overreaction? Yup.

                  There are good restrictions which could be put in place. They are background checks and enforcement.

                  1. Psyx

                    Re: @Psyx

                    "It is hard to compare guns with anything so lets be more realistic....The common issue of the violent crime is the person. So lets do what you all suggest and legally ban people."

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum

                    "There are good restrictions which could be put in place. They are background checks and enforcement."

                    That's a start. But the main thing that needs happening is to restrict/reduce firearms falling into unlicensed hands via a massive clamp-down and registration effort (ie: This gun is registered to you, but was used to murder someone two states over because you sold it to a criminal, so you can go to jail for the same time that the murderer did. Kthx) and a massive drag-net operation to get illegal firearms off the street. Not only does it help very directly prevent crime, it also makes a lie of the NRA's "All your doing is preventing legal owners from having guns". Which is crap anyway: There is already laws to arrest criminals with guns, so by very definition any gun control laws aren't going to NEED to further criminalise that.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      @Psyx

                      Reductio ad absurdum applies to people who oppose guns because they are clueless. I know because I have replied to a few comments on here which apply it against gun owners.

                      Having to report a lost/stolen gun should be required and background checks should be a requirement but what you call a massive clampdown I dont know as its an umbrella term which can be taken to nutty extremes. This is where the question of which state comes in because each state does their own thing and the differences are visible. I am all for common sense policing but there are a lot of comments calling to remove all guns. This comes from the lack of knowledge over what a gun is for (guns are for killing, so all gun owners are killers is very faulty logic). A tank is a motor vehicle but not all motor vehicles are all terrain.

                      My comment is a direct reflection of you wanting something to compare to guns for lethality. I compared it correctly to the common killer in violent crime. There are a lot of anti-gun morons who repeat your comment about cars are different to guns. Yet guns are fairly unique. So the other unique yet directly related entity is people. So if it is Reductio ad absurdum to remove interaction in the population to save lives, it is also Reductio ad absurdum to remove personal firearms to save lives. Regulation is fine, but your comments fuel the fire of the anti-gun nutters.

                      I will make a point that you yourself dont seem to be under the same level of misinformation and cluelessness so I am not arguing against you particularly, just the comment which can be taken to extremes by the extremist anti-gun nutter.

                2. jake Silver badge

                  Re: @Psyx

                  "Isn't it kinda fecked up that there is far more regulation as regards vehicle ownership and use than firearms use in the US? Firearm legislation and registration should be AT LEAST as carefully and reasonably controlled as access to a vehicle."

                  You are clearly confused. Far more people are killed by private, legally owned & operated automobiles here in the Southern half of North America than are even maimed, much less killed, by firearms in any given year. Don't you think that's fecked fucked[1] up?

                  Come back when you actually understand what you are talking about. Ta.

                  [1] I'm an adult. I can use adult punctuation. I'm talkin' cussin', not markup language ...

          2. strum Silver badge

            Re: Plan B? Plan C?

            >"grown-up plinking".

            'Grown-up' is not the phrase that comes to mind. 'Juvenile', Puerile', oerhaps.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Plan B? Plan C?

        > It ain't the guns pulling their own trigger, people ...

        No, but you do live in a country where the lack of gun control makes it easier for those with a few screws loose to get hold of them, carry them around without questions, and hence when they do snap the consequences are worse than someone in the UK going mad with a snooker cue because that is what they happened to have access to at the time.

        > Surely it's a better idea to remove them from the streets before they snap?

        Ah that old chestnut. Will all the will-be-killers please step forward on to the loony bus, the rest of you can go on about your lives. I'm sure that will go down very well ... In many cases these are normal people before they snap - sure they might have depression, post-traumatic stress, etc - but if you start locking up people with depression you are going to need a lot more prisons. And a thought police .... I thought that was against your constitution too ...

        There will always be depressives, and mentally unstable folk in society - if you give them access to tools which make it easy to kill people rapidly at long range then as a society you accept the consequences of that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Plan B? Plan C?

          Seriously? If someone snaps enough to want to kill, gun or no gun, the consequences are bad.....

          But if gun control was working, only stable people would be able to own guns.. I.E. mental health checks before being allowed to own a gun, make sure your unlikely to break...

          1. Psyx

            Re: Plan B? Plan C?

            "mental health checks before being allowed to own a gun, make sure your unlikely to break..."

            ANYONE can break. Anyone at all.

            If the authorities played it cautions, then at least 30% of s would be prevented from owning firearms on mental health grounds.

      3. Mooseman Bronze badge

        Re: Plan B? Plan C?

        And how are you going to do that exactly? People don't always go around barking at the moon if they are suffering from a mental illness, you know. Besides, sometimes people just "snap" - we've all been there, too much stress, too much work, someone says the wrong thing....most of us slam a few doors and hit the pub, but where you can grab your semi-auto rifle and wreak a little vengeance, people are killed.

        No, guns don't pull their own triggers, but if the guns weren't there at all, nobody would.

      4. Psyx
        Stop

        Re: Plan B? Plan C?

        "This will always be possible, in any nation that sells fuel oil & fertilizer "over the counter"."

        - Unless you live in a nation that has suffered under terrorism for long enough that it ensures fertilisers contain stabilisers to prevent them being turned into high explosive and where shop owners record and report any large sales of items which are key to bomb making. Works for us, mostly.

        "People who massacre quantities of people with rifles and/or handguns and then suicide are criminally insane, by definition and are probably incapable of realizing that they could get the job done much faster by other means."

        Except they are not. What you are stating isn't true. They typically have suffered from a psychological breakdown and are responding in an abnormal fashion. Before the break they might have been suffering depression, but they were normal functional human beings prior to the break. Typically, psychopaths don't go on sprees which will end up in them being dead or arrested, because they are too selfish and analytical.

        If you look into the people who commit these crimes, they have typically either snapped and are making do with the tools at hand (which unfortunately are often high-capacity semi-automatics in the States) or they DID plan their act carefully over the course of a week or so, where they assembled to tools for playing out their fantasy and constructed it in detail before enacting it. They don't tend to use bombs because bombs are difficult (relatively) to obtain the materials for and to construct. Where firearms are trivially easy to obtain, they will be a weapon of choice. From a psychological point of view, bombs also lack that personal touch of being able to look perceived persecutors in the eye before delivering 'justice'.

        "Surely it's a better idea to remove them from the streets before they snap?"

        How? Incarcerate every teenager who has become insular because he is being bullied by others? Do the same to everyone who just got divorce papers filed, lost custody of their kids and then got fired?

        The people who commit these acts might typically be suffering from very low level mental illness before they crack, but so is 10% of the population. It's not the 'criminally insane' sociopaths and psychopaths who are already on the radar. Given that the pool of potential 'snapees', it is not possible to remove these people from the streets.

        Unless you want to bolster the largest incarcerated population in the world with every teenager who has ever put on a black T-shirt?

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Plan B? Plan C?

        "People who massacre quantities of people with rifles and/or handguns and then suicide are criminally insane, by definition, and are probably incapable of realizing that they could get the job done much faster by other means. "

        "Buy boomstick from supermarket, press button, goes bang bang".

        vs.

        "Produce explosive device that goes off at the right time" (the last bit's really important).

        Can you see the difference?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Plan B? Plan C?

          >"Produce explosive device that goes off at the right time" (the last bit's really important).

          There's an app for that

          I'm sure Walmart could sell ready-bang (tm) ready to use explosive devices for the domestic terrorist in a hurry

    3. Pete 48
      Joke

      Re: Plan B? Plan C?

      The right to bear arms?

      All of those poor, innocent, limbless teddies.

    4. Graham Dawson

      Re: Plan B? Plan C?

      The US constitution doesn't "give" them anything. The bill of rights is informing Congress of areas where it shall not legislate to restrict rights that were deemed to be the natural rights of man. Those rights boil down to the right to speech, self-defence and property.

      These three are the fundamental rights on which civilisation was built. The world progresses when these rights are held inviolate, and regresses when they are proscribed and infringed.

      For the record the president is not allowed to legislation per the constitution. Executive orders have always walked a fine line in this regard and many of them were unconstitutional in their scope (especially quite a few of those issued by Bush toward the end of his second term) even if they had been created by the House. The use of an executive order to infringe on the second amendment is opening Obama up to a lot of potential legal difficulty.

      1. strum Silver badge

        Re: Plan B? Plan C?

        >Those rights boil down to the right to speech, self-defence and property.

        >These three are the fundamental rights on which civilisation was built

        Nope. Civilisation predates all three by some 10,000 years.

        Like many Americans, you confuse 'privileges we are accustomed to' with 'rights'.

        1. Graham Dawson

          @strum Re: Plan B? Plan C?

          American? Shows what you know strum.

          Perhaps you should go and read up a little on the natural rights of man.

    5. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: Plan B? Plan C?

      "Guns don't kill people, bullets do."

      That doesn't work. Controlling and limiting the ammunition someone can buy will help, but the situation cannot be solely controlled like that because we cannot make a purchaser accountable for every round. If firearms are unrestricted but bullets are in an effort to reduce crime, what is preventing people buying ammo and then just selling it on at a profit to criminal elements?

    6. Swarthy Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Plan B? Plan C? (@Pen-y-gors)

      Have an up-vote for use of "hemp fandango".

      Also, I approve of what has been deemed in my household "The Chris Rock Solution" From his stand-up bit after Columbine, where he proposed that bullets should cost $5000 apiece. "He must have done something to piss someone off: they put $50000 worth of bullets in his ass!"

  12. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    WTF?

    Games and gun violence link?

    There's none. Study closed. Where can I collect my pay cheque?

    How much did I enjoy Hansel and Gretel! But neither did it make me believe in witches (guys, please keep your comments about your in-laws or ex-wives for yourself) nor did it induce an urge to shove people into ovens.

  13. silent_count

    Follow the chain of logic.

    The problem is that GUNS are far to easy to acquire.

    Its subsequently GUNS that are being used to kill people.

    So instead of banning GUNS,

    let's ban VIDEO GAMES.

    There's a problem in there somewhere but I, along with politicians too piss-weak to stand up to the NRA, can't quite spot it.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: Follow the chain of logic.

      There's a problem in there somewhere

      Yes, there is. It's the part where you imply that it's stupid to blame a form of entertainment, such as video games, but then attempt to blame an inanimate object instead.

      I don't blame the video game.

      I don't blame the gun.

      I blame the shithead pullling the trigger, and so should you.

      1. HP Cynic

        Re: Follow the chain of logic.

        I do, but the availability of guns means the shitheads have an easy time committing these mass murders.

        In the developed nations which have controlled guns it's blindingly obvious, just as it was obvious the US healthcare system was a giant for-profit scam at the expense of the people.

        The corporate propaganda has been far too effective at conditioning Americans into accepting frequent mass shootings as "a price worth paying" along scapegoating everything but the guns.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @silent_count

      Your chain of logic is broken. You jump from guns are too easy to acquire to instead of banning guns. Cars kill people but who wants to ban them?

      There is a middle ground. Checks before buying guns makes sense. Banning people who committed violent crime or has mental issues would resolve a lot.

      Banning guns makes gun owners laugh because its often stated by those who havnt a clue. I agree its too easy for them to get guns in some states but banning them is unthinkable.

      1. silent_count

        Re: @silent_count

        @ Mr Preece.

        I don't know where you got the idea that I blame a gun when there's "gun violence." I do however think that when there's "gun violence", there's a fairly good chance that there's a gun involved.

        It's amusing that Mr Obama wants to study a link between video games and gun violence. I'd submit that it would be a fait de compli to find a link between guns and gun violence, but that Mr Obama doesn't have the balls to call for such a study.

        @ Mr AC (09:59/17-Jan-2013)

        I'm curious. You state that "banning them [guns] is unthinkable". Can you explain to me - I'm not American, so maybe I just don't get it - what benefit is to brought to society by "Joe Average being able to have a gun" that out-weights disadvantage of the number of people who are killed by other people with guns?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @silent_count

          I am not american either. I just wanted to point out the leap in your logic but personally I think average joe should be able to have a gun. Average joe is not a criminal, he lives within the law and the law isnt ment to be there to oppress him. So the legal and perfectly legitimate act of wanting a gun makes perfect sense, as long as they are not a violent criminal or mentally unreliable (not average joe).

          To me this applies as enjoying shooting on the range for the many benefits of doing so. It isnt a place for muppets (I havnt even seen any at any of our ranges) who want to spray bullets and destroy. Instead it is a nice atmosphere where you can relax, learn to control your breathing, improve hand/eye coordination, learn patience and generally socialise.

          I also understand the self defence part of the argument. A criminal is already unconcerned about the law. So it is very possible (likely) they will be armed with intent. Their choice of weapon is based on requirement/accessibility but even in the UK a handgun can still be obtained reasonably cheap.

          The laws absolutely restricting guns takes them out of the hands of the law abiding, the criminal is still armed. However on the other side you dont want to give guns to just anyone because the law should be to protect the law abiding.

      2. HP Cynic

        Re: @silent_count

        Cars have a purpose beyond killing people. Guns don't.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @HP Cynic

          Brains have a purpose beyond spouting rubbish but it is the person using it who defines its purpose. If that is the only purpose you see for the gun then you have a huge hole in your knowledge. You will find that hunting does not define people, and it often expressly forbids hunting people. But if like me you are not into killing then go to a target range and get an education. The benefits of shooting are plenty.

          Once you try at least shooting on a range then respond to me. Otherwise stick to what you do know because guns is not one of those.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @HP Cynic @AC 11:58

            'Once you try at least shooting on a range then respond to me.'

            I have shot on the range, and the only gun I own is a replica 1642 Tower Pattern musket, complete with rest.

            The former was, however, not done with the latter.

            I have 'shot' arrows at a target with great pleasure on a 'range', (actually a longbow and other plain bows on improvised butts in a mates back garden) but have never felt the desire to load ball in my musket, despite having easy legal access to Black Powder ( I have a licenced store with 15Kg).

            I only own the musket as I use it in re-enactments. (Note, *not* LARP)

            I have never understood the insistance of Americans that the Constitution gives them the 'right' to carry high powered hand guns in concealed holsters in public places whilst going about their everyday business.

            The poor excuse that an armed citizen deters a criminal attacker holds no water, it merely ensures that the attacker is *more* likely to be similarly armed, as they will anticipate encountering armed resistance.

            I think that you will find that the vast majority of 'gun crime' in the UK is involved with gang disputes, where the protagonists expect each other to be armed. Contrast this with burglaries, where the criminal is more likely to be 'armed' with a crowbar at most.

            I am posting AC on this, due to the information about by Explosives store.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @AC 13:29

              You dont understand shooting a gun but you enjoy archery. Ok there is a difference. Now lets assume you are a child hating little man making up for his lack downstairs by buying bow/arrows and thinking he has any rights as a law abiding citizen to hold such deadly (if misused) weapons (tools). Who would try to understand you because you obviously dont care about anyone but yourself nor are you possibly a good person because you must want to make child killers and children into killers because you deserve no understanding.

              I understand your desire to launch arrows at a target and cause no harm. But the above is what I face from people who (as you said) dont understand. But I am tolerant of others pursuits. I dont condone crime. There is a huge difference and great importance over the difference.

              If we want to save lives then everyone should be confined to their homes.

        2. magrathea

          Re: @silent_count

          "Cars have a purpose beyond killing people. Guns don't"

          For many people guns have a purpose other than killing. You're not one of them, hence your reflex to dismiss this usage. What you have said boils down to "I have no use for it, there there is no use"

      3. Psyx

        Re: @silent_count

        "Cars kill people but who wants to ban them?"

        Stupid diversionary comment. See above.

  14. jai

    more scientific study about our members’ products. We welcome more evidence-based research...

    Because scientific study and evidence based research has such a great track record with American's, doesn't it? Afterall, it put those Intelligent Design people in their place.... oh wait...

  15. Schultz

    Double blind test

    The only meaningful science will be delivered by the double blind test: Half the kids shoot realistically depicted humans and the other half shoot cute bunnies. The doctors follow the game skills and, within a century or so, amass the statistics to tie the games to shooting rampages. Of course, doctors and players have to wear blindfolds to avoid biasing the results.

    But seriously, with almost every kid playing video games (exceptions might almost be an indicator for a socially defunct environment), how do they want to address causality?

  16. Greg J Preece

    “Congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds. We don't benefit from ignorance. We don't benefit from not knowing the science of this epidemic of violence.”

    Nice to see that the president isn't deciding anything in advance.

  17. ukgnome Silver badge

    It's nice to see the commentards taking this seriously.

    You'll not get such frivolity from me though, as I only played cabinet games from the eighties - so far today i have delivered some newspapers, released some oil from my spy car and rescued a princess that was held hostage by a large monkey on a building site.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Sir

      " I only played cabinet games from the eighties"

      I've blown up a death star, but I seem to have misplaced my X-Wing otherwise I'd be outta here already.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Resident Evil made Want to Buy a Gun

    First person shooters didn't cause me to go and shoot people - but they did raise pique interest in buying my own gun and teaching the kids to shoot. Especially Resident Evil - the guns are just so cool.

  19. AGR

    The US Army got concerned in the 90s about how so many new recruits were coming in and scoring perfectly on the firing range without ever having used a weapon before. Turns out that Duck Hunt (and games like it) were responsible.

    Do video games cause violent outbreaks?...Nah...But they do improve accuracy.

    A more realistic study would be looking into the use of psychiatric drugs; I don't think I've heard of any mass shootings where the perpetrators had not been on some kind of anti-depressant other substance that affects brain chemistry. Doubt that would happen because big Pharma is a big political campaign contributor.

    1. Psyx
      Pint

      "A more realistic study would be looking into the use of psychiatric drugs; I don't think I've heard of any mass shootings where the perpetrators had not been on some kind of anti-depressant other substance that affects brain chemistry. Doubt that would happen because big Pharma is a big political campaign contributor."

      Somehow I doubt that'd fly!

      Though to be fair, pretty much anything can affect brain chemistry radically; from five beers to the Pill.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Motes and beames

    "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brothers eye, but considerest not the beame that is in thine owne eye?"

    Where, in the USA, do you find the heaviest concentration of large-scale computerized wargaming? The Pentagon.

    And where, in the USA, do you find the heaviest concentration of responsibility for shooting, bombing, and otherwise murdering people? The Pentagon.

    Of course, the Pentagon does (or at least is supposed to) obey a higher authority - the President. Mr Obama, why don't you take a look in your own eye?

  21. Aldous
    FAIL

    Wheres my plane?

    i play a lot of flight sims and can start aircraft such as AT-6, various cessna's. A-10 and the KA-50 helo from the ramp and fly perfectly and legally.

    Oddly when i asked to be a pilot they laughed despite explaining if games = killers games should also = pilots right?

    Other nations have guns, other nations play games only the USA seems to have the level of mass gun murders causing these issues. Can't be anything about their culture though they are perfect must be the games.

  22. John Smith 23

    well at least GTA V should be released before any study is finished

    1. Psyx
      Pint

      "well at least GTA V should be released before any study is finished"

      Man, it would be ironic if it's condemned for encouraging violence, seeing as it's a game entirely modelled on American street culture.

      That'd be like condemning Dowton Abbey for encouraging upper class English people to speak in upper class accents.

  23. Syed
    Joke

    I played Leisure Suit Larry...

    ...and got VD.

  24. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Farmville

    And while they are avout it, they should study the link between those who play Farmville often and then go to become actual farmers.

  25. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Aldous
      Stop

      Re: Agenda

      This may surprise you but the government does not want toi disarm you to make you passive. If they want to make you passive they have a nice little chain to go through:

      1. Law enforcement with sidearms

      2. Law enforcement with Kevlar/assault rifles/armoured trucks

      3.Armed forces with assault rifles

      4. Armed forces with tanks/apc's

      5. Predetor drones

      6. Helicopter gunships and fast jet's

      7. cruise missiles

      8. Nuclear, Biological or chemical weaponry

      Now do you really think your ar-15 having a 30 round or a 10 round clip is going to make much of a difference when the "evil empire" comes after its people? you might get all the way to number 2 on that chain. The right to bear arms is fine but for target shooting/hunting/personal defense you don't need a 30 round assault rifle (if you do need 30 rounds your doing it wrong) and the whole militia against the government doesn't really add up when said government spends more on military weaponry then some nations have entire GDP output.

      1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Agenda

        ...you don't need a 30 round assault rifle...

        Which is a bit redundant. <sarcasm>What good would an assault rifle be if it only held 3 rounds?</sarcasm> The term "assault weapon" under the now-defunct assault weapons ban was by-and-large a BS distinction. It banned the way guns could look and had little to do with their actual function. Yes, some of the law had to do with the ability to accept high-capacity magazines, but if a gun can accept a clip, it typically can take an arbitrarily-sized clip. To me, this indicates that the politicians inflicting enacting the law either received their education from Hollywood, or the law was actually meant to do something other than what was claimed.

        I would much rather see laws linked to the function of the items for which the legislation is passed. If we as a society want to restrict the function of guns to self defense and sporting activities, then it makes sense to stipulate that clips can hold no more than a certain number of rounds rather than that they cannot look bad-ass.

        Similarly, I have reservations concerning the implementation of a mental health qualification on background checks. It is not that I don't want to keep weapons (guns, swords, bombs) out of the hands of the severely mentally ill. Rather, I feel the emphasis should be on general treatment, something that had its state support largely defunded during the Reagan administration (or perhaps under Bush I). Generally, therapists and other mental health professionals are not trained to predict who among their patients are likely to commit a violent crime, gun-related or otherwise, and those that are so trained do not have a very good track record for correct identification. I believe treating the population as a whole to mitigate the underlying issues is more likely to have good results, but focusing so tightly on gun violence-related mental health issues (versus mental health issues as a while) does an disservice to those in need of care.

        Finally, if this is a societal issue, then we need to work to change our society. Using the legislative process can be effective in this (civil rights laws), but just as often is counter-productive (prohibition) - use with care and in conjunction with other methods. This is in contrast to the very loud and public posturing by all parties currently involved in the legislative debate on the subject. Some initiatives are broadly supported and should be passed (universal background checks rather than allowing exemptions). Some are logical, but I have not heard much public debate (place the same requirements on purchasing ammunition as on purchasing a firearm). Many just make people crazy (require all guns to be registered, require a license to own a gun), which under other proposed provisions would make those same folks unable to own a firearm.

        1. Aldous
          Thumb Down

          Re: Agenda

          Which is why you use laws like most over countries have rather then claim its "assault weapons" as is currently the fight in America.

          For example in the UK aside from all the other laws about applying for a gun license there are ones such as shotguns having a maximum capacity, rifles having a minimum barrel length and restrictions on fire modes (semi auto or manual, no burst).

          If registering for a gun license makes you crazy then you definitely shouldn't have one (or ever deal with the DMV/DVLA). Making sure guns are adequately stored (so they don't get stolen or grabbed in an argument) is hardly crazy and still upholds your right to bear arms.

  26. wowfood
    Boffin

    Here's what will happen

    If they actually do the studies correctly they will find

    1: A short term boost in aggression while playing the game

    2: Aggression subsiding after playing game

    3: Tightened endorphin levels during and after

    4: Heightened neural response during and after, with prolonged play this will become permanent rather than a few hours.

    5: Those with existing mental health issues may transfer videogames onto the real world.

    Conclusion

    People with mental health problems like SPD / ASBD etc will be the ones at risk of going off their rocker. These same people are the ones who will likely go out and buy guns to kill people.

    Correct Solution

    Begin background checks which will prevent people with a history of those disorders from buying firearms, have it so people must be screened for mental health issues before purchase of firearms.

    USA Solution: 1

    Ban everyone from buying videogames because less than 1% of the population has a less than 10% chance of going more postal than before. Still let these people buy guns

    USA Solution 2:

    Do nothing.

  27. Skizz

    A possible solution?

    Well, there have been many amendments to the US constitution, some as recent as 1992, so why not add a new one to clarify the right to bear arms since the ambiguity of the original is often used by groups like the NRA to justify gun ownership. Perhaps a clause to only allow "the security of a free state" as a reason to own a gun. So unless the "security of the free state" is at risk, there'd be no reason to carry or own a gun! I fear, though, that the lawyers would still find a good way around it.

    Of course, the current amendments do allow a US citizen, if they feel that the government is a threat to the free state, can storm the White House / Congress / whatever it's called, with a gun a shoot members of the government!

  28. David Simpson 1
    FAIL

    Epidemic of violence ? Violent crime dropped right through the 20th century and is still dropping, if video games or movies caused it then they are rather bad at it since they were causing it before they existed!

  29. Simon B
    FAIL

    They should look closer to home, like the fact they sell tools designed for nothing but to kill living beings to any tom dick or harry!

  30. Thomas 4
    FAIL

    Alright then...

    I'll agree to this...

    ...if violent movies, violent books and highly aggresive songs are also included. If not, then f*** off.

  31. Nuke
    Facepalm

    So the NRA say that to save their guns, video games should be banned.

    So it is ban guns or ban video games? Have the NRA just shot themselves in the foot? Perhaps this is just what is needed to get guns banned.

  32. Roby

    Ignoring the massive elephant in the room then.

  33. Tikimon Silver badge
    WTF?

    Nobody mention the elephant in the room OK?

    The elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about is how the "gun violence" is almost exclusively the province of gang-banger "disadvantaged youths". They don't PLAY video games. Computer exposure might actually improve their job prospects. They don't obey laws, least of all the ones that prohibit them owning guns. DUH.

    Political hacks don't want to solve problems, including so-called "gun violence". They only exploit them to further their political objectives. The facts don't matter, like how "gun violence" is highest where guns are banned. Opening up private concealed carry always results in a DECREASE in violent crime. So inconvenient for the anti-gun lobby...

    1. Psyx
      Facepalm

      Re: Nobody mention the elephant in the room OK?

      "They don't PLAY video games."

      Yes they do!

      I'm not going to explore the link to violence stuff, but urabanised youths love blowing the crap outta stuff on the X-Box. Computer gaming is no longer the hobby of just geeks.

    2. tuxtester
      Meh

      Re: Nobody mention the elephant in the room OK?

      You put one gun in the wrong person's hand and tens of people die.

      Right or wrong?

      I moved to Brookline, Boston US in 1994. That year someone wandered into multiple Clinics in BROOKLINE and shot people.

      America = perpetual LOCAL gun violence.

      Guns give people a sense of complete equality, a gun equalises; no matter what the size of your opposition, a gun will stop and drop them for good.

      It seems Americans just can not imagine life without the absolute power to utterly-destroy their opposition even when their opposition is a teacher or a road-rage opponent.

      Bang! done ... that's video game logic right there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @tuxtester

        Wait wait wait. So you moved to brookline boston in 1994. You speak of a single incident of a nutter, I will point out in the UK we had some nutters detonate bombs on the tube and a bus. Is madrid they had a bomber on a train. but your one incident shows... not much.

        From that one example you then say perpetual local gun violence. But you start with the word America. America is a collection of states as the EU is a collection of countries. Different laws and cultures across a large area of land. So your comment is not only an assumption of 1 place you mention, but it is outright wrong.

        You then talk of the good of a gun, the great equaliser. Where WHEN a criminal decides to take you on his advantage is much less than say in the UK. In the UK an assailant attacks someone weaker than him because thats what they do. They dont go after someone stronger or more likely to harm/kill them. So when the land is even nobody stands on a hill. If you get mugged would you want to be at a severe disadvantage and your life is in the attackers hands coz duh law sez? Or would you prefer you had a chance. That onlookers would have the ability to help you? Or would you like to be in the UK's situation where people walk by without interfering most of the time and only the criminals are armed. Coz of der uman rights?

        The reason I reply to your comment is because you comically explain the lack of logic as video game logic. And I figured some people would benefit from an explanation as to why your statement is so funny.

        1. Psyx
          Stop

          Re: @tuxtester

          "If you get mugged would you want to be at a severe disadvantage and your life is in the attackers hands coz duh law sez? Or would you prefer you had a chance. That onlookers would have the ability to help you?"

          You know what: I'd rather hand over my wallet and my phone than escalate the confrontation to a lethal one, and potentially end up murdering someone, having my own firearm used against me, or potentially hitting a bystander. And no: I don't want an onlooker pulling a firearm at night and pointing it at someone standing 2 feet from me. Once again: I'd rather hand over my wallet.

          Anyone who would rather kill someone and maybe get killed for $50 and thinks that it's a great idea to carry a firearm for just such an eventuality really needs to take a good hard look at their priorities.

          Killing someone to DEFEND your wallet is just as fecking stupid as being willing to kill someone to take it. This is the problem with firearms: Hand one to someone and they turn into a drooling Rambo-inspired idiot, who seems to consider the firearm as a first and reasonable response to every situation. It's not.

          For the cost of a handgun and enough practice to comfortably use it while walking home pi$$ed on a Saturday night and facing a mugger you could afford to lose at least half a dozen wallets getting mugged anyway. Carrying a firearm on the street for defence against theft is a false economy and one that's just as likely to get you shot as not.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Psyx

            Are you a god or something? Able to change reality to suit? You think you can negotiate with someone who breaks in and starts raping your partner (or old people in the UK)? How do you do that again?

            When someone decides they dont like the look of you so out come the knife or whatever (maybe even a gun) your gonna negotiate somehow? Wow I think you should run courses for the many victims who had to suffer and die because you obviously know something others dont.

            You might think like a drooling rambo inspired idiot but you may not feel anything if put in such a situation you cant talk your way out of. And of course the nutter who kills/harms you gets to move on to the next person and you get the pleasure of explaining to the police what happened, if you can still talk.

            Your false economy is false logic. Maybe someones more likely to get shot but your less likely to be the one harmed, but more likely to have a chance of self defence.

            In your scenario you must assume the criminal is armed. Because they are criminal and prepare for the upper hand. You are gonna be violently attacked (no negotiation). Would you like the chance to defend yourself or is your life not worth it? Do you deserve the right to life? Is your right to life worth less than the criminals right to harm you (stop talking soft about just taking your stuff and leaving you alone. Talk about the real situation this applies).

            1. Psyx
              FAIL

              Re: @Psyx

              "Are you a god or something? Able to change reality to suit? You think you can negotiate with someone who breaks in and starts raping your partner (or old people in the UK)? How do you do that again?"

              If someone breaks into my home, I will hit them with a stick, in the certain knowledge that they will not be carrying a firearm, because tight gun control ensures they won't have one.

              "When someone decides they dont like the look of you so out come the knife or whatever (maybe even a gun) your gonna negotiate somehow?"

              Yes: I'm going to GIVE THEM MY WALLET. What kind of fucking idiot pulls a gun on someone for the sake of a wallet??! Are you really so attached to $50 that you would KILL someone over it. If so, then the only difference between you and a murderer is that you are only happy to kill if it's legal. Morally speaking you are as every bit as violent as someone on the other side of the law, and you shouldn't be allowed to carry a firearm in public, because you are clearly psychotic.

              If this is such a big threat and as much of a certain-to-happen situation as you claim. then I can't see how you've reached an adult age without being attacked or had a street confrontation without resorting to shooting them. How did pulling a firearm go for you?

              Because if it has never happened to you, you're essentially discussing a myth and yet telling me that it's bound to happen. Your scenario is a false one.

              I hate to shatter your reality, but the job of a mugger isn't to kill people and then be ruthlessly hunted down for manslaughter. It is to obtain your money for the minimum amount of fuss, and then to go and spend it and have fun. Muggers don't stab/shoot/kill people who hand over what they want and don't try to get clever. Did your 'self defence' training fail to mention that point in it's eagerness to teach you how to kill people legally?

              "Wow I think you should run courses for the many victims who had to suffer and die because you obviously know something others dont."

              I probably should. Maybe I could undo some of the damage taught to people who spend ages learning how to kill mugger on a 25m range by teaching them to spend the money on a alarm system and learning how to avoid trouble in the first place instead of blindly walking into it with the stupid over-confidence that a firearm brings.

              I've been in plenty of trouble in my time, had lots of scuffles, and managed to avoid much, much more. I've wandered around some very shitty places and had a lot of potentially dangerous encounters. Yet never once have I needed to pull a gun on a criminal and never once have I been in a situation outside of work where I believe I'd have been safer with a firearm concealed on my person. So before you try to lecture me about situations, just how many times have you pulled guns on muggers because it was the only 'safe' and available course of action?

              "You might think like a drooling rambo inspired idiot but you may not feel anything if put in such a situation you cant talk your way out of."

              That sentence makes no sense. At all.

              "Your false economy is false logic. Maybe someones more likely to get shot but your less likely to be the one harmed, but more likely to have a chance of self defence."

              No it's not.

              And isn't it something like 20% of US police who are shot are shot with their own firearm.

              Tell me how I can safely pull a firearm (while drunk) on an armed attacker who is in physical contact with me, at night, and safely use it without there being at least a one-in-four chance of getting shot by his gun or mine?

              Statistically, I would be better off NOT having a firearm and resisting, because at least that way the attacker will not see me as a lethal threat so will be more inclined to hit me with the firearm than use it.

              "In your scenario you must assume the criminal is armed. Because they are criminal and prepare for the upper hand."

              Yeah: with a knife, because muggers in countries where there is decent gun control don't tend to have access to guns.

              "You are gonna be violently attacked (no negotiation)."

              That's a stupid scenario in the first place.

              Why? To rob me? Muggers DON'T DO THAT. So it's a personal attack, because I looked at them funny in a club or something? Then why am I walking home somewhere quiet enough that someone can pull a blade without someone saying something? Why didn't I just RUN THE FUCK AWAY? Self-defence starts a long while before someone pulls a weapon.

              "Would you like the chance to defend yourself or is your life not worth it?"

              I'll defend my life by not being stupid enough to be in such a fucking stupid situation.

              I'll defend my life by having the awareness to see a situation developing or the potential for one and avoiding it.

              I will defend myself for not being isolated on the streets and attracting attention of others and by not walking alone.

              I will defend myself by running the fuck away rather than MURDERING someone in 'self defence'.

              I will defend myself by handing over my wallet if someone points a knife at my neck.

              I will defend myself by not being a stupid, mouthy dick who provokes an attacker.

              I will defend myself by not seeming like a lethal threat to the attacker, so they retaliate in kind.

              I will defend myself by physical force against a foe who is already in arms reach, instead of being stupid enough that I can outdraw someone from a concealed holster in the time it takes them to shoot me in the face. It'd take less time to break their elbow than to get a firearm out of a holster anyway.

              If I have to try to use a firearm in the above situation, I am an idiot and have failed at 'self defence'.

              "Talk about the real situation this applies)."

              There really isn't statistically a situation where this is particularly likely to apply. It's a situation that gun-nuts make up in justification to carry a firearm in public. And if I am in a situation where I'm likely to be mugged, then it means that I'm walking home late, drunk, on my own... and I strongly believe that anyone carrying a firearm while drunk should be arrested anyway, regardless of if they have a licence, because it's a retarded thing to do.

              The whole idea of carrying a concealed firearm for street defence is breathtakingly stupid.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @Psyx

                Ok so your not rambo, your the hulk? I hope you expect your comment to be shredded because any intelligent person here is probably gonna(if its not beneath them). I will however educate.

                So your certain the criminal (illegal activity, breaking the law, dont care) wont have a gun. What happens when you are proved wrong? Lets start with gang initiation? Here in the UK it happens (remember the kid shot by mistake?). But your ok, the hulk is indestructible.

                Then we move to you calling me psychotic because you burned your straw man. Didnt you complain someone else did that yesterday? In a situation that you cant negotiate out of, not your fantasy, but an actual violent encounter you have no chance (sorry you do coz u hulk... smash). I am not nuts because I would defend myself while you would choose to die/be harmed. You assume an option you dont have. Then try to make me out to be nuts.

                You keep talking about defending your wallet. Is that as far as your brain works? Are you saying of all victims of violent crime are to blame because they didnt run or comply with a violent attacker (this aint just your wallet, what about rape, murder or generally out to harm you?). But you say you wont put yourself in that stupid position, so you actually defend criminals because the victim put themselves there?!?! You are the nutter.

                Your rant has shown you to be completely unrealistic. Sorry

                1. Psyx
                  Mushroom

                  Re: @Psyx

                  "Ok so your not rambo, your the hulk?"

                  How about you bother replying to some of my points? Why am I the Hulk for starters? Because I feel that I can defend myself adequately in a street-fight without shooting someone?

                  "So your certain the criminal (illegal activity, breaking the law, dont care) wont have a gun. What happens when you are proved wrong? Lets start with gang initiation? Here in the UK it happens (remember the kid shot by mistake?). But your ok, the hulk is indestructible."

                  I've never been held up with a firearm, nor has anyone I've known. So you're basically talking about something that's ridiculously rare. And against that chance, you want people to walk around drunk with concealed firearms. That's absurd. Your solution to one-in-a-thousand muggings is to allow pi$$ed up Chavs carry pistols on a Saturday night? And that reduces street violence how?

                  "Then we move to you calling me psychotic because you burned your straw man."

                  Bullshit. What straw man? Learn what these terms mean before throwing them around.

                  And yes: If you believe that it's fine to kill someone for $50, then you are psychotic, sociopathic or psychopathic... or (more likely) living in Hollywood world, where it's ok to blow people away over something trivial. It's not.

                  "Didnt you complain someone else did that yesterday?"

                  Yeah..that's because it actually was a straw man. Responding to your question in a blow by blow manner isn't. You can't call something a straw man simply because you have no rational reply.

                  "In a situation that you cant negotiate out of, not your fantasy, but an actual violent encounter you have no chance (sorry you do coz u hulk... smash)."

                  As I already SAID, in my experience, 95% of violent encounters can be avoided, defused or negotiated without recourse to force. If it came down to force, I would use any means required to defend myself. Why exactly would I have 'no chance'? Again: There is no fscking way that a concealed firearm offers me any protection at that point because their weapon is already drawn and pointed at me. You want me to say "hold it there while I get my pistol out"? Please explain how you draw a firearm from your purse or shoulder-rig when someone has a gun at your face or a knife at your neck?

                  Would you actually fight them, if all they wanted was your wallet?

                  "I am not nuts because I would defend myself while you would choose to die/be harmed. You assume an option you dont have. Then try to make me out to be nuts."

                  If you happily kill someone because you didn't want to give them $50 you are nuts.

                  I am happy to defend myself, but taking a life is not defending myself: It's killing someone. I will fight brutally to save my own life, but carrying a firearm on the streets to do so is just ridiculous.

                  "Are you saying of all victims of violent crime are to blame because they didnt run or comply with a violent attacker"

                  No.

                  "(this aint just your wallet, what about rape, murder or generally out to harm you?)"

                  You are talking about a ridiculously bizarre and rare situation. How many people do YOU know who have been raped or murdered on the street at gunpoint? Actually? I hope you carry a parachute while walking over bridges in case you fall off, wear a crash helmet when walking under ladders and take this level of contingency in every level of your life if you believe that guarding against such an unusual situation warrants such preparedness.

                  "so you actually defend criminals because the victim put themselves there?!?! You are the nutter."

                  I never said that. Instead of just making sh!t up, how about you reply to my questions in a rational manner?

                  Just how much street crime have you experienced and how many people got shot? Have you ever been mugged? Had a gun pointed at you at any point?

                  1. DryBones
                    Holmes

                    Re: @Psyx

                    So the short summary of your position is "I have enough street smarts to see problems coming, and am fit and tough enough to deal with anything I can't avoid. In my situation the chance of my needing a gun looks like it'll be in behind being struck by lightning".

                    Well done, gold star. Bit of a pity that the situation varies, isn't it? Here's an interesting one. No relation, no acquaintance, no indication anything was the matter, no desire for money. Just... her phone? Didn't even demand that, just wailed on her. Evidently an out of the blue flip-out. If the train had been close, it might have finished with her being struck and killed.

                    http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-man-arrested-in-subway-assault-in-philadelphia-20130118,0,2712387.story

                    The awareness bit is too hindsight to discuss. Should she have had a gun? Don't know, a force multiplier of some sort certainly would have been nice. Oh, the point? Some prefer the option to be prepared but not need, rather than need but not be prepared.

                    Brisk business in tasers, there?

                    1. Psyx

                      Re: @Psyx

                      "Here's an interesting one. No relation, no acquaintance, no indication anything was the matter, no desire for money. Just... her phone? Didn't even demand that, just wailed on her. Evidently an out of the blue flip-out. If the train had been close, it might have finished with her being struck and killed."

                      Maybe, but it faces all of the same issues as before: Could she have got it out in time, would it have been used against her. A firearm is not a cast-iron defence against violence, and at most makes it an 80/20 thing on who takes a bullet.

                      And in order to permit that person to carry a pistol, you have to make it legal for everyone to carry a concealed weapon inpublic on a Saturday night. The net overall loss is going to far outweigh the game. I think that we can all clearly see and understand the repercussions just by walking past a nightclub at kicking out time and thinking "How much safer would this be if everyone was armed with a lethal weapon".

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    @Psyx

                    Sorry but you have no points. I gave you an absolute situation. Real and physical that you cannot get out of. It was a question of your morality/right to live. Instead of answering (which you demand of me) you rewrite the situation to suit what you can handle. That is why I called you hulk because you assume no weapon can harm you because you would never be faced with a weapon. It has no basis in reality but you effectively stated you were invincible and would hit em with a big stick. Comical but not real. You also state you have the ability to defend yourself and project your dumb assumption to everyone. Even though the majority cant. You are unrealistic.

                    You also say you never been faced with a firearm, but what about a weapon of any form? Or even an opponent who is bigger/more aggressive? Again are you some suped up green monster? Most people are not. So you again show your unrealistic expectation that everyone can defend themselves.

                    Your straw man was the rewriting of a real situation to a wussy situation which could be resolved with money. Thereby assuming that for me to think a firearm could have a defensive use (which it does) would mean I am nuts and want to shoot people. Yet you still fail to answer the scenario I gave you. Where a bribe wont work. Where you are in actual danger.

                    I like the statement about your experience. I assume you have been through every type of trauma suffered by violent crime victims? Or do you live in a nice place and assume the world is as nice as the little utopia with poodles? Even then you must ignore news as some violent crimes are reported. But you seem to think all of them could be avoided if the victim didnt put themselves in that situation and that all victims could defend themselves. Based on your comments.

                    However I am a little confused. You offer this awesome advice that victims are to blame for the crimes, then say they are not to blame. So either they could avoid real violent crime (which they cant) which is not just a gimme ya wallet job but an actual intent to harm, or you are saying potential victims do not have the right to be equipped to defend themselves. Your choice. Now justify.

                    If you think I am talking of rare and ridiculously bizarre situations then you obviously dont read the news and must live in a lovely area. But because you dont know any better does not mean I am "making sh!t up". Feel free to reply in a rational manor and actually answer questions if you demand the same of me.

                    As to your final questions-

                    >Just how much street crime have you experienced- A little. It has also affected friends, neighbors and I have witnessed some too. Most entertaining was watching a skin head with what looked like a gun robbing a betting shop. Entertaining because I was looking in from the outside as he went in, bobbed about at speed, then legged it. Dunno if they got him but I gave an unmasked description to the police.

                    >and how many people got shot? None. 2 stabbings, 1 threatening behavior with a gun (robbery), various assaults (some the police turn up to, others they dont) and some bare handed while others used a blunt object.

                    >Have you ever been mugged? No. Some relatives have but not me personally.

                    >Had a gun pointed at you at any point? Yes

                    And I am in the UK I will point out.

                    1. Psyx
                      FAIL

                      Re: @Psyx

                      "Instead of answering (which you demand of me) you rewrite the situation to suit what you can handle."

                      If a mugger pointed a gun in my face at less than a foot away with an intent to use it, I would attempt to side-step, while putting on a wrist lock and getting the firearm pointed in a safe direction. It takes less than half a second to do if well practiced, and is FAR faster than drawing a firearm. And it's easily trained for by practicing with someone who tries to pull the trigger on a toy gun before you can do it. Are you happy now? No, because apparently basic self-defence training makes me some kind of 'hulk' or 'rambo' in your eyes. Whereas you seem to think that with less training, you'd be better off with a concealed firearm and that someone carrying a gun on a friday night with the intent to kill anyone who tries to mug them *isn't* rambo

                      Are you of the opinion that people with less than a few days training should be allowed to carry concealed firearms in public?

                      They'd be far safer spending that time learning non-firearm related techniques. Guns are not a magical equaliser. Guns escalate any situation to a lethal confrontation.

                      "you effectively stated you were invincible and would hit em with a big stick."

                      When I said 'stick' I was being flippant. I meant the bokken that I keep by the bed. I daresay this admission will make me rambo again, because you are so fixated on the idea that gun=solution to all violent problems.

                      "You also state you have the ability to defend yourself and project your dumb assumption to everyone. Even though the majority cant. You are unrealistic."

                      So you think that someone with less self-defence training than me would be better off trying to pull a firearm at a mugger with a gun in their face?

                      I hate to break this to you, but in close quarters a firearm is not a great equaliser. It cannot effectively be used without a lot of training. Unless you have that training, you are carrying a weapon that is more likely going to be used to shoot you than the other guy. End of story. Look, or type 'police officer shot with own gun' for yourself into google:

                      http://www.policeone.com/close-quarters-combat/articles/100228-Cases-of-Officers-Killed-by-Their-Own-Guns-Likely-Will-Not-Change-R-I-Policies/

                      And that's professional officers trained in weapon retention and close-quarter scuffling. You think you'd fair better after four beers in a dark alley?

                      "You also say you never been faced with a firearm" - I've never been *mugged* with a firearm or seen one on the UK streets. I've been attacked with knives in the UK though, and those aren't fun. But anyone not within arm's length can be ran away from. Anyone closer than arms length isn't going to give you time to get out a weapon. Again: Explain how your untrained ass pulls a firearm on a mugger who has a knife pressed against you without getting stabbed. You still haven't really thought about that very much.

                      Hell: Watch a few youtube videos of bodyguards taking people down at close range: They don't even TRY to access firearms, and resort to 'bundling' attackers.

                      "You offer this awesome advice that victims are to blame for the crimes, then say they are not to blame."

                      I'm saying that in many occasions victims could have avoided the situation or mitigated the risk. If you think that's the same as saying 'that's the victim's' fault, then there is no point trying to talk to you further. Victims are not 'at fault', just the same as if I get rammed by a truck on the way to work and am injured severely because I didn't wear a seatbelt that the accident is 'my fault'. Clearly it isn't because someone else still perpetrated the events.

                      Many risks can be reduced and mitigated, but that does not make the remaining risk in the hands of the victim.

                      Again: If you put a concealed firearm in the hands of every drunk chav on a Saturday night, how does that make our streets safer?

                      To marginally reduce the risk of violent attack in specific circumstance, you would seriously rather put firearms in the hands of every drunken idiot who wants one? The accidental shootings alone would FAR outnumber the existing shootings in the UK each year.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: @Psyx

                        So definitely hulk- "If a mugger pointed a gun in my face at less than a foot away with an intent to use it, I would attempt to side-step, while putting on a wrist lock and getting the firearm pointed in a safe direction". The thing is I imagine you would probably wet yourself while trying to bribe them with your wallet as they beat the hell out of you, just because your so blinkered to think it never happens. If you are that good then well done, you are above average in the country which means most people wouldnt have a chance.

                        "When I said 'stick' I was being flippant. I meant the bokken that I keep by the bed.". Your an evil child hating monster because you have a weapon next to your bed. Actually isnt it pre-meditated if you keep a weapon next to your bed? But worse than that you assume superior strength/ability because your the hulk. But you forget about everybody else (the majority) where that may not and probably wont be an option.

                        But you think everyone should learn self defence. Forgetting the number of frail/disabled you are training everyone to fight. But all is not equal when it is size/strength which wins, so you fix NOTHING. The gun is the great equaliser that puts frail/disabled/small/weak on an even ground. It gives a chance to those that had none. And your mistaken belief that it is an escalator of violence ignores the countless fights that didnt happen because he could be/was armed and so the aggressor backs off. Not a dream, a fact.

                        "I hate to break this to you, but in close quarters a firearm is not a great equaliser." 12 ft I believe. Under the assumption that both parties are aggressors, undrawn weapons practiced at retrieving. This is where you fail again. Where is the concealed gun if there is one? Reach for the purse/wallet, what are they reaching for? House is being burgled, weapon is pre-drawn, firearm wins. Being followed down the lonely street, have time to prepare, firearm wins. Many others but it blows your argument away (pun intended).

                        As for police killed by own weapons, people are harmed by their own DIY. Are you saying you would prefer to give those officers almost no chance of self defence and watch them die sooner when they dont have the necessary equipment to do their jobs? Are you chuck norris or do you assume every victim is a cage fighter while criminals are weaklings?

                        "I'm saying that in many occasions victims could have avoided the situation or mitigated the risk. If you think that's the same as saying 'that's the victim's' fault, then there is no point trying to talk to you further. Victims are not 'at fault', just the same as if I get rammed by a truck on the way to work and am injured severely because I didn't wear a seatbelt that the accident is 'my fault'. Clearly it isn't because someone else still perpetrated the events." This statement negates completely a previous comment you made. You claimed you wouldnt be victim to violent crime because you would avoid it or give em £50. A deluded view which harmed your credibility.

                        "The accidental shootings alone would FAR outnumber the existing shootings in the UK each year." If we remove all cars we can stop car deaths! When cars come back more car deaths happen! See the relationship? Your not reducing crime, nor protecting victims, nor helping anyone. You are reducing gun crime. So you dont care about violent crime, or death by violent crime- you only care about the gun. That is obsession.

                        You cry about drunken idiots but yet they attack with bottles, knives, etc and much violent crime occurs by arming these people who go on to attack each other and innocents. But those innocents are to blame in your eyes because they should learn self defence, even if they are up against knives, bottles, etc and could be with their kids, elderly or themselves be elderly or disabled.

  34. Alistair Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Just to toss in an interesting thought

    Some reading for those that might like to enlighten themselves.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

    There are *some* interesting studies out there on what is precipitating all this crap. The above is only one, and one that made me think.

    Gun violence in the US, however is unique in that it is so high relative to the population. Put that way, and noted against the right to bear arms, it can *appear* in simplistic form that the access to arms is part of the issue. The amount of effort required at this point to try and pin down the *real* causes is likely to be beyond the capacity of the governments (Federal, state, municipal) of the day to *want* to approach. It could substantially invalidate the social structure that the US chooses, and suggest changes in the society that neither the populace, nor the commercial and governmental structures would survive.

  35. tuxtester
    Headmaster

    Play a violent video game and then become a killer. How?

    That's Al Gore thinking. I.e. Sky is blue, your car is blue, therefore your car is made of sky.

    But give someone a gun and EVERYTHING is a target.

    Wanna play with firearms then join the Territorials/Reserves or the full time military. Sign up for a couple of years and you will not only get training with firearms but you will also get paid to use them.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waste of time and money.

    The 'mericans don't care about each other never mind someone elses kids.

    Nothing will happen and they will continue to buy up guns, as many as possible.

    Boys with toys, what else can you say?

  37. Esskay
    Joke

    Widen the net

    I'm sure those lovely people at the MPAA would go out of their way to allow the study to extend to violent movies, or to change ratings to prevent the ability of images of people being shot, stabbed and killed to be shown to minors as long as there's no blood on screen. I've heard such wonderful things about the MPAA, and seen their press releases about how they're interested in protecting their viewers - my only fear is that they won't have enough influence amongst politicians to effect any changes to existing law, and that politicians will ignore their generous campaign contributions and act independently of the wishes of the MPAA.

    Said no-one, ever.

  38. johnwerneken
    Mushroom

    Oxymorons in charge? No, they are just Redundant!

    "Helpful Government" or "Presidential Leadership"?

    No, but it's proof that "Liberals Democrats Obama and Idiots" is Redundant - the words are redundant, so are -or should be - the people they describe.

  39. Frederick Tennant

    Where can I go to join this study?

    I would love to see if I would become violent if I play all day, and get paid for it. every time somebody gets shot and the public goes mad, games get the blame. GUNS DONT KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE.

    when someone builds a BFG and take out a school, I might think again lol

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