One Gamer’s Take on NRA’s Speech

The following was written by TTAG Contributor ST:

As a young guy who shamelessly plays his roommate’s Xbox 360, I’d like to offer these words to put Wayne LaPierre’s speech into some context, as already I’m seeing a lot of gun and video game owners getting ruffled feathers due to the press conference. His broader point is that we need to focus on solving the problem, not treating surface symptoms with pointless laws like another AWB-and to do that we not only have to look at security, but also the role of our media in helping to cause  violent acts. One aspect of the media is video games, alongside sensationalist journalism and extremely violent action movies and TV shows . . .

I’m a man who believes the government has no right to regulate half the stuff it does, including the 1st Amendment. Yet I share LaPierre’s opinion that the media is to blame for a lot of the evil which happens in our society.

Rather than fulfill its mandate to serve as the watchdog of the public, the mainstream media today has sold its soul to ideological socialism and commercial self interest. That’s why a news channel which airs news segments demonizing AR15s and claiming “pass an AWB for our law enforcement” doesn’t see the problem with playing a violent action movie like Heat right behind it, showing bad guys using AR15s to kill cops. Big surprise that if you show lots of TV and movie scenes showing a lot of people being callously murdered, someone with mental health issues might decide its OK for them to do it, too. Heck, normal people copycat each other all the time, that’s why we have the saying, “keeping up with the Joneses.”

The media’s created a culture where everyone is just one ultra-violent massacre away from cultural immortality. Want to be instantly remembered forever? Take a weapon and kill lots of people in America, the media says. We’ll put your name all over the place, blare your acts across HDTV screens constantly and use your act of filth to make you famous. The shooter in CT would never have been known to any of us if he lived a normal life. But because of his vile crimes his name will be forever enshrined in our culture. The shooter in Oregon will be remembered, but the law abiding citizen who helped stop the rampage won’t be.

And then we wonder why people are killed en masse. Worse, the media has the nerve to play moralist afterward. The networks blare morally bankrupt material 24/7-365 and then have the stones to claim we law abiding gun owners are the reason bad things happen. It’s like a spouse who commits adultery and then blames the wronged mate for violating their wedding vows.

Genuinely fixing this problem will require reform of our security measures (buh bye gun free zones in schools and colleges!), but also a change in how our media goes about their job. A gun owner is held responsible for acts they commit with their weapon which result in bodily injury, death or criminal behavior. The same rules should apply to Fox News, Paramount Studios and CNN.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

37 Responses to One Gamer’s Take on NRA’s Speech

  1. avatarGS650G says:

    And what about the billions of dollars being made peddling the shit from big media? Some of these people are going to need to find new jobs and they won’t be happy about it. I may seem like a prude to some people but I can’t watch the extreme violence I see portrayed in movies or TV. I don’t think it’s representative of real life at all, yet that is what reality is turning into it seems.

    A Clockwork Orange was a controversial film in it’s day. Today it’s rated PG-13 compared to current movies.

    • avatarSpoons Make You Fat says:

      Much chepooka about pooshkas when the focus should be on the baddiwad guys. But you’re right that sinny standards have changed and what was considered a bad drat back in the day is just part of the everyday shoom. The lewdies love their sinny.

      Clockwork was about desensitization and enforcing approved messels and emotions. Choodessny, no?

      (Sincere appypolly loggy to all Burgess fans.)

      • avatarGregolas says:

        Excllent parody, Spoons!
        Everyone should read Dave Grossman’s “Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill!” from 1999. Whaen considering this issue. Also Phillip Challmers “Inside the Mind of a Teen KIller”.

  2. avatarSanchanim says:

    Well I can’t exactly disagree with his statements.
    Now the fact the NRA is pointing this out, whether you like it or not, well no one even mentions it on any of the other networks. There is no national discussion.
    One thing I notice is censorship in news. What do I mean you say??
    If we look at the news in the rest of Europe, or Israel specifically, they do not hide death. It is not clean and pretty. Photos are taken and published prior to the yellow blanket being put there. They also simply omit what they don’t want to report on.

  3. avatarmountocean says:

    My wife very astutely corrected me when I was complaining about “culture of violence” accusations. While we are constantly increasing the violence of entertainment, we are simutanously pushing any and all boundries we can identify, sex, money, respect, hygene, etc. Violence may be one of the only taboos that has been kept more or less in the entertainment side of life, while the other taboos have spread past mere entertainment and are now a part of everyday life. And once the floodgate opens everything else starts to pour out with it.

    • avatarBob says:

      What’s the difference in principle between blaming guns and blaming violent video games?

      They are both proximate causes (“the bullet killed him”), not ultimate causes (“the shooter killed him”).

  4. avatarChris says:

    I won’t say violent games alone cause people to get messed up in the head but I will say that if someone is already messed up in the head and ONLY plays violent games instead of other activities like playing an instrument or painting pictures, those people can get immersed into what is with today’s technology a very realistic world. It’s not the games or movies or other media that churn out monsters, these people are already sick and need to be given better things to do with their time.

    • avatarAharon says:

      That was very well stated.

    • avatarEagleScout87 says:

      Agreed.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Chris, most of the sick people are “given” a lot to do with their time. Nobody plays video games, or chess for that matter, because there’s nothing else to do. It’s more likely that the crazy b@stards play violent games because that’s what they like.

      Other than that, I think your comment is spot on. Violent video games don’t create violent people, but they do fuel the fire of the insane.

    • avatarChaz says:

      University research is establishing that media violence can induce Aggressive Behavior Disorder in children. See The Center for Successful Parenting. Also see TV Turnoff.

      • avatarkalel33 says:

        I was research psychologist in graduate school and was interested in these links, because ALL previous studies show that media has no connection to inducing violence. What I seen on the sites was pretty much what I thought, which was a single research study based on MRI scans that I am aware of and they don’t tell the whole story, and none of the studies are from peer reviewed journals. Both sites are propaganda sites that give no actual evidence.

        Now there has been evidence of studies since the 40′s that weapons can propagate violent behavior. You can go all the way back to the Bobo studies and see the results.

        • avatarGregolas says:

          Dr. Grossman’s book(cited above) says exactly the opposite of what you have stated about the studies: that nearly 100% say violent media (esp.video games) can have a delaterious effect on kids’ moral brakes. He says the only studies that disagree are those comissioned by the videogame industry. As a researcher in this field, your observations carry weight and I’d like to see what you think of Grossman’s conclusions.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      Quite true, but that’s no reason to punish hundreds of millions of people because of the actions of a few wackos. Also, it pisses me off to no end that the only people trying to blame video games (or whatever other “newfangled technowizardry”) for violence are those who’ve never touched them. Thankfully, in a few decades almost everyone in the government will have grown up playing video games.

    • avatarSanchanim says:

      +1 It is not a cause but contributing factor to those who have no control.

  5. avatarJoseph says:

    I agree completely.

  6. avatarmountocean says:

    Violence is one of the only taboos that has not completely escaped the bounds of entertainment and entered our culture (real life culture) with full force. Think about what makes an R movie an R, the only part you don’t see in everyday real life (if you look) is the violence.

  7. avatarRoll says:

    Pff…the news media will never stop glorifying the killer, they want their RATINGS! They want more viewers, responsibility? The news networks dont know that word! All they know is “It may not make sense AT ALL, but if we make it LOUD, people will hear!” And if you repeat something enough, no matter how stupid, some people will believe it is the truth.

    ARMED and RESPONSIBLE citizens, making RESPONSIBLE decisions will be the deciding factor when it comes to quelling gun violence, not some stupid blow-dried idiot shouting nonsense at a camera (Piers Morgan) or a pointless words on a piece of paper (AWB) that criminals will NOT adhere to. (Illegal drugs anyone?)

  8. avatarSkyler says:

    They won’t stop attacks on the second amendment by throwing rocks at the first amendment. The first amendment is what gives them the power to fight for the second amendment.

    Another example of why the NRA is not helpful. I just became a supporter of Mr. Pratt and became a life member of Gun Owners of America today.

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      +1

    • avatarI_Like_Pie says:

      The second amendment allows a great responsibility upon its citizenship….

      Is the responsibility of the first amendment no different?

    • avatarSpoons Make You Fat says:

      It looks to me like the NRA is almost purposefully trying to drive a wedge between the (older) existing members and the potential (younger) members. Why would anyone between 15 and 30 (yes, arbitrary ages) think the NRA would fairly represent THEM?

      Message to Mr. LaPierre: If you are serious about protecting American’s rights under the 2A then you need to not only find room in the “big tent” for members’ differing perspectives, you also need to figure out how to get a bigger tent and reach out to new members.

  9. avatarSammy says:

    It’s got nothing to do with guns. The elitists are pushing us all into their servitude. Take student loans as an example. How will a person with an undischargeable debt
    (student loans are not eliminated by filing bankruptcy) making 10 or 15 bucks an hour ever pay down their debt? Some of these kids have 6 figure loans that increases daily due to the interest that accumulates increasing the loan balance. With worker participation at an all time low there is no way out for these people. What sort of prosperity can be hoped for in that type of situation? How about Credit Cards that charge close to 30% interest. That used to be called usury rates and was illegal. There are many other examples but it all boils down to debt slavery. And throughout history slaves, of any color, tend to eventually get pissed off about being treated like animals, unable to control their own lives. A defenseless society has no recourse against an tyrannical society. Gun laws are a deception. A tiger can be trapped by children once it’s teeth and claws are pulled.

  10. avatarNate says:

    This is how I wish news was. No commercials for one hr so we can get just the news without all the crap.

  11. avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

    Other than the guarantee of fame the media grants a would be mass murderer, I disagree with the assertion that media is somehow responsible for these acts. For the same reasons we shouldn’t have an AWB, that is to say that only 2% of murders are committed with them and only 0.4% of those murders are in mass shootings, we also can’t blame media, when an infinitesimal portion of the consumers of violent media actually commit murder.

    A proportional, reasoned reaction based on facts and figures is the only cure for this. The longest term solution is to promote and reward critical thinking, reason and objectivity in our society.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Billy, you might be right — or you might be wrong. There are lots of insane reasons to kill strangers, and notoriety might just be one of them. Power and control is another. Righting imaginary wrongs is yet another. The list goes on and on. We can’t ask the murderers because they’re either dead or on medication, so there’s really no way to know.

      But I do know this much: media rewards violence. Everybody knows the name Ted Bundy. Not too many people know the names of the police who captured him (on multiple occasions). He’s just one out of too many examples to list.

  12. avatarPascal says:

    Just like the discussion about girls/women about body image and sexuality and exploitation, it is not one item alone, it is a combination of many factors and the constant barrage from every direction from MSM.

    In the 50′s they blamed Elvis and Rock & Roll, then heavy metal and Ozzie, then Rap music, then Pac-man during stand-up arcade era, then movies, then video games and so it goes

    People seem to like to find someone or something to blame except themselves or the parents because everyone is perfect and special and all parents are to, except, they are not.

    The general issue, is there is too much – get the kids out to play and give them some toys that do not involve pixels and have them turn off and use imagination.

    Maybe Family boardgame/card game night should be a law

  13. I think blaming games or movies is B.S. I use to play those shooter games all the time. I never went crazy and killed people. The shooter games actually did make me interested in shooting real guns. When I started collecting and shooting real guns, I lost interest in playing the games.

    For now the Games can be a useful scape-goat and I can go along with it if it helps protect the Second Amendment… but in reality… its all up to the individual what they do in life.

    • It is never ok to throw one right under the bus to preserve another, any more than it is ok to backslide on how much a right should be legally allowed to be exercised.

      You have the right to own and shoot what you want, and to play/watch what you want until it violates another person’s right to life, liberty, or property. Video games are, to the best of my knowledge, incapable of oppressing anyone, and as such should not be restricted based on content. People who don’t want to play violent games do not have to, and people who don’t want to own AR-15s don’t have to.

      Don’t attempt to sacrifice the first amendment to preserve the second. If you do you mirror the anti-gunners’ actions, and the fact that you are pro-2A does not make such action any more justifiable.

  14. avatarNelson says:

    WTF? Bunch of Pussies!

    LaPierre is the worst actor since Mariah Carey in Glitter. STOP feigning ‘emotion’!

    Plus another Govt DATABASE…headed by fmr. Fast & Furious running DHS… and a former DEA bureaucrat? Like the same assholes that managed ATF and TSA so well??

    Friggin idiots! And ya wonder why even gun guys hate the NRA.

    Tell the antis go shove it. Our Natural Right of Self Defense IS ABSOLUTE and immutable, no matter what the SCOTUS argued in DC vs. Heller. Then again, those idiots said slavery was once legal.

    Time to invoke the Ronnie Barrett option. ANY public servant who supports AWB, ALL gun/ammo/component/accessories manufacturers and trainers need to stand firm in denying ALL sales/services/resupplying those gvt agencies/agents, PERIOD.

    Now the nanny bitch Bloomberg just financed a flashy Hollywood ad featuring moron actors to do a Pro-AWB PSA, including the so called gun guy Jeremy Renner, and the delusional idiot who did a paid propaganda for CIA, aka a recruitment ad, Jennifer Garner, coming off her fictitious agent role in Alias. So it’s okay for these pathetic trendies to make a living glorifying guns, policestate and govt, but want entire populace disarmed.

    Seriously do our unalienable rights exist at the pleasure of emotive bitches, anytime some lunatic commits the most extreme action possible? You’d think that the whole liberal ‘intelligentsia’ kinda ‘get’ the notion that when ACLU actively defends a NeoNazi on the basis of 1st Amendment defense, they DON’T CONDONE their speech, but are principally defending their right to make unpopular speech. Yet, somehow they consider themselves civil rights activists who love the Bill of Rights, except for the 2nd, 9th, and 10th.

    Do they really believe in anything?

    As for the NRA, this is precisely what happens when their tact is based on defending tools, but not the fundamental, principled philosophic and legal basis in defending the rights in which those tools represent.

    Wayne LaPierre needs to go. One ‘vice’ witchhunt, vs. another? Malign Video games, music videos and movies… when gun owner ALSO are consumers of the very same medium? If anything, he should be making the case that most gun owners grow up on those medium, yet unlike hopolonphobe trendies, we DON’T go apeshit after playing hrs of FPS video games, or watch a Tarantino flick.

    Talk about the most moronic tact possible, in the age of internet. Is the NRA upper management really that out of touch with reality??

    And what, you want MORE Fed. govt intrusion into our daily lives, making schools into more of a policestate prison indoctrination centers? More govt database? No F’ng Thanks NRA!

    We want LOCAL teachers, school admin. trained and armed. Police IF the community and parents want them. NO MORE centralized govt mandates.

    It’s like the whole “Tea Party” decentralized, more local thingy didn’t take, eh?

    Even visually alone, NRA IS the “Fudds.” IF they had any PR sense, they’d hire someone like the tattooed chick who works at AAC with highly honed communication skills.

    Despite all his controversial ‘flaws,’ even Ted Nugent would be a better debater and presenter of our ideas!

    Time to get with the 21st century NRA. We do NOT want any more Fed. Gvt mandate, PERIOD. NO MORE “linking” Govt Database, PERIOD.

    It’s like could you remind us that NRA wrote the 1968 Gun Control Act, more? Along with arguing that “reasonable regulations are allowed under the 2nd Amend” during the Heller vs. DC?

    • avatarDavid says:

      If media doesn’t influence behavior, then why do companies advertise their products? Over and over and over?

  15. avatarMichael B. says:

    I won’t throw the first amendment under the bus for the sake of the second.

    This article sums up my feelings on the NRA’s press conference today:

    reason.com/blog/2012/12/21/the-nra-fights-anti-gun-hysteriawith-pro

  16. avatarMOG says:

    As to games/TV/movies and violence. There was a time when we knew the difference between fiction and reality.

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