I am, and continue to be, a massive nerd. I spent my college years enjoying LAN parties and staying up all night for the latest video game releases rather than going out to frat parties, and these days I still enjoy a good game. Something that has recently been detracting from that enjoyment of games is a little thing called “GamerGate,” and while you might think that it’s a gamer-only issue the fact is that it’s starting to seep into the realm of firearms as well. But there’s more to it than that, and in fact the people who instigated the GamerGate situation and gun control activists have a whole lot in common. . .
There are always two sides of an argument, and GamerGate is no different.
On one side are the gamers, who are concerned about journalistic integrity in games reviews. GamerGate kicked off when allegations arose that a female game developer slept with multiple game journalists (and some who reviewed her game), and demands were made that the situation be investigated. The response form game journalists was to ignore the story, then try to ban anyone who talked about the story, then try to dismiss the story — a response that didn’t earn them any points from the gaming community. The outrage over the initial revelation has shifted to a broader outrage against game journalists for a perceived attempt to cover up the event and a string of retaliatory articles published by game journalists trying to shame the gamers into submission.
On the other side are game journalists and a group of hardcore feminists who believe that all mainstream video games are anti-woman and that all “gamers” are misogynists by default. The rising demand for an in-depth look at the allegations of a game developer sleeping with game journalists was seen by these groups as proof of the evils of gamers and their woman hating ways, since they believed it was an attempt to persecute a female game developer. There has been an increasing focus on gamers and their perceived misogynist ways over the last few years from these feminist groups, led by a well-funded video series which sets out to prove that video game players are evil misogynists and that video games should be changed, and fueled by cherry-picked tweets that “prove” the misogyny prevalent in the group.
The set pieces might be different, but there are some pretty strong parallels to the gun control movement at play here.
The biggest argument being thrown against the gamers is that they are misogynists. Opponents use violent scenes from video games taken out of context to prove their point, cite long-since debunked scientific articles in their crusade against violent video games, and generally don’t have any proof to back up their claims. But the media perception — oppressed women fighting back against their oppressors — is one that gets a lot of sympathy.
That same tactic is being used against gun rights folks. Last year Robert was booked to appear on CNN to talk about something gun related, and the very first thing that the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence used to try and silence Robert and his opinion was calling him a misogynist. It’s the go-to weapon for gun control extremists, trying to paint the opposition as uncaring woman-haters — and its super effective.
It’s why Gabby Giffords is trying to position her anti-gun super PAC as an organization fighting for woman’s rights instead of fighting against gun rights. It’s much easier to demand that the civil rights of nearly half of the American population should be curtailed if you claim to be fighting against domestic violence against women, since it’s a position that few (if any) could argue against without seeming like a wife-beating woman-hating scumbag.
The Violence Policy Center is following in Giffords’ footprints. Their recently released “report” entitled “When Men Murder Women” is more or less specifically targeted at this same emotional reaction. Here’s their own words on the subject:
Domestic violence harms far too many women and families every day, and our elected leaders simply aren’t doing enough to stop it. When Men Murder Women helps others learn the truth about lethal violence against women. And it reveals how we urgently need new laws to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
The facts speak for themselves. When Men Murder Women found that 93 percent of the women killed by men are murdered by someone they know, and the majority are killed by an intimate partner. The most common weapon men use to murder women is a gun. In 2012, there were 1,706 women murdered by men in single victim/single offender incidents. That’s 33 victims a week and more than four a day.
The picture they paint — that defenseless women are being murdered by evil men and need to be protected — is an emotionally compelling story. However, their solution to the problem is devoid of any rational thought. Instead of focusing on protecting women by giving them the tools to defend themselves, they debate in favor of complete disarmament. That situation would only make things worse for women, since given the physical disadvantage women face in altercations such as this the only thing that can help turn things in the woman’s favor is a firearm. And the Violence Policy Center wants to take away that vital tool, leaving women yet more vulnerable, all in the name of protecting women. By arguing that their position is designed to “stop gun violence against women,” though, the mainstream media accepts it at face value and demonizes anyone who opposes them.
Moms Demand Action uses the same tactics, employing an army of women to do the bidding of Michael Bloomberg. The positions and opinions put out by Moms Demand Action would be laughably easy to dismiss if they came out of the mouth of the super-wealthy white male Bloomberg, but the “soccer mom” persona that the group has cultivated makes it nearly unassailable. Anyone who opposes their viewpoint or calls them out on their BS is instantly branded as being “against women,” and their opinions easily dismissed. Branding someone as a misogynist is an easy way to get a large percentage of the population to ignore their opinions, and by using a group of women as his evangelists Bloomberg enjoys the ability to have his opinions puppeted to the media with little to no opposition.
Time and again, we’ve seen that the gun control groups only win where facts and logic are outweighed by emotion. A certain member of my family even believes that Robert is a misogynist (since that’s what the Huffington Post told her), and therefore disregards every opinion that he has. If you lose the emotional argument for these people, there’s no way you can battle back no matter how impressive your facts. Calling someone a misogynist — especially when you’re an established female authority figure — goes a long way to destroying the emotional credibility of the opponent, no matter whether or not the allegations are true. And as we already know, gun control activists don’t care one bit about getting the facts right.
The problem for both gun owners and gamers is that the oppressed woman fighting against the misogynist patriarchy — no matter if she is actually oppressed or not — makes a better story for the mainstream media. It’s much more appealing to run a piece about Gabby Giffords’ futile attempt to stop domestic violence (despite focusing on the smallest fraction of that violence) rather than running a piece about some firearms instructor actually teaching women techniques to stop all kinds of domestic violence permanently. And for the low information voters who use their emotions instead of their brains, the emotional argument always wins out.