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“Canadians own guns, but they don’t shoot one another with them. We started as gun-blazing pioneers and cowboys. That was then; now we need to do better. We need leaders who support laws for stricter gun control. We need greater vigilance among parents and within communities to keep our kids safe and to limit their exposure to gratuitous violence. Graphic entertainment inoculates our kids to violence. It becomes horrifyingly OK to chop off someone’s head when it’s just make believe. And then, because none of this remediation will happen quickly or completely, we need to be lucky — lucky enough not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, like the victims of the Aurora shooting, or Columbine, or Virginia Tech, or Fort Hood — or 4-year-old Lloyd Morgan.” – Randi Kreiss (who says she’s OK with the Second Amendment) at

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  1. If fake violence begets real violence, how come we’re getting less violent even though video games and movies are apparently getting even more violent? I read an interesting article the other day that had an interesting theory – violent video games are actually helping to bring down the crime rate. Their reasoning – the same group of people that commits the most crime – 16-24 year old males – is the same group that is now holed up playing video games all the time.

    Doesn’t have much to do with guns, but it’s another reason she’s wrong.

    • video games and movies are apparently getting even more violent

      A quote from The Center for Successful Parenting:

      “Although research interest in the effects of media violence extends as far back as the 1950s, concerns have become stronger and stronger in recent years. Even though the overwhelming majority of researchers on the subject agree that the research on media violence’s negative effects is conclusive, arguments in and by the media continue to circulate, contending that there is very little research or that it is inconsistent”

      Another organization has a parenting plan: Take the Challenge.

      Lt. Col. Dave Grossman wrote a book about the effects of violent imagery on children: Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill.

      “Our kids today have virtual playmates in the form of realistic characters that populate the video games. Many kids live in a dark, gray and depressing world, and for them the video games are more real than reality. Dr. Marshall Soules, at Malaspina University in Canada, calls this the “hyper-reality effect,” meaning that some kids “begin to think of the hyper-real as more meaningful than the thing or event it relates to.” Kids playing these games make the puppy cry, that is, they make virtual human beings die in what the child deems to be a vivid and intense reality. Then they are given a cookie, a reward. This is pathological play.”

    • My personal theory is that stylized violence in movies and games does not cause real violence, but instead is imitated by people who for whatever reason are already prone to violence. The sicko in Colorado didn’t do what he did because he watched Batman, he only imitated the style of the Joker while following through with his sick fantasy.

      In contrast, when I see the violence in a movie like Batman there is always a voice in the back of my head that hopes never to experience that violence in real life. I believe that most people are like me in being repulsed by the idea of real violence, but able to understand it in the context of a movie (or in self-defense). If I were to make a movie, I might imitate the style of violence in that setting, but I have no desire to do it for real.

      I think this is an important, but missing, piece in the debate about violence in entertainment. The difference between real and stylized violence is hardwired in the brain for mentally healthy people, but most folks don’t have a well-articulated understanding of it. I think if we had a better quality of debate on the issue, with more reason and less appealing to emotions to sway the argument, we as a society would be better able to identify troubled individuals among our family and friends and get them the help they need before they commit an unforgivable act.

  2. “…lucky enough not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, like the victims of the Aurora shooting, or Columbine, or Virginia Tech, or Fort Hood — or 4-year-old Lloyd Morgan.”

    Well, it’s not “lucky” if you avoid places that disarm every law abiding person in them. That’s just good planning.

    As for “4-year-old Lloyd Morgan,” because we must always wave the bloody shirt, mustn’t we, I had to look that one up. Lloyd Morgan was shot and killed July 22 outside a South Bronx public housing project when three men began shooting indiscriminately on a basketball court near the playground where he and several other children were playing. My sympathies are with his family.

    Of course, the mayor had to have his say: “Four years old, life snuffed out — there’s not a lot else to say,” Bloomberg said at the time. “We all know about the scourge of guns on our streets.”

    So, as far as “being in the wrong place at the wrong time” relates to Lloyd Morgan… If I’m not safe in the city with the strictest gun laws in the country, I wonder with a perfectly innocent expression on my face, where, oh where, can I be safe?

  3. I am a parent, and I support neither stricter gun control nor censorship of the media, because neither is going to make my child any safer or less likely to become a mass murder. I also don’t expect the rest of humanity to sacrifice its freedoms so that my child isn’t subjected to media violence. It’s my responsibility to raise my child in a nurturing environment, and to install good values and respect in them, not the rest of the worlds. It’s also my responsibility to know what my child is doing, who they hang out with, and what they are being exposed to, and no one else. Don’t be so lazy with you parenting to expect the rest of the world to transform into one giant kindergarten classroom so you can have a strengthened illusion of safety for your child.

  4. Getting rid of the second amendment isn’t good enough for her, now we have to get rid of the first as well. Talk about a nanny state…

  5. Ah, the old wild west argument, coupled with the fallacious “foreigners live in violence-free utopias” claim. Two true signs that one is dealing with a person possessing all the mental power of a hamster.

  6. Gosh, if she could just teach me to tie my shoes in a calming voice while wearing a red sweater, then I know I could be safe. I guess I’m stuck with situational awareness and the 2A until then. Life sure is tough.

    I must also admit there have been times in my life where calming words were insufficient to stop actual violence committed by actual criminals. What, pray tell, am I supposed to do in those situations?

  7. I’m an empiricists with the annoying habit of breaking things down to their essentials.

    No one who is anti-gun is really anti-gun. In fact they love guns.

    Listen to what they say and think about it.

    They want to make laws preventing people from owning guns.

    How are laws enforced?

    They are enforced by people with guns.

    When an anti-gun person says people shouldn’t have guns, what they mean is that only the people they want to have guns should have guns and that those people should use their guns to deny everyone else the right to have guns.

    When they say “their should be a law” what they are really saying is, we want our anti-gun opinion to be enforced by guns.

    To quote an old Russian lady, “By what right?”

  8. Of course, if you choose a different set of countries with tight gun control, you’d see a very different picture. For example, Brazil, Mexico, and many other Latin American countries are much more restrictive of gun rights, often to the point of barely having any at all. At the same time, these same countries have several times the homicide rate by firearms compared to the US.

  9. its funny how the Wild West really wasn’t violent at all, except in MOVIES AND GAMES. I wonder where she gets her facts?

  10. I wonder if she imagines everything west of NYC as wild cowboy country? Always be grateful that you’re not married to a Democrat-loyalist NY-type Jewish Reform yenta. Count your blessings.

  11. It’s been said a couple times here, but I’ll say it again–the “wild west” wasn’t as “wild” as the antis make it out to be.

    “So, was there violence in the mountains, plains, and frontier towns of the old west? Absolutely. Yet, as with any wilderness, a man was just as likely, if not more likely, to die from thirst, starvation, drowning, freezing, snakebite, falling off a mountain, falling off his horse, being attacked by animals, or any one of a hundred other things. Most of the settlers moving west, whether they were farmers, cowboys, miners, or some other profession, were honest and hardworking. Just as today, outlaws existed, yet in most places and for most people, violent crime was not the daily norm that popular entertainment would have us believe. As unromantic as it may be, relatively few people in the Wild West were involved in the gunfights and stagecoach robberies immortalized in the movies.”

    I love this blog, keep these articles coming and I’ll do my best to respond to them!

    • Absolutely. Even the most famous Old West ‘gunfight’, the OK Corral, was simply a back lot factional power struggle to control lucrative criminal activity in Tombstone. 100 years of history gave us the OK Corral, yet the same thing happens almost every weekend in Detroit, Chicago or simillar municipalities.

  12. I guess it was a bunch of “Sensitive Artists” that crossed the killing grounds of europe and put a stop to Hitler’s genocide. My very good friend was a Canadian sniper attached to the Canadian 8th Armoured?? He was about as Red Necked as any Cowboy and had carried one of his familys SMLEs since he was tall enough to keep the dirt out of it’s muzzle. He used to shoot geese out of the air with WW1 surplus ammo.
    This woman needs a history lesson.

  13. What data was this based on?
    The population of Canada is around 34 million. U.S is about 9 times this.

    To counter the Canada comment, Mexico is heavily populated and has very very strict gun control laws. How is that working for them?

  14. this ties in with a podcast& paper written by Dave Kopel of the independence institute out of Denver.
    How the Media, Entertainment Industry Affects Violence
    Research Director Dave Kopel sits down to talk about how violence in media reporting and in the entertainment industry may influence violent behavior and criminal acts. What does the social sciences say? Is entertainment getting more or less violent overtime? Is the media doing a better job reporting on violent crimes?
    Dave Kopel, Justin Longo


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