Experienced Points

Experienced Points
Don't Blame Games, Blame Pants

Shamus Young | 24 Sep 2013 19:00
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So there's been another mass shooting. For years, I've been arguing that we shouldn't jump to conclusions when insane people do insane things, but I can't escape the notion that by doing nothing we're only making the problem worse. I think it's time for people to set aside their petty political differences and stop bickering while the streets run red with the blood of dead civilians. I don't care if you're a bleeding-heart liberal or a conservative redneck (which are clearly the only two points on the political spectrum) you too can be gunned down in public if we don't unite now and do something about pants in our society.

There have been twenty-three mass shootings in the United States since 1990, and the single unifying fact about all of these shootings is that all of the gunman were - without exception - wearing pants.

Some of the pro-pants lobbyists (and we all know these people are in the pocket of the Levis corporation) are trying to blame videogames. But that's just bad science. Games are a universal part of our culture. 99% of teenage boys under 30 play videogames, so it stands to reason that most mass murderers will be gamers. If we're going to blame a product based on simple correlation, then why not blame the thing with the higher level of incidence? Not all killers play videogames, but all of them wear pants. So if it makes sense to blame games then it makes even more sense to blame pants.

People who blame games point out that the perpetrator might have been playing games at some point before the attack, but I'll counter by pointing out that they were wearing pants during the attack. People say they spent 4-5 hours a day playing games? Please. Unless they were employed as an underwear model, they spent at least twice as many hours a day wearing pants.

The link between pants and violence has been understood for centuries. Every major military in the world has made pants a part of their uniform, even for women. There is not a single army that wears short-shorts, boxers, ball gowns, or miniskirts into battle. It's pants. It's always pants. Horrible, blood-soaked murder pants.

Some pants apologists protest that they need their pants to keep their legs warm. (This attitude is particularly common in the more liberal north.) But this doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing deal. We could initiate a gradual "roll-up" of pant lengths to reduce the risk of violent attacks. At just 75% length, pants would still come down to cover half of the shin of an adult male. They would still be able to keep most of the legs warm, and the resulting 25% drop in violence would save over a dozen lives per year. I think we can all agree that the life of a poor, innocent mother of two who was just on her way home to care for her sick aunt when she was shot by a crazy man who was off his meds is worth more than a few inches of pant fabric. We can't put something as trivial as fashion above public safety.

This roll-up would be staged so that people have time to adjust their wardrobe. This year pants would go up to mid-shin. By 2016 pants would be limited to knee height and violence would be down by half. By 2020 every man, woman, child, and old person would be wearing a pair of skin-tight daisy dukes, and we would have eliminated all violence. (Or skirts, if you like. I'm not trying to curtail anyone's freedom. I'm just trying to save some lives.)

We've all seen the iconic picture of Walter White, the protagonist of Breaking Bad, standing holding a gun while not wearing pants. More observant people will note that Walter didn't really become a murderous drug kingpin until after he put some pants on. That's food for thought.

Look: I've quoted statistics, I've made an appeal to emotion, I've referenced pop-culture fiction, and I've linked Wikipedia. If you're not convinced of the danger of pants by now then you are officially part of the problem.

Some people argue that mental instability is a health issue and that passing laws won't do anything to stop crazy people from being crazy. But what do you notice about all of these so-called "experts"? That's right: They're all wearing pants.

Violence is not an ageless, complex problem with countless variables. Violence is a recent phenomena that can be easily fixed if we blame videogames.

I mean pants. Not videogames. Because if you're going to use sensationalism and hack science to smear a product, you might as well go after the one thing all mass murderers have in common.

Shamus Young is the guy behind Twenty Sided, DM of the Rings, Stolen Pixels, Shamus Plays, and Spoiler Warning. His legs are kind of chilly.

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