Teen Kills Family Out of Curiosity

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Well... This title instantly made me think of psychopathy. He obviously had no idea what he was about to do.

The Gentleman:

Imperator_DK:
Also, Freedom of Speech.

Which, as has been repeatedly stated over and over again, is not an absolute right.

Pretty sure banning a Halloween remake from being made would violate it though.

Comando96:
...
"But what is liberty without wisdom and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint. Those who know what virtuous liberty is, cannot bear to see it disgraced by incapable heads, on account of their having high-sounding words in their mouths."
...

And quite sure that "Fictional violence is so evil, please think of the children!" is neither wisdom nor virtue, but the sensationalist idiocy of socially conservative puritans... so I guess citing a 1790 quote from a conservative philosopher condemning the advent of democracy in France is appropriate.

And if liberty can only take place within what the government considers virtuous, then it's the Iranian form. Which isn't liberty at all. Liberty is as much about the right for two men to engage in sodomy - undoubtedly consider a "vice" by Burke in 1790 - as it's about the right to write political satire in the form of elegant poetry. Where does "wisdom and virtue" factor in there? Or perhaps you do not believe such "liberty" should exist?

Imperator_DK:

The Gentleman:

Imperator_DK:
Also, Freedom of Speech.

Which, as has been repeatedly stated over and over again, is not an absolute right.

Pretty sure banning a Halloween remake from being made would violate it though.

Depends on the remake. I'm not thrilled with the Rob Zombie remakes, but after seeing what Michael Bay did to Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, I guess we should count our blessings...

Joking aside, yes, generally media, barring an explicit call for violence (see: that wonderful gentleman who said he'd start killing people if gun control legislation was passed), is considered protected speech. However, you should always be cautious about just screaming "freedom of speech" every time there is a thought to restrict speech, as there are legitimate reasons to restrict speech (see: "fire" in crowded theater example), although they are held in high scrutiny by the courts.

Blablahb:

Xan Krieger:
Or not, it's not hard to kill someone with a knife.

Actually it is. You have to use physical strength, get close, observe someone's fear of death, ignore it, keep stabbing 20-30 times untill you do enough damage to cause fatal internal bleeding.

That's why stabbings have so many fewer victims than shootings. Any coward without a spine can squeeze a trigger. Melee weapons on the other hand require a lot more determination, determination most would-be killers don't have.

Not just that, but it's far more likely that he'd been overpowered by his father if he had used a knife. Even if you're hardly a hero, just grabbing a hold of someone reduces the damage they can do hugely.

Everyone sees through your jab at guns to push your agenda. Par for the course. Please stop absolutely loving tragedies, and standing on the graves of victims.

The Gentleman:
...
Joking aside, yes, generally media, barring an explicit call for violence (see: that wonderful gentleman who said he'd start killing people if gun control legislation was passed), is considered protected speech. However, you should always be cautious about just screaming "freedom of speech" every time there is a thought to restrict speech, as there are legitimate reasons to restrict speech (see: "fire" in crowded theater example), although they are held in high scrutiny by the courts.

"Fire in a crowded theater" limits an attempted direct accessory to action - creating a stampede - same as "incitement of violence" do. Fictional depictions of violence doesn't even begin to reach such category of reasonable limitations, it is as you acknowledge protected speech[1], and rightly so.

There is no reason to seriously consider whether horror films should be banned.

[1] In the US, the UK of course has the BBFC and a tabloid inspired moral panic that's still ongoing. The Germans haven't gotten over their fascist tendencies on this either. But EU Free Speech protection was always a joke.

Imperator_DK:

The Gentleman:
...
Joking aside, yes, generally media, barring an explicit call for violence (see: that wonderful gentleman who said he'd start killing people if gun control legislation was passed), is considered protected speech. However, you should always be cautious about just screaming "freedom of speech" every time there is a thought to restrict speech, as there are legitimate reasons to restrict speech (see: "fire" in crowded theater example), although they are held in high scrutiny by the courts.

"Fire in a crowded theater" limits an attempted direct accessory to action - creating a stampede - same as "incitement of violence" do. Fictional depictions of violence doesn't even begin to reach such category of reasonable limitations, it is as you acknowledge protected speech[1], and rightly so.

There is no reason to seriously consider whether horror films should be banned.

You're missing my point entirely: Where there is a concern between certain speech and certain acts, particularly ones that result in violence, it is not simply adequate to say "freedom of speech" as the justification. You have to justify why that speech should be protected in contrast to the concerns of the public. In this case, it is easier and more effective to point to the extremely weak evidence linking violent media with violent actions.

[1] In the US, the UK of course has the BBFC and a tabloid inspired moral panic that's still ongoing. The Germans haven't gotten over their fascist tendencies on this either. But EU Free Speech protection was always a joke.

The Gentleman:
...
You're missing my point entirely: Where there is a concern between certain speech and certain acts, particularly ones that result in violence, it is not simply adequate to say "freedom of speech" as the justification. You have to justify why that speech should be protected in contrast to the concerns of the public. In this case, it is easier and more effective to point to the extremely weak evidence linking violent media with violent actions.

No, it is the government/proponents of a limitation who must point to an adequate justification to infringe upon Freedom of Speech to begin with.

Which they can't do in this case, as there is no empirically documented link between the two things. Baseless tabloid "concerns" entitles nobody to be dignified with an answer.

Imperator_DK:

The Gentleman:
...
You're missing my point entirely: Where there is a concern between certain speech and certain acts, particularly ones that result in violence, it is not simply adequate to say "freedom of speech" as the justification. You have to justify why that speech should be protected in contrast to the concerns of the public. In this case, it is easier and more effective to point to the extremely weak evidence linking violent media with violent actions.

No, it is the government/proponents of a limitation who must point to an adequate justification to infringe upon Freedom of Speech to begin with.

And what happens when they do? That's why you put forth a rational justification, not a dogmatic one. "Free speech" should never be the go-to defense to protect certain speech, because you may loose that argument. "Freedom of [x]" is the ultimate fallback when all other arguments have failed. If you start an argument there, it means you have effectively conceded all other arguments to the proponents of a restriction.

Imperator_DK:
Which they can't do in this case. Baseless "concerns" entitles nobody to be dignified with an answer.

Except they're not baseless anymore. A kid killed his family, and, according to him, he was inspired by a movie. That's going to raise some concerns and they sure as hell aren't going to be baseless because they can point to that event. You need to address those concerns in a rational and reasonable manner first and explain why their claims don't hold up to scrutiny. Then, once their argument is weakened, you can bring in free speech concerns.

If the barbarians are on the march, you don't wait until they reach the castle before dealing with them.

The Gentleman:
...
And what happens when they do? That's why you put forth a rational justification, not a dogmatic one. "Free speech" should never be the go-to defense to protect certain speech, because you may loose that argument. "Freedom of [x]" is the ultimate fallback when all other arguments have failed. If you start an argument there, it means you have effectively conceded all other arguments to the proponents of a restriction.

Or that you have not acknowledged any of the "arguments" they've made to be worth concerning oneself with.

Except they're not baseless anymore. A kid killed his family, and, according to him, he was inspired by a movie. That's going to raise some concerns and they sure as hell aren't going to be baseless because they can point to that event. You need to address those concerns in a rational and reasonable manner first and explain why their claims don't hold up to scrutiny. Then, once their argument is weakened, you can bring in free speech concerns.

Of course it's empirically baseless to say that fictional violence is a noteworthy cause of real violence because one kid said so.

If the barbarians are on the march, you don't wait until they reach the castle before dealing with them.

Unless you're sure they'll break on the castle walls as rain on a diamond, and be slaughtered to the man.

The first amendment isn't going to be changed any time soon, so it's not really a relevant discussion in the US. And most of Europe is a lost cause until US norms get a firmer hold here.

Imperator_DK:

The Gentleman:
...
And what happens when they do? That's why you put forth a rational justification, not a dogmatic one. "Free speech" should never be the go-to defense to protect certain speech, because you may loose that argument. "Freedom of [x]" is the ultimate fallback when all other arguments have failed. If you start an argument there, it means you have effectively conceded all other arguments to the proponents of a restriction.

Or that you have not acknowledged any of the "arguments" they've made to be worth concerning oneself with.

Are you familiar with the Communist Party of the United States? Look up random sections of the US code before the 1970s and you'll find a lot of "these protections do not apply to the Communist Party of the United States." They appealed an espionage charge against his leadership (who had distributed leaflets) the US claiming that their speech should be protected and put forward no other arguments to defend themselves on a reasonable and logical basis (such as the political necessity for reasonable dissent and that terrorists acts attributed to them were actually done by anarchists). They lost. Indeed, that case is where the "shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater" analogy came about.

Again, you're making really dangerous assumptions on how lenient courts are going to be on a freedom. The "they'll never get that far" mentality doesn't mean much when they're knocking on your door.

Imperator_DK:

Except they're not baseless anymore. A kid killed his family, and, according to him, he was inspired by a movie. That's going to raise some concerns and they sure as hell aren't going to be baseless because they can point to that event. You need to address those concerns in a rational and reasonable manner first and explain why their claims don't hold up to scrutiny. Then, once their argument is weakened, you can bring in free speech concerns.

Of course it's empirically baseless to say that fictional violence is a noteworthy cause of real violence because one kid said so.

Who said we were talking about empirical basis? Not I nor you up until that last post. Nor does empirical basis mean much in a political argument based on fear. You're not fighting scientists, you're fighting people acting on an irrational fear based on an event. That is their basis for concern. When they approach you with an irrational argument along the lines of "violent media causes violence," you need to rebut them with a rational, empirical argument stating why they are wrong.

Imperator_DK:

If the barbarians are on the march, you don't wait until they reach the castle before dealing with them.

Unless you're sure they'll break on the castle walls as rain on a diamond, and be slaughtered to the man.

"Pride cometh before the fall."

Imperator_DK:
The first amendment isn't going to be changed any time soon, so it's not really a relevant discussion in the US. And most of Europe is a lost cause until US norms get a firmer hold here.

Three years ago next month was the Citizens United case, which dramatically reset what constituted political speech, most observers noting for the worst. US constitutional law is a constantly changing set of standards, and the court has always avoided absolutism in modern cases. Even the most far-reaching decisions will have a carve out stating "well, we could change our minds under [x] circumstances." Diamond walls don't mean shit when you have wooden doors.

And I don't want US norms to any more of a foothold outside that godforsaken hellhole. They exported their overly lax financial markets and tanked the entire EU in deficits and over-reliance on the finance sector. They exported part of their political system and we got the 2010 UK election spectacle. They exported their political ideology and now the continent is in an austerity trap that's been regularly prolonging the economic crisis and is about to send the UK into a triple-dip recession.

SimpleThunda':
Well... This title instantly made me think of psychopathy.

Really. Well, it made me think of Mars oddly enough.
The weirdest case of a drive-by in human history.

recruit00:
My budo teacher who is a black belt and a cop quite clearly shows that if you have a knife and know what you are doing, you can kill somebody in 4 slices or less. If you stab someone 20-30 times, then you either fail at knife or are a sadistic bastard.

Fortunately, the average violent criminal or deranged lunatic is not a trained killer, so that isn't relevant here. Heck, actual trained killers have attempted it, like Kim de Gelder in Belgium, and they have a very hard time killing people that way.

recruit00:
Also, cowards can easily not pull the trigger because they could know that they have a high chance of doing extreme harm and possibly killing them; they would be less likely to fire.

Maybe, but one thing is certain: Once they do it's too late.

Whereas with a knife or other melee weapons, they get to watch what their action does, every instinct we have against killing humans fires, and they have to overcome that and attack again, and again.

Firearms homicide is pull trigger -> murder.
Any other form of weapon is attack -> injure -> struggle instincts -> overcome resistance from victim -> attack again -> injure -> struggle instincts -> overcome resistance from victim -> maybe murder.

The case of arguing that firearms don't facilitate killing is rather hopeless. Ludicrous even, if firearms didn't make killing easier, all armies would still fight using swords.

Quaxar:

Again, you're making really dangerous assumptions on how lenient courts are going to be on a freedom. The "they'll never get that far" mentality doesn't mean much when they're knocking on your door.

Imperator_DK:

Except they're not baseless anymore. A kid killed his family, and, according to him, he was inspired by a movie. That's going to raise some concerns and they sure as hell aren't going to be baseless because they can point to that event. You need to address those concerns in a rational and reasonable manner first and explain why their claims don't hold up to scrutiny. Then, once their argument is weakened, you can bring in free speech concerns.

Of course it's empirically baseless to say that fictional violence is a noteworthy cause of real violence because one kid said so.

Who said we were talking about empirical basis? Not I nor you up until that last post. Nor does empirical basis mean much in a political argument based on fear. You're not fighting scientists, you're fighting people acting on an irrational fear based on an event. That is their basis for concern. When they approach you with an irrational argument along the lines of "violent media causes violence," you need to rebut them with a rational, empirical argument stating why they are wrong.

If I may interject:

To my knowledge as of this writing, there is no study(ies) that conclusively proves media absolutely causes more violence (experiments touting video games causing increased aggression have been questionable at best), so "empirical data" can't really be a factor in the discussion except for "we need more of it." When and if we ever DO find a firm link between violence, we as a society are going to need to make serious decisions on what we can and cannot show in media if public safety is the concern and it will be unavoidable. Until that happens, however, educated guesses and knee-jerk reactions are all we have.

I would argue, based on the confession, that this kid wasn't inspired by the movie itself but by the IDEA it presented and that if a movie hadn't exposed him to that line of thinking (killing without remorse), could it be possible he could get that idea from a non-media source? Say, he came upon a wolf eating a deer and was struck by what he perceived as "a lack of emotion." Obviously, that scenario is far less likely to happen, but I think it's possible to glean bizarre and sometimes horrific scenarios from things other than media (I remember reading a poet, Robert Frost maybe, who wrote a piece about a beautiful spider web or something but adding the subtext that, for all it's beauty, it was still an instrument of death). Hell, a random philosophical debate among friends could conjure the thought. So, if we were to become so adamant about preventing another tragedy like this that we feel the need to block our children from any source that produces violent thinking, we would, at best, reinstate the Hayes Code of the 1950's and, at worst and implausibly (but saying so for the sake of argument) become that Family Guy episode where we censor real life.

Which brings me to my next point - I think it's possible that, if this kid led a sort of sheltered existence, that it was the LACK of exposure to this type of thinking early on that led to all of this. Context and a broader discussion in media may have given him the answers he was looking for. Sure, murder is harder to defend in that line of thinking, but I imagine the same concept is true for those who think fighting looks fun. The Jimquisition had that great episode about violence (the one with the clip of the onscreen suicide) where he mentions his nephew(?) wanted to quit his martial arts classes because contact sparing hurt more than he thought (I went through the same thing with Tae-Kwon-Do). It's about one-sided experiences: you can get visceral thrills through horror, action, etc., but you can't actually feel what the characters feel if it's not presented right and it creates a lop-sided view of things where you get the positives without the negatives.

How do we solve that? My opinion is we should be more upfront about these kinds of feelings and discussions with younger audiences. I recall a great example of this from the Tv show Disney's Gargoyles, which had an episode where Broadway, the big green childish member of the team, finds the human Detective Elisa Mazda's(sp?) gun and accidentally shoots her. I don't recall a lot about the episode, but I remember it being shocking, Broadway was devastated by what he did, and that it was addressing what I believe at the time was a widespread and pressing social issue about kids and guns. And I would say that having established characters deal with real, hard, complex issues and going through a realistic emotional processes via the controlled environment of fantasy solves 2 problems - it gives audience that elusive emotional experience that will resonate with them as an important lesson and makes for good entertainment by being mature and thoughtful. And pulling that balance of not sounding preachy or manipulative while staying true to the story's lore and characters is going to be really hard, so that's not likely to happen in mainstream media.

What I'm ultimately saying is that there's obviously an impulse for society to censor and repress, but I think it's the opposite, done with care, is the real solution.

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