245: Gunners and Gamers

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Nam Yensa:
Fantastic article Russ..

But you just gotta leave it to idiotic gamers to ruin firearms everywhere.

You mean like that moron who asked for a sniper rifle so he could "headshot some noobs... like in Halo"? I'm frightened people that dumb actually exist... and that's just if he was making a really tasteless and stupid joke! If he was being serious, I'd have to see if it's possible to get him sectioned!

Oh, and he asked for a Sub-Machinegun as well. Oh, sorry "Ess Em Gee". He clearly doesn't know anything about guns then, because I'm fairly certain that any form of automatic weapon is illegal for civilian possession. I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.

Weak article, especially the last part. Columbine would've happend with or without guns or games? I think so, too. But I doubt they would've killed as many people with just improvised explosives and a few knives.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people killed in the U.S. by firearms in the year 2005 was 31,000, but the number of people killed in traffic accidents was 43,150, making driving in the U.S. almost 40 percent more dangerous than guns - a fact you don't hear a lot of talk about on Capitol Hill.

This doesn't make any sense at all. How many people own cars compared to how many people own guns? What would be price of outlawing cars compared to outlawing guns?
The whole populace would lose their means of transportation as opposed to gun enthusiasts would lose their favorite past time.

While it's true that starting in 2008, in response to fears of new gun legislation, firearms sales increased by an unprecedented 14 percent, the FBI's violent crime statistics show that in the same year, murder rates dropped five percent to the lowest they've been in 43 years. In the same year, videogame sales increased by 19 percent, and one of the top-sellers that year was also one of the most violent, Grand Theft Auto IV.

One year marks one hell of a trend.
And let's see which games and which console was responsible for that solid groth in videogame sales: (According to NPD:)

# Wii Play 5.28 million
# Mario Kart Wii 5.00 million
# Wii Fit 4.53 million
# Super Smash Bros. Brawl 4.17 million
# Grand Theft Auto IV 3.29 million*

Maybe murder rates dropped because all the potential murderers were busy playing Wii.

Seriously, don't make shit up just to prove a point.

I.. I think I love you, Russ.

I've fire many guns in my lifetime. I'm quite sure that to any of you who haven't met me, I fit the definition of "redneck" perfectly. Firearms =/= Toys. There is no situation I can think of, where it is even BARELY acceptable to treat a firearm like anything other than a deadly weapon.

Also, about what KungFuMaster said above, he's absolutely right. No matter how much any of the European or anti-gun members want to stick to their stereotypes, there is no gun shop in the U.S that lets you walk in with money, and walk out with a gun, hassle free. None. Zero.

I live in the UK, so guns are technically illegal here. An interesting article, nonetheless.

Also, spelling error on page two:

"I spend a fair amount of time playing causal games on my iPod Touch," says Steve.

Russ Pitts:
Looking at statistics related to firearm-related deaths in the United States paints an even more interesting picture. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people killed in the U.S. by firearms in the year 2005 was 31,000, but the number of people killed in traffic accidents was 43,150, making driving in the U.S. almost 40 percent more dangerous than guns - a fact you don't hear a lot of talk about on Capitol Hill.

Well, are would-be gun owners in the U.S. required to go through as much training and testing as you have to go through to get a driver's license? Written tests, so many hours of training (including marksmanship, because even if you're shooting an intruder in self-defense, you don't want that bullet ending up in the wrong person!), etc.? Because it seems pretty obvious that they ought to be.

MurderousToaster:
Also, spelling error on page two:

"I spend a fair amount of time playing causal games on my iPod Touch," says Steve.

Heh, Freudian slip?

tur2n:
Sniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip

http://freakonomicsbook.com/freakonomics/chapter-excerpts/chapter-5/

Better example of what Russ is saying there.

--------------

As for "Jim," the oft-quoted asshole... that's the worst possible attitude for anyone, most of all a gun owner, to take. He could have used the situation to try and teach the kid something about firearms, but instead chose to privately deride him.

So when the kid DOES find a gun somewhere and shoots himself (or someone else) with it, "Jim" can thank himself for not taking the time to educate the kid on firearm safety.*

*That's not to say anything would have been learned, but failing to even *try* is just weak.

Im not a gun owner, Ive shot and I know gun safety, Im in tx, you learn it here but I cant hold anything against the anti gun people since the pro gun peope tend to use such creepy stupid arguments it just makes me wanna take the opposite side of the argument. If I was going to buy a gun I would get an M1 Garand, Ive wanted one for years but have been too busy buying video games to get one.

Now this is what I call an article on video games.

I live in a country where guns are pretty much demonised by the media and the increasingly old population. And having gun crime increase lately probably isn't helping, but people don't realise that the ones out there shooting up schools, convenience stores and what-have-you are the idiots who dropped out of school, had a kid at 17 and now can't get a job. Or they're on meth. I had to go through a hell of a lot of trouble to get my licence, as did a few of my friends, and we're all responsible with our fire arms. Funny thing, we game more than we shoot.

To me, guns and games are two completely different activities that require a different mental approach. Guns are good to take to the range, hunting or even just into the back yard to shoot some cans. Video games are what I do at the end of the day when I'm tired and just want to do something meaningless and fun.

People who want to own guns BECAUSE they played a video game and thought it was great fun need some serious talking to. The similarities between real guns and game guns end at the aesthetics. Respect for game guns is non-existant. And with things like "no team damage" and so on, it's really no wonder.

I live in wyoming and i own a lot of guns rifels shotguns pistols and qute un quote assult rifels. I think its my god given right as a free man to have as many arms as i want to hunt, shoot for sport, and defend my self my family from the crimanils who have guns, forien invaders and even our own goverment if it ever came to that wich it might with this whole neo conservative republican fashist movment our country has been plauged with. In any totalitarien state or oprisive regime started by taking away free mens wepons thus there ability to resist. Maby every one shouldnt have a gun but guse what thell get one any ways or thell find something pointy so you beter have a gun to defend your self. on a finishing note wher are all the gun hateing bleeding hearts guna be when the zombies come hmmm, think about that one. If you dont have a gun now go out and buy two just be responsible like keeping them away from childrin and proper maitnince i would also incourge new gun owners to take a class like hunters safty that would teach you proper gun edicit and safty procedure.

*seriously* I wonder if hand grenades are legal I know it would be extreme amount of background checks and such but I still wonder if they are.

Also why would you let a guy with a hat to the side and his pants down to his knees in or near a gun or a gun store? Seriously pants like that should not be worn when firing *seriously*

Guns are tools used to kill things. Owning a gun means one of two things: Either you want to kill something, or you're worried someone wants to kill you first. Either is a sad state of affairs.

That's not to attack the morality or sanity of gun owners, far from it. It's just indicative of a problem with society that weapons of death (again, they have no practical purpose beyond violence)are hobby, both for collectors and outdoorsmen.
One of the arguments in the piece I really disagree with "If it hadn't been guns, it would've been homemade explosives or knives"
Yes, Knives are dangerous, but they have a practical purpose which outweighs the danger imposed by them, and homemade explosives take time and expertise to be effective. But if you can buy a gun (and in some places it seems terrifyingly easy to do so. We all remember the horror stories around the Virginia Tech Killer) you can be incredibly dangerous to everyone around, including yourself.

EDIT - I worked myself up a bit, ticked off at this poor article and its clearly irresponsible argument. Then I read the other comments more closely and realized that other people are doing a better job refuting this than I ever could. Sorry to waste everyone's time.

To make up for it, I'd like to tell a little story my father told me about a business trip to Texas. I think you might like it:

My father ( a Canadian ) traveled to Texas to repair a computer responsible for Airport runway lights. Shortly after he arrived, he noticed that the airport administrator carried a gun, everywhere, in an airport. When my father asked him if he always carried that gun around, the man misunderstood and said, "No no, this is my small gun. Some days I carry my big gun. Why, what kind of gun do you prefer?"
When my father explained he didn't own a gun, the man was incredulous. They bickered for sometime before my father had to get down to work.

I'm not convinced that this effect on the ACR's popularity in Google searches has anything to do with Call of Duty's use of one. The blogosphere, which makes up some of the qualitative evidence in this article, is not known for its reliability when it comes to pure popularity readings like web searches.

See, there's another factor that has either been ignored or forgotten in this article - the social presence and technological access of those actually in the military. The ACR was, as you say, designated to become a popular piece of equipment in the US military, so what if a great number of soldiers, for example, heard about it and Googled it to get further details? That's forward research, and a good military force would do it for all weapons of such a caliber. It's also more likely to happen in holiday time because of the setup of off-duty military routine.

Even if the weapon's web popularity went up at a certain time that happened to coincide with the release of the game, this is not proof of a link. I feel like it's jumping the gun to say so.

Putting that aside, there are some problems with the concepts behind this article, as well. It's all very nice to defend a harmless tradition like gaming, which involves only the destruction of pixellated characters, but it is not so fair to defend the enjoyment of real weapon use. If shooting a weapon is "stimulating", and you defend the practice on those grounds, you're very likely to cause a few people who want the stimulation of shooting someone else to take interest, like the kid on the first page who thinks it's okay to kill "noobs" in real life.

The article, sadly, gets worse.

Yet in talking with the gunners and gamers, it becomes clear that these are not members of the lunatic fringe ... Enthusiasts who share a passion for both games and guns are generally well-educated, well-trained and well-practiced in the detailed minutiae of how to engage in their hobby safely.

Forgive me, but that's nonsense. If that were true, the so-called benefit of the Second Amendment wouldn't be considered useless to any sociologist worth their salt where international statistics are concerned. Gun deaths in the US are far higher than those in gun controlled countries, solely because of the right to bear arms. If people who used guns were "generally well-educated", "trained" and "well-practiced", this would not be the case.

It's not actually fair to pretend that "anti-gun advocates" are the journalistic "other" of the day. These people have very genuine, statistical and objective reasons not to like the right to bear arms, and do not deserve distancing from this magazine's audience. Why quote one side of the argument? The easy answer is that you're biased.

Which brings me, finally, to the blatant disregard for the rational interpretation of statistics that is the end of this article.

The fact that guns kill less than traffic is universal. This does not make gun deaths okay. This comparison does not render guns acceptable as items of ownership. Gun deaths are less necessary than car accidents, since car accidents don't involve the intent to kill. There is no fair regard in this interpretation for the influence of gun culture, that is the idea that having a weapon that can kill easily and efficiently makes you more likely to do it (which has been proven time and time again).

It's good to refute game-related gun deaths. As far as I'm concerned, games don't cause any gun deaths (except perhaps by their minuscule expansions to gun culture through the widespread play of FPS games). But don't defend gun use in general as a part of your defense of gaming; you have no reason to do so in the public interest (as opposed to your interest) and your methods look silly to a trained observer.

I think it's very unfair to have a National Rifle Association member get a whole article because he happens to be the magazine's editor while anti-gun activists who may also be gamers get no invitation. I hope that people look this article over very critically before they make conclusions.

This must be the most baised article i've ever read on this site.
While i fully agree that owning guns and/or playing games doesn't have anything to do with going out and killing people like in those school shootings, this arcitle has nothing to support that point.
The statistics are in the very least...wierd. Like someone said before me, comparing killings with car accidents is laughable. Also, how many of this rougly 15000 siucides have been commited after killing someone else? I would guess not too many but those still count, very much so.

Don't get me wrong, i have nothing against gunners and certainly not against gamers. And i am the very first to throw shit at stupid people who try to color either (or both) of these groups as "bad guys" or potential massmurderers or whatever.
I just have the feeling that the writer of this article made a mistake trying to make a point in the defense of gun owners/gamers instead of just giving us insight into that particular comunity.

It never fails to amuse me that people think that the casing ejecting from the weapon wont be hot. Its common sense really, the powder ignites in a very confined space forcing the metal projectile down the barrel with a loud bang and a flash. Nah, don't worry, it wont burn you so bad you may need a doctor.

Civillian gun ownership here in Australia is illegal, yet alot of people still have them and die from them every year. Laws indeed are for the law abiding.

I think the voice acting/story's in "violent" games are far more worse and horrible than the violence itself.

Look at society in general and humanity as a whole then look at this sites name, glorified action and sex is what we crave, in moderate doses through fiction. Anyone who denies this never read a bible, has not read alot of books books or learned about history......

Firearm = tool.
Game = game.

Parents getting involved with their kids instead of letting a console babysit are far less likely to have to explain why their kids are the ones who are humming 8bit music and thumping other children about the skull with hammers and mallets.

Silva:
Gun deaths in the US are far higher than those in gun controlled countries, solely because of the right to bear arms. If people who used guns were "generally well-educated", "trained" and "well-practiced", this would not be the case.

I await your interview and counter article presenting that Rwanda (where personal firearms ownership is illegal) had less gun deaths. I'll start: 1994 we lost tens of thousands to homicide, accident and suicide by firearm. They lost 900,000 from genocide by firearm.

That Second Amendment thing looks pretty darn good by comparison. Darfur, Cambodia, Uganda, Guatemala... there's a lengthy list of folks that don't agree with your opinion.

I am not an NRA member, but anti choice people might take this opportunity to attempt to convince the reader that gun owners are more prone to violence. More prone to kill. Simple fact: The crime in this country is conducted by criminals big and small. Those of us who go through the paperwork and processes from a background check for that new huntin shotty, to the extensive six month plus background (and FBI interviewed) check for class III firearms (machine guns and silencers and some short barreled rifles) resent being told by anyone (pro or anti) that these tools and their mere proximity to us will cause ourselves and everyone around us more harm than if they weren't there. The classic "fallacy of 43:1" argument where statistics are manipulated to raise funds and provide talking points.

Not one murder has been perpetrated by a law abiding owner of a personally registered machine gun in this country.

Guns save far more lives every year in the US than they take.

Boiled down its a choice. An adult choice to be sure, but a choice nevertheless. I choose to live free, exercising my rights and knowing the consequences of usage. I no longer smoke, but I choose to occasionally be around folks who do. The CDC says that smoking killed 440,000 in 2006. TEN TIMES THAT of cars, far more than guns. But its not my choice to deny others their opportunity to puff away. Being a dad, I can tell you that I don't believe in most abortions, but I would not deny anyone that opportunity to have one themselves. I'm not the arbiter, nor is anyone else who would attempt to legislate through moral compass.

Russ: interesting article. I make a proposal. A very wise man once said that in order to get the point across that a firearm isn't a toy, that multiple cans of stewed tomatoes be placed on sawhorses in a room painted completely white. No hearing protection, smiling faces painted on the cans. Let anyone who's parent purchases shooter games for their children without checking into a game or following up with their child be present. Give a TAB-K safety presentation, then shoot the cans.

Scared Straight? Perhaps. I submit that most of the readers of this article will be old enough to remember Scared Straight, and might call it grotesque or over the top... but those things do tend to stand out in the moments of our youth. Indeed, it might just be the cure to lowbrow/lowpantsline-ism sightings in gun shops. :D

Molon Labe

Crunchy English:
Guns are tools used to kill things. Owning a gun means one of two things: Either you want to kill something, or you're worried someone wants to kill you first. Either is a sad state of affairs.

That's not to attack the morality or sanity of gun owners, far from it. It's just indicative of a problem with society that weapons of death (again, they have no practical purpose beyond violence)are hobby, both for collectors and outdoorsmen.
One of the arguments in the piece I really disagree with "If it hadn't been guns, it would've been homemade explosives or knives"
Yes, Knives are dangerous, but they have a practical purpose which outweighs the danger imposed by them, and homemade explosives take time and expertise to be effective. But if you can buy a gun (and in some places it seems terrifyingly easy to do so. We all remember the horror stories around the Virginia Tech Killer) you can be incredibly dangerous to everyone around, including yourself.

EDIT - I worked myself up a bit, ticked off at this poor article and its clearly irresponsible argument. Then I read the other comments more closely and realized that other people are doing a better job refuting this than I ever could. Sorry to waste everyone's time.

To make up for it, I'd like to tell a little story my father told me about a business trip to Texas. I think you might like it:

My father ( a Canadian ) traveled to Texas to repair a computer responsible for Airport runway lights. Shortly after he arrived, he noticed that the airport administrator carried a gun, everywhere, in an airport. When my father asked him if he always carried that gun around, the man misunderstood and said, "No no, this is my small gun. Some days I carry my big gun. Why, what kind of gun do you prefer?"
When my father explained he didn't own a gun, the man was incredulous. They bickered for sometime before my father had to get down to work.

valid points in all but i hunt every year for afordible horman and growth steroied free meat indipendent of brutal factory farming.juat sayin as a gun owner its more humane then posibly not making a clean kill with a bow ya know. http://www.hulu.com/watch/133831/bowling-for-columbine?c=News-and-Information awsome comentary on society on guns good old mr.more.

Crunchy English:
Guns are tools used to kill things. Owning a gun means one of two things: Either you want to kill something, or you're worried someone wants to kill you first. Either is a sad state of affairs.

Yeeeeah, um, target shooting is an Olympic sport.

I own a couple of guns. None of them are for hunting or for self-defense. They're not used for killing at all, unless you count shooting holes in a piece of paper killing.

Just out of curiosity, do you get this worked up about archery? Martial arts?

Russ sez: "Perhaps the next person you see playing a racing game is the one you should be really concerned about."

All right, I admit it. While I've never wanted to run out and get a gun during/after playing a video game I *have* wanted to get a car. In fact, I've never wanted a 1977-1979 Lincoln Mark V more in my life than after playing gta:san andreas. I mean, c'mon... it has skulls in the bumper!!!! LOL
tinyurl.com/gtalincoln

Great article in my view.

To say something about that view:

I'm 17. My father began teaching me basic gun safety at the age of 6. I've been shooting competitively since age 10, first in smallbore benchrest rifle and then Conventional (or Bullseye) pistol since 14. I have been to the National Pistol Matches 3 times.

The problem I see is that people who know nothing about guns don't know how to properly respect them. I have ALWAYS been taught that a gun is both a tool (whether that be for hunting, target shooting, self defense) and a deadly weapon. The first rule about guns I was taught (credit to Jeff Cooper) was "Never point a gun at anything that you do not wish to see destroyed."

In other words, don't point a gun at yourself, your friends, your parents, your pets, etc. They are not toys and the only time you should EVER be threatening another person with them is if your own life is in danger.

Games CAN teach things about guns, but mainly they're the wrong things, and then we get the guy who wanted to "headshot some noobs."

darkknight9:
Firearm = tool.
Game = game.

Parents getting involved with their kids instead of letting a console babysit are far less likely to have to explain why their kids are the ones who are humming 8bit music and thumping other children about the skull with hammers and mallets.

Silva:
Gun deaths in the US are far higher than those in gun controlled countries, solely because of the right to bear arms. If people who used guns were "generally well-educated", "trained" and "well-practiced", this would not be the case.

I await your interview and counter article presenting that Rwanda (where personal firearms ownership is illegal) had less gun deaths. I'll start: 1994 we lost tens of thousands to homicide, accident and suicide by firearm. They lost 900,000 from genocide by firearm.

That Second Amendment thing looks pretty darn good by comparison. Darfur, Cambodia, Uganda, Guatemala... there's a lengthy list of folks that don't agree with your opinion.

I am not an NRA member, but anti choice people might take this opportunity to attempt to convince the reader that gun owners are more prone to violence. More prone to kill. Simple fact: The crime in this country is conducted by criminals big and small. Those of us who go through the paperwork and processes from a background check for that new huntin shotty, to the extensive six month plus background (and FBI interviewed) check for class III firearms (machine guns and silencers and some short barreled rifles) resent being told by anyone (pro or anti) that these tools and their mere proximity to us will cause ourselves and everyone around us more harm than if they weren't there. The classic "fallacy of 43:1" argument where statistics are manipulated to raise funds and provide talking points.

Not one murder has been perpetrated by a law abiding owner of a personally registered machine gun in this country.

Guns save far more lives every year in the US than they take.

Boiled down its a choice. An adult choice to be sure, but a choice nevertheless. I choose to live free, exercising my rights and knowing the consequences of usage. I no longer smoke, but I choose to occasionally be around folks who do. The CDC says that smoking killed 440,000 in 2006. TEN TIMES THAT of cars, far more than guns. But its not my choice to deny others their opportunity to puff away. Being a dad, I can tell you that I don't believe in most abortions, but I would not deny anyone that opportunity to have one themselves. I'm not the arbiter, nor is anyone else who would attempt to legislate through moral compass.

Your argument boils down to one thing: that gun control will not work to prevent gun deaths.

But you're incorrect on the specifics. It's not that ALL gun control will not work. It's that INEFFECTIVE gun control will not.

Australia, the UK, Europe's gun controlled nations... all of these places have far less gun deaths by population percentage than the US. The reason is that these gun laws aren't just legislation, they are enforced properly and guns above a certain caliber are not allowed into the country except for government and Police use.

You can't have gun deaths if there are no guns. Rwanda isn't counter-proof to anything I said and neither are the other places you mentioned, because they can't control their own societies. We in the rest of the Western world can. And so should you.

While I am sort of a gun nut simply due to my interest in military engineering, I only collect airsoft replicas. Assuming you buy good quality guns, they are almost exact replicas of the real thing (I have a replica Desert Eagle .50AE that is almost an exact clone, it even disassembles the same way as the real thing).

When it comes to real firearms on the other hand, I will never own one simply because I think it's not worth the money and risk.

Silva:

darkknight9:
Firearm = tool.
Game = game.

Parents getting involved with their kids instead of letting a console babysit are far less likely to have to explain why their kids are the ones who are humming 8bit music and thumping other children about the skull with hammers and mallets.

Silva:
Gun deaths in the US are far higher than those in gun controlled countries, solely because of the right to bear arms. If people who used guns were "generally well-educated", "trained" and "well-practiced", this would not be the case.

I await your interview and counter article presenting that Rwanda (where personal firearms ownership is illegal) had less gun deaths. I'll start: 1994 we lost tens of thousands to homicide, accident and suicide by firearm. They lost 900,000 from genocide by firearm.

That Second Amendment thing looks pretty darn good by comparison. Darfur, Cambodia, Uganda, Guatemala... there's a lengthy list of folks that don't agree with your opinion.

I am not an NRA member, but anti choice people might take this opportunity to attempt to convince the reader that gun owners are more prone to violence. More prone to kill. Simple fact: The crime in this country is conducted by criminals big and small. Those of us who go through the paperwork and processes from a background check for that new huntin shotty, to the extensive six month plus background (and FBI interviewed) check for class III firearms (machine guns and silencers and some short barreled rifles) resent being told by anyone (pro or anti) that these tools and their mere proximity to us will cause ourselves and everyone around us more harm than if they weren't there. The classic "fallacy of 43:1" argument where statistics are manipulated to raise funds and provide talking points.

Not one murder has been perpetrated by a law abiding owner of a personally registered machine gun in this country.

Guns save far more lives every year in the US than they take.

Boiled down its a choice. An adult choice to be sure, but a choice nevertheless. I choose to live free, exercising my rights and knowing the consequences of usage. I no longer smoke, but I choose to occasionally be around folks who do. The CDC says that smoking killed 440,000 in 2006. TEN TIMES THAT of cars, far more than guns. But its not my choice to deny others their opportunity to puff away. Being a dad, I can tell you that I don't believe in most abortions, but I would not deny anyone that opportunity to have one themselves. I'm not the arbiter, nor is anyone else who would attempt to legislate through moral compass.

Your argument boils down to one thing: that gun control will not work to prevent gun deaths.

But you're incorrect on the specifics. It's not that ALL gun control will not work. It's that INEFFECTIVE gun control will not.

Australia, the UK, Europe's gun controlled nations... all of these places have far less gun deaths by population percentage than the US. The reason is that these gun laws aren't just legislation, they are enforced properly and guns above a certain caliber are not allowed into the country except for government and Police use.

You can't have gun deaths if there are no guns. Rwanda isn't counter-proof to anything I said and neither are the other places you mentioned, because they can't control their own societies. We in the rest of the Western world can. And so should you.

Europe's gun controlled nations? Like Estonia? Who has more deaths per 100,000 people than the US?

And with this being reported last year in the UK: "In areas dominated by gang culture, we're now seeing guns used to settle scores between rivals as well as turf wars between rival drug dealers. We need to redouble our efforts to deal with the challenge."

There were 9,865 firearm offences in 2007/08, a rise of 89 per cent on the 5,209 recorded in 1998/99.

That sounds like *very effective* gun control. Oh my yes because you cant have gun deaths if there are no guns around. Except by those people who don't care about your laws and your rules. Those people, including the bobbies, that were killed in years past and that will die in the future may have a different opinion on the topic of the effectiveness of gun control.

Rwanda and every mass genocide ARE counter proof. The government indeed couldn't control its society, so in just a few instances THE GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATED IN SLAUGHTERING ITS OWN POPULACE. Not something that quietly happens if the people are allowed to defend themselves with more than just rocks and sharp pointy sticks.

See, people are going to die from all kinds of things, even guns in both hospitable and inhospitable places that have hard gun control. People are still going to get shot. By attempting to say that gun deaths wont happen by merely legislating them out of existence, and by clearly ignoring the *very relevant data that 63% of all gun deaths in the US are suicides (preventable although unavoidable no matter what technique is employed) you are trying to paint this rosy picture of death free places.

And they simply do not exist in today's world.

By implementing gun control you remove the rights of those who were not only following the laws, but who consistently have to put their families at risk because they can no longer defend themselves. At a minimum, over 800,000 defensive firearm instances occur in the US every year. Some data shows higher numbers, but that's the lowest of the low range. Nearly a million defensive uses in and out of the home every year. I don't know where in the rest of the western world you live but current law, case law, and precedent all point to the police forces here on the local, state, and federal level are not responsible and cannot be held liable or responsible for your safety and/or health. You are on your own here Stateside. And I'd rather take my chances being with the 800,000 defenses than the 4.31 per 100,000 homicides or unintentional deaths. Maybe its the choice demon raising its ugly head again, but the government is there to serve the people, not remove freedoms and choices because it knows best.

Dear readers, a note about: "Australia, the UK, Europe's gun controlled nations... all of these places have far less gun deaths by population percentage than the US."

"Gun death" statistics are frequently cited, in the manner above, to strongly suggest that guns are the cause behind the high violent death rate in the U.S. As in the case of the Los Angeles Times article, no mention is made that over half of those violent deaths are suicides. The CNN article mentions gun homicides and gun suicides, but fails to show us the total violent death rate of other countries, not just gun deaths. For example, in Japan, where gun ownership is rare, its total suicide rate is higher than our total suicide rate.

Combining gun suicide and homicide deaths creates a sensational comparison with other countries, but only clouds and distorts the many factors actually behind violent death rates. Looking at only gun deaths, it is easy to get the false impression that, because of guns, the United States is the most violent country on earth.

Rather than being the "league leader" in violent death rates, as the sensational and misleading media reports suggest when focusing exclusively on guns, though the U.S. is still high, its violent death rate is not orders of magnitude higher than other countries.

Molon Labe

Sakurazaki1023:
While I am sort of a gun nut simply due to my interest in military engineering, I only collect airsoft replicas. Assuming you buy good quality guns, they are almost exact replicas of the real thing (I have a replica Desert Eagle .50AE that is almost an exact clone, it even disassembles the same way as the real thing).

When it comes to real firearms on the other hand, I will never own one simply because I think it's not worth the money and risk.

A word of caution if you ever go to the range with some friends and you have the opportunity to fire one with live ammo: hold onto it with both hands. That thing packs a hard, weird kick. ;)

MGlBlaze:

Oh, and he asked for a Sub-Machinegun as well. Oh, sorry "Ess Em Gee". He clearly doesn't know anything about guns then, because I'm fairly certain that any form of automatic weapon is illegal for civilian possession. I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.

It is perfectly legal for civilian to possess automatic weapons and other such weapons as long as the proper paperworks (ATF Form 4 and Form 5530-20, to include photo and fingerprints) are filed for adjudication and that the local law enforcement permission is granted.

Oh, and additional tax-stamp paid.

Your standard submachine gun will require two tax stamps at $200 each. One for the automatic feature, and one for having a short barrel as well as butt-stock (making it a Short Barrel Rifle).

In case it's not obvious yet, gunner and gamer here. Fired my first shot at the age of 7 on my grandfather's land, learned to game on NES with Mario.

Silva:

Your argument boils down to one thing: that gun control will not work to prevent gun deaths.

But you're incorrect on the specifics. It's not that ALL gun control will not work. It's that INEFFECTIVE gun control will not.

The point is not gun death, but death resulting from stupidity and "bad people". Take away the guns and those two will continue to threaten the rest of us, at least with guns we have some form of protection against at least one of those causes of death.

Silva:
Gun deaths are less necessary than car accidents, since car accidents don't involve the intent to kill.

Gun accidents, pool accidents, airplane accidents, boating accidents, they all don't involve the intent to kill. Accidents share a lack of intent. One may call them unintentional also. I won't argue the validity of vehicular homicide vs gun homicide as murder is murder. But accidents are just that. Accidents.

I always thought it was pretty clear that the people arguing about violent videogames causing shootings and such were just mixing up cause and effect.
The choice between:
Violent videogame brainwashes innocent person into being a violent person, who then does violence.
OR
A violent person* enjoys violent videogams before they go through with their violent thoughts.
*Who may not ever follow up, and are frequently 'innocent' people who are just really angry or upset about something.

Random side comments with little point:
My dad did a lot of shooting when he was younger. He cannot play first person shooters to save his life. He does enjoy trying though, but only the more sedate and sneaky ones, like Sniper Elite. He also enjoyed Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, but played it in such a different way to me, hanging well back with a rifle and being extremely patient about drawing targets out. He will never be any good at Modern Warfare 2 or Left4Dead and is also the most relaxed and patient person I know.

I once read a NRA forum, and some guy pretty much got it right, He agreed that the right to bear arms meant that there were more gun related crimes, but that it was the price to pay for the right to bear arms. I'm not really for legal gun ownership, but at least the guy didn't deny anything.

I really enjoyed your article Russ. Thank you very much. Unfortunately the foaming at the mouth campaigners who would ban guns, games and bad language won't get to read it. It's a shame, they would get to see that NRA members and gamers can be highly literate and reasonable.

Although I'm not a gun enthuiast I am a keen martial artist. I train 4 times a week in both grappling and striking and also happen to love fighting games like Tekken, Streetfighter and King of Fighters.

In the same way that FPS's experience does not carry over to shooting, you will not learn to be a fighter from Tekken and will not get a tight arm bar no matter how often you do it with Jin/Paul.

Having said this, even with my interests that some people would find unsavoury, I don't get into fights (I've had one scuffle in the last 15 years). I have often walked away or talked my way out of confrontations knowing I could fight my way out if needed. I have nothing to prove. If I did get in regular fights I could not keep my job.

I have a responsible job in the Criminal Justice system and regularly work with violent offenders who do none of the "violent" hobbies I love.

Maybe I could have been a gun enthusiast if I'd been born American but right now I have enough trouble fitting the hobbies I have into my daily life without adding more.

Oh god yes! Head on nail. Or vice versa. You might want to check out my website, it's...kind of related pascaleggert.de

No. Putting pretty girls in adverts does not drive someone to shoot up a school. As someone pointed out, those boys wanted to do harm, plain and simple. They had access to guns, so they used guns. If all they'd had access to was pointed sticks, they'd have used them instead.

How many people can someone without proper martial arts training kill with pointed sticks?

Your argument doesn't help your case at all.

There are four main types of gun deaths:
suicide
premeditated criminal actions
non-planned "crimes of passion"
accidents

Suicides will happen in about the same numbers regardless of the availability of guns.

Premeditated criminal actions involve someone planning to break the law, as such the legality of the tool used is largely irrelevant, though some amateurs may resort to something else since they haven't found their local blackmarket gun dealer.

Crimes of passion would probably be less deadly if there were no guns, but then again how often does a crime of passion actually involve a gun? The one that happened on the first floor of my dorm earlier this school year was committed by someone on a bad trip using a baseball bat on his roommate. Police shot him (he survived, his victim did not) with non-lethal rounds and then actual bullets to stop him.

Accidents involving guns wouldn't happen, or would happen much less often if there were no guns, this I agree with. Then again, proper training for everyone who purchases a gun legally would also cut the risk of accidents, so proper education and training would be called for here.

As far as the statistics go, the real things to compare would be the pre- and post- ban murder and accidental death rates. Obviously post-ban the gun related death rate would go down, but the real question is if people in general would be any safer, as the point of a gun ban would ideally be to make society safer.

Google up the crime rate, homicide rate, and accidental death statistics for the UK pre and post firearms ban, make up your own mind.

Great article Russ, as a gun aficionado who is not yet a gun owner, and a 20-some year gaming veteran, it is nice to see someone able to talk about these two hobbies without insinuating that A+B=Murderer.

Guns aren't the problem, idiots are the problem. Forgiving pre-adults their ignorance, anyone who reaches the age of 18 and still thinks a gun is a toy is simply too stupid to ever be trusted with such things. Retard ganger punks who act all ghetto, and think a sideways-held pistol is "tough" or "badass" would never pass the screening process to acquire a legal firearm, it takes brains and common sense to get a license where I live. Gun use isn't something you learn from watching TV and playing video games, and morons who don't know what they are doing are more likely to blow their own foot off than actually hurt someone.

To anyone who wants to own a gun, try paintball first. Learn just how hard it can be to maintain a marker, what with the cleaning and disassembling it to lubricate the parts. A jam-up in paintball means a messy barrel and a time-out. A bad jam-up in a real firearm can include the complete destruction of the gun, or the death of the user. But what gaming doesn't cover at all is learning that real weapons are actually HEAVY, and kick like a Chuck Norris roundhouse. Paintball doesn't simulate the kickback very well, but damn do they simulate the arm fatigue. Your delusions of akimbo-wielding DEagles will certainly fade, and you might come to appreciate just how absurd some video games are when you see Johnny McFPS firing an M16 with one hand, and a SPAS-12 with the other.

Wait a second. The picture for the article, I think I have that jacket. 2008 Banana Republic Spring Collection. She's wearing a mens jacket!

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