The Big Picture: On The Subject Of Violence

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The sad thing is there probably isn't anything we can do about dangerous mad people (within reason) to prevent these things from happening.

These movies, books, games, songs, or whatever are not so much "inspiration" as they are an excuse. Something for the individual to call the "reason" for their unreasonable actions. They pick something, anything, that lets them point at it and say that's why I did it. Not because I'm just crazy, but because something outside of myself influenced me and made me do these horrible things.

As Bob said this inspiration can pretty much come from anything. As for those pointing fingers at religion&religious books for being so often used in this way I would ask; To a madman, what is a better excuse than "God told me to."?

It is foolish to believe that if we ban things that madman have said "inspired" them that we can stop these horrors form happening. People WANT an excuse to blame for their actions, but they don't NEED one. And even if they can't find one, they can always make one.

Good piece. I wish it would help people realize that maybe we should talk about mental health funding rather than arguing over gun control or censorship.

As a schizophrenic, I feel I have to make this point, because the media is insistent on being fucktards about it.

The Colorado killer has not been officially diagnosed with anything. The media is already stamping labels on him like "schizoid" and "psychopath," using them as if they were catchall phrases for people who do bad things and completely ignoring not only the very specific context in which these terms are used in psychology, but how badly this misrepresents the vast majority of us who have mental disorders.
I'm Schizophrenic. Yes, I have delusions of persecution. Yes, I experience auditory and sometimes visual hallucinations. Yes, I am at times impulsive and irrationally over-emotional. But I have never in my life had any inclination to do something violent, nor do I have any desire to ever do so because I consider the use of violence to be abhorrent and would rather find any other means to resolve conflicts first.
We are not, as a rule, dangerous to society because we have identifiable symptoms of mental illness. Anyone - and I mean ANYONE - can go off the deep end if external circumstances effect them in the wrong ways and I am sick and tired of every killer being automatically labeled as "schizo" or "psychopathic" by a media which refuses to get its facts straight in favor of sensationalizing their stories.
And I'm disappointed in you, Bob, for using the term "psychopath" in the same way, no matter how much I think you have a point on every other issue you addressed in this video.
Please stop making people like me out to be naturally born bad guys.

Beautiful! I could kiss you if you shaved!

Thank you bob for this. One of your better works by far.

Zor

Well-said, it's good to see a truly even-handed approach to this particular thorny issue.

ivc392:
Does any one know what could have prevented the Denver incident? GUN CONTROL!!

Direct quote from this very video:

"No matter how psychologically comforting it may feel to just do SOMETHING in the wake of a senseless tragedy, you can't just start banning or censoring things because you think they MIGHT give people bad ideas, for the simple reason that in a civilized society, you don't punish innocent people for the possible crimes of another."

Yes, I know that that's not what this Big Picture was about (although I'm definitely with Bob on the censorship thing), but it's really the same idea. To tell someone that they can't have guns because some random madman might get his hands on one and kill people with it is stupid.

If someone wants to kill somebody, it will happen. That's just the nature of this chaotic world we live in.

Well said! from Finland.
Yes it's sad that these topics must be done but someone has to.
We'll do the happy spin next week, you promised.
And shit like this really sucks, but people are people and stuff like his will continue to happen, no matter what we try to do about it.

This was right on the money. Art through any medium is a part of human expression, just like speech,dancing or even emotional responses. To place constrictions on any part of human expression would be like cutting out a part of what it means to be human, which I'm sure (and I say these next words with the utmost respect and grief for those who lost their lives) many of those who died during that night would never want to see as a result of them.
These are sad times indeed.

Calvin and Hobbes look awfully menacing in that image.

Ok. not to be a jerk here... but to put it in perspective... These kinds of media candy shootings REALLY don't tend to happen too often. And the number of people that die from such loony actions is absurdly small compared to the number of people who die from other things such as traffic accidents or cancer or war or what have you. Those are just booring deaths though, and these are fun so we must suck them up like another form of entertainment.
Nothing needs to be done. The one thing that MAY help, however (that will never ever happen) is to NOT have extensive coverage of these incidents (outside of maybe the local town where it happens on a very small scale).
I believe a large driving factor for the majority of the people who do these things is knowing for an absolute fact that they will be infamous. They want attention. Now i realize what i am suggesting is another form of censorship... but...
Admit it people, we kinda like when things like this happen (assuming we have no connection to anyone involved). We suck it up with excitement and research it and have conversations with friends trying to figure out why the shooter did what he did exc. LETS JUST NOT.

Fahrenheit 451 sums up pretty much all my thoughts regarding censorship.

bdcjacko:

ivc392:
Does any one know what could have prevented the Denver incident? GUN CONTROL!!

He would have found a way to get guns anyhow. I mean he rigged his apartment to blow. He seems like he knew how to get things.

Mass killings don't require an automatic gun. Mass killings don't even require a gun, as they've been happening since forever. The fact of the matter is, people with diseased minds will kill other people regardless of whether we restrict guns. I mean, if he had barred all the doors and lit the theater on fire, it's not like that would have been "better" than a shooting rampage.

What we need to do is get better mental health facilities, better (and more) child psychologists in schools, and stop stigmatizing people who seek therapy.

The problem I have with the discussion and the reason why I don't now and never will buy the link between violent media and atrocities such as this, even when it's placed under the banner of "possible", is because violence and violent people have always existed, video games, movies, music, the written word, hell art of any nature have not.

There are psychological and physiological reasons for increased aggression leading to violent behaviour and by saying that this is "possible" is legitimising the argument of people who are for banning it and taking attention away from discovering the real cause.

I know that I'm going to come across as maybe being ignorant and dismissing other people's views because they contradict my own but I can assure you that's not the case, I believe what I believe because it is the most logical and reasonable view and from my own personal experience the one that is actually supported by real evidence. I know a lot of people, of those people I would say they have all seen a violent act portrayed in some form or another and none of these people have ever committed murder and the vast majority have never even been involved in a confrontation where they were the aggressor. I personally have been watching violent movies, playing violent video games and reading novels including violence since a young age and I abhor real violence and the people who enact it.

The point that I'm trying to make is that violence has always been around, people are not inspired to commit it because it's a part of who they are, whether that be because of childhood trauma, psychological deficiencies, chemical imbalances etc and instead of focusing our attention on discussing a flawed argument we should be examining violent offenders and comparing them to non-violent people so that we can finally take a step towards preventing these tragedies rather than running round in circles with our heads up our arses.

Also, as you mentioned in the video the fact that this scumbag dressed up and claimed he was the Joker does not show that he was inspired by the film, people who commit these acts want attention, it's the same with serial killers wanting to be caught so the world acknowledges their work or release manifestos, it's attention seeking. A random shooting in cinema makes the news, a shooting at a Batman screening by a person claiming to be the Joker gets the world talking.

Logically if we want to ban things that lead people to commit murder then shouldn't religion be high on the list?

I've never liked the "violent media causes violent people" argument because the usual targets are video games and movies which are really recent inventions. Not even "recent compared to the wheel" kind of recent, but "within this century" kind of recent. And you'd think from the way people go on and on that there'd never been any kind of violence ever before these were invented.

Violence has always existed in humanity, and will likely always exist. Likewise this kind of reactionary response (off the top of my head, see the third and fourth destructions of the Library of Alexandria)

You know, Hitler's favorite movie was King Kong. His favorite song was "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" Clearly we need to ban all carnivorous animal based forms of expression just to be on the safe side.

On the topic of gun control and killing sprees. In Germany all school shootings happened with legally owned and purchased weapons. And Germany has one of the rigid laws in the world. That said I cannot imagine how much more suffering these shootings would have caused if these culprits had access to automatic weapons like machine guns and/or SMGs. And the people in the theater were lucky that the gun of the killer hat a malfunction because otherwise the body count had been much higher.

So no, stricter gun control will not prevent such tragedies but they can limit the number of victims. Thats what America needs to understand.

Also I'm with Bob on this topic but I'm not sure how much impact violent media has on the psyche of such people but I'm pretty sure that there are other factors that have much more affect. For example these shootings happen mostly in countries with strict rules in the society and not in countries were people can express their feelings freely. So this kind of crime appear mostly in Scandinavia, Germany, the US and Japan. And almost every offender has some kind of social disorder and a dysfunctional social life/family.

If I offended any person with my posting I'm sorry in advance.

(Claps) Well said, Bob.

It only takes the actions of one person to ruin things for everyone else... and it's worse when innocent people suffer for it...

Some people would argue that this tragedy is a good reason for gun control, but I'd argue that bad and/or crazy people would manage to get guns anyway. I can't help but feel that people never seem to look at the Big Picture, as it were.

Katya Topolkaraeva:
Ok. not to be a jerk here... but to put it in perspective... These kinds of media candy shootings REALLY don't tend to happen too often. And the number of people that die from such loony actions is absurdly small compared to the number of people who die from other things such as traffic accidents or cancer or war or what have you. Those are just booring deaths though, and these are fun so we must suck them up like another form of entertainment.
Nothing needs to be done. The one thing that MAY help, however (that will never ever happen) is to NOT have extensive coverage of these incidents (outside of maybe the local town where it happens on a very small scale).
I believe a large driving factor for the majority of the people who do these things is knowing for an absolute fact that they will be infamous. They want attention. Now i realize what i am suggesting is another form of censorship... but...
Admit it people, we kinda like when things like this happen (assuming we have no connection to anyone involved). We suck it up with excitement and research it and have conversations with friends trying to figure out why the shooter did what he did exc. LETS JUST NOT.

You make a good point, coverage should be extremely limited, anyone not locally involved shouldn't even have a death total or hear the name/see the face of the killer. There is concrete evidence that states this just leads to more incidents, the rates go up. However I wouldn't say so much that we like it, perhaps some do. I think we are interested in it, we want to understand why, figure out the reason, when in reality there is very rarely a rational reason.

You are also right about the number being extremely low, you are just as likely to die from a meteor than you are from a terrorist, for example. We just live in a culture of fear and these things happen to be scary, predictable deaths don't bother us.

This was the most well-spoken, well-thought out, intelligent piece of commentary I've heard in regards to this topic and any other shooting before and I'll use this video as a reference for future discussion about banning/controlling without reasoning.

You, sir, have one bright mind.

RJ Dalton:
As a schizophrenic, I feel I have to make this point, because the media is insistent on being fucktards about it.

The Colorado killer has not been officially diagnosed with anything. The media is already stamping labels on him like "schizoid" and "psychopath," using them as if they were catchall phrases for people who do bad things and completely ignoring not only the very specific context in which these terms are used in psychology, but how badly this misrepresents the vast majority of us who have mental disorders.
I'm Schizophrenic. Yes, I have delusions of persecution. Yes, I experience auditory and sometimes visual hallucinations. Yes, I am at times impulsive and irrationally over-emotional. But I have never in my life had any inclination to do something violent, nor do I have any desire to ever do so because I consider the use of violence to be abhorrent and would rather find any other means to resolve conflicts first.
We are not, as a rule, dangerous to society because we have identifiable symptoms of mental illness. Anyone - and I mean ANYONE - can go off the deep end if external circumstances effect them in the wrong ways and I am sick and tired of every killer being automatically labeled as "schizo" or "psychopathic" by a media which refuses to get its facts straight in favor of sensationalizing their stories.
And I'm disappointed in you, Bob, for using the term "psychopath" in the same way, no matter how much I think you have a point on every other issue you addressed in this video.
Please stop making people like me out to be naturally born bad guys.

Yes. A serious issue, made into yet another excuse to defend the human ego. Even if he does have some mental problems that does not mean he gets to be free of guilt.

I don't think Bob ment to say that only people with mental problems do these things, but context on the internet right?
Anyway I agree. It doesn't take a madman to do mad things. Or more to this subject, people with mental illnesses arn't the only people who can go off and kill at random.

All that said, I understand the attraction to believing only some people can do bad things.

I applaud to this.

Crazy people are crazy. They just say that some things inspire them to maybe give themselves some mercy points

This quote in Durarara makes perfect sense to me: "If they took away manga, then we use books. If they took that away we would use famous plays. We are naturally fucked up"

I believe that we all have a bit of this inside us. But that fact that we can control it is what separates us.

theSteamSupported:
I feel like applauding. Slowly.

We can't move forward as a species unless we take risks.

Ditto.

Breivik not only used MW2 as his scapegoat, in one of his psychotic videos, he used this beautiful track from Age of Conan's soundtrack:

That track made me cry the first time I heard it while playing that game... but anyways, the gorgeous Helene Boksle wouldn't know one of her works would be used by a psycho for his videos (please don't google it).

Just like Bob said, sometimes we feel as if we're at an unfair disadvantage against these people, one would never know what will they use as an excuse for their actions, but you know what?, shit happens, people will still leave their legacy, people will still create whatever they feel like to create, music, games, art, whatever. If it inspires someone, great, if it inspires someone to commit mass murder, well, tough luck.

That's the only thing that distinguishes normal people from these idiots, real people create, these idiots only crave on taking other people's lives for whatever stupid excuse they use.

CAPTCHA: I Love You.

ivc392:
Does any one know what could have prevented the Denver incident? GUN CONTROL!!

PS:oh, the forums suddenly look a lot more "slick". That's nice

Yes a man who bought illegal explosives and whatnot would be completely unable to buy an illegal firearm because of reasons. Don't use tragedies to push your agendas. Its in bad taste and usually comes of poorly.

OT: I liked this a lot. Its very well put together and is actually good at discussing the topic. I wish the general populous would see this video, but unfortunately I don't think it will spread. But what was that sound MovieBob made at the beginning of the video?

Scyla:
On the topic of gun control and killing sprees. In Germany all school shootings happened with legally owned and purchased weapons. And Germany has one of the rigid laws in the world. That said I cannot imagine how much more suffering these shootings would have caused if these culprits had access to automatic weapons like machine guns and/or SMGs. And the people in the theater were lucky that the gun of the killer hat a malfunction because otherwise the body count had been much higher.

So no, stricter gun control will not prevent such tragedies but they can limit the number of victims. Thats what America needs to understand.

Also I'm with Bob on this topic but I'm not sure how much impact violent media has on the psyche of such people but I'm pretty sure that there are other factors that have much more affect. For example these shootings happen mostly in countries with strict rules in the society and not in countries were people can express their feelings freely. So this kind of crime appear mostly in Scandinavia, Germany, the US and Japan. And almost every offender has some kind of social disorder and a dysfunctional social life/family.

If I offended any person with my posting I'm sorry in advance.

I can't help but be a bit taken aback by the hypocrisy here. You say in one breath that stricter regulation or bans on guns would help but in the next breath you say that the various types of media don't play a part.

In essence what you are saying that it's fine to give the things you as a law abiding citizen enjoy, legally without hurting anyone, a pass. However, those things that other law abiding citizens enjoy, legally without hurting anyone, those need further scrutiny and regulation.

Sure you can say if he didn't have the guns he wouldn't have been able to kill as many people but then I could just as easily say if he wasn't inspired to do so by the previous Batman movies maybe he wouldn't have killed anyone at all.

The fact of the matter is we would both be playing a game of "what if" and neither of us know for sure if regulation on either of those things would have matter one single iota. I personally am of the belief that you shouldn't restrict the liberties of the vast vast law abiding majority in a blind attempt to possibly have a small chance of dissuading the next lunatic.

Sick people are going to do sick things. If he didn't have guns he would have had access to bombs or the 30+ homemade grenades they found in his house. You want to ban fertilizer and gasoline next?

Benjamin Franklin once said that those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. This is especially true given the reactions I've seen stemming from the Aurora shootings. If people want to line up to give away their personal rights, liberties, and freedoms in a misguided attempt at safety I say fine let them. However, please leave mine alone I like them just the way they are.

Stop bringing logic in to a stupid conversation... People now days with their "logic" and "intelligence"...

But yes there's always a link if some "bad person" claims it is since they have seen it... And gun control does not solve everything but it is very probable to decrease gun related crime and accidents due to the quite high probability of less guns=less gun related "problems". And yes if you want you can always get guns/drugs/media/food/money/etc...

The day all "violent causing" movies/games/music/media/etc gets banned I would really like to see since that means they would really have to ban some books....

And yet MB didn't touch upon religion & violece....

If violent books were to be banned I hope that the one with the guy that wants you to cut off your hands & gouge out your eye if they commit sins. Or bring those in front of him to be killed that didn't believe who he said he was. I believe it was called "The New Testament". Or in some cases that part of the bible that can't be rationed off as "But that was the Old Testament".

If anything more violence has been done in the name of religion then in Entertainment. But no one usually points at things like The Holocaust, The Jones Town, What was going on in Waco that caused The Waco Siege, or The Oklahoma City Bombing & goes "see what violence religion causes" then gets a major backing for it.

Kid doing something really bad because the child was inspired by Harry Potter is more likely to get shock then "Though shall not suffer a witch to live".

But even then you do still have your crazies like Ted Kaczynski aka The Unabomber who does violence that isn't inspired by religion or entertainment....

-

And yeah I noticed I didn't point out 9/11. But that would go into a whole different rant to why The 2000's & up suck. And would get more attention from christians trying to look like the less evil. Something IDC about since the lesser evil is still evil.

RJ Dalton:
And I'm disappointed in you, Bob, for using the term "psychopath" in the same way, no matter how much I think you have a point on every other issue you addressed in this video.
Please stop making people like me out to be naturally born bad guys.

Normally, as a psychologist and as someone suffering from psychological disorders, I get up in arms when people use terms like "schizophrenic" and "schizoid" and "obsessive-compulsive" wrong. But psychopath is not one we can claim has a definitive, clinical definition and nothing else.

"Psychopath" is merely a combination of two Greek words, "psyche" and "pathos", psyche referring to the mind, and pathos referring to suffering, or disorders in general ("pathology" being a medical term for centuries). All "psychopath" really means is "suffering/disorder of the mind".

The man gunned down a bunch of people in a crowded theater. He had a suffering mind. Regardless of what this man may have been specifically diagnosed with, he was a psychopath both by the classical meaning of the word and by the modern connotation of the word.

And using this term to describe this man has nothing to do with whether or not schizophrenics, obsessive-compulsives, the depressed, or even people who have been diagnosed with psychopathy are likely to commit violent acts, or even whether such conditions are something someone is "born with" or "develops".

Similarly, saying that a suicide victim was "depressed" does not mean that all people with depression are likely to be suicide victims (most suicide victims are depressed; most people with depression are not suicide victims).

Anyway, that psychologists/psychiatrists have taken "psychopath" and tried to fit a specific clinical condition to it is really our own fault, and something equivalent to trying to hold back a hurricane with a 2X4. We should have chosen a different word for that diagnosis.

Bob, you used the correct word.

As much as I think it's important to not make any hasty judgments about what is to blame and call for censorship, I think the opposite is equally important. We can't dismiss every accusation of violent entertainment being harmful with "he was a madman, nothing else matters". I hate this discussion because it's always so polarized, it's always people speaking as if something is 100& certain and entirely black or white, which nothing ever is, especially not when it comes to psychology.

My bottom line is the same as everybody else's, we can't go around censoring everything that could possibly cause anyone to commit violent crimes. But that doesn't mean there isn't an issue, or that the discussion of if/how much violent art/media/entertainment influences us as individuals and as a society can be ignored.

I love you Bob and want to have your babies.

This is the best argument for the case of "Video games are making kids violent" that i have ever seen. I've been playing, (and im sorry but i have to use the quotation marks for this) "violent" games since I was 10. In the 16 years since then i have never used violence against a stranger to the degree that would be described as "violent" and /or "criminal". I should note that i have used violence to defend myself, but thats another matter.

Why might this be you ask?

Because i was raised properly by my parents. They taught me the differnace between right and wrong. Why do i play violent video games? Well its probably because doing somthing like that in real life would get me landed in jail or possibly worse.

Seriously. Blame the parents before you blame the makers of such "violent" media outputs.

Oh and somthing thats been bugging me for a while, here in the UK The Dark Knight Rises is rated 12A, meaning that if you are under 12 you need to be accompanied by an adult over 18, and films classified 12A are not recommended for a child below 12.

Why then during that terrible massace in Colorado was there a baby and a 6 year old inside the theatre? For a film rated PG-13, for which the rules in regard to 12A are fairly similar.

That cant be good parenting...can it?

Shotgun Guy:
However I wouldn't say so much that we like it, perhaps some do. I think we are interested in it, we want to understand why, figure out the reason, when in reality there is very rarely a rational reason.

Perhaps like is the wrong word (though def still the right word for a lot of people) we are interested in it and we are excited by it and we stimulated by it. So while many may not consciously "like" it, i'd say our brains def. like it if that makes sense?

The point you made about people on both sides thinking they're so obviously right that it's not even worth debating might be the best part of the video. I feel like society is starting to act that way towards just about everything lately. We've lost the ability to take opposing opinions seriously, to the point of straight-up dehumanizing people who disagree with us.

tmande2nd:
See this is smart.

People ALWAYS blame something other then other people for what happens.
Its never because someone is a sick minded monster, or that they had bad upbringings, or that society did nothing to stop them.

Its always the easy targets: D and D, Manson, Rock and Roll, Video Games, Movies.
Its far easier to blame something else, rather then just saying some people are monsters.

And, in the case of rape, the victims themselves. It's extremely disturbing how many people's first reaction to news of human suffering is basically "Oh goody, an excuse to ban something I don't like!"

ivc392:
Does any one know what could have prevented the Denver incident? GUN CONTROL!!

Sadly, no, that probably wouldn't have done it either. We're looking at someone who spent a lot of time and effort putting this together. I've heard the argument that, 'well, maybe we could have caught him buying illegal weapons'. This argument shows a basic flaw in the understanding of how individuals buy illegal weapons.

Let me spell it out for you: You buy them one part at a time. None of the gun's parts are illegal in and of themselves even in some countries where guns are illegal. It's when you put the part together that it's a crime. For the ones you can't get (machine gun receivers, for example) it's not hard to convert a semi-auto version to full auto with some basic gunsmithing knowledge.

So, ban guns entirely. (The founding fathers roll over in their graves on cue)

Again, not possible. Too many people know how to make guns. All it takes is a decent machine shop, some of the right metals, and a few hours and you've got an HMG. You can't scan people's brains as they enter the country (yet), so someone with the right knowledge will get through (assuming we execute everyone in the US with that knowledge [a little short of 35k people, btw]), and will offer their services to the highest bidder, which, in this case would be organized crime.

So, sadly, yes, the gun nuts do have a point about 'only criminals would have guns'. It's a case of closing the barn door after the horse has already left.

Violence video games, Slasher movies, guns/blazing anime, I grew up with them. From the demon killing Doom1 to American slaughtering SpecOP- The Line ; From the shocking moments of Biohazard2 to the surreal pulse pounding QTE hallucinations of Dead Space 2; From the Purple Dino gibbing Bio Menace to the head blowing Fallout3; I've seen/play/watched them all...It did NOT turn me in to a brutal psychopath; no, it's actually been helping me steaming off anger ever since JR High school! For a person who takes TONS of shit everyday, I was still able to up hold the title of MR.Nice guy(single), I owe it all to Violence Video games... Knowing all the violence games I've played, I still freak out when a kid nose bleed, or get a paper cut. I still have hours of play sessions each day, as a full time player, BUT in a few hours I am going to teach the kindergarteners Phonics! with picture/poster/drawing as foundation of class! Insane? let those kids be the judge!~

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