The Big Picture: On The Subject Of Violence

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XDravond:

Xanthious:

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.

Your fertilizer/gas comparing does not really translate very well since they have some very "peaceful" main purposes but guns have only two "almost peaceful" purposes... (recreation and "pest control")

And if you want to live by Benjamin Franklin's words I truly hope you don't live in a country since you already given up freedom by then....
You get a driver license to be allowed to drive a car(you give up liberty of driving to be safe that you are somewhat safer on the road),
you go to work to get money to be allowed to get food (you give up the liberty to do anything to be safe to get fed),
you (if you live in any half modern country) are under some surveillance so you wont do anything that breaks the law by that you given up privacy and liberty for security....

But gun control is more likely just a part in the solution to start with, best is education and/or banging some sense in to people.
You don't need a guns, you need intelligent people whom understand that since you don't have a gun they don't either....

But why am I arguing it probably wont change anyones mind and "Don't argue whit idiots, they drag you down to their level and beat you whit experience.".... =D

The main problem with the whole, "you don't need a gun, you need intelligent people who understand that since you don't have a gun they don't [need to have a gun] either" is that America has an incredibly massive problem with gangs and a huge border through which illegal guns can pour into the country. In other words, gun control can keep guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, but it can't really do anything about the criminals, who are the ones you're worried about in the first place.

That being said, there are several things you and other gun-control advocates fail to take into account, which I think are worth elaborating just in case anyone feels like reading a massive wall of text:

1) The American government was founded on libertarian principles.

The primary concern of the founding fathers, as can be seen in our systems of checks and balances, was to prevent the government from falling into autocratic tyranny. Our laws are designed first and foremost to protect the liberties of individual citizens from being infringed upon by the government. There is virtually nothing in our constitution about the role of the government being to maximize the safety of society or to promote the greatest good.

While there is no reason why the role of government cannot change over time, we should hardly change its role lightly. Every new law, by its very nature, constitutes a restriction on personal liberty. Obviously we find some liberties more important than others, so each time we make a law we need to measure the security/good gained versus the liberty lost.

2) Our system of laws have evolved around punishment, not prevention.

The prevention of crimes is essentially a secondary pursuit, and is only permissible when it does not infringe on personal liberty. In other words, when a person has broken the social contract by committing a crime, that person has forfeited his/her liberties and will be imprisoned. It is far more difficult to justify violating a person's liberties before they've committed a crime.

3) The right to defend one's self is an extremely important personal liberty.

There is no possible way that our government could support the principle that citizens need to give up their right to defend themselves and rely upon the government. The existence of a police force does not negate an individual citizen's right to defend him/herself.

4) The restriction of the means to exercise a right is tantamount to a violation of that right.

As supreme court case after supreme court case has proven, the government cannot get around the first amendment through censorship. You cannot ban someone's book from being sold without violating their freedom of speech. You cannot tell a person, "oh you can say whatever you want, but if you start making pamphlets, or try to publish a book, or try to by a spot on television, we'll arrest you." That really isn't any different from telling someone that they have the right to defend themselves against an armed intruder, but only if they use their fists.

There are, of course, laws regulating people's ability to express themselves. You aren't allowed to plagiarize or slander people any more than you are allowed to shoot people. There should be general laws regulating how firearms are purchased and used, just as there should be laws about publication and personal liability. But that is very different from banning guns or books completely.

5) While gun control advocates are currently focused upon stricter regulations, many of them hold the latter as their long term goal.

This does not mean that we should dismiss regulations altogether. The slippery slope is only made slippery by the complacency of the public will. However, the gun-control supporters who advocate banning many firearms altogether are a detriment to their own cause, and unfortunately their voices are often louder than the reasonable, as is so often the case.

6) Cases like this and Columbine are the exception to the rule.

Gun violence in America is almost entirely associated with gang violence, and the majority of the guns they use are obtained illegally.

From the National Institute of Justice's website ( http://www.nij.gov/nij/topics/crime/gun-violence/aquired.htm ):

National Institute of Justice:
NIJ's earliest firearms studies uncovered who owns legal and illegal guns and how illegal gun trafficking is tied to juvenile gun violence and other crimes such as drug dealing and gang crime. Highlights of these studies:

Many juveniles and young adults can easily obtain illegal guns; most claim to carry them for self-defense.

A study of persons arrested for a wide range of crimes showed that a higher percentage of arrestees than regular citizens own firearms. Arrestees are also more likely to be injured or killed by gun violence. Within a community, this amounts to an identifiable group of "career" offenders.

Surveys of offenders have found that they prefer newer, high-quality guns and may steal or borrow them; most, however, acquire guns "off the street" through the illicit gun market.

If you think the gun violence in America is all taking place in the suburbs, you've completely lost touch with reality. What's more is that these gangs get virtually all of their guns from the same cartels who supply them their drugs. Believe it or not, AK-47s have become common place in the worst neighborhoods, though they are not often used.

7) Gun control that merely focuses on regulating the legal sale of firearms won't be nearly enough to stop the predominant majority of gun violence.

To really stop the problem one would have to:

7.1) Close down and fortify the border.

As stated above, the gang-bangers get their guns the same place they get their drugs, from the cartels.

7.2) There are too many guns already on the streets.

To gather these up we would have to significantly reduce civil liberties and establish a temporary police state in certain neighborhoods so that the police can raid and thoroughly search these neighborhoods for guns without the need of warrants.

7.3) As these two points suggest, the problem of illegal guns is pretty much inseparable from the problem of illegal drugs.

The gangs compete for turf to sell the drugs, and thus need the guns, the guns are where the drugs are. One cannot really eliminate the guns without eliminating the gangs. Thus the gangs would probably have many shoot-outs with police. In some neighborhoods it would be full-on urban warfare. It might even require the use of the national guard against the civilian populace.

Winning the war on illegal guns would require the exact same things as winning the war on drugs. This is an upsetting truth that many liberals who dislike the war on drugs don't want to hear. (And no, I'm not an arch-conservative. I actually favor the legalization of marijuana, though I don't touch the stuff personally. Once again, I'm just pointing out an inconsistency.)

7.4) Obviously this would require a lot more effort than people are willing to put into the problem.

In fact, it would probably be viewed as racist by those on the left, for just as the war on drugs has caused the imprisonment of many black and Latino Americans, so would the crackdown on illegal firearms.

8) However, there is also a sort of racism on the part of the gun control movement itself.

Not because it is concerned with preventing predominantly white, middle class Americans from purchasing firearms, but because it only seems concerned with the gun violence in America when it affects white middle-class suburbia.

image

While the DOJ tries to avoid including race in its data, I can certainly tell you that the 17-year-olds in the statistics above aren't young white teenagers.

Many more young black and Latino men die every day from the use of illegal guns. Their deaths dwarf things like the Aurora shooting. But the gun control advocates don't seem to be concerned with the fact that waiting periods and other regulations don't have much of an impact on these deaths, which are largely due to illegal guns.

Gun control advocates only seem to be concerned with statistically rare events. They try to pass laws further limiting how we can legally purchase guns even though the majority of gun deaths are gang related. Rather than facing the true epidemic plaguing the underprivileged portions of our society they only seem concerned with preventing the deaths of middle class white people at the hands of the occasional madman.

9) Gun ownership doesn't necessarily have a direct correlation to gun deaths:

Wikipedia:
Switzerland has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world, with somewhere between 1.2 to 3 million guns in the private residences of its approximately 8 million citizens. In 2006 there were 34 recorded murders or attempted murders with a gun, representing a firearm homicide rate of 1 per 250,000. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Switzerland#cite_note-Small_Arms_Survey_2007-0)

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States#Homicides

The reason why America's statistics are so high is because of all of the illegal guns, and the gang violence. The reason why Switzerland's statistics are so low is because it is a wealth nation with very little poverty. Poverty creates crime, not guns. The vast majority of the gun deaths in America are committed with illegal guns as part of gang/drug related activities.

10) While it is true that guns do not have a peaceful purpose like fertilizer, the Oklahoma City Bombing killed 168 people.

Way more than Columbine and this nut-job combined. Bombs are a LOT more destructive than guns. And we do regulate these chemicals more since the OKC bombing. However, we don't ban their use. We monitor who buys them.

11) It is the monitoring and not the banning of gun sales that helps catch these people before they commit their heinous acts.

As I've said elsewhere, banning guns outright will just cause people to get them on the black market, but requiring licenses, more thorough background checks, and more comprehensive monitoring systems will allow us to spot the crazies before they can carry out their plans.

12) One cannot argue against hardline anti-terrorism policies like the Patriot Act while arguing for gun control without being hypocritical.

Like it or not, it's things like the Patriot Act that help prevent terrorism. But it's kind of funny how gun-control advocates, who tend to be liberals, often abhor the Patriot Act, even though both gun control and the Patriot Act are supported by the same "common sense" arguments: trading a little liberty for more security. Having some supercomputer search my text messages for key words doesn't affect me nearly as much as being told that I can't buy certain items.

So the government can take away my most efficient means of defending myself or rising up in the case of tyranny, but an automated program searching through my electronic correspondence is big brother coming to get me? Well how can I fight big brother when he's taken all of my guns?

Is having somewhat intrusive security at an airport really so much worse a violation of liberty than preventing people from buying firearms?

Is habeas corpus really so sacrosanct that it must be applied to incredibly dangerous enemies of the state who aren't even citizens, but the 2nd Amendment can be cut down as much as we want to prevent some loon from shooting up a public place every five years or so?

[I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I don't think gun control is part of some plan for world domination. Nor do I think the fact that we allow the NSA to monitor us means that I'll eventually be arrested by secret police. I'm pointing out an inconsistency.]

But isn't blood lust and violent tendencies inherent in human nature?
I mean why are violent video games very popular?
I find the majority of spree killings boils down to 2 main things, Ideology and being rejected by society and their peers. Violent media may make one more violent or desensitize someone to violence but it isn't (at least in my opinion) what causes one to do it.

Good argument Bob.

I think the people who just want to ban and censor things because they think it will fix societies problems are naively delusional about the true chaotic unpredictable nature of us human beings. It's quite sad and frustrating that these people seem to always be the ones in power or with a voice that can be heard by many.

The human mind is a complex infinitely unique thing across all people and far too many seem to think their is a means to control, alter and otherwise "manufacture" ideal perfect societies in which no bad happens anywhere ever and censorship is but a tiny aspect of them exercising their ability to try to create that perceived idealized world. I utterly despise anyone who thinks that control and restraint are in any way a means to shifting the balance of the world in to happy, innocent, no-one ever gets hurt time 24/7.

Fucking reality is reality because we never have nor ever will have that level of control. You could ban every single form of media or art for all time and people will still find a reason for doing horrible things. Their is no good without evil, their is no perfection without flaw. The universe is and always will be about balance and we are no more immune to this than anything else.

You cant blame any influence on the actions of a psychopath. Being a psychopath is like being gay, they are born that way. There is no influence, or lack of influence, that can turn someone into a mass murdering psychopath. They either are one, are they aren't.

Good one, but the discussion has been on gun control, not censorship.

Philosophical angle of un-falsifiability - check.
Classical view of self-preservation - check.
A sound argument - check.
Calling out on the media for their constant influx of bullshit - check.
Bob will you marry me?

First time I have agreed with a liberal in a while well done

I don't think we need to have a conversation about media effects. For the reasons Bob stated, it is a moot point. We should be talking about our mental health system, or lack there of.

deth2munkies:
Pretty much what I've been saying all along. You can have some asshole start picking off hunters in the woods claiming he's avenging Bambi's mom, but that doesn't mean Bambi should be banned.

Psychopaths will look for anything to inspire them, and they'll find inspiration no matter what anyone else does. Banning certain forms of media means they'll just look elsewhere until we've effectively banned everything.

Right and before movies and video games you had other sources for "inspiration"; Terry Jone's _Crusades_ brings up how already violent thugs called knight were given a new direction (for largely political reasons) to "kill for God" in the Holy Land. By the loopy logic being presented we should ban the Bible; pointing this out shuts down the would be censors faster then anything else.

The best counter is the Colosseum where for a period of over four centuries (c80 - c520 CE) where violent entertainment was the rule. The Romans didn't go nuts and kill each other after an event though if the event didn't happened as planned...you had a problem.

Once again I find myself blown away by your videos. You are right on every point you made during your videos sir. I am a big fan and I thank you for making this. I honestly feel tears in my eyes right now.

I'm kinda shocked by all the comments here. Didn't we prove that violent art causes unstable but otherwise benign people to become violent? Remember when we built that time machine? We grabbed that guy from the late 1800's, what was his name, oh yeah Jimmy Rice! We showed him that FMV game The Ripper and that movie Ripper: Letters From Hell. Then we sent him back with a laser scalpel and laughed hysterically as history rewrote itself to include his killing spree.

We didn't do that? Then I have no idea who Jack the Ripper was. Or what motivated him to do the things he did.

Bob makes an excellent argument her, one that can easily applied to the issue of gun control. Do violent criminals use guns to kill people? Yes they do. Is it likely you are going to get shot by a violent criminal in your lifetime: no its not.

Just because criminals use guns, doesnt mean we should get rid of them. We should not make rash emotional decisions just because some wackjob decides he's going to kill someone. Where there is a will, there is a way, and guns are just the most commonly used tool of destruction in our era.

Well spoken Bob, though I don't agree with everything you said there.
However, the bigger problem is that when you publish something like this on the Escapist, it doesn't reach the right audience. Most (if not all) of those who visit the Escapist are people who already have a strong opinion about the subject. What you said will be more suited when speaking with those who don't have such a decisive opinion in the matter, or those who have the opposite opinion we find here in the site.
I do agree this needs to be discussed, but it needs to be in a less niche forum.

Thanks for that, I'm more than annoyed when people say that something had no influence on a crime. Yes, I understand that even owning up to it allows the "protect the children " people t say they're right but that's not the point. When people own up to it, censorship falls flat on the point that a madman will be influenced by anything and putting a strain on the innocent doesn't help.

thats why i dont bother watching the news or read the newspaper because they just make me angry by reading the BS they write at times. were every sane person knows thats not the case.

germany is the best example.
every time there was a violent outburst or a shooting that was done by a child, they blamed games and movies, instead asking the questions how he got the gun in the first place or why he did it. no, they just say it was games and movies. the end.
germany has the toughest censoring law in the world. you hardly will find a movie or a game that is uncut.
you want to buy the 1982 version of "the thing"??? good luck, you cant find it in any shops besides some smaller once that have it under the counter. the same as with the evil dead franchise. other movies are just cut and only some of them you can get the uncut version.
want to buy the original version of HL1??? cant get it. you only get the german version that is heavily cut down. the soldiers have been replaced with robots and no blood what so ever.

these idiots, these youth protection service, seriously think they protect children from any violent behavior. and the politicians support them and believe them.

I'm sure someone in the prior five pages said it... but this quote from "Scream" comes to mind.

"Movies don't make killers. Movies just make killers more creative."

Metalrocks:
thats why i dont bother watching the news or read the newspaper because they just make me angry by reading the BS they write at times. were every sane person knows thats not the case.

germany is the best example.
every time there was a violent outburst or a shooting that was done by a child, they blamed games and movies, instead asking the questions how he got the gun in the first place or why he did it. no, they just say it was games and movies. the end.
germany has the toughest censoring law in the world. you hardly will find a movie or a game that is uncut.
you want to buy the 1982 version of "the thing"??? good luck, you cant find it in any shops besides some smaller once that have it under the counter. the same as with the evil dead franchise. other movies are just cut and only some of them you can get the uncut version.
want to buy the original version of HL1??? cant get it. you only get the german version that is heavily cut down. the soldiers have been replaced with robots and no blood what so ever.

these idiots, these youth protection service, seriously think they protect children from any violent behavior. and the politicians support them and believe them.

Leave Germany alone, it takes them a lot of effort to repress their impulse for world domination. They have to get their children while they're young so they can scrub the will to power out of their cerebral cortices.

Oh man, censoring entertainment/media based on how likely they are to cause violent behavior (and how much they've done so in the past) sounds like a brilliant idea!

Let's start with the most egregious offenders: every fucking religious text ever written. The bible? The Koran? The Torah? That Bhagavad Gita? Dianetics? Every single one of them has been used to justify atrocities enacted upon people. Until those things get censored en mass I have no sympathy for any argument about removing any and all violent content from video games and movies.

In all seriousness though, don't censor religious texts or anything else just because it gives people 'bad ideas'. The fact that people have tried to justify atrocities using religious texts or video games or movies just means those people are retarded. It has no bearing on the texts they 'refer' to.

I haven't read ANY of the comments, so I don't know if anyone has touched on what I'm about to say. And yet, I feel the need to comment on this in a way that (at the very least) has not been commented on by the media at large. So... Here's the Medusa in the room:

Perhaps (again... this is just a theory. I have ABSOLUTELY NO statistical backing for this) perhaps these killings, along with SO many in recent history* are more about the rebellion against what so many view as the traditional being than the influence of violence apon them.

I don't usually do this, but let's go to the stars:
*Doom/violent games - columbine.
*Similarly, Dark knight rises/violence in media (general) - recent shootings.

I will admit WHOLEHEARTEDLY that I can't associate/disassociate any link made by these connections. BUT, maybe, just MAYBE, exposing the young in our society to it...

You know what - SCREW IT!!!

Here is the simple, yet difficult, fact: WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF THIS KIND OF VIOLENCE. Humanity is, by nature violent. Deal with it. If you deny it, then you're only limiting your chance of preventing it within yourself. Whether you want to believe it or not, YOU COULD DO THIS TOO!!! You could become this kind of killing, remorseless creature yourself. The reason you haven't - You chose not to.

Ugh.... Sorry for the rambling. I really hope at least ONE of you understands this and is willing to take the initiative to change yourself for the better. But, maybe I'm wrong.

Just as Bob alluded, it's those who treat films and games as a "lower" form of art who call loudest for their censorship, because it is they who've least to lose. Movies are just entertainment and games a mindless distraction, so they can live without them. Except the level of violence in so-called fine art is often more extreme than that found in most modern mainstream culture. The imagery of Hieronymus Bosch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Judgment_(Bosch_triptych)) is pretty distressing at times. Some would argue that such art doesn't put the (virtual) tools of violence in the hands of the observer in the way that games do. But the passivity - the lack of interaction - in such art brings its own problems: like Manhunter's/Red Dragon's Francis Dolarhyde transfixed by the work of William Blake, we are free to stare at the Bosch until it dominates us, until we are awed and unable to respond, unable to reclaim control. The painting is a singular work emerging from the dark recesses of the artist's mind - which sounds not a million miles from the self-aggrandisement of a broken brain seeking expression with a bag of guns.

Movies, meanwhile, may show us horrors, but their narrative structures mean such horrors are part of a greater whole. For example, redemption and sorrow on the part of the perpetrator; grief and vengeance on the part of the victims. The Joker's chaos is foiled by the essential good will of humanity, and so he becomes a footnote (hence his exclusion from Rises, I might add!).

Bob is correct in pointing out that we cannot predict what will inspire the next gun rampage. Even if we were to remove all cultural artefacts from the face of the world, it's not as if the psychotic would fail to find inspiration - there is, after all, always religion to fill that gap.

Bravo, bravo! Well said, moviebob!

Damn right, Bob. Damn right.

I feel like I'm not smart enough to be talking about this. But I've always thought that casual cruelty was just a feature of the world, along with casual kindness. Some people just have more of either in them.

But even though I largely agree with you Bob, I work with children. They're increasingly looking up to darker anti-heroes... just look at Twilight. Blood sucking monsters are now seen as teenage girl bait, without any of the malice of their previous incarnations. In peoples bid to build more 'gritty' and 'realistic' role models, we're losing some of the white knights that balance them out.

All I can say is that I'm glad the Avengers worked. Captain America may be boring to some people, but I've always like the fact he was, at heart, jut a nice guy, trying to do his best. Need some more of that doing good for the sake of doing good, to balance out the Jokers of the world.

This horrible event might have taken place...but look at how many 24 year old males go to the movies and nothing bad happens. I have gone to the movies between 50-100 times over the course of my life and nothing bad has ever happened to me besides seeing the Blair Witch project heh. Things like what happened in Colorado are really quite rare. The notion we should strive to change anything as a direct result one of lone person's actions is madness. In my mind we really did let him win if we gave his actions that much weight. I'd rather celebrate that our collective society strives to function as intented than let the Dark Nut Rising get me down.

The fact is everything in our houses can be turned into a weapon. Every sword can be made into a plowshare and vice versa. With enough intelligence and imagination there's nothing on the planet that can save you from someone wanting to make you dead if they want it to happen bad enough. There's not enough laws that you can pass to stop death. Laws don't magically make all illegal objects disappear like some sort of enchantment as they only exist when there's someone there to uphold them. If someone is willing kill other people which is illegal...what's breaking one more law to achieve said crime? They already don't care enough to let the first things stop them....tacking on a few more offenses isn't going bring anyone back to life.

Bottomline most people kind of like the world as it is enough to not want to burn everything to the ground and want to live more than they want to try to end another person's live. People want to live and prosper more often than not. If we continue to create amazing things and not regulate ourselves into stagnation then may be people will have enough reason to stick around and create things to add to this wonderful interactive game we call life. Inspiring a better life is our greatest weapon against tragedy. People have things to lose are least likely to throw it all away. So I choose to make the world as awesome as I can. Living well will always be the best revenge.

I'd rather live in a world where the periodic bad days happen but we are allowed to truly live for as long as we're here than live in a world where regulation keeps us from having a life worth while that we might as well be dead since I wouldn't call what we're doing living.

GamemasterAnthony:
Bravo, Bob. Well spoken and to the point.

I wonder if we could show this Big Picture to everyone who wants to censor the arts? It might (hopefully) get people to stop rushing into decisions on censorship based off an emotional backlash.

Flatfrog:
Great piece, Bob.

And of course there's one more obvious argument: if there are two books that can claim to have inspired more nutcases to commit atrocities than any others, they are the Bible and the Quran. If we're going to go about banning things because they 'might' give homicidal lunatics bad ideas, we'd be pretty much duty bound to start there.

I had to edit this post after reading this. I think it might actually be interesting to bring up this point whenver we see some religious group acting like idiots...like the WBC or One Million Moms for example. (Okay, granted OMM isn't a religious group, but the way they've been acting, you almost have to wonder...)

The Bible is a history book. If you think banning all the books recording our history - such as WWII books detailing all of Hitler's actions - will solve the issue, then be my guest. But don't lump it in with all the articles of modern media that are likely to inspire a homicidal lunatic to action, because history books and works of art are two entirely separate matters.

ReiverCorrupter:

2) Our system of laws have evolved around punishment, not prevention.

The prevention of crimes is essentially a secondary pursuit, and is only permissible when it does not infringe on personal liberty. In other words, when a person has broken the social contract by committing a crime, that person has forfeited his/her liberties and will be imprisoned. It is far more difficult to justify violating a person's liberties before they've committed a crime.

Is anyone else thinking about how prevention laws worked out for them in Minority Report?


That said, however, I have previously made the comment that in this particular scenario (the Colorado killings), there would have been much higher casualties if other members of the audience had guns on their person. As they surely would have returned fire, a chaotic multiway crossfire would have quickly escalated to mass carnage.

Hands down one of the most amazing, compelling, and heroically intelligent arguments I have EVER heard. Reactionary sensors and policy makers should give ear to this amazing summation of the simple truth of our society and culture.

Well Bob, I don't agree with you here.
When you call games and movies "art", surely you're not thinking of the 99% of crap out there. Very few titles are made for the sake of art, most are made for money. Cheap violence sells, but most of the violent titles have a... "crappy" feel to them. They're so far from the real normal world that even a deranged person would not become inspired by them. So yeah, banning or controlling violence in such movies would be pointless and stupid. I'd rather ban the soft porn in the TV series which I find more disturbing and dangerous. The fact that we can have a movie like Shutter Island, the Prestige and Inception (just off the top of my mind) without tits, but Game of Thrones feels the need to get full nudity in the first episode, just because tits sell more easily than swords, is sickening.

Well, out of the thousands of corporate releases, out of the "lets put as much blood as we can because we need to sell 5 million copies, or we go bust", we sometimes get things like the "No Russian" level. Or "The Dark Knight". These are art, these titles actually say something. They have a lot of weight in our current times. Yes it's amazing, yes they're an art form, more Grosse Fuge than Fur Elise, but still. Wow. If banning and censoring would lead to the extinction of such moments it would be a sad day for us all.

But here's where I don't agree with you. The Message! Yes, they speak to us. But what do they actually say? How would a normal guy interpret that message, how would a deranged loner interpret it? You call it art, but remember that a LOT of people, young and old get 90% of their education from movies and games. Sad. The Media can be blamed on a lot of things (unjustly most of the times) mainly because it's something we are all exposed to. So when something goes wrong in this world, the Media is the first suspect. A hardcore satanic music band might make a few teens slashing their wrists because it's cool, some off-the-counter Jap horror movie or rape game might inspire a serial killer, but these are not mainstream. Mainstream media is shaped by our society, but our society is also influenced by mainstream media. I'm sorry Bob, but movie and game producers really need to think twice about what messages they want to transmit. They have the power to literally bend our feeble minds and it's high time they decided what kind of world they want to share and what kind of world they want to live in. And what, do you think I'm talking about the Joker? Ben Stiller jokes anyone? American Pie, anyone? How many BAD movies do you have to review? How many BAD movies which sell more than good ones and continue to be made? In the sea of 99% crap, that 1% of art transcends and gathers strength. If all movies were great, their impact would lessen. Is it such a wonder then that a deranged but intelligent teen was inspired by The Joker? You know, the "first ever cool BAD guy"? And do I need to quote him? Fine!

"Don't talk like one of them...You're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve."
- The Joker

Oh yeah, nobody saw THAT coming...

External censorship is not the way. But producers must censor themselves.

brazuca:

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

Nowway has gun control, that did not prevented their tragedy.

Brazil has gun control, we have violence running loose 24/7... See a sick minded freak wants to kill someone, he can buy the gun at the store, if you have gun control, he'll buy the same gun, cheaper, without the serial number, in the black market, like most criminals do. Just check at what them psychos do when they want to blow stuff up: they find a way to make their own bomb.

Extragorey:

GamemasterAnthony:
Bravo, Bob. Well spoken and to the point.

I wonder if we could show this Big Picture to everyone who wants to censor the arts? It might (hopefully) get people to stop rushing into decisions on censorship based off an emotional backlash.

Flatfrog:
Great piece, Bob.

And of course there's one more obvious argument: if there are two books that can claim to have inspired more nutcases to commit atrocities than any others, they are the Bible and the Quran. If we're going to go about banning things because they 'might' give homicidal lunatics bad ideas, we'd be pretty much duty bound to start there.

I had to edit this post after reading this. I think it might actually be interesting to bring up this point whenver we see some religious group acting like idiots...like the WBC or One Million Moms for example. (Okay, granted OMM isn't a religious group, but the way they've been acting, you almost have to wonder...)

The Bible is a history book. If you think banning all the books recording our history - such as WWII books detailing all of Hitler's actions - will solve the issue, then be my guest. But don't lump it in with all the articles of modern media that are likely to inspire a homicidal lunatic to action, because history books and works of art are two entirely separate matters.

Yeah, but the point Flatfrog was trying to make was that it's ludicrous to ban anything just because of what MIGHT happen, and the same argument can be made for records of...wait just a phrack!

*breaks out a bullhorn* ATTENTION EXTRAGOREY! A RELIGIOUS TOME IS NOT A HISTORICAL DOCUMENT! IT IS A WORK BASED ON THE RELIGION'S BELIEF OF WHAT HAPPENED IN THE WORLD AS A MEANS OF GIVING LIFE LESSONS, NOT AN ACCURATE ACCOUNT OF WHAT ACTUALLY TOOK PLACE!

Oy...I hate when people do that.

Anyways, what he was saying is that it's just as ludicrous to apply the same "logic" to religious tomes and historical documents as well. True, one could make the argument what with the existance of Al-Qaida (sp?) and Neo-Nazis, but you can't seriously expect anyone to believe that the writer of the tome or document expected this to happen. If this point was brought up to certain religious groups and historians, they would agree.

bdcjacko:

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

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.

The law in the city he was at, Aurora, is a bad joke. Drugs, weapons, prostitution, all being sold shamelessly on the streets. There's an average of 3 car accidents every day because no one knows the meaning of respect... It really is a terrible place.

If you're from more civilized parts of Colorado, such as Denver, just a walk down the street will disgust you. Example: just driving from one intersection to another, I saw 2 acts of public urination, a group of obvious meth-heads shooting up at a bus stop, and a guy who looked like something out of Fallout(patched clothing + shotgun on his back). And when we got to the intersection, there was a car crash.

In short, Aurora sucks. While I am shocked by this tragic shooting, I'm not shocked that it happened in Aurora. 6th highest crime rate in America + Colorado's history of rampages = another tragedy.

Milanezi:

brazuca:

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

Nowway has gun control, that did not prevented their tragedy.

Brazil has gun control, we have violence running loose 24/7... See a sick minded freak wants to kill someone, he can buy the gun at the store, if you have gun control, he'll buy the same gun, cheaper, without the serial number, in the black market, like most criminals do. Just check at what them psychos do when they want to blow stuff up: they find a way to make their own bomb.

karamazovnew:
Well Bob, I don't agree with you here.
When you call games and movies "art", surely you're not thinking of the 99% of crap out there. Very few titles are made for the sake of art, most are made for money. Cheap violence sells, but most of the violent titles have a... "crappy" feel to them. They're so far from the real normal world that even a deranged person would not become inspired by them. So yeah, banning or controlling violence in such movies would be pointless and stupid. I'd rather ban the soft porn in the TV series which I find more disturbing and dangerous. The fact that we can have a movie like Shutter Island, the Prestige and Inception (just off the top of my mind) without tits, but Game of Thrones feels the need to get full nudity in the first episode, just because tits sell more easily than swords, is sickening.

Well, out of the thousands of corporate releases, out of the "lets put as much blood as we can because we need to sell 5 million copies, or we go bust", we sometimes get things like the "No Russian" level. Or "The Dark Knight". These are art, these titles actually say something. They have a lot of weight in our current times. Yes it's amazing, yes they're an art form, more Grosse Fuge than Fur Elise, but still. Wow. If banning and censoring would lead to the extinction of such moments it would be a sad day for us all.

But here's where I don't agree with you. The Message! Yes, they speak to us. But what do they actually say? How would a normal guy interpret that message, how would a deranged loner interpret it? You call it art, but remember that a LOT of people, young and old get 90% of their education from movies and games. Sad. The Media can be blamed on a lot of things (unjustly most of the times) mainly because it's something we are all exposed to. So when something goes wrong in this world, the Media is the first suspect. A hardcore satanic music band might make a few teens slashing their wrists because it's cool, some off-the-counter Jap horror movie or rape game might inspire a serial killer, but these are not mainstream. Mainstream media is shaped by our society, but our society is also influenced by mainstream media. I'm sorry Bob, but movie and game producers really need to think twice about what messages they want to transmit. They have the power to literally bend our feeble minds and it's high time they decided what kind of world they want to share and what kind of world they want to live in. And what, do you think I'm talking about the Joker? Ben Stiller jokes anyone? American Pie, anyone? How many BAD movies do you have to review? How many BAD movies which sell more than good ones and continue to be made? In the sea of 99% crap, that 1% of art transcends and gathers strength. If all movies were great, their impact would lessen. Is it such a wonder then that a deranged but intelligent teen was inspired by The Joker? You know, the "first ever cool BAD guy"? And do I need to quote him? Fine!

"Don't talk like one of them...You're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve."
- The Joker

Oh yeah, nobody saw THAT coming...

External censorship is not the way. But producers must censor themselves.

What Nolan did with his Joker was wonderful, and proof of why they should NOT censor themselves: the joker touches the morality as presented by Immanuel Kant, that is, if you wish to do something unlawful, but restrain yourself due to the simple fact that, well, it IS unlawful, then you're not a moral person, and you're not better than the person who acted on his will. Morality would reside on he who acts within the moral boundaries that society has set both in the "world of ideas" and the "natural world", that is to say, you act within the law because that's your true wish. The Joker believes that, only he throws caution to the wind by implying "since I'm immoral (or in his case, we might even consider the term "amoral") anyway, there's no reason for me to restrain myself", The Joker is truly free, he doesn't hold back on any of his impulses and wishes, he acts upon them immediately, with no regard AT ALL, for any values set by society, in that freedom he becomes unpredictable, a danger to everyone, even himself. Now, most of the audience has never heard of Immanuel Kant or at least read his work with due attention, philosophy is highly overlooked in modern days, Nolan did a wonderful thing by getting the "core" of one of Kant's main theses and building it into a pop culture character, one that's an easy grip for the crowd; no complicated theories, no complex words and phrases, just the actions of a famous comic book villain and there you have it: one of the most important philosophical theories of all times, its message, has been delivered to anyone who saw an ACTION movie. So basically, no censorship, demented humans are everywhere, and they don't really care who they'll "incarnate" in order to strike.

ReiverCorrupter:
*snip* due to wall of text

I'm sorry (or not ;-) but I'm gonna quote myself
"But gun control is more likely just a part in the solution to start with, best is education and/or banging some sense in to people.
You don't need a guns, you need intelligent people whom understand that since you don't have a gun they don't either....

But why am I arguing it probably wont change anyones mind and "Don't argue with idiots, they drag you down to their level and beat you whit experience.".... =D"

....
Gun control isn't the perfect solution to gun related murders, but why does guns have to be?
If no one has a gun, including the gangs etc, who (in the whole world) would kill you with a gun?
And yes guns are effective against government tyranny, but how much would you bet that the "uprising" wouldn't just lead to anarchy instead? and is that not more or less the same thing?
People need to learn to talk more to solve problems and also listen more.

I'm not saying ban all guns, but how many times have any uprising solved the "problems" without having the army on your side?
And how many times have guns been used to protection vs assault (vs related accidents)

But guns isn't the main problem it's the attitude of a few that endangers the rest that somehow needs to be changed, Switzerland is one quite good example of this they somehow have the same or less gun problems. So I would go over and check what's so different. If it's the gangs or other crime related people then thats what you need to focus on how to solve the current polices is quite obvious not working since people in USA feels so unsafe that they need guns.
I don't live in USA and I don't think I need a gun to defend myself against neither the government nor the people because I believe I'm safe enough.
And if it's the poverty that's the problem help us "anti gun nuts" find a good solution to that "problem" and how is having a gun solving it?

Last question:
When was the last time you visited a place where you had to use a seatbelt whilst in a moving car?....
(giving up the freedom for safety again...) ;)

Hope I clarified my views a bit ie gun control isn't the best solution but USA has way to much crime (compared to a modern "western" country) to be perfect and guns is a part so until someone manages to find a way to make people not doing any crime it's perhaps a good start.
And I'm not saying you're wrong I just need a better solution (to the feeling unsafe problem) before I change my mind.
I do also know that most people are not murdering maniacs even in USA but why give the few such an easy time...
"Live long and prosper" =D
(and sorry for the wall of personal opinion and fact-less text) ;-)

ReiverCorrupter:
[quote="XDravond" post="6.383698.15191132"][quote="Xanthious" post="6.383698.15190979"] Epic snip]

This. This is well documented, logical, and intelligent. I applaud you, good sir.

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