Grand Theft Auto IV Didn't Drive an 8 Year-Old to Murder

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The real message here is not enough people go around reminding other people just how despicable the default human being actually is.

If you understand that despicable is the lowest common denominator, then you are suspect of all normative behavior around you.

Therefore if everyone is watching it (self-serving network television) that should be a red flag. That's the cultural shift that needs to take place. And I think is taking place. It's actually a continual thing that goes in cycles, once culture forgets how despicable people become when people get lazy, everyone gets lazy and becomes despicable by default. It's an ~80 year cycle, but with enough public shaming and the memory enhancing technology that is the internet the cycle could in theory be broken.

PS: The same can probably be said for GTA. Never played one of those games in my life and never will. It should probably be a crime to glorify criminality.

Mick P.:
It should probably be a crime to glorify criminality.

Do you really understand the implications of this sentence and the results you can get when followed? It does help, that you put a "probably" in there, though.

nuttshell:

Mick P.:
It should probably be a crime to glorify criminality.

Do you really understand the implications of this sentence and the results you can get when followed? It does help, that you put a "probably" in there, though.

To ease your conscience, what I did not say, is in commercial product, it should probably be a crime. Also what is illegal, and what is criminal, is not necessarily the same. Something can be criminal without being illegal. But if such a concept were enshrined in law, then something would not be criminal, unless it is deemed such. In a democracy you can petition representatives to see that something is not categorized in such a way. For instance Marijuana. Things society would deem criminal would be kidnapping, violent acts against strangers for ill gain, that sort of thing.

And finally, the qualification of "probably" is not nearly so the qualification that is "glorify". But to be clear, GTA definitely is glorification, and I am sure that under such legislation GTA would be illegal, not for possession, but for distribution. In other words, most likely if you wanted to play a game like GTA you wouldn't be able to purchase it on store shelves. Instead you'd have to make it with mods for instance and pass it around from person to person, most likely non-commercially. At any rate, in 20 years all games may be non-commercial, so the distinction might be negligible outside of big budget marketing adventures aimed at gambling on adaptations of already proven media. Still I would be for limiting direct downloads from third parties.

PS: I would be for this legislation in the US if it would mean that 8 of 10 things on TV do not hinge on criminal activity as is currently the case. We live in a criminal world, and our media conveys that message quite clearly. I sometimes wonder which begot which.

EDITED: Also to be clear. I believe games like GTA help people act out their criminal fantasies which would otherwise be acted out in non-virtual venues. However all and all the ever present revelry in criminality must mold the way people pick up on cultural norms and practices. And I am not convinced having 8/10 things on TV being about criminals is sending the message that this is the wrong way to behave. What it reflects is these can only be secret fantasies held by a large cohort of the population.

Mick P.:
But to be clear, GTA definitely is glorification...

I live in Germany, where this point of view is widely held. And another view is also trying to get through like, that entertainment has a more severe impact on human behaviour then, say...wage disparity, social status, education, healthcare, cultural and language barriers. Unfortunately, our society is pretty much apathetic, when it comes to any sort of news or political change, so these news pass and laws pass and nobody cares. I firmly believe, that if entertainment can be accused of anything, it can be accused of making it's audience gradually more uninterested with anything else except itself. That's why over the years, the news in the western media contain more entertainment and have less journalistic value.

In other news, the boy was reported to have been breathing air mere seconds before the incident took place. Psychiatrist Dr McExpert says this is something he has in common with nearly 100% of people involved in shootings. There are also unconfirmed reports that he may have consumed food and/or drink as recently as hours, or even minutes, earlier as well. Research by scientists at NASA has found that removing all air from the vicinity of the Earth could have a huge impact on crime rates.

So it's completely legal there to have a gun in a child's reach? That's pretty much asking for disasters like this to happen, because apparently there are people there that aren't smart enough to safely store their guns unless the law tells them to. Not only was it in his reach, it was also loaded and I doubt it was even on safe mode.

Most kids wouldn't know if it's a toy or a real thing. He probably just played with it, like most other kids would do. The only person at fault here, is the "victim". Playing video games had nothing to do with it. Anyone who actually played violent video games as a kid can tell you the same. The vast majority of us didn't end up murdering someone.

I think that if you keep a gun near a kid, you should at least give him good gun discipline. The problem is that in the US every moron can get his hands on a gun, and a person who doesn't know how to properly use guns can't teach someone else.
When I was a kid, I accidently fired a rifle in my family's apartment. The incident could have been fatal if I wasn't thought never to point a firearm at a person. That's the most basic way to avoid these sorts of accidents. Of course, it was stupid of my father not to teach me how to check for rounds in the rifle, since when I thought it was empty. And he kept his guns into a locked safe, it was very rare for him to leave a rifle laying around. This shows that even a small mistake can be fatal and parents should NEVER leave leave loaded firearms unattended.

I'll have to jump in the bandwagon, so to speak. Excellent article, it didn't run circles around the subjects but met each topic head on with good points.

Indeed, I know I've played GTA since I was a wee lad but it never encouraged me in anyway to go and shoot someone with a real gun, killing in mind. I've played with toy guns and pretended to be shooting my little brother, though it was never anything "serious". I love my brother and he's still very much alive. We've never had a real gun in our household and the first time I ever touched one was a rifle, with which I shot a skeet disc. Under constant supervision by my stepfather and my mother. After I discharged the gun, I would've never ever aimed it at a person. The power behind it was simply so overwhelming that anyone would realize that if it hits flesh, ain't no one going to come out of that looking pretty.

Take the time to teach your kids about these things. If your under-aged child is allowed to play a game such as GTA or Saints Row or the like, explain what's happening. Let your child know of the consequences.

And keep the guns behind locks and unloaded. *nod*

It annoys me that just because they dont understand it grown ups (am I allowed to use that term if I drive?) place a negative stigma on gaming because if gaming gets bashed nothing happens to them. The media seems to be inhabited by almost zero gamers and they are happy to point the finger as long as its not their hobby getting disparaged.

Its just a band wagon these sheep are leaping on. Hoping to feed the ignorant these flawed stories so that they can get recognition for their oh so very current knowledge and wonderful writing prowess. Eventually all these assholes will be dead, then there will be three kinds of people left.

Gamers
Those who have grown up with gaming but do not game themselves
Those who dont care.

Great article! Although we'll probably see a repeat of this situation within a year, it was nice to read an objective piece on the subject.

As insensitive as this sounds:

The gun was a .38 caliber pistol she owned.

The fact that it was her gun makes her eligible for a darwin award.

After all, if you leave a loaded gun in a place where a child can reach it and a child kills you with it, then you're an idiot.

You can say that, because of her age she might have forgotten about it or something like that, but if that's the case, then she probably shouldn't even own a gun as she clearly isn't fit to use it. After all, when someone gets old and is unable to drive anymore, you take their licence off them. Surely that should work for guns as well.

I can't help but wonder: Where did she even store this gun? I mean, this kid was able to get the gun and play around with it and shoot her in the back of the head without her noticing. To me, this shows that it wasn't hidden very well.

Another thing I can't help but wonder: In a country where guns are readily accessible, why are kids not taught about firearm safety from an early age? Either from their parents or at school. A kid being ignorant about this topic shouldn't be an excuse. The solution to this problem is to educate kids from an early age. I know it's grim, but if it stops stuff like this happening, surely it's worth it.

While I've sounded harsh in this post, I do sympathise for the family. I especially sympathise with the kid, for whom this will scar for the rest of his life. But I have absolutely no sympathy for the old woman. As far as I'm concerned, her death was her own fault.

frobalt:

The fact that it was her gun makes her eligible for a darwin award.

Being a grandmother, she's already reproduced and is therefore ineligible for a Darwin award.

In a country where guns are readily accessible, why are kids not taught about firearm safety from an early age? Either from their parents or at school.

This is a good idea and I agree with it.

Having grown up in the rural Mid-West, I was taught bowling, fly fishing, and square dancing. But nothing about firearms and firearm safety. Despite the pervasive popularity of hunting in the region.

I've seen some comments in this discussion about how children aren't even allowed to look at guns. Well, I'm pretty sure we all know about the effectiveness of abstinence only education.

And if the schools can't teach about firearm safety, it should be up to the parents to sit their children down and beat them teach them about the birds and the bees bullets and barrels.

Agayek:
So this article sparked a question for me:

What do you think about the supposition/argument that the game is responsible for the kid thinking the gun was a toy?

The question occurred to me while reading and I couldn't get a sense of what you thought about that, or what kind of counter argument (if any) you would pose to such a thing, and I'm rather curious.

I kind of understand where you are going with that, but I think it was more of a situation where the kid thought it was a toy gun, and less about him thinking real guns are toys. I hope that makes sense.

The violence or depiction of media-objectionable content, or the negative effects of over consumption is just extra fuel the news reports. They're in the business of digging up the faults of others for broadcast.

I'm gonna go ahead and say it, but under the media storms of causation behind gun violence, there is really a cultural tension between the established mainstream and the geek culture (heck even technology) that has historically brought computer games to the height where it stands.

They fostered a form of cultural "independence" from other exploited western mass media, pop, cultural and social traditions. The same way hip hop was looked down upon. It wasn't so much NWA, and Death Row, it was the level cultural empowerment it gave, and you know how 'The MAN' hates any type of competition unless he can puppet it out to make more money.

The problem is "We live in a gun nation" Where ever their is a school shooting, The NRA is right on it's heels to have an NRA Rally and the media is looking into video games or parents or something else to blame cause god forbid anyone mention "Gun Control." You don't need GTA, COD or any video games at this point for a kid to know the basics of " point gun pull trigger" and not know the real life outcome of it all.

The other hard to believe thing is, Kids are smart. You can have the most sheltered 5 year old in the world and give him a water gun or a gun that makes sounds and I'll tell you it won't be more then 15 minutes before they start "shooting things" Toy guns are one of the most popular children's toys.

Lastly, it's easy to believe the kid didn't know what he did. Parents hate teaching their kids about the hard life issues and death is one of them. Most don't explain it or outright lie like telling them pets ran away and so on. Letting a piece of entertainment (games or movies) try to teach them or getting their information from it is just wrong and usually wrong with what they came out with it with.

Also I'm glad someone else mentioned it to, Why aren't schools having a small side class early on about firearm safety? We get taught about drugs, about sex, why not? Something that can keep them from killing themselves or others and ruining their lives in something that wouldn't honestly take more then a school class lesson is more important then ever with school shootings and such.

Thing is there were a lot of schools I think around the 50's or so (I could be wrong on that) that had classes that taught firearm safety.

It's funny how liberals are so quick to blame guns. Thanks to them my country is destroyed, inside out. Of course that's a rant for another time. In relation to guns, they're pretty much the problem. Think gun control works? Look at Chicago. The state with I think the heaviest gun control and some of the most crime there. This is why we need guns, not only that but from tyranny as well which is why the Second Amendment was written.

I'm happy to see intelligence from The Escapist community, compared to IGN and GameSpot, such idiocy on those sites, and from the editors as well. I think I'll like it here :)

Psychobabble:
-snip-

He's EIGHT. I'd say he almost assuredly can't tell the difference between a loaded handgun and a toy except that one is heavier.

As to the rest:

1) There have been countless psychological studies confirming that video games do not directly correlate to violence. And we're talking about an eight-year-old child, anyways, I rather doubt the game deeply affected his psyche.

2) The parents in question bought their child an M-rated video game. The entire purpose of the rating system is to prevent children from gaining access to objectionable material, and the parents circumvented that. That makes it the parents' fault (or granny's, take your pick), period.

3) The child in question was able to gain access to a loaded firearm. Again, that's the parents' fault.

4) Toy guns are a popular male toy, even at that age group. There are a number of squirt guns, toy guns, even cap guns advertised to children of young ages. The child may simply have thought the gun was a toy like the ones from stores. There's no evidence whatsoever to suggest that he's "aping" behavior from the video game beyond your own presumptions.

5) These same presumptions have been made in the past about every other form of major media known to man. Everything from comic books to television to movies to books have, at one point or another, been blamed for violence and crime. The difference is that at least back in the "olden days", people were generally smart enough to blame the parents for giving their kids access to crap that's way beyond their age limit in the first place.

Stop blaming this on the video game and place blame squarely where it belongs: on negligent parents. GTA had nothing to do with this death and should assume zero responsibility in this case. I'm honestly rather tired of people implying that it's somehow the video game's fault. Keeping a gun in an unsafe place should at the very least slap the parents with criminal charges, if not cost them their child. And the fact that they bought their eight-year-old a game clearly rated for adults shows just how much they care about him (not at all), so it's probably for the better if the child is moved into a more responsible and loving home.

Eve Charm:
The problem is "We live in a gun nation" Where ever their is a school shooting, The NRA is right on it's heels to have an NRA Rally and the media is looking into video games or parents or something else to blame cause god forbid anyone mention "Gun Control."

"Gun Control" is nearly the same thing this article was talking about, just in a different wrapping. "Gun Control" is simply "GRM". GRM = DRM. You're a gamer, you know what DRM is, you therefore know what GRM is. Why are you arguing for DRM?

First of all is that "Gun Control"/"Gun Rights Management" doesn't control guns. Aside from fingerprint recognition, or voice recognition, ala 007 Skyfall, or Lost in Space (1998), few other measures of "Gun Control" will actually do any good whatsoever, and would only serve to passify the sheeple/lemmings.

There are already laws requiring individuals to aquire permits to carry (like a drivers license), which require training on how to operate a firearm. There is also a waiting period between the date of purchase, and when the gun can actually be given to the buyer. Perhaps the permits should require re-training every five years, but once somebody has already purchased a firearm and a clip, will they have any need to renew their permits to even relearn about the training requirements?

There are also the black markets, and those who purchase guns for gang members. No amount of control will prevent killers/gangsters/mobsters/drug dealers from arming themselves. This is just more DRM nonsense. The criminals have fewer hassles, more freedom, and the honest customer is punished.

Parents are so irresponsible as to buy children "M" rated games, "R" rated movies, "Parental Advisory" music, and leave loaded guns lying around, loaded and in reach. What types of control methods would actually prevent this level of irresponsibility? When these people are already "honest" citizens, when they always pass background checks, and when they are already willing to jump through hoops to give minors access to restricted merchandise, what good will more hoops actually do?

* I don't want to loose my right to own a firearm, just because there are a few idiots who don't properly obey the rules and secure their weapons.

* I don't want to loose my right to drive, just because there are idiots who don't obey the rules and text and drive, or drink and drive.

* I don't want to loose my right to bear children, just because there are idiots who can't raise mature and responsible adults.

* I don't want to loose my freedoms, just because there are irresponsible "adults" who don't respect the rules. Especially when the bad guys don't loose any freedoms whatsoever.

Gun control is probably to broad of a term but ya you know what? It's a hassle for me to wear a seatbelt but hell I have to do it or risk a ticket. I like that you mention the word idiot, How about an IQ test before giving people things that can kill people or themselves. How about you don't have a place to store your gun or ammo, you don't get one. You don't have a lock box or a cabinet no gun for you till you get one. If you needed the gun fast it'd be a few extra seconds to unlock a box then take it out.

If I have to wear a seatbelt and still have my freedoms, you can keep your guns locked up and unloaded and still have your freedoms and not get anyone killed.

A truly chilling incident with a sickening after-math.

"Welp, we have no other lead than the whole videogames-promotes-violence bandwagon, so let's just go with that."

CriticKitten:

Psychobabble:
-snip-

He's EIGHT. I'd say he almost assuredly can't tell the difference between a loaded handgun and a toy except that one is heavier.

As to the rest:

1) There have been countless psychological studies confirming that video games do not directly correlate to violence. And we're talking about an eight-year-old child, anyways, I rather doubt the game deeply affected his psyche.

2) The parents in question bought their child an M-rated video game. The entire purpose of the rating system is to prevent children from gaining access to objectionable material, and the parents circumvented that. That makes it the parents' fault (or granny's, take your pick), period.

3) The child in question was able to gain access to a loaded firearm. Again, that's the parents' fault.

4) Toy guns are a popular male toy, even at that age group. There are a number of squirt guns, toy guns, even cap guns advertised to children of young ages. The child may simply have thought the gun was a toy like the ones from stores. There's no evidence whatsoever to suggest that he's "aping" behavior from the video game beyond your own presumptions.

5) These same presumptions have been made in the past about every other form of major media known to man. Everything from comic books to television to movies to books have, at one point or another, been blamed for violence and crime. The difference is that at least back in the "olden days", people were generally smart enough to blame the parents for giving their kids access to crap that's way beyond their age limit in the first place.

Stop blaming this on the video game and place blame squarely where it belongs: on negligent parents. GTA had nothing to do with this death and should assume zero responsibility in this case. I'm honestly rather tired of people implying that it's somehow the video game's fault. Keeping a gun in an unsafe place should at the very least slap the parents with criminal charges, if not cost them their child. And the fact that they bought their eight-year-old a game clearly rated for adults shows just how much they care about him (not at all), so it's probably for the better if the child is moved into a more responsible and loving home.

1) There have been countless studies showing the exact opposite as well. Oddly enough they've been universally lambasted as ignorant anti-game propaganda by the games industry and gamers alike. But of course when a study says games aren't at fault those studies are trumpeted from the heavens as the gospel, without one iota of skepticism. Media bias is still media bias regardless of which side of the fence you are on.

2) Please explain to me why if these games cannot in any way provoke violent behavior in children, why a ratings system for these games is necessary at all. And before you say language and other adult themes, such as scenes of a sexual nature, why would they have any aberrant impact on child behavior if violence does not. It seems odd that one aspect can be totally harmless yet others dangerous.

The rest, nothing but strawman arguments to cement your position in the exact same manner as you blame the media for skewing this particular news story. I.E. "Its true because 'I' say it is true, because I so badly wish it to be true."

Eve Charm:
Gun control is probably to broad of a term but ya you know what? It's a hassle for me to wear a seatbelt but hell I have to do it or risk a ticket. If I have to wear a seatbelt and still have my freedoms, you can keep your guns locked up and unloaded and still have your freedoms and not get anyone killed.

An excellent example. Seatbelts save lives, and securing weapons save lives. Though both are a hassle, both should be done.

Eve Charm:
I like that you mention the word idiot, How about an IQ test before giving people things that can kill people or themselves. How about you don't have a place to store your gun or ammo, you don't get one. You don't have a lock box or a cabinet no gun for you till you get one.

Great ideas. I'm sure the NRA would agree with the cabinet/lock box idea.

Eve Charm:
If you needed the gun fast it'd be a few extra seconds to unlock a box then take it out.

There is a problem with your solution here.

Little old ladies, like the one in the article, often have difficulty unlocking those boxes. It would take you, or a child, mere seconds to unlock the box. It could take the grandmother 15 minutes. Then there is the additional time of trying to figure out which way to turn the ammo casing, and how to insert it. Finally there is the near impossible task of cocking the weapon.

These little old ladies may be no taller than a 10 to 14 year old child. So in order to get the weapon out of reach, they have to put it out of their own reach.

These little old ladies want their guns because they are afraid of having thieves break into their homes, or worse. Thieves often target them, because they are easy targets.

The original problem is that the grandmother did not feel safe at home. Yet a gun made her feel safe. The second problem is that the grandmother felt safe allowing a child to run unsupervised in a home with a loaded weapon.

Psychobabble:
2) Please explain to me why if these games cannot in any way provoke violent behavior in children, why a ratings system for these games is necessary at all. And before you say language and other adult themes, such as scenes of a sexual nature, why would they have any aberrant impact on child behavior if violence does not. It seems odd that one aspect can be totally harmless yet others dangerous.

Our ratings systems are designed to solve two problems.

One is that there is material which should not be introduced too early in a child's development. Two is that there are differing opinions on what, and when a child could be introduced to certain material, if at all.

"K-A", and "E" represent the least objectionable material.

"E10+" and "T" represent material that is generally fun, but not everybody agrees that it is appropriate, especially for smaller children who haven't learned self-control, etc.

"M" games are generally considered to have unpleasant material, or display actions parents want their children to avoid, sometimes until they are mature, sometimes avoid it entirely

It is known that children like to emulate others, including characters in games. Young children likely have not developed a strong center, a strong notion of what is right and what it wrong. So there is worry that actions in the game will lead to planting "seeds" of corruption, or would otherwise interfere with the ethics the parents are trying to instill in the child. These are impressionable children, who have not fully developed their own identity, and are therefore susceptible to any "teachings".

Sexual Content is not age appropriate because most young children consider "flirtatious" behavior unsettling. In the "T" category, Teenagers are usually not mentally mature enough, or financially secure enough to raise a baby to be a responsible adult.

When young children play violent games, they may see violence as fun, or as a valid solution. A concern is that they might be more quick to adopt violent solutions as an adult, such as pre-emptive strikes by the military.

Yes, individually, each item can be overcome with a proper upbringing. However if the child is overwhelmed with contrary information, then the child will have trouble even "hearing" his/her parent. So some kind of advisory to minimize objectionable content is necessary. A parent can't teach a child everything within the first four years of life, even after that there are 16 years of education expected.

Agayek:

Robert Rath:
Grand Theft Auto IV Didn't Drive an 8 Year-Old to Murder

This was a tragedy, from start to finish, but the association with GTA was a product of the media - not of reality. Here's what happened.

Read Full Article

So this article sparked a question for me:

What do you think about the supposition/argument that the game is responsible for the kid thinking the gun was a toy?

The question occurred to me while reading and I couldn't get a sense of what you thought about that, or what kind of counter argument (if any) you would pose to such a thing, and I'm rather curious.

Kids considering sticks as swords, and bent sticks as guns is something that is so deeply ingrained in us that no further impetus is required.

Give any 8 year old anywhere a toy gun, and he'll know it goes "pew pew". Thinking that GTA was the first to suggest the notion of toy guns is rather ridiculous, especially in louisiana. Chances are that kid has already seen more real guns handled at 8 than I have at 21.

This is not to say, however, that playing GTA didn't give him the urge to go play with toy guns right then and there - much akin that watching cooking shows on tv might make you hungry.
But if "reminding a kid he can play with toy guns" is a criminal offence, then excuse me while I go and stock up on facepalms.

I'm pretty sure that the first gun-like object I ever held was a pellet rifle, it was my cousin's, and I was given a complete safety talk about it. the first time I held a REAL handgun, I stupidly chambered a round and the thing worried the hell out of me, because I knew that in that state, any number of things could go so horribly wrong. I know it's not a perfect solution, but kids really need to be taught that guns of any kind (BB guns, pellet guns, and real firearms) are very dangerous things, and not to be played with unless you know EXACTLY what you're doing.

The Sheriff's Department's statement has a number of problems, not least that it misspells "PlayStation 3."

Really? Really? You're using THAT as an argument? That they misspellt a word? Are you 9 years old?

Gronk:

The Sheriff's Department's statement has a number of problems, not least that it misspells "PlayStation 3."

Really? Really? You're using THAT as an argument? That they misspellt a word? Are you 9 years old?

At first glance it does appear to be nitpicky.

However, further analysis of this mispelling indicates a lack of knowledge of the subject the officer was speaking on. How can one authoritatively speak on subject, if one doesn't know the first thing about it?

It is possible that I am jumping to conclusions with regards to the officer's understanding of home entertainment, specifically video game systems, but there is little evidence to the contrary. Therefore I state that the issue with this statement is not the misspelling in and of itself, but what the misspelling indicates.

So, while it is a minor issue, the fact that it is evidence of the issue being addressed in this article means it is not the least of the problems.

Also, it is *misspelt*, but that is truly a minor issue.

Monster_user:

Gronk:

The Sheriff's Department's statement has a number of problems, not least that it misspells "PlayStation 3."

Really? Really? You're using THAT as an argument? That they misspellt a word? Are you 9 years old?

At first glance it does appear to be nitpicky.

However, further analysis of this mispelling indicates a lack of knowledge of the subject the officer was speaking on. How can one authoritatively speak on subject, if one doesn't know the first thing about it?

It is possible that I am jumping to conclusions with regards to the officer's understanding of home entertainment, specifically video game systems, but there is little evidence to the contrary. Therefore I state that the issue with this statement is not the misspelling in and of itself, but what the misspelling indicates.

So, while it is a minor issue, the fact that it is evidence of the issue being addressed in this article means it is not the least of the problems.

Also, it is *misspelt*, but that is truly a minor issue.

So you assume that just because someone makes a mistake about a detail, all their other points are worthless? So just because the author made this mistake (in my book) all his other points are crap? I guess I can live with that.

Oh, and about that last part: English is not my first language since I'm from Sweden. But I still bet im better at english than you are at swedish, no? ;)

Gronk:
So you assume that just because someone makes a mistake about a detail, all their other points are worthless? So just because the author made this mistake (in my book) all his other points are crap? I guess I can live with that.

Not simply because of this, no.

If I were to ask you to carry a marble or bead, would you consider that difficult, or minor? Now if I were to ask you to carry two cotton balls in addition to the marble, would you consider that a difficult request to complete? Now if I asked you to carry 1 ton of marbles, and two cotton balls, would a single marble be the least heavy thing you have to carry? No, the marble is not the least, the cotton balls are. A single marble weighs much less than a ton, and is therefore practically weightless. However, added together the marbles add up to more than you can carry.

It is that there is little evidence to support his position, and he brings no evidence to support his position. In fact he focuses not on the actual issue, but a superfluous issue. Not on the disease, but on a symptom of the disease.

That boy sneezed! Quickly put a clothespin on his nose, if we can prevent him from sneezing he won't get sick[er].

Here the "Doctor" focuses on the symptom, not the cause. Like an officer focusing on video games, or guns, and not the actual cause. This is a larger piece of the puzzle, and 1+3+6=10.

Rest assurred, I am not taking any single individual piece of evidence to make a case, I am taking the entirety of the information I have at my disposal. Just because the evidence is circumstantial, and is minor, doesn't mean it is invalid. In that 1+3+6=x metaphor, the higher we can get the sum, the more certain we can be that we came to the correct conclusion.

Gronk:
Oh, and about that last part: English is not my first language since I'm from Sweden. But I still bet im better at english than you are at swedish, no? ;)

You got me there, my Swedish is terrible.

frobalt:
As insensitive as this sounds:

The gun was a .38 caliber pistol she owned.

The fact that it was her gun makes her eligible for a darwin award.

After all, if you leave a loaded gun in a place where a child can reach it and a child kills you with it, then you're an idiot.

You can say that, because of her age she might have forgotten about it or something like that, but if that's the case, then she probably shouldn't even own a gun as she clearly isn't fit to use it. After all, when someone gets old and is unable to drive anymore, you take their licence off them. Surely that should work for guns as well.

I can't help but wonder: Where did she even store this gun? I mean, this kid was able to get the gun and play around with it and shoot her in the back of the head without her noticing. To me, this shows that it wasn't hidden very well.

Another thing I can't help but wonder: In a country where guns are readily accessible, why are kids not taught about firearm safety from an early age? Either from their parents or at school. A kid being ignorant about this topic shouldn't be an excuse. The solution to this problem is to educate kids from an early age. I know it's grim, but if it stops stuff like this happening, surely it's worth it.

While I've sounded harsh in this post, I do sympathise for the family. I especially sympathise with the kid, for whom this will scar for the rest of his life. But I have absolutely no sympathy for the old woman. As far as I'm concerned, her death was her own fault.

I would absolutely /love/ to see a mandatory gun safety course at the elementary school level in every state in the nation. We had a road safety course at that age when I was a kid that used bikes instead of cars,[1] so I see no reason why we shouldn't have a gun safety course using bb guns. Unfortunately there's a major culture war over the gun issue in this country. You could be excused for thinking that the NRA speaks for the nation, but the truth is more that they contribute enough to enough politicians' campaigns that congress won't go against them on anything.

What this boils down to is we have some people who think the NRA is right about everything, but we also have a lot of people who are totally anti-gun, with even more people falling somewhere in the middle. The totally anti-gun people aren't powerful enough to actually get guns banned, but they are powerful enough that the hissy fit they'd pitch if we started teaching gun safety in schools would be of biblical proportions. The same kind of pressure from the other end of the political spectrum is why we have abstinence only education on drugs and sex, which works about as well as it does with guns. Hint about how it works on guns: this article is a pretty common end state.

[1] Which had some absolutely amazing common sense stuff to it that I haven't heard since, like how it's okay to ride on the sidewalk (which is a good idea in this area, since it's mostly rural and the streets are not at all bike safe), but you need to get off your bike and walk any time you're going to cross a street

Owyn_Merrilin:

frobalt:
As insensitive as this sounds:

The gun was a .38 caliber pistol she owned.

The fact that it was her gun makes her eligible for a darwin award.

After all, if you leave a loaded gun in a place where a child can reach it and a child kills you with it, then you're an idiot.

You can say that, because of her age she might have forgotten about it or something like that, but if that's the case, then she probably shouldn't even own a gun as she clearly isn't fit to use it. After all, when someone gets old and is unable to drive anymore, you take their licence off them. Surely that should work for guns as well.

I can't help but wonder: Where did she even store this gun? I mean, this kid was able to get the gun and play around with it and shoot her in the back of the head without her noticing. To me, this shows that it wasn't hidden very well.

Another thing I can't help but wonder: In a country where guns are readily accessible, why are kids not taught about firearm safety from an early age? Either from their parents or at school. A kid being ignorant about this topic shouldn't be an excuse. The solution to this problem is to educate kids from an early age. I know it's grim, but if it stops stuff like this happening, surely it's worth it.

While I've sounded harsh in this post, I do sympathise for the family. I especially sympathise with the kid, for whom this will scar for the rest of his life. But I have absolutely no sympathy for the old woman. As far as I'm concerned, her death was her own fault.

I would absolutely /love/ to see a mandatory gun safety course at the elementary school level in every state in the nation. We had a road safety course at that age when I was a kid that used bikes instead of cars,[1] so I see no reason why we shouldn't have a gun safety course using bb guns. Unfortunately there's a major culture war over the gun issue in this country. You could be excused for thinking that the NRA speaks for the nation, but the truth is more that they contribute enough to enough politicians' campaigns that congress won't go against them on anything.

What this boils down to is we have some people who think the NRA is right about everything, but we also have a lot of people who are totally anti-gun, with even more people falling somewhere in the middle. The totally anti-gun people aren't powerful enough to actually get guns banned, but they are powerful enough that the hissy fit they'd pitch if we started teaching gun safety in schools would be of biblical proportions. The same kind of pressure from the other end of the political spectrum is why we have abstinence only education on drugs and sex, which works about as well as it does with guns. Hint about how it works on guns: this article is a pretty common end state.

People that are against guns would have to realise that gun-safety classes would be teaching kids how to use guns as much as sex ed classes teach them how to have sex. That is to say, of course, that they wouldn't be taught how to use guns at all.

If a gun safety course was done right, kids should learn that playing with guns is not a good idea as you could easily kill someone. This would require teaching kids that death is final, which a lot of parents would probably be against in case it traumatised them or something.

Teaching gun safety is about as close to the middle ground of the debate as you can get.

[1] Which had some absolutely amazing common sense stuff to it that I haven't heard since, like how it's okay to ride on the sidewalk (which is a good idea in this area, since it's mostly rural and the streets are not at all bike safe), but you need to get off your bike and walk any time you're going to cross a street

frobalt:

Owyn_Merrilin:

frobalt:
As insensitive as this sounds:

The fact that it was her gun makes her eligible for a darwin award.

After all, if you leave a loaded gun in a place where a child can reach it and a child kills you with it, then you're an idiot.

You can say that, because of her age she might have forgotten about it or something like that, but if that's the case, then she probably shouldn't even own a gun as she clearly isn't fit to use it. After all, when someone gets old and is unable to drive anymore, you take their licence off them. Surely that should work for guns as well.

I can't help but wonder: Where did she even store this gun? I mean, this kid was able to get the gun and play around with it and shoot her in the back of the head without her noticing. To me, this shows that it wasn't hidden very well.

Another thing I can't help but wonder: In a country where guns are readily accessible, why are kids not taught about firearm safety from an early age? Either from their parents or at school. A kid being ignorant about this topic shouldn't be an excuse. The solution to this problem is to educate kids from an early age. I know it's grim, but if it stops stuff like this happening, surely it's worth it.

While I've sounded harsh in this post, I do sympathise for the family. I especially sympathise with the kid, for whom this will scar for the rest of his life. But I have absolutely no sympathy for the old woman. As far as I'm concerned, her death was her own fault.

I would absolutely /love/ to see a mandatory gun safety course at the elementary school level in every state in the nation. We had a road safety course at that age when I was a kid that used bikes instead of cars,[1] so I see no reason why we shouldn't have a gun safety course using bb guns. Unfortunately there's a major culture war over the gun issue in this country. You could be excused for thinking that the NRA speaks for the nation, but the truth is more that they contribute enough to enough politicians' campaigns that congress won't go against them on anything.

What this boils down to is we have some people who think the NRA is right about everything, but we also have a lot of people who are totally anti-gun, with even more people falling somewhere in the middle. The totally anti-gun people aren't powerful enough to actually get guns banned, but they are powerful enough that the hissy fit they'd pitch if we started teaching gun safety in schools would be of biblical proportions. The same kind of pressure from the other end of the political spectrum is why we have abstinence only education on drugs and sex, which works about as well as it does with guns. Hint about how it works on guns: this article is a pretty common end state.

People that are against guns would have to realise that gun-safety classes would be teaching kids how to use guns as much as sex ed classes teach them how to have sex. That is to say, of course, that they wouldn't be taught how to use guns at all.

If a gun safety course was done right, kids should learn that playing with guns is not a good idea as you could easily kill someone. This would require teaching kids that death is final, which a lot of parents would probably be against in case it traumatised them or something.

Teaching gun safety is about as close to the middle ground of the debate as you can get.

I agree, unfortunately American politics are so polarized at this point that there is no viable way to implement a middle ground. President Obama tried it with a few major pieces of legislation in his first term, and instead of actually compromising with him, the other side took it as a way of getting him to agree to their version of how things should be. Sadly, we've actually gotten /more/ polarized since. It's a total "us vs. them" climate at the moment.

Edit: And actually, proper gun safety classes /would/ teach kids how to use guns, but in the same sense that proper sex ed teaches how to use a condom. It'd have to stress things like trigger safety and which way to point a gun so it doesn't hurt anyone in the case of an accidental discharge, in addition to the more basic aspects of always treating a weapon as if it were loaded and never treating it as a toy.

[1] Which had some absolutely amazing common sense stuff to it that I haven't heard since, like how it's okay to ride on the sidewalk (which is a good idea in this area, since it's mostly rural and the streets are not at all bike safe), but you need to get off your bike and walk any time you're going to cross a street

How does the USA as a whole justify having firearms so easily available? I am Australian and I went to Seattle once when I was much younger but now I know more about your country I don't think I will ever visit it again. The pointless defence of "2nd amendment rights" is murdering your people. Are there many organisations that boycott this kind of thing apart from members of government?

Hey.

Hey.

Here's a thought.

Instead of taking the easy route and blaming the video game for the violence, let's look at the fact that there was a loaded, unsupervised gun just lying around within a child's reach.

Monster_user:

Little old ladies, like the one in the article, often have difficulty unlocking those boxes. It would take you, or a child, mere seconds to unlock the box. It could take the grandmother 15 minutes. Then there is the additional time of trying to figure out which way to turn the ammo casing, and how to insert it. Finally there is the near impossible task of cocking the weapon.

These little old ladies may be no taller than a 10 to 14 year old child. So in order to get the weapon out of reach, they have to put it out of their own reach.

These little old ladies want their guns because they are afraid of having thieves break into their homes, or worse. Thieves often target them, because they are easy targets.

Ok if were going to play the weak and feeble card, guns are heavy, and they have a lot of kick to them to so they probably might break something shooting a gun if they are that weak and feeble. Also keeping a gun loaded and ready to fire, the .38 doesn't have a safety and has more of a chance of random misfiring and killing anyone then the 1 in a million chance grandma is gonna get her gun in time to fend off robbers.

Last there is no prove this little old lady had a gun cause " she feared from getting robbed " She had kids in the house and at least from some articles the neighbors knew them well. She wasn't living in newark.

Wow. That was just... sad. On so many levels.

This, ladies and gents, is why I do not and will never own a gun, as much as I like them.

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