Connecticut Considers Violent Videogame Tax

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Strazdas:

itchcrotch:
They did the same thing wit the Global Warming tax here in Australia. How exactly do they think charging extra tax is going to fix anything?

actually enviromental taxes are not mean to make revenue for goverment, but to highten incentive to create less bad gases. and it works. everywhere where such tax was enacted, the amount of enviromental damaging substances were lowered considerably. this is because its easy to do that, its just that without the tax there is no incentive. what, you expect businessmen to be responsible on thier own? with the western business model of "throw money on it and light a big fire"?

Yes, but they've done it all wrong. It was drafted to target large industries like Australia's coal and mining industry, which puts out a huge majority of our carbon emissions. But it took two seconds of said industries whining about not being able to take on such taxation and remain profitable (lying out of their arses) so the government instead put the tax onto home owners.
So... they're taxing citizen X... so that big company Y will feel pressured to produce less emissions...
I can only assume our government at some point forgot what problem they were trying to fix.

people become violent because other people aggravate the crap out of them
does this look like a brake from the norm? taxing them because they are clearly 'uneducated'
this will solve nothing and serves only to aggravate people more

canadamus_prime:
How about a stupid politician tax? You know where politicians would be taxed for every stupid proposal they make.

that would create an infinite golden age for the country with that taxation.

it would somewhat destroy and unbalance the world market.

uchytjes:
improving systems to correctly identify people that could go on mass-murder sprees.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/708159_2

look at that:

*Includes weapons collections, violent media collections, owning and/or wearing military uniforms and combat fatigues, frequent trips to the gun range, practicing martial arts, constantly talking about weapons/violence, infatuation with Nazi materials, idealizing real or fictional violent characters, grandiose fantasies on war/weapons, violence-themed nick-names

but also lists: Video game-shooting

America is fucked, we're going to lead a new dark-age. For a long while we actually had enough people with sense in government to suppress insane ideas that have no connection to reality; we've lost the battle, I'm sorry to say reality is no longer considered in our government anymore and I apologize to everybody, everywhere who will almost certainly be damaged in the next 100 years because of it.

Connecticut wants to levy a 10% tax on violent video games to fund a program that educates people about a phenomenon we've yet to prove exists.

Violent media does not provoke violent action, we've been performing scientific studies on this for almost 80 years and none of them have both proven correlation and stood up against scientific rigor, it does not exist, there is no correlation according to our decades of research.

I call foul when you want to tax us to educate us on something that 80 years of 'fuckin' research cannot 'fuckin' confirm, not only that, if we can't prove it exists then we also have absolutely no 'fuckin' chance of knowing what kind of education would prevent it!

Books, magazines, comics, toys, music, radio programs, movies, television shows, video games and the internet do not cause people to be violent, humans have always been violent, I see no reason why we would ever stop being violent, that is why our media is violent, it is a reflection of us, we are not a reflection of it.

Okay, this shit needs to stop. The public should try and get a 'Bill against idiocy within government and media' passed.

Something that basically says: "If a representing group or individual of the Media or Government attempts to commit a act of idiocy (Passing absurd laws/bills, using tragedies to further a agenda, or simply making one-sided statements that slander another group and/or individual, ect.), that group and/or individual can be legally required to be removed from their position of influence."

Or something along those lines. Some sort of law/bill that would allow the public to hold a vote to overturn decisions or proposed bills by their officials. So that if a group is focusing on Videogames or what people eat (I'm looking at you PETA), then they can be removed or forced to focus on REAL problems like dealing with poverty and the homeless, economic problems both locally and internationally, and treatment/cures for diseases and illness.

if so i demand a tax on sappy romantic comedies and tween music.

Callate:
"Warning signs of videogame addiction?" Hell, who would come up with the literature enumerating and describing them? What vaguely qualified person in the field of psychoanalysis or addiction treatment would risk their reputation on something so frivolous and chimerical

"Warning signs of videogame addiction", by SnipingN00bs, phD.

The one and only Sign: Obsession with videogames to the point that the obsession interferes with the person's ability to function in society (like by unable to perform a job without talking about videogames).

Now Connecticut, hurry up and pass this bill because it's clear Mrs. Hovey has a severe case of addiction! I suggest a spot in this course and a trepanning, just to be on the safe side, since, you know, we're in the bloody Dark Ages.

OT: This is stupid, she is stupid for suggesting it, and now we're all stupider from hearing it. God, I can't wait for my parent's generation to die off, just so I won't have to hear this idiocy every time a nutjob makes the news.

Andy Chalk:
Money raised by the proposed tax will help fund "education concerning the danger of violent videogames."

I don't really see a problem here. It doesn't take much money to write "There isn't any", so presumably this proposed tax would be so small as to be completely unnoticeable.

...please, just stop. STOP with the stupid laws. STOP with the blatant bias. STOP with the shoddy tests and studies. STOP trying to prove that gaming equals Satan. Because it doesn't. It's just an entertainment medium like any other. What you should be talking about is gun control, the mental health system, the news networks turning killers into anti heroes to get more ratings. Please, I beg of you, have some common sense.

itchcrotch:

Strazdas:

itchcrotch:
They did the same thing wit the Global Warming tax here in Australia. How exactly do they think charging extra tax is going to fix anything?

actually enviromental taxes are not mean to make revenue for goverment, but to highten incentive to create less bad gases. and it works. everywhere where such tax was enacted, the amount of enviromental damaging substances were lowered considerably. this is because its easy to do that, its just that without the tax there is no incentive. what, you expect businessmen to be responsible on thier own? with the western business model of "throw money on it and light a big fire"?

Yes, but they've done it all wrong. It was drafted to target large industries like Australia's coal and mining industry, which puts out a huge majority of our carbon emissions. But it took two seconds of said industries whining about not being able to take on such taxation and remain profitable (lying out of their arses) so the government instead put the tax onto home owners.
So... they're taxing citizen X... so that big company Y will feel pressured to produce less emissions...
I can only assume our government at some point forgot what problem they were trying to fix.

ah, down here in lithuania they did indeed tax the companies as they should. and actually they even "sell" the permits for "x amount of CO2" and the like, so its limited and taxed.

canadamus_prime:
How about a stupid politician tax? You know where politicians would be taxed for every stupid proposal they make.

Sir, I like the way you think.

. . .and really, I have nothing else to say. This is where I start shaking my head and feeling bad for the world. But I guess I was already doing that.

aelreth:
snip

It doesn't really matter which "side" is doing it, whoever is doing it they need to stop it. Because at the end of the day it will be seen as "in America they tried to..." or "In America it's illegal for..."

bananafishtoday:
Clearly unconstitutional, but there's nothing stopping the state from passing this. Legislatures enact unconstitutional laws all the time. They're only invalidated when they're used against someone and that someone brings it in front of the courts.

Isn't it retroactive? So anyone sentenced to prison or due a fine for a crime later considered unconstitutional, such convictions and punishments are quashed? As in effectively the law was NEVER valid.

Straight Dope says it's like an annulment, they were NEVER married, the law was NEVER valid.

Johnson McGee:
I wouldn't worry too much, taxing a specific form of media based on its content is a form of censorship which is therefore unconstitutional. That's one of the main reasons all the previous pushes for this have failed.

What the American government really needs is a monetary penalty, equal to the number of house reps or senators debating the issue times their salary, for people that push private member's bills that are deemed unconstitutional in order to reimburse the taxpayers for all the time the debate wastes. Maybe then the people sworn to represent the highest offices of government would actually take the time to learn how it's supposed to work.

I like this i idea i mean i'm gonna need to see some graphs and pictures that i can show to the people in the house and senate but other than that this plans makes the most sense yet.

rhizhim:

uchytjes:
improving systems to correctly identify people that could go on mass-murder sprees.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/708159_2

look at that:

*Includes weapons collections, violent media collections, owning and/or wearing military uniforms and combat fatigues, frequent trips to the gun range, practising martial arts, constantly talking about weapons/violence, infatuation with Nazi materials, idealizing real or fictional violent characters, grandiose fantasies on war/weapons, violence-themed nick-names

but also lists: Video game-shooting

Obvious room for improvement as a good 40% of the population fits 2/3 of those categories. That ticks almost all categories for anyone who's done any kind of military service.

It's like diagnosis of a cold
-do they have a nose
-do you own a handkerchief
-Do you know what a virus is

2/3 I've got a cold and I've had one all my life.

These aren't any kind of definitive characteristics.

I think this should be handled the same way UK handled the threat of home grown suicide bombers after 7/7 bombing, I think they've been very successful and haven't resorted to anything drastic like banning hydrogen peroxide or anything that could possibly be turned into a bomb. They've been very diplomatic about reaching out to Muslim communities without victimising them or threatening them with group penalties and it seems to have paid off very well.

Number of bullets from a Halo assault rifle found in dead children: zero.
Number of bullets from an actual assault rifle found in dead children: depressingly more than zero.

Just saying.

DioWallachia:
I will let this man lend his wisdom to the poorly and mentaly deficient politicians:

OT: Videogames dont make you kill people. Listening to dead voice actors giving the performance of their lives and then banishing from this sinful Earth, however, makes one go crazy with grief:

That guy makes a lot of sense but to politicians he looks like this:
image

...which doesn't really help the cause.

Treblaine:

bananafishtoday:
Clearly unconstitutional, but there's nothing stopping the state from passing this. Legislatures enact unconstitutional laws all the time. They're only invalidated when they're used against someone and that someone brings it in front of the courts.

Isn't it retroactive? So anyone sentenced to prison or due a fine for a crime later considered unconstitutional, such convictions and punishments are quashed? As in effectively the law was NEVER valid.

Straight Dope says it's like an annulment, they were NEVER married, the law was NEVER valid.

It... depends. Rulings are non-retroactive unless the Court specifically says otherwise. If it's flat-out "X is totally illegal, hey X is actually fine now," yeah, they'd generally make it retroactive. Procedural stuff usually isn't though. The precise standard for determining this is in Teague v. Lane somewhere.

In practice, though, it takes years to move up through the system, SCOTUS doesn't have any obligation to hear any given case, and they really try to avoid making "big" rulings if there's room to make a narrower one. For most people, it makes more sense to take a plea deal or go for an insanity defense or something on most criminal charges. First Amendment stuff is particularly tricky because of chilling effects. The comic book and movie industries both self-censored for decades just because of the threat of legislation. And for some laws, demonstrating legal standing to bring suit can be tricky, if not impossible in some cases. DOMA, for instance. Regardless of whether one thinks the states or the feds should have the final say on marriage equality, it clearly violates full faith and credit. Passed in 1996, literally impossible to challenge until 2003, and it's only now being heard next month.

...sorry, I got off on a bit of a tangent. Anyway, I do think it'd be pretty spectacular if this tax thing actually passed somehow. I can't imagine anything more Kafkaesque than watching Connecticut try to enforce it, then have to reimburse everyone who brought suit after it was overturned.

TheSYLOH:
It is very clear that we need to put a Tax on Air and Oxygen.
Every single mass shooter has consumed Oxygen at some point in their lives.
Oxygen has been shown to allow activity in the areas of the brain associated with aggression and anger.
HOW MANY HAVE TO DIE BEFORE WE REALIZE THIS!?!

I fully agree with you, with out oxygen no violent crimes can ever be committed! It's the perfect solution!

We should create a campaign called nO2

Thanks for the insight. Many Brits are very interested in US laws as there the common man has a way to repeal laws in court. We have no such power, the Parliament has absolute power to make and nullify laws. Unwritten constitution is like an unwritten rulebook, indistinguishable from sheer whim.

bananafishtoday:
The comic book and movie industries both self-censored for decades just because of the threat of legislation.

I remember that, and it had some unusual rules such as certain words with "LI" in them were forbidden, suck as "FLICK" because standard comic font the "LI" could look like a "U" with only a little smudge.

I can only imagine what a reader might think with Spidey being threatened by a goon wielding what is described as a "FUCK KNIFE".

Oh, where it CUNT EASTWOOD when you need him?

Saika Renegade:

Number of bullets from an actual assault rifle

Yay buzzwords... Did we ever get confirmation on an assault rifle being used? Cuz there are so many conflicting reports about the weapon(s).
I think the real problem is the media and the decline of mental healthcare. There used to be mental health wards in hospitals, and now they're gone because of budgetary reasons. Correlation with recent mass shootings? Maybe, maybe not. Who knows? What we do know, however, is that violent media do not cause violence, so it's really sad that these sorts of bills are still being proposed

Treblaine:

aelreth:
snip

It doesn't really matter which "side" is doing it, whoever is doing it they need to stop it. Because at the end of the day it will be seen as "in America they tried to..." or "In America it's illegal for..."

Aye, part of me thinks this is all about how much we let the thugs get away with. That's why people need to draw the line and when they cross it, toss em.

Just out of curiosity, I had my mother, whom is very convinced that video games have a negative effect and can make people violent, look at this topic, and view the videos posted here.

It didn't convince her of anything.

Listen, we know that we're not all going to go commit school shootings after playing Battlefield, or murder prostitutes with a chainsaw after playing GTA, or whatever. You know this, but the people whom are in control, or at least the vast majority of people that are voting, they don't feel this way at all. And I can't really blame them.

You have to admit that seeing people press buttons on their controllers to make pretend people die in increasingly authentic ways absolutely cannot be good for children. Yet hordes of stupid, uneducated parents shovel the latest Killzone or GTA or COD to their kids, because they don't know better. And while the majority of kids can handle this, there are some that can't. Some kids are fucked in the head, some kids don't mature fast enough, especially really young ones.

I have a little brother, he's 5 years younger than me, and he's 12 now. He used to watch a lot of the TV adaptation of Power Rangers. One day he managed to get a plastic sword, and the very first thing he did was try to stab me with it. He's still not allowed near video games because he's very impressionable and imitates everything he sees.

I think you can understand why he's still not allowed to play games with any violence in them. That's not what scares my parents. What scares them is knowing that somewhere out there, several 12-year-olds just like him, who imitate everything they see, go out and buy the goriest, violentest video game around. You don't think that acting it out is an idea that pops up into their heads? This is what scares them, not the other 99% of kids who can play "No Russian" 50 times then go play tag outside without any problems.

And everybody says "It's rated M, they should know better", NO. THEY. FUCKING. DON'T. People immediately assume that all parents are incredibly responsible people and care greatly for their children. THEY. FUCKING. DON'T. What does the M mean on the video game? It seems so obvious, but to many parents, it might as well be Chinese. The Gamestop employees hastily muttering "You are okay with your son/daughter buying this M-rated title?" doesn't help.

Many would argue that a video game, violent or no, wasn't the reason some fuckhead committed the Sandy Hook shooting, or the Colombine shooting, but the reality is that we don't know, and we'll never know. There could be 10 million studies that come out finding no link of violence in fantasy and reality, yet it won't convince anybody on either side.

I agree that taxing violent videogames is bullshit. It's a terrible idea made by out-of-touch people old people, but they're not wrong about putting better controls on videogames. When exactly was the last time you heard what an M-rating on a videogame meant, (Not including the Gamestop employee's hasty mutterings, they mutter it like that because if they didn't, it might deter sales) if you weren't specifically looking for it? At my local mall, in the movie theater, there is a sign up that displays every single movie rating, from G-NC-17, and a description of the content in it. Can you find something like that at your Gamestop? Mine used to have one, on a tiny strip that was covered by Gameinformer magazine, and it gave vague-at-best descriptions of the content. M-rated games have "Crude Humor?" "Animated Blood?" What the fuck does that even mean? It's so vague, and there's no way to know if your child will be okay being exposed to "Animated Blood", because how could you possibly know what it looked like?

Everybody says that "It's rated-M be more responsible" but that's simply not speaking in reality. Parents are people, and people are lazy. The only thing we can do is to better educate people on what ratings mean. Make Gamestop put up large posters giving CLEAR descriptions of the ratings. Make ratings boxes a little bigger. Make ESRB put more in-depth detail about what goes on in the game. Does your "sexual content" and "crude humor" mean that they made a sex reference and a poop joke, or did you show people having hardcore anal for humor? Make those Gamestop employees say "This is an M-rated title" loudly. Even better, force them to learn about the content in most of their M-rated titles. I could go in there and tell 99% of the people there exactly what kind of objectionable content they might find in the game they're buying. The people who are paid to work in the stores should be able to do this as well.

We can't just sit here and do nothing as we're accused of causing all sorts of horrible things, or even worse, mock the people accusing us. They don't take us seriously, because we're coming off as a bunch of assholes who reject the idea that we might be wrong, then make fun of them for doing the same thing. We need to be rational and consider their ideas and why they might have them, and tell them what we're going to change to try to fix these very real issues. If we do that, and only when we do that, will we get the respect we both deserve and desperately need.

the doom cannon:

Saika Renegade:

Number of bullets from an actual assault rifle

Yay buzzwords... Did we ever get confirmation on an assault rifle being used? Cuz there are so many conflicting reports about the weapon(s).
I think the real problem is the media and the decline of mental healthcare. There used to be mental health wards in hospitals, and now they're gone because of budgetary reasons. Correlation with recent mass shootings? Maybe, maybe not. Who knows? What we do know, however, is that violent media do not cause violence, so it's really sad that these sorts of bills are still being proposed

I mean in general in tragedies both in regards to domestic shootings as well as international conflict, rather than specific incidents like Aurora or Sandy Hook. A six year old bleeding out on the ground with a bullet in their stomach is no less depressing or tragic whether it happens in Somalia or the United States. Assault rifles are one of the most efficient and effective weapons for portable volume of fire, after all, given superior ballistics performance and general magazine size relative to most other weapons.

People have used all manner of media for scapegoating the ills of the current generation; usually the problems are far more cultural than entertainment-related, as each generation confronts its failings and usually doesn't like to accept responsibility for their part in it.

Generic4me:

I have a little brother, he's 5 years younger than me, and he's 12 now. He used to watch a lot of the TV adaptation of Power Rangers. One day he managed to get a plastic sword, and the very first thing he did was try to stab me with it. He's still not allowed near video games because he's very impressionable and imitates everything he sees.

I think you can understand why he's still not allowed to play games with any violence in them. That's not what scares my parents. What scares them is knowing that somewhere out there, several 12-year-olds just like him, who imitate everything they see, go out and buy the goriest, violentest video game around. You don't think that acting it out is an idea that pops up into their heads? This is what scares them, not the other 99% of kids who can play "No Russian" 50 times then go play tag outside without any problems.

I'm not a parent but I can't imagine how much you have to pay attention in this day and age as far as keeping your children away from media/games/web-sites etc that can negatively affect them.

I mean even if you successfully cyber patrol or nanny or whatever what they have access to, their friends might be going bananas with something and all they have to do is trot over to the neighbors to get their fix of porn and gory violence at a very young age.

I don't think that video games "cause violence" at an appropriate viewing age so much, but I can see that more impressionable younger people would be more affected as you say.

i wonder, how many times she's played violent video games, used the internet for something else besides news, emails and cat videos and how many times she has interacted with someone who plays these games?

Generic4me:

I have a little brother, he's 5 years younger than me, and he's 12 now. He used to watch a lot of the TV adaptation of Power Rangers. One day he managed to get a plastic sword, and the very first thing he did was try to stab me with it. He's still not allowed near video games because he's very impressionable and imitates everything he sees.

Well the problem there is Power Rangers. Why is that skipped over and video games targeted?

And everybody says "It's rated M, they should know better", NO. THEY. FUCKING. DON'T. People immediately assume that all parents are incredibly responsible people and care greatly for their children.

Sorry, by this logic bleach should be banned because parents are too incompetent to ever stop their toddler getting into the cleaning up chemicals.

It's FAR EASIER to see what games your little kids play, it not like they can take the TV and lock it in a room

Everybody says that "It's rated-M be more responsible" but that's simply not speaking in reality. Parents are people, and people are lazy. The only thing we can do is to better educate people on what ratings mean. Make Gamestop put up large posters giving CLEAR descriptions of the ratings. Make ratings boxes a little bigger. Make ESRB put more in-depth detail about what goes on in the game. Does your "sexual content" and "crude humor" mean that they made a sex reference and a poop joke, or did you show people having hardcore anal for humor? Make those Gamestop employees say "This is an M-rated title" loudly. Even better, force them to learn about the content in most of their M-rated titles. I could go in there and tell 99% of the people there exactly what kind of objectionable content they might find in the game they're buying. The people who are paid to work in the stores should be able to do this as well.

Or their parents can take an interests rather than expect minimum wage workers to give advice that will likely cost sales.

If parents want advice, they are more than welcome to start a thread asking for advice, and we'll tell them very frankly what is in each game.

Why has this not happened? Do they not trust us? We have every incentive because we don't particularly want little brats on out war games, they are generally poor team players, mic-spam and remarkably adept at finding easy and annoying exploits. My parents did a pretty damn good job of stopping me playing violent video games when I was very little, I didn't get any till I was a much older teenager.

It's the old, my parents can do it, why can't yours?

We can't just sit here and do nothing as we're accused of causing all sorts of horrible things, or even worse, mock the people accusing us. They don't take us seriously, because we're coming off as a bunch of assholes who reject the idea that we might be wrong, then make fun of them for doing the same thing. We need to be rational and consider their ideas and why they might have them, and tell them what we're going to change to try to fix these very real issues. If we do that, and only when we do that, will we get the respect we both deserve and desperately need.

What kind of Salem Witch Trial is this where you are attacked for resisting baseless accusations?!?!?!??

We have every right to reject their accusations of wrongdoing when they don't present any coherent evidence. They have no right to have everyone else coddle their assumptions.

So we can't "just sit here and do nothing" yet we're assholes if we "reject the idea that we might be wrong". Is this pretty much demanding a confession. The witch must confess to spare their soul?

"make fun of them for doing the same thing"

It is very important we do this as satire is the most effective remedy against reactionary ideology. Just ask Mel Brooks.

"tell them what we're going to change to try to fix these very real issues."

I refuse to allow video games to take responsibility for people with extremely violent mental disorders when there is no evidence at all that video games contributed to their insane delusions. That is a witch hunt, that wild goose chase, that will cost lives.

"will we get the respect we both deserve and desperately need."

Respect goes both ways. Respecting them after they have denigrated us just makes us stooges to their dominion.

Parent are masters of their household, if they want to ban all video games in their house and forbid their child playing any in school or visiting another house, that is their power.

That supreme power does not extend beyond to to other people's houses and businesses.

You mention your mother, why has she not started a thread (or you started on on her behalf) on these forums asking for advice about violent video games? This idea from gamestop, is like expecting a barber to advise customers that come in they don't need a haircut. No, that's not how businesses work.

We are ready and willing to help... what we will not to is play into play the role of faux contrition to satisfy their assumptions.

Saika Renegade:

I mean in general in tragedies both in regards to domestic shootings as well as international conflict, rather than specific incidents like Aurora or Sandy Hook. A six year old bleeding out on the ground with a bullet in their stomach is no less depressing or tragic whether it happens in Somalia or the United States. Assault rifles are one of the most efficient and effective weapons for portable volume of fire, after all, given superior ballistics performance and general magazine size relative to most other weapons.

People have used all manner of media for scapegoating the ills of the current generation; usually the problems are far more cultural than entertainment-related, as each generation confronts its failings and usually doesn't like to accept responsibility for their part in it.

There isn't a mass-murder culture in America. What you do have is a population of over 300 million, that means if there is a One in 100 million chance of someone having severe psychiatric or neurotic disorder that totally inverts their morals then it's likely to happen. For those captured alive and quizzed they certainly don't have anything approaching a rational explanation for what they did. In the UK with a much smaller population we thought the problem was solved. Till Derrick Bird went on his killing spree killing 12, followed shortly by Raul Moat on the run after taking pot-shots at unarmed police officers. He didn't have particularly effective weapons, it's just his victims had no defence.

See the idea is put in their head now, this is how they will shock people. If culture is responsible at all it is responsible for not completely covering up these crimes so that it doesn't give more lunatic killers any ideas.

People are going to set their minds on mass murder, you can't get inside the head of EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL of HUNDREDS of millions of people.

These people simply need to be physically stopped from committing these crimes. In the 1980's and 90's have made some suggestions but just do a google image search for "Gun Free Zones" there is no cherry picking to be done on what people think of that if they've thought about it at all.

Treblaine:

Saika Renegade:

I mean in general in tragedies both in regards to domestic shootings as well as international conflict, rather than specific incidents like Aurora or Sandy Hook. A six year old bleeding out on the ground with a bullet in their stomach is no less depressing or tragic whether it happens in Somalia or the United States. Assault rifles are one of the most efficient and effective weapons for portable volume of fire, after all, given superior ballistics performance and general magazine size relative to most other weapons.

People have used all manner of media for scapegoating the ills of the current generation; usually the problems are far more cultural than entertainment-related, as each generation confronts its failings and usually doesn't like to accept responsibility for their part in it.

There isn't a mass-murder culture in America. What you do have is a population of over 300 million, that means if there is a One in 100 million chance of someone having severe psychiatric or neurotic disorder that totally inverts their morals then it's likely to happen. For those captured alive and quizzed they certainly don't have anything approaching a rational explanation for what they did. In the UK with a much smaller population we thought the problem was solved. Till Derrick Bird went on his killing spree killing 12, followed shortly by Raul Moat on the run after taking pot-shots at unarmed police officers. He didn't have particularly effective weapons, it's just his victims had no defence.

See the idea is put in their head now, this is how they will shock people. If culture is responsible at all it is responsible for not completely covering up these crimes so that it doesn't give more lunatic killers any ideas.

People are going to set their minds on mass murder, you can't get inside the head of EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL of HUNDREDS of millions of people.

These people simply need to be physically stopped from committing these crimes. In the 1980's and 90's have made some suggestions but just do a google image search for "Gun Free Zones" there is no cherry picking to be done on what people think of that if they've thought about it at all.

I'm not quite sure where you got the notion that I'm suggesting that the US has a mass murder culture; to suggest such a thing seems ludicrous. What I am saying now, though, is that the problem with our culture is probably a combination of encouraging aggressiveness, individual selfishness and lack of empathy, scorn of weakness in any form, treatment of the notion of compromise as a profanity, demonization of those who don't agree with one's self, and people being very accepting of violence or the death of another person as the quick/easy/right answer.

The recent shooting at the Lonestar college campus in Texas springs to mind. An individual was upset that another man just bumped into him on one of the campus sidewalks--nothing that hasn't happened in a high school hallway millions of times--and an argument over something broke out. Possibly the lack of an 'excuse me.' He then decided that the best solution was to draw a gun and try and fail to murder a man and injure two innocent bystanders. His actions were blatantly reckless. It's no mass shooting, but it is depressingly common, and I believe it illustrates just one of our cultural problems, where too many people come to believe murder is the best solution, and in the present, a citizen has many efficient methods to commit such an act.

Saika Renegade:

I'm not quite sure where you got the notion that I'm suggesting that the US has a mass murder culture; to suggest such a thing seems ludicrous. What I am saying now, though, is that the problem with our culture is probably a combination of encouraging aggressiveness, individual selfishness and lack of empathy, scorn of weakness in any form, treatment of the notion of compromise as a profanity, demonization of those who don't agree with one's self, and people being very accepting of violence or the death of another person as the quick/easy/right answer.

The recent shooting at the Lonestar college campus in Texas springs to mind. An individual was upset that another man just bumped into him on one of the campus sidewalks--nothing that hasn't happened in a high school hallway millions of times--and an argument over something broke out. Possibly the lack of an 'excuse me.' He then decided that the best solution was to draw a gun and try and fail to murder a man and injure two innocent bystanders. His actions were blatantly reckless. It's no mass shooting, but it is depressingly common, and I believe it illustrates just one of our cultural problems, where too many people come to believe murder is the best solution, and in the present, a citizen has many efficient methods to commit such an act.

"encouraging aggressiveness, individual selfishness and lack of empathy, scorn of weakness in any form, treatment of the notion of compromise as a profanity, demonization of those who don't agree with one's self, and people being very accepting of violence or the death of another person as the quick/easy/right answer."

I think it's more a case of today, people are more sensitive to people doing those things.

Don't compare to the idealised Disney past and I Love Lucy reruns. There has been a long road of injustices and hard attitudes that have had to soften, all that is seen today are attitudes not as softened as many would like.

An individual was upset that another man just bumped into him on one of the campus sidewalks... He then decided that the best solution was to draw a gun and try and fail to murder a man and injure two innocent bystanders.

Nope. He's insane and/or has pathologically dysfunctional anger problems.

No sane person responds to such a slight infraction of not apologising for an accidental bump with murder. There is nothing rational about the proportionality of that response, and it certainly isn't in any way self serving. Any rational mind could figure out that gunning innocent people down is sure to end up dead or incarcerated forever.

believe murder is the best solution

I don't think such a deranged mind has the capacity to think of what is a best solution. They are just acting irrationally and out of any sort of control, what makes them feel good now. And afterwards, they usually blow their own brains out. This cannot be called in any way rational.

I believe it illustrates just one of our cultural problems

No. Nothing of US culture encourages or supports nor romanticises people who murder people over personal trivial slights. They are the MOST hated. Any cause they may have killed for is automatically denigrated by association.

Problems with a culture is what is done one a widespread level. These killers are an extreme minority that pop up randomly throughout the population. A cultural problem would be something like the racist lunching of black people in Certain parts of the United States, where whole communities took part in or sanctioned such actions.

in the present, a citizen has many efficient methods to commit such an act.

You know why there are so many shootings in "Gun Free Zones"? Same reason they don't happen at gun shows.

Gun owners know how this goes, they get disarmed and the psychos don't. The Columbine killers obtained their guns off the same black market that exist in almost every country for gangsters and criminals.

Treblaine:

"encouraging aggressiveness, individual selfishness and lack of empathy, scorn of weakness in any form, treatment of the notion of compromise as a profanity, demonization of those who don't agree with one's self, and people being very accepting of violence or the death of another person as the quick/easy/right answer."

I think it's more a case of today, people are more sensitive to people doing those things.

Don't compare to the idealised Disney past and I Love Lucy reruns. There has been a long road of injustices and hard attitudes that have had to soften, all that is seen today are attitudes not as softened as many would like.

Considering that I've been one who has constantly pointed out to others that the 50s was in fact a time of significant cultural turmoil beneath its cheery whitebread facade, I'm not even close to idealizing the past, particularly considering how much of it also involved a history of relatives avoiding getting murdered.

I don't think it's a matter of simple sensitivity: I do find it interesting that to date, a list of rampage killers and workplace killers have the United States taking home the prize by number of incidents, coming second only to China in school related incidents. Even selecting for salience (1980s onward), rampage murderers with definite perpetrators show the United States still weighs heavily in the statistics. Something must be happening, culturally or mechanically, to produce these sorts of results.

(Related lists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers:_Americas, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers:_School_massacres, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers:_Workplace_killings, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_familicides_in_the_United_States)

Treblaine:
Nope. He's insane and/or has pathologically dysfunctional anger problems.

No sane person responds to such a slight infraction of not apologising for an accidental bump with murder. There is nothing rational about the proportionality of that response, and it certainly isn't in any way self serving. Any rational mind could figure out that gunning innocent people down is sure to end up dead or incarcerated forever.

That's hardly a fair assessment given that more than a few people have been declared mentally competent to stand trial; besides, your standards of sane are simply that, yours. I reserve judgment until a proper psychologist has had a chance to make an assessment, especially considering the existence of functional sociopathy. Consider gang culture, where rank and position are defended with violence on a regular level, and where the death of those who are seen to oppose you in even a token way is encouraged. This is why, for instance, people have been murdered for innocently wearing the wrong color shirt in the wrong part of town. These gang members -know- what they are doing by electing to pick up a gun and pull the trigger, or any other method of murder. I would dare say it is entirely self-serving because it serves their ego, especially given that capture, incarceration, or death is probably not a priority on their mind--another cultural concern I shamefully forgot to mention, the growing belief that consequences can be avoided.

(Relevant unresolved gang murder story: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/06/extended-family-grapples-with-killing-of-1-year-old-boy-in-watts.html )

Treblaine:
I don't think such a deranged mind has the capacity to think of what is a best solution. They are just acting irrationally and out of any sort of control, what makes them feel good now. And afterwards, they usually blow their own brains out. This cannot be called in any way rational.

I agree that it isn't rational except in the most dire of circumstances (usually one of those fight or flight issues), but I would hardly say that it's a constant state of derangement or lack of conscious control. More like selfish, perhaps, but hardly constant mental dysfunction. Furthermore, the resultant suicide appears to me to be a measure of spite--by ending their own lives immediately, they usually end up denying any form of formal justice or functional repercussions. It's still selfish by my assessment because they think about what they want at the moment, and at that point I believe they're seeking again to avoid consequences.

Treblaine:
No. Nothing of US culture encourages or supports nor romanticises people who murder people over personal trivial slights. They are the MOST hated. Any cause they may have killed for is automatically denigrated by association.

Problems with a culture is what is done one a widespread level. These killers are an extreme minority that pop up randomly throughout the population. A cultural problem would be something like the racist lunching of black people in Certain parts of the United States, where whole communities took part in or sanctioned such actions.

I never claimed that the culture romanticizes trivial killers. I claimed that its violent nature encourages people to do this for a plethora of societal, psychological, and physical reasons. These spree kills, school shootings, and workplace rampages are notably not confined to any location the way Southern lynching was. I can name incidents from Ohio, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Alabama, Missouri, Iowa... this is clearly a national problem, and I maintain that as we have a problem given the upswing over time of violence, in accordance with cultural differences over the same period of time.

Treblaine:
You know why there are so many shootings in "Gun Free Zones"? Same reason they don't happen at gun shows.

Gun owners know how this goes, they get disarmed and the psychos don't. The Columbine killers obtained their guns off the same black market that exist in almost every country for gangsters and criminals.

In the former case, disregard for the law and plentiful targets of high opportunity at low relative risk. In the latter case, because by definition most people, even criminals, are aware that armed individuals will be there, and the volume of traded fire is not likely to be in their favor. I don't disagree that criminals will find weapons in any form or fashion, but don't forget to consider that weapons thus used can also be stolen in spite of protective measures otherwise (approx 10%, small but not a trivial percentage). Straw purchases and corrupt commercial dealers still top that list. A fair volume of illegally sold weaponry comes from officially sanctioned sources. Ease of access is usually not a concern for a person who wants to access a firearm because they can do so through 'legal' dealers in some form of illegal fashion. There is quite the thriving black market all right, but quite a number of those with their hands in the market are federally licensed all the same.

Incidentally, Harris and Klebold acquired their long arms through straw purchases through a female friend of Klebold and the TEC9 through a legal gun show sale (though the salesman violated the law by not keeping records of the purchase). Interestingly, they could have acquired the weapons legally without the use of straw purchases because of the rules in place regarding private vendors. Closing these loopholes and prosecuting the corrupt dealers could go make some headway towards at least making it less easy for criminals to access weapons.

(Relevant gun access links: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/guns/procon/guns.html, http://extras.denverpost.com/news/shot0801.htm )

Finally, I would agree with you that mental health issues must be addressed; people suffering from severe mental issues need treatment and help, and some guidance and limitations wouldn't be out of the question. I also wouldn't endorse ease of access for a self-harmer or a sociopath for a multitude of reasons.

Mental health is very much a concern, but far from the paramount or only one in this sad tale.

I think the reason politicians blame violent video games for real violence is NOT that they don't see the artistic benefits of violence in context. After all, they've all presumably seen at least one movie since the Production Code ended. What they really get out of this is an outside figure to blame for their own failures. They either couldn't or wouldn't fix the real causes of this sort of crime, and they feel guilty once it happens again. So they look for a scapegoat to justify their lack of action to themselves. Say, that reminds me of a certain violent video game I played recently...

image

Johnson McGee:
I wouldn't worry too much, taxing a specific form of media based on its content is a form of censorship which is therefore unconstitutional. That's one of the main reasons all the previous pushes for this have failed.

What the American government really needs is a monetary penalty, equal to the number of house reps or senators debating the issue times their salary, for people that push private member's bills that are deemed unconstitutional in order to reimburse the taxpayers for all the time the debate wastes. Maybe then the people sworn to represent the highest offices of government would actually take the time to learn how it's supposed to work.

That is actually a brilliant idea, which I would be entirely for.

OT: While unsurprising, this is ridiculous. They are wasting time and taxpayer money for a law that, if passed, would be deemed unconstitutional, likely as a form of censorship.

Oh well, I think the Supreme Court thing would rule the bill unconstitutional anyway. So not too much worries for me.

Well, all this will do is kill the M rated game market.

Games that are M today will simply drop down to T. ESRB is a self-policing entity, which is designed to warn parents about what to expect from a game. Studios decide to put a given game as M rated for more marketing than anything else... does realistic-action-adventure-game really need a lesbian shower scene with boobs? No, but it's something to distinguish yourself from competitors.

If this bill passes, all it means is studio will keep that stuff out so they can keep their T rating. T rated games can still have blood, violence, and sex. Just less explicitly/over-the-top.

so..buy buying a violent game in that state you are supporting people to say... violent games are bad?

LOGIC!

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