In An Astonishing Coincidence, This Breaking Story Appears to Validate Everything I Believe

The very day of the Virginia Tech massacre, with hardly any hard news in hand, the anti-game crusader Jack Thompson was already trying to hitch his cause to the story. Fox News gives him a platform here. Brian Crecente debunks his claims here.

Eight years ago, I wrote a column that was basically a compilation of dubious, opportunistic explanations for the Columbine killings. I'm starting to get the feeling that I could write a virtually identical roundup about the more recent murders.

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  • norbizness||

    Jack Thompson won't be bitching about video games when my extensive training on Robotron 2048 (one joystick for moving, one for continuous firing) liberates us from our robot overlords.

  • ||

    norbizness,

    You defy the Throwin' Samoan, yet you fail to notice the problem inherent in Robotron. No matter how many robots you kill, they keep on coming.

    Jesse,

    I agree. I feel ill when I hear people using these events for political (or other) gain. It's not so bad when someone privately comments that such and such should've been done, but it's another thing to try to ride the event out to your profit.

  • ||

    jesse: you may be interested to read the jacob sullum column elsewhere on this fine site.

  • ||

    Great article from 99! I wasn't a Reason reader then, so yeah, thanks. Referencing that article - and consequently me getting to reading it - is possibly the only good thing to have come from the coverage of Columbine II. When will it end?…Who am I?

    Anyway, and BTW Jack Shafer, as usual, has a good piece in Slate on a similar thread.

  • Seitz||

    Travis G. over at Sadly, No!

  • Seitz||

    Oops, tag problems. I'll try again.

    Travis G. over at Sadly, No! beat you to it.

  • ||

    I'm waiting for Ron Paul to explain how this tragedy is related to America going off the gold standard.

  • Pat||

    Jack Thompson, Brady Campaign. After a tragedy, there's always someone wanting to storm in and vanquish our rights in exchange for guaranteeing our safety. Why are there so few of us who understand that the trade off never works out as promised? We're better off preserving our rights and taking personal responsibility for our safety.

  • ||

    If this Thompson fella is correct shouldn't we be seeing a lot more of this sort of thing?

    Btw, I'm going to watch Fight Club and Seven tonight, you might not want to be in the greater Boston area tomorrow.

    ;)

  • ||

    No hard news? How about Gonzalez's upcoming testimony about the US Attorneys thing?

    Another 80 dead in Iraq.

    Something's brewing in Nigeria

    I'm guessing you were being sarcastic, Jesse.

    Anyway, I turned on CNN this morning, and it's still all VATech, all the time. My first thought was "I wonder what else is going on in the world."

    As always, I don't blame the media. I blame consumers who demand titillation and drivel.

  • ||

    Why are there so few of us who understand that the trade off never works out as promised? We're better off preserving our rights and taking personal responsibility for our safety.

    Hey, this idea seems to be working well in Baghdad! How awesome it must be to not have to rely on the government to keep you safe.

  • Jesse Walker||

    No hard news? How about Gonzalez's upcoming testimony about the US Attorneys thing?

    I meant that not much hard data was available yet about what had happened in Virginia Tech. And that this didn't stop Thompson from riding his personal hobbyhorse.

  • ||

    Eight years ago, I wrote a column that was basically a compilation of dubious, opportunistic explanations for the Columbine killings. I'm starting to get the feeling that I could write a virtually identical roundup about the more recent murders.

    Yes, and you could include Jacob Sullum's column today about gun laws.

  • ||

    In a perfect world, Thompson would be meet his end in a tile rage incident at a Scrabble tournament.

  • Jim Henley||

    Has anyone written an op-ed yet suggesting that Cho was suffering from the pressure of the "model minority" syndrome afflicting Asian-Americans? Because that seems to be the only ax unground so far.

  • ||

    "Anyway, I turned on CNN this morning, and it's still all VATech, all the time"

    ...only 27,914 more VT students to interview

  • ||

    Jesse Walker- Ah, sorry. I misread you. I do stand by my assertion that it's time to devote something less than nearly all of the available airtime to talk about this. Many outlets are very quickly crossing the line between coverage and exploitation.

  • ||

    On looking again, it appears that not only did I misread Jesse Walker, I did so in a very stupid way. Apologies.

  • ||

    Jim Henley,

    32 dead. Record body count for a mass shooting, and with only two pistols.

    Sounds like an overacheiver to me.

    Two lazy white boys in Colorado teamed up, one with a shotgun, and theh couldn't achieve half of that.

    They're always taking the top spots in Hell.

  • thoreau||

    I'm waiting for Ron Paul to explain how this tragedy is related to America going off the gold standard.

    Well, let's see...

    Blame this on the culture of college campuses.

    But the culture of college campuses is a symptom of the way that they are run.

    They are run that way in large part because of the way they are financed.

    The system of college loans of course reflects something in our banking system.

    Which is the direct product of going off the gold standard.

    There you go!

  • ||

    I'm playing The Godfather game on our Xbox 360, and let me tell you, the body count is tremendous. But I only kill the people the Corelones' tell me need killing.

    You know, I just had a thought. Why isn't there a Highlander game? It's perfect for video gaming. Heck, it would be a great multi-player experience, though, of course, there can be only one.

  • ||

    Thoreau,

    Well played, sir.

    New challenge: how is the gold standard related to Kevin Bacon?

  • thoreau||

    Well, let's see here: There was that Die Hard movie where they stole a bunch of gold from the federal reserve bank. Bruce Willis was in it. And surely Bruce Willis must have been in a movie with Kevin Bacon at some point. Or at least he was in a movie with somebody who performed with Kevin Bacon.

  • ||

    Jim Henley,

    Reading Cho Seung-hui's two 8-page plays, posted online yesterday, will disabuse anyone of any notion that he was an overachiever or representative of any kind of "model minority," unless you want to claim he is "the exception that proves the rule."

  • ||

    "Several students and professors described Cho as a sullen loner. Authorities said he left a rambling note raging against women and rich kids."

    Loner-Obviously it's a lack of bowling in America that caused this crime.

    Women-This is obviously the fault of NOW.

    Rich kids-This is obviously the fault of Richy Rich comics.

  • ||

    thoreau:

    OK, I'll play.

    Bruce Willis was in Armageddon with Michael Clarke Duncan. Michael Clarke Duncan was in The Green Mile with Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks was in Apollo 13 with...Kevin Bacon.

  • ||

    Baco was in Wild Things and did a nekkid shower scene where you could see his pee-pee. Doods use their pee-pees to give golden showers. You can't spell "golden" without "gold."

    Pro Libertate,

    What's your verdict on The Godfather game? Buy or rent?

  • ||

    de stijl,

    It's a product you can't refuse. Make the purchase.

    I bought it used at Game Stop for a reasonable price. It's cheaper still if you get the mere Xbox variety (or other previous game platform version, I'm sure).

    I really enjoy the game, but I have to admit that half the fun is being part of the story--you know, helping Sonny whack Bruno Tattaglia, that sort of thing (I helped with the horse head, too). They do alter the story somewhat to fit your character into the plot, but it's worth it to have Don Corelone personally welcome you into the family. I'm not done, yet, having only achieved the rank of soldier. I'll be a capo before too long!

  • thoreau||

    You know, I just had a thought. Why isn't there a Highlander game? It's perfect for video gaming. Heck, it would be a great multi-player experience, though, of course, there can be only one.

    It would be awesome with the Nintendo Wii!

  • ||

    Ah, thoreau, you are so correct. Man, I can see it now, taking heads and feeling the Quickening. Wii's sole justification for existence is the Highlander game.

  • ||

    New challenge: how is the gold standard related to Kevin Bacon?

    Kevin Bacon was in Quicksilver with Lawrence Fishburne. Lawrence Fishburne was in Just Cause with Sean Connery. Sean Connery was 007 in Goldfinger, which was a movie that couldn't have been made without the stockpile of gold at Fort Knox, which never would have existed if we - wait for it - hadn't left the gold standard.

  • ||

    norbizness,

    That's Robotron 2084. I think you might just be a prog in disguise....

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    belle waring:
    jesse: you may be interested to read the jacob sullum column elsewhere on this fine site.

    Yes, I see some irony in the fact that Sullum's column from today (which impresses me very much) might sound just as know-it-all from a pro-gun-control perspective as the scapegoaters in your column sound to us libertarians.

    At the risk of sounding like a know-it-all myself (why stop now?), I also think that you overstate the degree of mystery behind Columbine somewhat. Steven Pinker makes a good case for the intricate knowability of human nature. Obviously, it's not the same thing as clairvoyant reading of the perpetrators' minds on their last day on earth. But it counts for something that may eventually be used to decrease the probability of such an event. Life insurance companies can't predict which of their clients will die when, but they can increase their likely income from each client by selling policies according to scientific observations about the human body and human character.

  • ||

    I was sad to see that Ron Paul has hitched on to the "armed society is a polite society" argument. I hate being shown that even my favorites are utilitarians.

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    Rich,
    If what Paul says is true, is it still cynical to say it in public?

  • ||

    I love Heinlein as much as the next guy, but my reading of statistics out there don't confirm Paul's statement that "It's the lack of access to law-abiding citizens to have guns in many places that increases our crime rate".

    He goes on to qualify it to some degree by hoping that the massacre won't be used to justify further gun control. Still, using the argument that 'more guns = less crime' leaves the door open for 'more cops = less crime'; if the objective is less civil liberty restriction this is a hamhanded way to go about it.

    I don't know if I'd say "cynical", Brian; certainly not "productive".

  • LarryA||

    Newshead: "We have no new information on the situation. Stay tuned for our thirty-minute special broadcast covering it."

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