Video Games

Guns Don't Kill People; Imaginary Guns Kill People

Pretend wars are apparently scarier than real ones


We learned it from watching you, Lieberman!

Behold the strange dichotomy of pro-gun-rights Democratic Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer. In his defense of gun rights and rejection of calls for more gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, he's quick to throw video games under the Desert Bus. Via Montana Watchdog:

Instead of talking about the guns, the gregarious governor urged a national discussion of the violence culture now gripping Americans, especially youth.

"This is evil and it has everything to do with mental illness and, look, I'm going to pick on somebody right now," Schweitzer said. "You wanna pick on somebody? How about those video game manufacturers, where an entire generation are glued to a screen for six to eight hours a day while they are poking buttons and blowing other people up and shooting them in the face."

The governor stopped short of prescribing any solutions to reverse America's addiction to violent movies and video games.

Pro-tip (that word comes from video games, by the way): Don't try to oppose the bullying of one industry/civil liberty by suggesting the bullying of another ("pick on"). It draws a bit too much attention to your deflection. The First Amendment deserves Schweitzer's support, too.

It's fascinating (and by "fascinating" I probably mean "repulsive") when government leaders decry America's violent youth when the government keeps sending them off to foreign countries to kill people. Granted, the governor of Montana has little connection to our foreign policy, but Sen. Joe Lieberman has no such defense. Yet he, too, was quick to blame violence in our entertainment culture.

Excuses for violent military intervention in foreign affairs arise from both the left and the right. Our government leaders look for reasons to give actual people actual guns and send them off to shoot actual people (or pilot drones to bomb them remotely). It's a bit rich to see any government leader decry violence in culture. Maybe it's yet another example of government not liking competition?

Quite a few folks fret that our soldiers treat war like a big video game. Maybe we should be using that. Maybe we'd have been able to get our troops back from Iraq and Afghanistan faster by convincing Congress it was all a great, big, scary video game. They seem to be more afraid of pretend wars than real ones.

NEXT: Mass Shootings Defy Legal Fixes

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  1. Brian Schweitzer is the same idiot who tried to make a campaign issue out of Romney being two generations removed from polygamy (as opposed to the zero generations removed for Obama). Didn’t hear anything from him on the national shows after that one for the rest of the campaign season.

  2. We need to pimp Ron Fournier’s piece harder:

    What if Nothing or Nobody is to Blame?

    It’s something bad that happened. Nothing more, nothing less.

    1. But somebody is to blame. My understanding is that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after the shooting.

      I know it’s no fun and all and kind of takes the wind out of regulatory sales, but someone is to blame.

      1. Ha, look at my slip: Regulatory sales

        I’m sticking with that.

      2. Fournier covers that. More accurately, the piece would be “Nobody or Nothing ‘except the shooter'”

  3. Video game violence has increasingly become more graphic and pervasive, yet… violence from teens continues to decrease. OMFG we have to omit that 2nd part! It doesn’t fit our narrative. We have to look like we’re doing something, so we have to grasp at straws and blame it on something. Otherwise, the people will wisen up to the fact that we’re completely fucking useless!

    1. Fat, weak teens with poor eyesight might WANT to commit violence, but they get short of breath climbing the stairs from the basement. So they don’t actually pose a threat.

      Violent video games actively help to reduce violent acts… 🙂

      1. Or, maybe people get some frustration out by playing a violent video game – then function better in the real world.

    2. Just like porn and rape. Even though all evidence points to porn availability reducing the rate of rape, if anything, there are still people who will insist that there must be a connection because it just seems like it should.

  4. I was wondering why so many couldn’t accept something along the lines of “this was a random act, it’s causes were multiple and complex, and simple solutions will be totally ineffective at preventing further incidents like this.”

    Then I realized that answer gives no one any extra power.

    1. It’s become painfully clear that the only socially acceptable way to react to a tragedy is to freak the fuck out and demand that ZOMG WE NEED TO INSTITUTE A POLICE STATE RIGHT NOW FOR TEH CHILDREN!!!!111ELEVEN

      1. Yep. In social situations, acquaintances have been dying to talk about it, and I squash that shit as fast as possible.

        “Yeah, that Sandy Hook thing really sucks. So, what’s everyone’s opinion on the new Twilight Zone?”

        1. I’ve been avoiding it too. The day of, I was getting a lot of “OMG you’re from CT is your family close to Newtown?” I was even walking through the alley on Friday afternoon and a total stranger with not-so-hot English was so desperate to talk about it she approached me. Nice-seeming middle-aged Muslim lady. She was practically in tears, too. I felt bad for her but was pretty much at a loss for response, other than, “Yeah, it’s terrible, I know…”

          1. I got the exact opposite response from my nephew when I called to check in with him. Two hours in to reports trickling out, he was already complaining about the over saturation of news coverage. Even for me, that was a bit much. A kindergarten class getting wiped out is not exactly a small deal, and we knew very little about the facts of the situation, so there was definitely things to be learned and uncovered.

            Now, though, not moving forward is intentionally oppressive on the part of the media. Hell, they are not even trying to hide their advocacy. The New York Daily News is running a push petition for a weapons ban.

            1. I’m with your nephew on this one.

              Two hours in, we had little real information, but the propagation of bad information and the null information was definitely into the oversaturation zone.

              1. He was flipping through the news channels, that could cause a difference in perspective between the two of us given I don’t watch that segment of the television market except in clips on websites.

        2. Afraid to express thyself Randian? Say it ain’t so.

        3. “Yeah, that Sandy Hook thing really sucks. So, what’s everyone’s opinion on the new Twilight Zone?”

          The show is too violent.

          1. Unless computer generated Rod Serling is sparkly, I ain’t gonna watch it.

        4. In social situations

          Sorry, I just imagine you dealing with social situations the same way a cardboard cutout would. In fact, I’m kinda surprised you find yourself in social situations.

  5. You will take my Borderlands from my cold, dead hands. If you can get past my 230-round-mag corrosive machine gun. Fuck you, governor. FUCK YOU.

    (Phaselocks the governor, dumps mag into him)

    1. Probably wouldn’t be too hard, the way you play.

      1. He is a chick after all.

        1. Yeah, but I look great. I have a warpaint skin on.

          1. I watched the trailer the other night and she is super hot. I’m very happy for you.

    2. That damn game is too addictive (not too violent).

  6. Somebody better develop a mod for Grand Theft Auto IV that replaces all the civilians with Brian Schweitzer so I can run this pussy over and beat him to death.

  7. Brian Schweitzer and Joe Lieberman being dronestriked while meeting with their Al-Qaeda handlers in a compound in Idaho I don’t think is too much to ask of Jesus is it?

    1. When you think about it, those two politicians are nothing less than the living incarnate of Uday and Qusay.

      1. The latter, if alive, might have taken that as an insult.

  8. If you can stomach it, you can picture them rubbing their hands with glee. Those dead kids have really made their day.

    I don’t think anything about the reaction to this has been as all-encompassingly revolting as the Gawker family blogs pure joy at this incident. It’s like 14 Birthdays and 10 Christmases all rolled into one.

    1. I refuse to click on your link.

      I would like to say that some people are insisting that all this theater is just that and nothing will come of it. But I’m not really confident on this one. I’m thinking there’s going to be some bullshit legislation passed. Had a convo with a co-worker who is into guns yesterday, he feels it’s just theater too.

      I’m seriously considering going out and buying my AR.

      Article in the Seattle Times said that the lines for new Conceal Carry permits were 40 people deep, and the King County Sheriff’s office was turning people away.

      Supporters of the Bill of Rights are scared on this one because the BoR haters seem to have a real head of steam on this one.

      1. I’m kind of nervous too, Paul. And I don’t even want an AR and I’m considering buying one (assuming there are any left on the shelves). The hardon that the gun grabbers have over these dead kids is beyond anything I’ve ever seen. It’s utterly, repulsively ghoulish and also extremely scary.

        1. Yeah, I feel about as confidently that some sort of gun ban is coming as confidently as I felt about Obama’s second term.

          And we all know how that ended.

        2. Me too. Being a clay shooter, bird hunter and GSP owner/trainer, I have little time left for rifle and pistol shooting. I was going to buy a new OU shotgun after my kid graduated (last week, yeah!), but I think I will by a competition grade AR equivalent instead … assuming I can even find one for sale.

          1. Have you considered trying 3-gun events?

            I’ve never done it, but it looks like a buttload of fun.

        3. There was a rush on ARs in late 2008-2009, then the market kinda collapsed. I’m expecting it will happen again. Throw in another recession and used, unfired Colts might drop to $750 or less.

      2. Article in the Seattle Times said that the lines for new Conceal Carry permits were 40 people deep, and the King County Sheriff’s office was turning people away.

        Same thing in Pittsburgh, people lined up around the block. And up to this point they have already beaten previous years number given by 40%, our county is going to be the best armed metro region in the land (and is one of the safest).

        1. During the election, there was a contingent of people claiming that waiting a line to vote was unconstitutional voter suppression. Who were they again? I forget. Whatever, I’m sure they are decrying this with a full-throated roar.

          1. Don’t forget waiting periods. Good for guns, bad for abortions! I still can’t comprehend the cognitive dissonance on that one.

            1. Maybe if you claimed that the gun was going to be used to shoot a fetus, they’d waive the waiting period?

            2. Abortions don’t kill people, Nicole…

              1. I’m extremely pro-choice, and that’s part of why I think it’s so absurd. Why do people argue against waiting periods for abortions? Because they can be a health risk, because they infantilize the woman (as if she is unable to make up her pretty little mind about something without being forced to think about it), because they are a potentially serious inconvenience to the exercise of a right (which, of course, the state has no business regulating anyway).

                These are exactly why waiting periods for gun purchases are bullshit as well. And I mean exactly why.

                1. They were enacted for the exact same reasons as well: Regulatory burden on a practice or item that there is no majority will to ban outright.

                2. Yep. If you can’t ban something, the next best thing is to make it a pain in the ass.

                  1. Which makes me wonder about HazelMead’s tendency to turn libertarianism into a Rube Goldberg machine for social organization.

                    1. I was caught off guard by that, never would’ve expected such a response from him.

                  2. Yep. If you can’t ban something, the next best thing is to make it a pain in the ass.

                    Never underestimate the government’s ability to ban or regulate something by sheer force of will.

                3. More cognitive dissonance. In California, there is a 10-day waiting period to buy a gun.

                  Ostensibly, this is a “cooling off period” for people contemplating suicide, or offing their spouses, or whatever.

                  There’s actually a legal provision to waive the waiting period for someone who has been threatened and takes out a restraining order. So the law recognizes that, in some circumstances, not having immediate access to a firearm for self-defense is a threat to someone’s safety. But the law doesn’t recognize that this could be true in many situations where there is no way to get a restraining order.

                  Also, this “cooling off period” applies whether this is one’s first purchase, or whether someone is a gun collector who already has a vault full of firearms that would suffice as suicide or crime weapons.

                  As others have said, the sole reason for waiting periods is to serve as a nuisance to the citizen.

          2. How about that you need to show ID to exercise your constitutional right to vote?

            Try to bear arms without an ID, and the carry license that you need two forms to get, two references, an FBI check, a PA state police check, and an okay from the local sheriff and you’ll end up in jail. Oh, let’s not forget the twenty bucks it costs.

            1. $20? That’s a fucking steal, man. Costs well over 10 times that here, and that’s with no carry.

              1. No carry?

                What do you mean, just to buy a gun?

                Where the fuck are you, North Korea?

                1. The great state of IL, the last with no carry provisions whatsoever–though the seventh circuit just fixed that up for us a couple weeks ago (giving the state 180 days to act on it).

                  1. Well, there’s always the GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE!!.

      3. Yeah, I already own an AR and wasn’t planning on buying any guns anytime soon. But I’m strongly considering buying some new ones now.

      4. I’m seriously considering going out and buying my AR.

        Only prudent, Paulperiod. Its never too early to buy a gun, I say.

      5. I’m going to get a Spingfield M1A Scout Scquad. Going to get it soon.

        Also going to get a Beretta in .40 S&W…unless someone talks me into a Para .45?

        1. Following in my footsteps, Restoras.

          I’ve got a Springfield M-1A. What a fine piece of machinery. So many delicious aftermarket options for it, too.

          And a Para .45 that has never given me any cause for complaint. I like the double-stack magazines because the fat handle fits my hand well. I’m sure the .40 is a fine gun, but I’m partial to the .45 for no particular reason.

          1. Thanks for the input, RC.

            1. It has to be the Para 45.

              I built one 20 some odd years back before they were making complete pistols – all you got was the frame with a magazine and a few parts that are unique to the design.

              Now I have a stainless steel LDA Nite Tac which I am upgrading to 45 (it was a 40 S&W). I also have an H&K USP, FNP, and a Springfield XD (all in 45) but I always go with the Para when I have to choose.

    2. Turns out you can build an awesome soapbox out of dead children.

      1. I prefer to think of them all doing the twist in 6 inches of blood.

        1. No way, dude, I love doing the twist. Don’t say that!

    3. Did you see this in the comments?

      The first one is an M14, arguably more deadly than the AR15 below it. But it’s wooden so it must be for ‘deer hunting’, whatever.

      These people really are afraid of plastic and the color black. Dare I say, racist!?

      1. Plastic is made from oil. Oil is raped out of Mother Gaia. Plastic guns are murder machines made out of mother-rape.

        1. And who sells oil…

          THE KOCH BROTHERS!!!

            1. Reasonable nuked my comment from orbit, because it’s the TRUTH!


      2. Someone needs to build a high-capacity rifle that doesn’t have a detachable magazine, has a telescoping wooden stock and a barrel with a bayonet molded into the forestock– no ‘lug’.

          1. With the internal box magazine, I think you can only put 10 rounds in an SKS. But I guess that is still higher than for a hunting rifle, normally. Of course, I can get 10 round mags for my Remington 742.

            1. Weld a 30-round magazine into an M1A with a folding stock, pistol grip, flasher hider and other scary stuff. Then you’d have an “assault weapon” that I think would be legal.

              I am assuming that an M1A receiver has the slot in the back that allows the recharging of the magazine with a stripper clip without removing the magazine like an M14 does.

              1. The M1A magazine is detachable.

              2. I believe M1As do have the stripper clip guide.

          2. The SKS fell under the original assault weapons ban. (Right before the ban, I sold mine for 10x what I paid for it.)

            1. What made it “Assault weapon”? Bayonet + gas operated?

              1. Wait, I looked it up. The SKS didn’t fall under the ban, but when I sold mine it was going to until they defined a stripper clip as not being a detachable magazine.

                Worked out for me anyway. I bought the thing disassembled and packed in the factory grease for like $40 bucks in ’89 or ’90. My friend bought one as well, and we put them together at the same time.

      3. In NJ, the M-1 Carbine is named and banned as an assault rifle. Meanwhile the gun stores are selling AR’s as fast as they can get them.

      4. Well, since #2 is a paintball gun, I will say that #2 is for sport.

      5. There’s no question the .308 M1A is deadlier than the .223 AR15. More stopping power, more reach.

        1. But then there’s that annoying *ca-ching* as the 7 rnd(?) clip springs out of the rifle, alerting the schoolchildren that you’re out of ammo.

          Safer gun.

          1. Not the M1A. The M1A is the improved version of the M1, and it has a detachable magazine like the AR. It just shoots a much more powerful round.

            1. Yeah I wanted an M1A before I Sig came out with the 716 patrol rifle.

      6. #2 is a paintball gun. Look closely.

    1. I don’t want to explain to my son why daddy is shooting the guys on the television. Why that’s okay, but when it happens in real life, people cry.

      “You see, son, this is a video game. Nothing that happens in it is real. It’s all make believe.”

      Yep, I’d hate to have to say those words to my son. Especially since I’d have to interrupt him paying Left4Dead.

      1. I don’t want to explain to my son why daddy is shooting the guys on the television. Why that’s okay, but when it happens in real life, people cry.

        Kid, I’m really sorry your dad is a complete retard.

      2. I don’t want to explain to my son why daddy is shooting the guys on the television. Why that’s okay, but when it happens in real life, people cry.

        Insert remark about childbearing-licensing for people who are too much of a bitch to explain real vs. fake to kids.

      3. I don’t want to explain to my son why daddy is shooting the guys on the television. Why that’s okay, but when it happens in real life, people cry.

        My daughter understood the difference at age 3, when she was shouting “Shoot him! Shoot him!” at me, watching me struggling to maneuver a F-86 into a firing position on a very slippery and agile MiG-15.

        1. Yeah but that’s jet vs. jet so it doesn’t count.

  9. Jim Boeheim is on the Jim Rome Show right now calling for banning assault rifles. He says, “It’s not about banning guns, it’s about getting these guns out of people’s hands.” Fuck Boeheim, Fuck Syracuse, but especially Fuck Michigan!

    1. I agree with everything you just said.

      Went to the OSU v Asheville game on Saturday with Courtside seats.

      the Sam Thompson Windmill was epic.

      1. God I would love to be able to slam dunk a basketball.

    2. BOHICA

  10. And Gizmodo: Walmart is running out of guns.

    Can someone explain to me why any private citizen would ever need a fully automatic weapon?

    Approaching maximum derp. Also, what does this have to do with electronics?

    1. I’d like to know why a private citizen would ever need a whole suite of sites as horrible as the Gawker Media Network.

      1. As I keep punishing myself with their stupidity, I notice that one or two commenters keep claiming that the kids were murdered with handguns, not the AR-15. I wonder if they are just low-information commenters or if they are trying to nudge a susceptible audience onto the handgun ban track.

        1. I saw that…including one who thinks we should have to affirmatively prove our mental competence before being allowed to buy a gun. I don’t really get it, and the replies seemed to just focus on how the person was wrong about the facts.

        2. There was an initial report that the rifle was in the car, and he had banged away Cho style with two hand-guns.

          That was when they were saying he had shot up his mother’s classroom.

        3. They may be getting mixed up with the movie theater guy who’s crappy giant AR magazine jammed and he switched to a handgun.

        4. I notice that one or two commenters keep claiming that the kids were murdered with handguns, not the AR-15.

          That was the initial story. They may have just not caught up.

          1. How do we really know what hapened?

            Color me as you will, but, I am not about to accept, without more, the bald assertions of public sector actors that the teachers and the administrative stagge acted heroically.

            Not buying it.

            1. staff, not stagg.

              Just came back from a two beer, one white russian lunch.

          2. that’s what I heard initially and after a self-imposed media blackout on the story, i learned otherwise. for the longest time i thought it was the handguns and the rifle was left in the car. not that it really matters.

            1. Yeah. That was the story two days in. Rifle was in the car.

    2. Maxis47
      Can someone explain to me why any private citizen would ever need a fully automatic weapon?

      Yes, because my right to own a semi-automatic weapon (and frankly, I should have the right to own a fully-automatic weapon) is predicated on my right to protection from the tyranny of government. Not for a vibrant hunting sport.

      1. Why would a private citizen ever NEED a corvette? Why would a private citizen NEED a 4000+ square foot home? Why would a private citizen NEED a powerful computer? Why would a private citizen NEED a smart phone? One could easily make do without any of those things. My right to OWN them is not contingent on my NEED for them. And those fuckwads who want to decide what I can own based on my need are fucking communist assholes who need to eat shit and die.

        1. Eventually there will be a Department of Needs. All purchases must first be run through the Department of Needs to ensure the purchaser really needs the item in question. This way unneeded things (like guns and cigarettes) will stay out of the wrong hands.

          It will be a glorious age.

          1. We’re already there.

            The Department of Needs has already determined that Women should have free abortions and birth control. The Department of Needs has determined that you don’t need a high cap magazine or a semi automatic rifle with plastic stuff on it.

        2. Compared to many of the things you listed, I can see a lot more “need” for the assault rifle. LA Koreatown 1992 was a good example.

          1. I’m liking the sig sauer 716 .308 patrol rifle. Right size, right caliber, right configuration, right price. It’s on my christmas list but not getting my hopes up. Maybe sometime early next year.

            1. 16″ Barrel is too short. I’ve shot the M1 Scout with the 16″ barrel and it sucks. Too loud and not accurate.

              At least get the “Precision” model with the 18″ barrel.

        3. Just short-circuit all of that and say that you don’t “need” more than a few hundred calories a day and some water. Everything else is luxury.

  11. Seems like their making all of the familiar rounds. Haven’t seen bullying come up yet though. I think maybe they’re smelling blood with the gun control so they haven’t moved on to the other normal culprits yet.

    1. No one has mentioned bath salts yet. But they’ve been burned on that one before.

  12. I really pissed off about this shit. If one fucking ounce of gun control legislation is passed under this administration’s Jazz Hands, I will henceforth refer to Obama as The Drone Launching Baby Killer Obama.

    Because that’s what these people (yeah, I went there) say about me because of my desire to own a semi-automatic weapon with a high-cap magazine.

    If I have to “hold my head in shame” for supporting the murder of school children by standing up for my 2nd amendment rights, then fuck Obama, he’s a murder-droning baby killer. And I don’t care who calls me an asshole for it.

    1. You’re still an asshole (I’m sure) but not for stating the truth.

      1. I am, but there are those (see what I did there?) who will see me as a newly minted asshole- with new assholish powers.

        1. One is without real empathy if one cannot recognize that the grieving of Afghanistani, Iraqi, Pakistani, Pushtani and Yemeni families, who have lost a child because the affirmative action community organizer ordered a drone or missile strike, is every bit as real and harrowing as the Newton families.

          1. I realize as much as the killing and harming of children angers me, and how much I despise this president, even I am not nearly angry about the murders caused by the drone strikes as I should be. Our deference to the office of the presidency makes us less than human.

          2. Infinity times this!!

            I was called a soulless robot yesterday because I said it was time to move on from the Newtown tragedy. Meanwhile, I point out every day that we are waging illegitimate wars in the middle east where dozens of kids are killed as collateral damage. But I’m the one lacking compassion and empathy.

            Fuck ’em all.

            1. And if they just can’t bring themselves to feel empathy for non-Americans, you might point out that many times as many American kids are killed every year because of the drug war.

              Most of them are black, of course, so your oh-so-sensitive proggy libs may not be able to gin up much empathy for their families, either.

  13. I’ve been looking to get another pistol around early next year. But for some odd reason I’m feeling a bit more urgent need to get that sucker.

    1. I’ve settled on a Sig P229 for my new carry gun, but they’re out of stock. Here’s hoping they clear customs before Obama slams the door on imports.

      1. Have you seen the P220 Equinox. That will be my next handgun. It’s a badass work of art really.

      2. Don’t worry. SIG imported itself into the USA – corporate entity and manufacturing – years ago. They are now an American company and their products are made inthe US.

    2. I’m thinking of doing the same. However, I’m thinking of acquiring one or two through “alternative distribution channels”. No more paper trails.

  14. I don’t see how some video game that is set in some imaginary world is responsible for a mass shooting. I know alot of people who play violent video games, and they don’t go out on a killing spree. Video games are not the problem. Letting mentally ill people access guns is the problem.

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