Video Games

What Other Types of Guns Can Sen. Feinstein Fail to Ban? What About Ones Made of Pixels?

Keep your laws off our virtual bodies


She's got those pearls just ready for a good clutching.
Credit: jurvetson / / CC BY

Having all but failed in her ill-considered, poorly argued efforts to ban assault weapons (the usual caveat: whatever "assault weapons" are), now California Sen. Dianne Feinstein seems ready to fail and fail harder going after violent video games.

At a speech in San Francisco on Wednesday, she took her typical aim against the National Rifle Association. But then she all but joined the NRA in complaining about the glorification of violence in video games. Via the Associated Press:

Feinstein also encouraged the entertainment and video game industries to take voluntary steps to produce products that do not glorify big, powerful guns before Congress feels compelled to step in. She mentioned that Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old man responsible for the Sandy Hook Elementary School slayings, practiced shooting both at a range with his mother and on a video screen.

Video games play "a very negative role for young people, and the industry ought to take note of that," she said. "If Sandy Hook doesn't do it, if the knowledge of these video games this young man played doesn't, then maybe we have to proceed, but that is in the future."

Well, we can all look forward to that future failure as well. One: Just as with movies, the video game industry has a voluntary ratings system that thoroughly documents a game's contents and recommends appropriate ages. Two: The Supreme Court has ruled that the contents of video games are constitutionally protected free speech in a case that originated from Feinstein's own state.

The idea of video games playing "a very negative role for young people" is just unsupported nonsense without foundation. Yesterday, when I wrote about film critic's Roger Ebert's awkward relationship with the creative culture of video games, I noted the gap between Baby Boomers and the younger generations over the role of the medium in their lives. The industry took Ebert's dismissal of video games as a potential art form as a challenge.

Feinstein's poorly chosen words and vague threat will likely not inspire much introspection. She doesn't understand the medium at all and clearly has no interest in understanding the medium. But unlike Ebert, Feinstein has the power to shape government policy, or at least try to, anyway. It would be interesting to see how the heavily California-based video game industry would respond to Feinstein actually trying to go after them.

Below, Reason TV highlights several extremely stupid Congressional hearings where politicians presumed to justify censorship against various forms of media:

NEXT: AL Lawmakers Vote To Ease Gun Restrictions

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  1. Glorification of violence in video games is evil. Doing it movies, apparently is just fine.

    1. I’m sure that has nothing to do with who funds Feinstein’s election campaigns.

    2. *head explodes “Videodrome” style*

      1. No heads explode in Videodrome. You must be thinking of Scanners.

        1. There’s head-removal in The Fury, isn’t there?

      2. I think you meant Scanners style.

        Speaking of Videodrome though, it seems that firearms that can be holstered within the abdomen are exempt from any proposed legislation. That’s some pretty shoddy work there, DiFi.

        1. It’s not a concealed weapon if it is indistinguishable from your hand. LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH

          1. That movie sucked balls.

            1. Shut up, Hugh. Are you trying to snatch nicole’s tiara from her?

              1. She lets me borrow it whenever I want. I wear it while I stuff my junk between my legs and dance in front of the mirror to Rilo Kiley.

                1. Having met Hugh before, it should be known that he’s probably telling the truth.

            2. It was the greatest fucking horror movie ever made. And Deborah Harry’s tits!

    3. See, in the case of movies, your betters–i.e., rich, Hollywood lefties–are killing people with guns.

      In the case of video games, with their inherent interactivity, common, stupid drones like you are killing people with guns.

      See the difference? Also, the gaming industry is a major threat to film and TV, so it’s got to be tamed.

      1. See the difference?

        Of course! The difference is: In the movies, the “killing” is done by actors; while in the video games, the “killing” is done by …. What was the question again?

        1. In the movies, the actors do whatever they do. In the game, you control the actors to kill, kill, and kill again.

          1. Sometimes you only need to Kill and Kill Again.

    4. I think that the idea is that in video games, you are participating in the violence, where in movies it is happening to other people. It’s still totally stupid to think that is has anything to do with real world violence, but there is a distinction in how the two media are consumed.

    5. Food for thought:

      Look how close to Newtown we came:…..04795.html

      Canada has gun-control laws.

      1. “Look how close we could have come” it should read. The line between tragedy and things working out is thin.

  2. Fun fact: Harry Reid gave Diane Feinstein that pearl necklace and many pearl necklaces over the years.

    1. I just ate lunch asshole.

      1. I doubt Harry Reid ever produced anything more than a small and cloudy pearl pendant which just turned flaky and was husked away on that withered, surprisingly hairy leathery expanse.

        1. That reminds me: Where’s SugarFree?

        2. Outstanding work.

      2. I prefer supper asshole. More seasoned.

    2. Hugh gets my early nomination for worst mental image of the day.

      Considering this crowd I have little doubt it will be surpassed shortly.

      1. I think Counterfly @ 11:53 may have just one-upped Hugh.

        1. And by shortly, I meant about two minutes.

          This place never disappoints.

        1. Too early to click on links like that sloop.

          Not gonna do it…..

          1. It’s really no big deal. It’s just a guy playing the drums with one hand. Hey, it’s kinda like the guy from Def Leppard. Kinda.

            1. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME…..

              “kinda” my ass..

              1. I’ve not viewed it either, but I get the feeling “ass” is probably a big part of it.

                1. I closed it after a brief period, but ass was not a focal point in the bit I saw.

                2. Jesse is right. Ass is not a featured part of it.

            2. Let me put it this way, the guy drums one-handed the way some people type one-handed. Ugh. A second of video was a second too long for me.

        2. Obviously none of you clicked on the (NSFW) link db graced us with in the Morning Links.

          That was a dick move by db.


  3. It would be interesting to see how the heavily California-based video game industry would respond to Feinstein actually trying to go after them.

    They would cry and complain, and then vote for the progressive candidate and their twisted policies, anyways. As an industry, it would fight (or payoff) Feinstein. On an individual level, the majority of Californians working in the video game industry are pleased with their “Obama/Biden 2012” stickers on their Prius’. Soon to be replaced with “Clinton/Warren 2016” stickers.

    1. “Clinton/Warren 2016” stickers.

      It’s like Leisure Suit Larry meets Oregon Trail.

    2. That seems to be my experience with people in the industry.

      A friend and I got into it when he said he “welcomed more research into the link between violence and video games” because he knew that it wouldn’t support the thesis that video games cause violence. I pointed out that these types of studies were notioriously prone to bias, and that the media half-life of the major takeaway was “video games may cause violence” and that nobody would see or care about the study results.

      Apparently I’m a “pessimist”.

  4. Thanks to Feinstein, you will still be able to play First Person Shooters, but the guns rendered in the games will not be allowed to have pistol grips or bayonets.

    1. Or that thing that goes up.

    2. Also, unlimited ammo cheat codes will be outlawed and Gamefaqs will be bombed with drones.

    3. No magazines over seven rounds and no barrel shrouds.

      1. So basically Fallout: New Vegas.

      2. And once a clip is empty, it’s useless.

        1. Totally. And you would never carry more than one clip or more than one weapon. It is just not sporting.

    4. Thanks to Feinstein, you will still be able to play First Person Shooters, but the guns rendered in the games will not be allowed to have pistol grips or bayonets.

      A pistol grip on a BFG isn’t gonna work anyway.

      And a bayonet isn’t necessary after it fires.

  5. Is there a video game company that is the equivalent of Hardee’s in that they will flaunt paternalism by producing the most absurd, gory, tongue-in-cheek, shit-eatingly humorous violent game possible, featuring the most ridiculous weapons and situations for their use? Rockstar maybe?

    1. Some small studio will make Postal 3 or 4 or whatevery they’re on.

    2. Gearbox?

    3. You mean Carls Jr., right?

      1. Carl’s Jr is Hardee’s for people in California, making it inherently inferior.

        1. Is it just CA? I bet you love you some Ozarka/Poland Springs and Edy’s ice cream too Alack.

          1. I have no idea what any of those words mean.

            1. Edy’s is the east coast version of Dryer’s and Ozarka and Poland Springs are regional brandings of Nestle’s water (which is Arrowhead in the west).

        2. Carl’s Jr is as far east as Louisiana!

          I do miss Hardees fried chicken though. Well, not the chicken so much as having the option of ordering it. Green Burrito just ain’t the fucking same.

      2. He also means “flout.”

          1. Don’t check your email! It’s a trap!

    4. Ever played Lollipop Chainsaw?

    5. Well, Saints Row The Third lets you make a chick with giant tits, or a dude with a giant wang, and run around naked beating people to death with a giant dildo.

      1. Well there’s no guns so it gets an E for Everyone, amiright??

        1. Oh there’s shitloads of guns, but none of them have bayonet mounts, so it’s okay.

  6. Somewhere in San Fransisco, a Catholic Church is missing a judgemental scold.

    1. No kidding. In saner times, Feinstein would be the kind of annoying old bitty that would run the choir and chair all of the meetings of the church school’s PTA. The type of person everyone hated but didn’t have quite enough authority to totally ruin things. Now she is one of the most powerful people in the country.


      1. Luckily, at 79, she probably doesn’t have many years left, and we’ll soon be dancing on her grave the way she danced on the graves of the kids at Newton.

    2. Maybe Pelosi is missing from that Catholic church. Feinstein is a member of one of the Twelve Hebrew Tribes. Just saying.

      1. Okay.

        In saner times she would have been the kind of old bitty who ran the Temple Choir and helped out teaching Hebrew School. The type of person everyone hated but didn’t quite have enough authority to totally ruin things


  7. My teen son’s a Call of Duty gamer but also knows the rules of gun safety and has shot a .22 with me.

    I guess he’ll grow up to be a mass murderer who keeps his finger off the trigger and the muzzle away from the target until he actually shoots up a day care center.

    1. I mean I used to wear out controllers playing Crazy Taxi, but I somehow put 200K miles on my car without ever crashing (knock on wood).

      1. The first controller I wore out was from playing GTA3.


  9. “Some Target shoppers say a label that listed the color of a plus-size dress as ‘manatee gray’ was insulting.”


    1. Come on, can’t they change it to Leaden Hippo?

      1. Pachyderm Puce?

    2. Had they already dedicated “Indian Elephant” to another shade?

      And I know they’d never use “African Hippo” for fear of “da raciss” accusations.

    3. Barn Red.

      Whale blue.

      Gigantifuckingnormous green.

  10. Three words to sum it all up: Fuck. This. Bitch.

    1. Dude. Not even with Warty’s dick.

      1. Well, obviously it’s not meant to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturer of dairy products legislation.

    2. By all means, go right ahead.

  11. RE: “Feinstein also encouraged the entertainment and video game industries to take voluntary steps to produce products that do not glorify big, powerful guns.”

    If Senator Feinstein really wanted to curb an industry that glorifies violence, then she should go after the News Media. Adam Lanza, like most deranged, psychotic killers, wanted to break the record for mass killing and be famous. Sadly, in our culture, being famous is what many — perhaps most — young people want most.

    Imagine a world where mass killers cannot become instantly famous, where pictures of them are never broadcast, and their names and history are never publicly stated. Mass killings will be done by ANONYMOUS — not FAMOUS — killers.

    Of course, this means curbing First Amendment rights, but since we’re constantly being told that we need to water down the Second Amendment in ordre to create a safer society, then it’s only fair to consider “reasonable restrictions on First Amendment rights for the benefit of society as a whole”.

    1. Of course, this means curbing First Amendment rights,

      Not necessarily. If people stopped tuning in to sensationalist news broadcasts and only watched the ones that stated the facts of a story and nothing else, the gorification of our news would cease pretty fast.

      1. You have to tune in to know what’s in it.

      2. that is like saying if people would just stop watching porn, its production would cease. While technically true, it is also an impossibility.

        I wouldn’t want to prohibit reporting on these things anymore than you would. But, it makes more sense than stopping violence in video games and it is no more of a violation of the first amendment.

        Of course since the media, like Hollywood, is reliably leftist, Feinstein and her ilk would never propose such a thing.

      3. the facts of a story and nothing else

        That’s just it, sloopy. The propagandists have a whole ‘nother take on “the facts of the story”.

    2. A good thought, but the existence of multiple 24-hour news channels pretty much indicates that ship has sailed. They need viewers and they know how to reel them in.

      1. It is human nature. Before TV, public hangings were a very popular form of entertainment.

        1. And there were plenty of newspapers publishing sensational stories to attract more readers.

  12. I see reason is back to logging me out mid-comment.

    1. Maybe your comments suck? Reason is just trying to establish standards? 😉

      1. Naah. Shithead’s still posting.

        1. Shithead’s still posting.

          You’re gonna need to be a lot more specific than that with this crew of miscreants and buggerers.

          1. I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists!

            1. So, the government, then?

  13. “a very negative role for young people”
    Stay off her lawn, too!

    1. So, young people should instead aspire to become well-respected members of congress?

  14. “…take voluntary steps to produce products that do not glorify big, powerful guns before Congress feels compelled to step in.”

    That’s right assholes, voluntarily curb your First Amendment rights or Congress may have to do it for you.

    1. And if *Congress* won’t, you-know-who will!

    2. Too bad they lack any authority whatsoever to do that. Not that that will stop them from trying.

  15. Feinstein also encouraged the entertainment and video game industries to take voluntary steps to produce products that do not glorify big, powerful guns before Congress feels compelled to step in.

    She seems to be confused about the meaning of “voluntary”.

    Perhaps this could be cleared up by a mugger “asking” at gunpoint for her to “voluntarily” hand over her purse.

    1. And if Congress does step in, and the industries still refuse, then you will see how big, powerful guns are *meant* to be used.

    2. Voluntary = gun not visible.

  16. It would be interesting to see how the heavily California-based video game industry would respond to Feinstein actually trying to go after them.

    I’m guessing a lot of cognitive dissonance, followed by some genteel threats off the record about campaign contributions.

  17. OT: Duncan Hunter was on my local am station yesterday afternoon. That shitheel basically told a caller off for questioning the drone war, saying he was a targeter in Afghan in his last tour of duty over there and that they never, not once, killed a single civilian in a drone attack…ecept for once when they surveilled a school for 72 hours and then bombed t to kingdom come only to find out that Al Qaeda had “tortured kids and held them hostage in the building the entire time without them knowing” and they were all killed as well.

    He then proceeded to say that in every war up to this point, it was commonplace for nations (like the US) to bomb areas of 1000 people to get one target. The caller asked if any of those were low-level functionaries with little or no ability to harm any soldiers and Hunter accused him of being unpatriotic.

    He closed with saying that these “terrorists” we’re murderdroning in Pakistan would be over here on Main Street, USA blowing up our houses if we weren’t killing the shit out of them (and their families, neighbors and villages) over there…10k miles away.

    All I can say is that I hope he gets SuperAIDS and dies very soon.

    1. Oh sloopy, don’t be such a drama queen. They’re doing the hard work of keeping us safe. Killing the evil bastards that we don’t have the stomach to kill. Who knows what America would look like right now if it weren’t for Pakistani hovels being blown to dust by drones.

  18. If we would just register all violent video games and ensure they are stored properly under lock and key the amount of violent outbursts would surely decrease. We could have random home visits by the thought/firearm police inspect the storage of said implements. ~ Tulpa

  19. I’ve always thought that people who want to censor violent video games are themselves highly impressionable. They probably watched the Get Smart episode with the Sacred Cows (kill, kill, kill…thrill, thrill, thrill) growing up and thought it accurately depicted how mind-control via mass media can work. Since they are so impressionable, they swallow that wholecloth.

    The ironing is delicious.

    1. The ironing is delicious.

      I bet you like a nice sharp crease, don’t you?

      1. As with everything I post, it’s from something else..

        Bart: Lisa’s in trouble. Ha! The ironing is delicious.
        Lisa: The word is “irony”.
        Bart: Huh?

        1. Simpsons, eh?

          /Mr Burns

  20. This is all just too goddamn predictable. Thanks to power-engorged idiots like Feinstein.

    First she’ll try and ban more and more guns – and everyone who’s not a gun owner will be on board. Because hey, you dont suport KILLING KIDS, DO YOU?!?!?

    Then they try and ban “violent” games – because they have a tangential connection to people who have murdered other people. And anyone who’s not a gamer or works in the industry will be on board, because, hey, WHY DO YOU SUPPORT MURDERING KIDS??!??

    Then they try and ban movies that might even hint at violence or guns. And by then the goddamn issue is already decided. All the lefty idiots who paraded along in the witchhunt will finally see what kind of zealots Feinstein and her ilk are: only interested in amassing power and control. And anyone who objects to their censorship or enforcement is painted as an enabler to the murder of children.

    Freedom for everyone – the minute you start taking it away for your own causes, you’re ensuring your own eventual subjugation.

    1. the minute you start taking it away for your own causes, you’re ensuring your own eventual subjugation.

      This is exactly the thing that liberals don’t understand the most.

      They came for those gun nuts, and I cheered. They came for those tea baggers, and I cheered again! …WTF?, they’re coming for me! It’s not fair!

  21. Shop that sold gun to Newtown mom loses license

    “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revoked the license of Riverview Gun Sales in East Windsor in December. The agency didn’t say why.

    1. I hope he’s still selling guns out of the trunk of his car.

  22. Dianne Feinstein: stupid Senator, or stupidest Senator?

  23. When this bitch dies, making a pilgramage to shit on her grave should be considered the libertarian version oh the Haj.

    1. If there’s a God, she’ll be struck down by something so chock full of irony that it can’t be interpreted as anything other than a Karmic F.U.

      Unable to fend off protected mountain lion when attacked, due to unavailability of bullets for her own private-carry gun?

      Something like that.

      1. oooh I like this game. How about her being assigned as ambassador to Libya?

      2. Killed by an elk while touring the proposed Keystone Pipeline area…

        Crushed by a runaway truck full of “nintendogs + cats” game cartridges… Headline would be “Senator killed violently by wayward shipment of non-violent games.

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