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Joe Scarborough's about face was commendable, but I think you all glossed over something.

Halfway through his speech, Joe brags about his NRA rating. Joe cites Ruby Ridge & Waco. Joe talks about defending NRA policies with pride because those 2 incidents (which have been glorified and mythologized by the Far Right) somehow represented a "grand ideological struggle" for individual liberty or some crap.

Joe then states that

"But the symbols of that ideological struggle — they've been shattered by the harvest zone from violent, mind-numbing video games."
I wanted to throw something at the TV.

As much of a cheap cop-out this was on Joe's part (oh our gun culture was so noble & innocent before Mortal Kombat came along!) its made even more stupid by the news trickling out about the shooter's gaming tastes:


Really? May I ask which ones?

Chillingly, his favourite video game was said to be a shockingly violent fantasy war game called Dynasty Warriors which is thought to have given him inspiration to act on his darkest thoughts
Seriously? Dynasty Warriors?

Seriously? That "gave him inspiration to act on his darkest thoughts"? No, you're eyes aren't decieving you: Dynasty Warriors has always been a 100% bloodless game franchise. What cheap, lazy, ignorant fear-mongering garbage.

Y'know, if we were talking say....Manhunt....or Saints Row....or Postal 2....that'd be one thing.

But Dynasty Warriors?

That's like finding out the killer enjoyed Brave or something.

Speaking of which, he apparently enjoyed the mind-numbing ultraviolence of "fantasy role-playing video games" too. No word yet on whether he was subjected to the Satanic influence of Dungeons & Dragons.

"How could I know that within seconds of reading that scrolling headline that the shooter would be an isolated, middle-class white male who spent his days on his computer playing violent video games?"
...and how could I know that within days of a spree killing, the news media would be combing through his Gamestop receipts and readying a moral panic for whatever they found?

Meanwhile, this same news media will continue to systematically ignore any suggestion that they might have a negative influence on future spree killers:

The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn't have messed with me. I'll go out in a blaze of glory.

- Roger Ebert, explaining why his post-Columbine NBC News interview never aired

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Comment Preferences

  •  OMG, it looks like a Final Fantasy game (6+ / 0-)

    ie, one with abstracted and fantastical turn-based combat. Hardly a "murder simulator". Hell, the XCOM game I've been playing for weeks is more violent, and I assure you I'm an extremely poor risk to murder anyone.

    The problem is the guns. Specifically the high-capacity assault rifles and handguns.

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:59:58 PM PST

    •  FF is turn based? (5+ / 0-)

      Probably why I never played it. I only play violent video games like Beautiful Katamari.

      Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

      by psilocynic on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:07:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "20% to hit, 10% critical" (5+ / 0-)

      Yeah, XCOM is way worse. Then again, XCOM probably makes you feel and regret a character's death more than just about any other game I can think of. So there's that.



      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:28:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  etaTREE, respectfully, the problem is the lack of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ace Nelson, fuzzyguy

      mental health supports and funding across this entire country.

      We need fully funded mental health care & community supports in every county in every state.

      I am not a gun owner, btw.  However, I respect the rights of those who own or want to own firearms (hopefully responsibly & with firearms & safety training)

      If all the guns vanished overnight, someone with the intent to kill could still do so.

      Example: many years ago, in the area I lived in at the time, an older male human walked into a local elementary school & buried a hammer into the skull of the first child he encountered.  Fortunately, he was prevented from carrying out further mayhem-with his hammer...

      Anyone recall the Unabomber?  Etal.

      Looking back over just the past 4 years of mass shootings that garnered public attention, I see nothing much being said about the dire need for maximum mental health funding & supports-just gun control.  

      Now vid games?  Reminds me of when all violence was being blamed on rap. Or heavy metal. Or the evil rock & roll.  Or certain movies or books, ad nauseum.

      All while countless individuals and/or families continue to be invisible & suffer while dealing alone with mental health issues-with few if any resources, recourse or supports.

      •  The most necessary 1-2 punch here (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nannyberry, worldlotus, eru, Calamity Jean

        is greater funding and support (if not a complete overhaul) of the mental health industry in addition to stricter, common-sense gun safety/control legislation.

      •  LA County jail, Cook County jail, Rikers Island. (4+ / 0-)

        These are the largest mental health clinics in our country now. My jaw hit the floor when I read that in the "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" article. Utterly unacceptable.

        "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

        by TheHalfrican on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:43:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  TheHalfrican, indeed. "Pipeline To Prison" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TheHalfrican, fuzzyguy

          due to inadequate funding, supports & public awareness.
          Sadly this term also applies to some that fall under the developmental disability category.

          For a real eye opener, sometime check out your own state's Mental Health/Developmental Disability website.

          Although not related just to mental health issues, another eye opener is a free book written by the University of Colorado System titled "The State of the States in Developmental Disabilities (monograph).  

          The 2008 edition I have is the culmination of analysis of 3 decades of data collection spanning 1977-2006, with comparative studies of services & spending across developmental disabilities, mental health & physical disability, federal spending from 1955 to date of publication & more in the 50 state study.

          I obtained my last copy from:
          David Braddock, PhD
          Associate Vice President, University of Colorado System
          Executive Director
          Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities
          3825 Iris Ave, Suite 200
          Boulder, CO  80301
          phone: 303.492.0639

          Or you can order or read past monograph/lit online here:

          Can order newest version (1977-2011) online via their State of the States link on the home page (right hand side of page)

          The hardcopy version of the new monograph with extensive state-by-state revenue, spending, and programmatic data encompassing fiscal years 1977-2011 is now available in draft form, and is being reviewed by State I/DD Agency Directors and their staff. The preliminary monograph was also disseminated at the Coleman Institute Annual Conference in Westminster, Colorado, on November 2, 2012.  Contact Us for information about obtaining a print copy.
          Your soul will probably weep.  Mine does....
  •  This (4+ / 0-)

    Whole tragic destructive incident isn't only on the young shooter, who obviously wasn't getting the help he needed for his known frailties. But also on his mother who either she or someone near her should have recognized was already over her own drawn line and was in need of help for her growing obsession but more importantly paranoia that had it's grip on her and was growing tighter, and there are way too many in our society just like her!!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:01:44 PM PST

    •  a sad comment on Balloon Juice nailed it, I think (15+ / 0-)
      I dated a woman four years ago who had an “emotionally disturbed” son. And by “emotionally disturbed”, I’m talking a nine-year old kid who alternated between normalcy and psychotic rage so quickly that it scared the living shit out of me; I was 35 years older, 150 pounds heavier and twice his height and I was honestly scared to turn my back on this child. And she acted like nothing was wrong with him. She wanted to get him a bow and arrow and give him archery lessons, for Christ’s sake. All I could see was this kid shooting me in the back the first chance he got. And he would have. To this day I’m convinced that, even without a bow, he would have stabbed me with the first thing he could lay his hands on had her and I stayed together (this kid was the number one reason I didn’t stay, there were others) and I’m still convinced that one day he’s going to nail the doors shut and burn the house down with everyone inside, laughing the whole time.

      I got it. She didn’t want to face what her kid was, because to face that means that you’re facing a lifetime of a child that presents an active danger to you, your other children, and everyone he comes in contact with, and no one wants to face that. She wanted a normal kid, and would seize on his good moments and his obvious intelligence, and would ignore the rest. So I get Adam’s mom. How can you face the fact that you’ve birthed a monster?

      I think his mom had an agenda of her own for keeping guns in the house, and that agenda led her to ignore just how fucked up her kid was.

      Ignoring a sick child doesn’t make them better.

      It makes sense. No parent wants to face that. How often do you see the parent of a rapist or killer wailing on TV about how "their baby would never do that"?

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:22:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And where was the apparently affluent father? (0+ / 0-)

      How much did he know and care about anything having to do with his ex-spouse and sons? (Beyond generous alimony and child support.)

      And some reports suggest the older brother claimed he had not seen the younger since 2010, though he had visited Newtown several times, and even went on a trip to New Orleans to meet with Mom for a concert?

      Plenty of strange and strained relationships to go around in this family, methinks.

  •  Are the NRA and their supporters going to try (7+ / 0-)

    to shift the blame from themselves to video games by trotting out this old argument?

    Please spare us. While I believe parents need to monitor and watch which video games and TV and movies a child is watching, I would've have been shocked if a 20 year old that did not have a job and go to college or school did not play some form of video. Next we are going to find out his read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings? OMGosh.

    “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” --Gandhi:

    by smokey545 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:23:11 PM PST

  •  Especially appreciate your point (7+ / 0-)

    about the celebritization of the shooter. I find that the media is profoundly irresponsible in this.

  •  Paging Joe Lieberman (0+ / 0-)

    Your boat is at the dock, fully rigged and ready to go.

    You know you want to go here again.  

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:38:43 PM PST

  •  You know, if we didn't have guns all around... (10+ / 0-)

    ...people could play genuinely violent video games with no blowback.  It's interesting to me that the gun nuts, historically identified with a freedom agenda, are suddenly willing to throw every other freedom overboard to hold onto their guns.  They'd ban violent video games. They'd establish a police-state regime for the mentally ill.  They'd turn schools into fortresses.  Everything and anything so their precious guns remain untouched.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:44:56 PM PST

  •  The best take on the medias culpability in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    such events was done by the British comedian Charlie Brooker, shown here.

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:46:07 PM PST

  •  DYNASTY WARRIORS?!?! (6+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry, was he leading an army of elite Chinese warriors with a battle plan by Zhuge Liang?

    Man, fuck the media. If they don't understand video games, they shouldn't fucking talk about them.

  •  waits for a dose of positive psychology to arrive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I understand that it would not be easy to introduce a position of positive psychology, in the light of the tragedy at Newton. I should probably leave that matter to the professors at U Penn:

    It's my impression that the culture of the times has become abjectly aggressive, far more than a healthy culture would be. In trying to understand that, I could like to oversimplify it to the matters of immersive violence in video games - but that game looks plainly tame, in comparison to a few others on the market. Also, there must be a lot more to it than video games, or guns even - something more nascent, perhaps ascertainable to the qualified social psychologist.

    I'm not surprised if the news reporters have tried to cobble together a story blaming video games, though. I'm sure that they must have tight schedules (tongue in cheek)

    •  Basically (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      you are trying to unite China.  You are a named general and you command troops.  I've played most of the variants of Dynasty Warriors and by and large there are few guns... usually bladed weapons and bows and arrows, as well as some stranger things.  I do seem to remember some elite troops having musket type weapons.   I typically used a bow and arrow.

      In between the combat rounds, there are map and resource strategy movements, including diplomacy among warring factions.

  •  So dumb to blame video games (5+ / 0-)

    Millions of copies are sold of the most violent games, and the percentage of buyers who go on to commit these crimes is small. In addition, people have committed horrific acts of violence throughout history who did mot play violent videogames. I wonder if Joe could tell me what violent games Jack the Ripper played or Charles Whitman (University of TX sniper).

    The rate of these large scale massacres seems higher (I don't know if it is), but we also have a larger population, greater gun access and more dangerous weapons, and lower rates of institutionalization, among other things.

    All my kids play violent video games, as does my boyfriend. The one who plays them the least (he prefers cartoonish games like Mario Party and Ace Attorney) is actually the one with the most aggressive temper and anger issues, although I think he is unlikely to hurt anyone.

    I used to think violent video games were a problem and some are not allowed in my house, but now I look more at the context of the violence. For example, I am okay with games where you shoot zombies. I am not okay with games where you shoot cops (even corrupt ones) or punch old ladies for my teens.

    I think the parents' attitudes toward guns perhaps shape their children's attitudes more than video games or movies. And I think some people are just messed up and do not get the help they need and  they may find validation for their sick fantasies wherever it can be found, whether it is books, movies, games, or accounts of other violent acts. And some need no validation.

    This guy was clearly angry and had issues with his mother and with control. He is said to have shot her four times in the face. He did not just want to kill her, he wanted to obliterate her and dehumanize her by removing her face. I don't think he did it for some sort of macabre glory because he destroyed his computer with a hammer to keep people from knowing him better and didn't advertise his plan. And he shot those people repeatedly at close range, suggesting a lot of anger and hatred. Was he jealous of other children because he was never able to be a normal child? Did something happen to him at that age that made him want to punish children? We may never know. He also shot himself when he heard the first responders, rather than shooting at them and letting them shoot him -- he was determined to be in control of that situation.

    I don't think video games caused that. I don't think he was isolated because he played a lot of games. I think he played a lot of games because he was (and perhaps wanted to be) isolated.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:26:51 PM PST

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