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  • #16
    What's asinine is starting the thread by talking about how violent video games is the real problem, then saying it's a thread on mental health issues, then bringing in family relations to the discussion. So where's the discussion on mental health?

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    • #17
      My only real issue with the 23 EO's signed yesterday by the President is that they don't really accomplish anything. By his own admission, congress would have to act (like they ever do anything together) to pass the big 3 things that MIGHT (not would , but might) have an impact. #1 - better background checks... this one makes the most sense and has the strongest chance of getting through congress... probably makes sense. #2 Limit high capacity mags... well - I can shoot a 10 rounder, drop it and have the second one locked and loaded within 2 seconds last time I was timed at the range with the M-16a2 when I was on active duty... tape 3 of those together, you got your 30 round mag... its a red herring issue IMHO. #3 - "assult weapon" ban... Hmm OK, I don't think this one will get through congress with or without the NRA's opposition.

      So, staying with the gun side of the issue for a minute... lets pretend all three of these DID pass congress... then what? You either grandfather in ALL the existing firearms and mags already in circulation (which kind of defeats the whole purpose of the ban), OR what else do you do? Are all these once legal owners now criminals overnight? Will our cash strapped government begin mandatory buy-back programs to force the guns out of circulation? Or is the plan to play imminent domain with people's personal property and force folks to turn in their guns or face jail time?... good luck getting most to volunteer their weapon... this means hundreds of thousands of otherwise law abiding citizens will likely take their chances at being branded a "criminal" by their own government.

      Not realistic solution, even IF you can get the ban through congress - which is less likely than a balanced budget in the next 10 years.

      So, society influence... yes, their is violence in video games / movies / media... I am pretty hard to shock, but when I overhear some of the scouts discussing games like DOOM, Grand Theft Auto, and Call of Duty... I am taken aback. These video games are extremely realistic, and extra violent. GTA, I was told gives bonus points for killing the prostitute after your character rapes her... that can't be good and I really don't see how its considered entertainment. A lot of the Call of Duty ops mimic famous war battles from history, to include recent missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a former military man myself, I understand the draw of a first person shooter game, but I question the intelligence of glorifying war. War is dirty, war is violent, war sucks and should be the method of last resort.

      Unfortunately, we now have a generation of children raised on 24hr news cycle of war. Any kid 12 years old and under does not know anytime in their life that our country has not been at war! They may not see it everyday, and they probably do not understand the reasons (heck most adults including the ones that made the decision to commit troops have a hard time telling you WHY we are there anymore), but they see it on the news... body counts, drone attacks, etc...

      The shooters in CT and Aurora were probably about 6 to 8 years old when the twin towers fell and we starting into this mess as a nation... Their entire formative years have been spent in FEAR of terrorist attack, news cycles of war updates, increased government invasion on privacy under the name of safety. Couple that with access multiple hours a day access to ultra violent video games and an altered or diminished mental capacity... you got a recipe for disaster... and thats what we have seen.

      So, how do you fix it?

      It MUST be multi-faceted.

      1) Mental health... I have yet to hear a report about ANY mass murder shooter where those close around them, friends / family / caregivers, were stunned or shocked that this had happened. The enormity of the violence, yes, but not shocked that these individuals had "snapped". This leads me to believe that mental health interventions have failed in our society. In the 50's-60's it was cruel and there were abuses, BUT people like this were able to be institutionalized and segregated from society. In the past 3 decades, the funding has been slashed and the attitude both inside medicine and outside in education and society in general has been to mainstream these folks. This is a problem that needs to be addressed.

      Not all mentally ill people will be violent. However, those that have been violent in the past or have shown the potential for violent behavior need to be treated aggressively and kept segregated from mainstream society. I know this is probably not a popular viewpoint, but it is a truth of the situation. For most, if not all of these shooters, their "blaze of glory" was NOT their first act of violence... those around them saw signs and more minor incidents prior to the big event. We need strong intervention at the entry level event on folks like this. Its not a pretty thing to say, but sanitariums have their place in society. Most have been shuttered and their residents are walking among us, mainstreamed... this is not a good thing for the overall safety of society.

      Finally, the media industry. They will tell you that art (movies, video games, whatever) is just imitating life. That may be true, but it is undeniable that art also influences life. Better regulation and enforcement with regards to M-rating on video games, and R-rating in movies is needed. It can come from within the industry themselves, or from a government agency, it doesn't matter. I fear this is a pipe-dream, because as much as folks bemoan the NRA and its deep pocket PAC influence, the video game and movie/TV industry's PAC makes the NRA look like a small potato. If politicians are reluctant to take on the NRA, they are down right terrified of pissing off Hollywood and the media giants.

      Those are my proposed solutions... however I am a realist and I highly doubt ANY will be implemented to a degree severe enough to make a serious impact on gun violent in our society. It has taken decades to get to this point. It would take meaningful action and decades of time to reverse the course of human attitude towards violence at this point.

      My only real beef with Obama right now on this issue, is that while most everyone agrees it needs a multifaceted approach to solutions, the only thing his administration is really concentrated on is the gun control approach. Very little to nothing said yesterday regarding mental health care and violence in the media as confounding variables in the equation of gun violence.

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      • #18
        You left out the worst offender of all: rap music.

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        • #19
          Yah, please, please, please can we have a ban on rap music?

          I reckon that's an option which would gain bipartisan support in a heartbeat.

          Beavah

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          • #20
            Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the rap music... I guess I lump that in with "media" in general. I would say any music that glorifies or attempts to entice voilence via the lyrics. Maybe rap does this more than other genres... I don't know.

            Dean

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            • #21
              I'm pretty sure it's heavy metal music that's the issue, though having to listen to James Taylor or Country Music would do me in.

              No wait, it's television, definitely television - Sponge Bob, Teletubbies and Barnie would cause me to snap.

              No, on third thought, it's movies - Shrek? Talk about triggering violent tendencies.

              Hmm - never mind - video games - Ms PacMan? No good can ever come of that.

              Here's a couple of wild ideas - first, decriminalize most drugs - in fact, legalize them and tax them like alcohol - us banning drugs hasn't stopped people from wanting or using drugs (that should be an argument the pro-gun folks should be able to get behind), but it has contributed a great deal to the violence levels in this country. Second, stop publicizing mass shootings - is occurs to me that, given how many mass shooters take their own lives at the scene, that they are just wanting to go out in a "blaze of glory" - well, if we stop publicizing them so much, we eliminate the possibility of them getting their moments of fame.

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              • #22

                Here's a couple of wild ideas - first, decriminalize most drugs - in fact, legalize them and tax them like alcohol - us banning drugs hasn't stopped people from wanting or using drugs (that should be an argument the pro-gun folks should be able to get behind), but it has contributed a great deal to the violence levels in this country. Second, stop publicizing mass shootings - is occurs to me that, given how many mass shooters take their own lives at the scene, that they are just wanting to go out in a "blaze of glory" - well, if we stop publicizing them so much, we eliminate the possibility of them getting their moments of fame.

                The first suggestion isn't unreasonable.

                The second cannot be controlled unless all media is strictly controlled, which is a terrifying prospect. We can hope they'd place that kind of filter on themselves though. However, the first time something terrible happens and one station gets huge viewership by covering the gory details is when the measure would fail.

                Seems to me people would have to not want to know who the killer is in order for the killer to not be motivated by being known. The only solution to that is to get rid of news and information in all its present forms, especially the 24 hour news. Seeing how that's contrary to demand, we really seem to be stuck in a tough spot on that issue.

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                • #23
                  Interesting that everyone bristles at the thought of restricting First Amendment rights but have no problem in restricting Second Amendment rights. Neither should be restricted. Violent films, games, and music does harm youth. Lack of outdoor experiences harm youth. The horrific state of our mental health system is a large part of the problem - the root problem in all the mass shootings. Emphatically, guns are not the problem and are protected by the Bill of Rights. I have yet to hear a pundit or read a columnist who believes that anything proposed by Obama would have changed the outcome of Sandy Hook. Guns are not the problem. People are the problem. It is very simple. Cars don't run into people or other cars, drivers steer them into people. The arguments on the left make no logical sense unless the long term goal is confiscation. Otherwise, the 'tolerant' left is making ridiculous arguments.
                  BTW, the grown children of the president of the NRA are getting death threats. Such tolerance of different ideas!

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