Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Newtown Shooting

I know that strictly speaking this isn't related to gaming but gamers are being scapegoated and also are trying to have a moments silence on online shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield, so it is linked.

Of course on Friday there was a mass shooting at a school in America. It was obviously a great tragedy and has affected everyone quite profoundly. It has also led to the inevitable debate on what should be done. Should guns be banned? Should mental health specialists do more to prevent such things? Should violent games/films/music be banned? My feelings on this issue are quite strong and I honestly feel that in this case the moral issue is not one of opinion but of fact, that being said I may be quite strongly opinionated here and may upset or offend some people. I'd like to make clear that that is not my intention and I apologise in advance if I do so, of course you can feel free to chip in with your own views in the comments below.

The first issue is the issue of gun control, though it is unrealistic both economically and ethically I feel that a) guns should be banned among civilians and b) civilians should have their guns they currently own confiscated and destroyed. Of course the industry creates a lot of income and employment so the impact of its removal would be profound and of course confiscating people's property is a moral and legal nightmare but the total removal of guns would have a massive impact on both the regularity and severity of gun crime in America. Just look at a country like England or France for proof of this. I accept that this is highly unrealistic and maybe America should merely remove automatic weapons and the ownership of multiple guns (how many guns do you need to defend yourself anyway?).

Honestly though I feel as though America, its people and its government can never be given credibility as a civilised nation so long as its people are armed. The fact that there are men and women in the world who believe that guns are not only ok but are in fact necessary - some even think teachers should now be armed! - is truly sickening, almost as sickening as the massacres themselves. The people who believe this may or may not be a minority but they exist and they should be given treatment. Whether the reason guns are legal is historical, economic or otherwise the fact that so many people are ok with it is truly alarming. The world's most influential nation contains an alarming amount of gun lovers who think people should have guns. This needs to be stopped or else crimes like this shooting will never stop. As far as I'm concerned if you own a gun and think that that's ok then you're only a step or two away from being as bad as the shooter himself.

The other issue is one raised by Morgan Freeman, he argues that gun control isn't the real answer and that mental health work is. Why was this man not in treatment? Why was he allowed to do this? I agree with this to an extent in that I believe that yes he should have been treated and this should have been prevented but I think that a gun ban or at least massively tightened gun control is also needed. Also I genuinely (please don't be offended) feel that anyone who owns a gun and believes it to be ok or thinks that teachers should be armed needs psychiatric help, anyone who thinks weapons in a civilian population is a good thing obviously is unstable in some way. Weapons are used to harm, no healthy person should wish harm on another.

Ultimately with a push in mental health work and a ban on guns this sort of case will become a very rare occurrence where currently it is worryingly widespread. What do you think? Should guns be banned or am I a lunatic liberal?

6 comments:

  1. Don't think guns will ever be banned in the States seems its too ingrained in their soul. Perraps the automatic weapons could be banned - at least this would be something. The killing of those kids affected the whole world so a lot of eyes are on the Americans to do something. I hope they do.

    On another point you raised, the blame on violent flms dvds games etc does come into the argument. But surely the majority know it is a game, it is a film, it isn't real. Suppose some tho do not see the difference and that is where possible danger could be. We need to talk about what is right and what is wrong, the general ownership of guns to the ordinary people is not right by me.

    Naj

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  2. "Police have arrested an 11-year-old boy after he was caught with a gun in an American school 'to protect himself' following last week's mass shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

    The boy allegedly said he feared another attack similar to the one that left 20 children dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    Students at the suburban West Kearns Elementary School in Salt Lake City told police the boy threatened them with the handgun by waving it at them. However, they didn't report the boy until several hours after the incident, so there was no 'lockdown'.

    Instead, teachers and administrators confronted him and found he had an unloaded gun and ammunition in his backpack.

    One student, Isabelle Rios, said the boy threatened her and other students. She said the boy pointed the gun to their heads and threatened to kill them..."

    The madness continues - what family in their right mind have guns and ammunition in a house for an 11yr old to get hold of.

    Sure some are still saying no doubt he's been brought up on 'shooter games' from the age of 3yrs old !

    It's a madhouse out there and I wish Obama the best of luck in his quest to sort things out.

    Mike

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  3. I copied this list and strongly feel it is well worth showing here.

    The world and especially the USA must do something to honour the memory of those who lost their lives in this tragic shooting. Especially to those children aged 6 and 7 who should have had their lives before them.

    "Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
    - Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male
    - Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.
    - Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female
    - Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
    - Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female
    - Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
    - Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female
    - Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
    - Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female
    - Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
    - Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male
    - James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
    - Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female
    - Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female
    - Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female
    - Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
    - Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male
    - Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
    - Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female
    - Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
    - Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female (full date of birth not specified)
    - Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female
    - Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female
    - Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
    - Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female "

    To President Obama and the American people do not let this moment in time pass by it is within your power to do something.

    It is the gun laws that need changing and they need changing now

    M

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  4. Gamers, shootings and other stuff

    I am an ordinary guy who enjoys shooting games. It does not make me want to go out and shoot people. Kids have played cowboys and indians, goodies and baddies for generations, it does not make them want to go out and kill in 'the real world'

    There are a few who unfortunately suffer with mental illness and these may want to go out and kill. We should have an adequate mental health system that can deal with that - more needs to be done on this I think.

    I am one of those who just can not understand why 'the ordinary guy' would want or need a gun.

    We will look to the States over the coming months to see what legacy these terrible shootings will leave.

    I will sign off as usual !

    Game On

    DB

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  5. To President Obama and the American people do not let this moment in time pass by it is within your power to do something.

    Yes, lets hope and pray they do the right thing

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  6. Did anyone see the statement given by the NRA today? Thought it might at least be a little contrite but no.
    I think the view that an armed guard, security officer should be in every US school is abhorent to most of us in the UK but unfortunately in the US the answer seems to be you meet the threat of a gun with yet more guns. It is the mentality of the US citizens that surely must be questioned.As Naj said in the first comment here < Don't think guns will ever be banned in the States seems its too ingrained in their soul.>
    The shame is everyone else is being blamed the gamers, the film industry, the music industry. It's about time the growing movement to try and get things changed is heard and listened to.

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