From My Cold, Dead Hands

"Those that give up an essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty not safety" - Ben Franklin

I’ve waited to comment on the Sandy Hook atrocity for quite a few days because I have been doing some serious soul searching and thinking. I’ve tried to wait for all the facts to come out, for all the pundits to get their BS out, for all the politicians to declare their holy crusades and for every dimwit lobbyist to voice their opinion.

Now it’s my turn.

I think Angry Birds is to blame. It promotes genocide and racial profiling.

I think Angry Birds is to blame. It promotes genocide and racial profiling.

We’ve heard every manner of excuse in the last week. Guns kill people! It’s Hollywood’s fault! It’s Call of Duty’s fault! It’s the media’s reporting! It’s the music industry! It’s insert vacuous reason !

I’ll be honest, I had no intention of writing on this tragedy at all until I saw what the vice president of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre had to say today:

“Through vicious violent video games, with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: It’s called Kindergarten Killers. it’s been online for 10 years. How come my research staff can find it, and all yours couldn’t, or didn’t want anyone to know you’ve found it?”

No. No. No. No. Don't you dare start that garbage LaPierre. Every single time there is some sort of tragedy involving guns/mass murder, video games are always the first scapegoat for explaining someone's crazy actions.

No one EVER wants to look at how screwed up that person might have been mentally, how bad the parenting might have been, etc. I have been playing videogames since I was a little kid and not once have I ever considered taking my video game violence to real life.

Not all or even most videogames are shooters. Games like Journey are beautiful, evocative pieces.

Not all or even most videogames are shooters. Games like Journey are beautiful, evocative pieces.

I resent being grouped with mass murders with every fiber of my being. You know how absurd that is? It’s about as absurd as blaming guns and the 80 million law abiding owners of those guns for these shooting tragedies.

Look up Kindergarten Killers. Seriously. Do it. This game is some cheap Flash game someone put together in 30 minutes, posted on Newgrounds (a sort of 4chan) for shock value and then was never played. Nice reaching LaPierre.

You know what possibly irritated me most about these comments? It’s exactly like what liberals do. I have a friend who posted a somewhat “anti-feminist” article on the internet that ended up getting linked to Stormwatch, a white supremacist forum. He was therefore decried as a racist.

That’s basically what LaPierre did: “Look at this super stupid, super inappropriate, super obscure video game we found! Video games are SO EVIL”

Poor XBOX 360 never hurt nobody! From Kotaku

Poor XBOX 360 never hurt nobody! From Kotaku

You want to save your organization’s skin (an organization who I support much more tepidly now)? Fine. No intelligent person would blame 80 million gun owners for what a few nutjobs do. Therefore, don’t blame the 163 million gamers for the crimes either. Don’t blame the musicians, the movie writers either while you’re at it.

STOP THE BLAME.

The NRA, like everyone else, is just trying to pass the blame off on someone else. NEWSFLASH though: It is the individual that’s to blame, not the games or the movies or the music.

Conservatives, learn from our hero.

Conservatives, learn from our hero.

So, how about we stop these charades and blame who (not what) is really at fault here: the man who killed all those children.

It comes down to things less broad than movies. It comes down to things like parenting.

If you are a parent, I have a piece of important news for you. EVERYTHING IS RATED. Music is labeled “explicit.” Video games have letter ratings. Movies have age and letter ratings.

How many times have you gone to see a rated R movie and there is some preteen kid in the theater? How often have you been in a store and seen a kid picking up a M rated game? That is the parents responsibility to stop.

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about Rock n' Roll." ~Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario.

The videogame community may have its horrible people, it’s violent people, its crazy people. It also has people who fundamentally wanted to respect the dead of Sandy Hook. It also has games like Spec Ops: The Line that are thoughtful, horrific, scarring commentaries on the very violence present in videogames, utilized to make the player rethink his gaming habits and in many cases become disgusted with themselves.

"I don't think it's about more gun control. I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren't taught the value of life…I don’t think movies or video games have anything to do with it.” - Samuel L. Jackson
From My Cold, Dead Hands

From My Cold, Dead Hands

So let’s sum it all up in a few bullet points:

  • Weapons are the true symbol of freedom. No slave in history has been allowed to bear them.
  • Guns don’t kill people. Alcohol doesn’t rape. Forks don’t make you fat. Cars don’t speed.
  • No person brandishing a videogame screaming, “CALL OF DUTY MOTHERF*****S” has ever or will ever kill someone.
  • Correlation does not equal causation. Implicating people who own video games because a murderer owned them is like implicating everyone who owns the same make of Ford Truck he owned.
  • Even if all violent media was censored and all weapons were completely banned, lunatics would still figure out how to get both. If someone’s intent is to shoot innocents, then it won’t matter how many felonies they commit to commit that one ultimate felony
  • The best place to look for answers right now is in the area of mental health.
  • The mainstream media’s only purpose in existence is to make money, and to do that it must keep you on your lazy, stupid and apathetic butt while you listen to sensationalist reporting. Therefore, turn that crap off.
  • Some of you parents suck. Seriously. Stop ruining your kid’s childhoods by letting them play Halo. Give them some Super Mario Bros or Sonic the Hedgehog like I grew up with.
  • Now is an appropriate time to consider if your gaming is having an adverse effect on you personally, rather than allowing the media to use blanket statements to judge you on your behalf.
  • Christian conservatives, if I hear you talk about abortion and the “lack of respect” for human life as the cause for the Sandy Hook tragedy, I will flip.
  • Thanks to the morally bankrupt media, too many people know the names of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold of Columbine, James Holmes the “Joker” of Aurora, Jared Lee Loughner of Tucson, Adam Lanza of Sandy Hook and not the names of the victims. Want to talk about glorified violence? Meet the networks: ABC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, BBC, MSNBC.
  • The NRA was a lot more likeable last week when it shut up and kept to short, simple statements.
  • A great YouTuber, TotalBiscuit, summed it up when he said this about the media, "...it's unethical. I should not be making money on the backs of dead children, and neither should these television networks...”
  • You will have to tear my videogames, music and movies from my cold, dead hands.