Friday, December 21, 2012

NRA Boss: Guns Don't Kill People, Video-Games Kill People!

Something I wish the media would remind people of more often: The National Rifle Association isn't a sportsmen's club anymore, or even a citizen's rights group for gun owners. They're a corporate lobbying group for the gun manufacturing industry. Understanding that is the key to understanding why they do things like insisting more guns - not fewer - are the key to safety, or spurring the stockpiling of weapons with the "gun-ban" boogeyman: They aren't looking to help gun owners, they're looking to increase sales. (See also: "Armed guards at schools are the answer! And we're MORE than willing to help set that up!")

But even understanding that couldn't have prepared me to see the NRA's hilariously faux-macho bossman Wayne LaPierre get in front of cameras today for what was ostensibly supposed to be their response to the Sandy Hook massacre and essentially declare, at the 8:25 mark of this video: Guns don't kill people, video games kill people!

The depressing amusement of the head of The NRA calling anything else a "shadow industry" aside, I'm actually grateful for this kind of public insanity. One thing Mr. LaPierre and I have in common is that we're both fans of clarity - he likes to talk about "good guys with guns" vs "bad guys with guns;" and I like seeing him (a bad guy with guns) come out so strongly in favor of game/movie/etc censorship, because it helps unmuddy the waters: Weak-willed so-called "progressives" who might otherwise have been willing to give ground on "violent" media (instead of keeping the debate laser-focused on the gun lobby, where it belongs) will hopefully be less so when they see it means agreeing with the distraction-tactics of LaPierre and his ilk.

So, this is to be a (political) fight, then. Games, films, entertainers, artists and the people who value them... versus The Right-Wing Gun Lobby. Good. Let's have it, then.


Donald (The Scape) said...

This is sickening. Gotta love the blame game and the fact that this guy tries to blame everything else, without ever accepting the fact that they want to put a weapon into the hands of the kind of people who do these kinds of shootings.

James said...

I think the NRA is scum. But I still have to ask, Bob, how you think you have the moral high ground here when you give Obama's murderous military policies a free pass.

Answer me, Chipman, or prove yourself to be an intellectually dishonest coward.

Anonymous said...

I will not be forced into a simplified debate either way, Guns then healthcare then some way off in the distance games. but let us not be drawn into an either or blame game. its beneath me, us?


PS James pragmatism gets Obama a pass, nothing more.
The other guy was a fucking dangerous joke

Evilkinggumby said...

I want to see if eventually this reaches a point where we pinpoint that it's not that guns kill people, or even that PEOPLE kill people. it's that "Pointer fingers" kill people. Ban or genetically remove pointer fingers so we cannot properly pull the trigger and America becomes safe again! Woo!

At that point I'ma just join the rapture and live under the ocean with the big daddy's....

LR said...

Tragedies are never a straight drink. They are always a cocktail of factors.

Anonymous said...

Life kills people.

Orin Bishop said...

His example game is some weird indy game from ten years ago. That's like demonstrating the evils of the film industry by showing a YouTube video.

Aiddon said...

Well since they're bringing it up again might as well get he boxing gloves ready and demand just what study has proven that there's a causal link between violent videogames and real violence. Though these are also the kind of gits who hate facts with every fiber of their being

El Pibe Progre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Pibe Progre said...

@Aiddon: I'm pretty sure such studies exist. Though I doubt their seriousness.

Matt said...

As a gun owner and gamer, I can't blame bob or his reaction, even if I think he shows his Bias in his words, but I think the NRA did, pretty much what it exsists to do, protect gun rights and the rights of those who make guns, just as we, as gamers, fight tooth and nail to protect our industry.

Still, I Feel it is a good time to respond to some of his points, and since Im both a gamer, and a gun owner, I feel like I should be the most likely canadate.

Firstly, his banging on about the Violence in our culture, while a clear attempt to focus attention elsewhere, is not without merit. Lets face it, our society now has more violent content in it's media then even, and that's a right and just point to make, even if it's only on small part of the discussion to be had.

As for the Armed guards in schools thing, hate to be the one to burst you bubble, but, that already happens, in over 10000 Schools in the COUNTRY!!!!

My school had local volunteers a guards cause of a series of Student riots and gang fights that broke out while I went there..

As for the Gun control arguement, had to rain on peoples parades, but the Highest example of Violent crime in the country? Was during the ASSUALT WEAPONS BAN!!!!

When it sunset, crime actually drop, and has dropped, EVERY YEAR SINCE according to FBI statistics.

Up until this year anyway.

So, the real question isn't a matter of "Gun control", but of a much broad question with many different Facets, including mental health, media permientation, School security, and our willingness to look beyond politics and into facts, and see what real solutions might come from that, as opposed to the Knee jerk, emotion driven Actions were seeing right now in the media, the Political realm, and in general.

In the end, the NRA will likely fight and defeat any major effort to curb gun rights, be it on the Hill, or in the courts, as they have done for decades now.

Rather then fight them, a better approach might to be listen to them, and see if perhaps, with almost a hundred years in this arena, they might not be on the right track, seeing as how, in other cases, they consistantly prove that gun control, like that proposed by Obama and fienstien, are failed experiments, that have, in the passing of history, proven, to be completely and utterly ineffective.

And now, I count down to see how long it takes for someone to make a clearly biased, politically driven, hateful response to this post.

Adam Meyers said...

Bob, while the NRA is a lobbying group and I of course disapprove of anyone declaring we need to censure art, this is one of the nation's leading experts on guns proving through statistics and a lifetime of expertise that more guns does, in fact, save lives by every recordable fact you can pretty much find.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, you all got trolled. If the actions of a madman will drive you to such hysterics that you are willing to deprive millions of innocent people of an enumerated right, I shudder to think what an average weekend in Chicago does to your view of the Thirteenth Amendment.

Makoto ONeill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Makoto ONeill said...

'd love to see the statistics on the multiple murders that didn't happen at all because of gun control.. or I would if you could reliably track something that never happened. Gun control is but the first step. Yes other factors need to be stepped up too. think of it like a deadly disease there is unlikely to be a single cure for it. it WILL take a variety of treatments and it WON'T be cured tomorrow. but we have to be willing to take those steps.

"So here's the plan we'll use the second amendment to sell lots of guns then when something goes wrong we'll hide behind it and tell the people who bought them to give us more money so we can still sell them more guns!"

Redd the Sock said...

Nice to know I'm not the only one to catch that conflict of interest when the NRA says more guns = more safety. Always be wary when someone's solution also reaps them rather huge benefits. Within hours of the shooting 2nd amendment advocates wanted to focus on motives and other causes beyond the weapon. They aren't helped by the NRA pointing at a different boogeyman and going "yeah, all those video games and movies and stuff are to blame." Gun owners have enough trouble with respectability when some of the loudest spokesmen act as if there's nothing concerning about having the Matrix arsenal for home defense, or thinking as soon as the guns go away any government will turn into nazis. If the NRA wanted to truly protect their rights and constituents, they'd at least show some shame and put out a call to their own for stronger action to prevent weapons from getting into the hands of those that would do this kind of thing, for while a shooting may be harsh, the damning part comes from how they got around a background check, or didn't have to work to get into the family gun safe. All if for no other reason to prevent the government from needing to step in.

Of course, they don't and the pick the most cliched boogeymen they can. I'll believe video games impact behavior when a avid RPG fan is found killing neighborhood animals for experience points.

Nixou said...

"Guns don't kill people, video games kill people!"

And violent movies too! By the way, who's that guy who was president of the NRA 10 years ago?

Soylent Brown-and-gritty-and-next-gen-and-in-HD is PEOPLE!!!!!!!


"what study has proven that there's a causal link between violent videogames and real violence."

There are some studies... But they show a null or inverse correlation between video games and violence. If anything, causality probably works the other way around, with people who already have a disposition for violence coming to games instead of games magically turning mentally balanced people into insane killers.


"I'd love to see the statistics on the multiple murders that didn't happen at all because of gun control.."

We can make educated guesses:


"I'll believe video games impact behavior when a avid RPG fan is found killing neighborhood animals for experience points."

There are already sadists larping the Level 65 Badass Hunter and to add insult to injury, they get paid for it:

John M Osborne said...

@James - it's a great thing about human beings, that one can hold conflicting views at the same time.

John M Osborne said...

@Orin Bishop

To be fair, that actually sort of happened.

John M Osborne said...


Violent crime is down, but mass shootings have gone up since 2007, as gun purchases were on the rise.

That said - it was pointed out to me that out of 10 million households in Canada, 7 million own guns. They consume the same media and buy just as many violent video games. They have nowhere near the same amount of gun violence.

I would like to see less violent games myself, but they share as much blame as Jodie Foster did with Ronald Reagan's assassination.

Yoh said...


First, this has nothing to do with your so called 'rights', the NRA doesn't give a damn about your rights, the only thing they and the gun manufactures that they represent care about is selling more guns.

Second, you don't have a right to firearms, read your god damn constitution. It explicitly states that members of a 'well regulated militia' have the right to own and bear arms, not the citizens.
And up until the 1970's the courts interpreted the 2nd amendment as such, until the NRA ran a propaganda campaign reinterpreting the 2nd amendment to instead mean the 'individual right' to keep and to bear arms, to naturally sell more guns.

And they won. And after a 40 year long propaganda campaign they get smucks like you to believe it.
But don't take my word for it, go, go on and read your damn constitution, and catch up on your history while your at it.

And lastly, while the homicide rate in the US has gone down (fluctuated actually) since the 1990's, it it still outlandishly high when compared to other 1st world countries.

In 2008 16,272 were killed in the US from guns. That is a fuck ton.
Compared to Japan's 11. 11!
(although to be fair Japan's population is roughly 1/3 that of the US, so go ahead and triple it)

And you know why? It's because they actually fucking regulate their guns, massively so.
I only wish we were as strict down here in NZ.

You can read up more on this here:

In the US you've got 89 guns per person statistically, your swimming in guns, and it's killing you, on average your killing 16,000 people each and every year.

Do you feel safer now that your have the 'individual right' to bear arms?

Steven said...

Here you go

Thomas Winwood said...

"Second, you don't have a right to firearms, read your god damn constitution. It explicitly states that members of a 'well regulated militia' have the right to own and bear arms, not the citizens."

I generally avoid getting involved with this discussion precisely because I am a foreigner so I'm not 100% confident about my understanding of things but I definitely know enough to tell you that you sir are full of shit.

Read the Supreme Court decision in the case of DC v Heller. The prefatory clause of the Second Amendment does not in any way restrict the operative clause.

The Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for any lawful purpose, which includes self-defence. American citizens overwhelmingly choose both handguns and assault rifles for that purpose and others.

Sylocat said...

Oh, the NRA is even worse than you think.

Here's a brief history of the NRA and its leadership, in which you will learn (among other things) that their contemporary leadership were once spearheading an anti-immigrant vigilante-justice squad called "Operation Wetback."

Yes, seriously.

Crimson said...

Now, not only do I dislike firearms, but I personally think that the NRA should dissolve itself, if this is the kind of bullshit that they have to pull to get political attention.

Think about it, people. This organization decided to capitalize on the DEATHS of TWENTY little children and six teachers, just to attempt at digging up an issue which has not only been resolved, but proven to be incorrect and ignorant of the situation at hand, only to not only not have their PRODUCT be blamed for this tragedy, but also to receive more political clout with those that want to blame the media for everything that is wrong in this world. Not to mention Rockerfeller's call for a new, biased study to prove his own point.

The only ones that deserve a firearm in close proximity are these mounds of corrupted genetic material, so they can put the general public out of our misery by their continued waste of oxygen.

This makes me sick on so many levels.

Anonymous said...


Read your god damned case law. The supreme court has repeatedly upheld an individual right to bear arms.

Also, it should be pointed out that the original gun grabbers were Klansmen who wanted to disarm southern blacks.

Makoto ONeill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Makoto ONeill said...

I see a distinct difference between controlling the types of guns and ammunition available by law and not letting anyone have any guns. yes you can have a manual firearm for hunting if you really want to. but being able to fire off more than six bullets without reloading is completely unnecessary. you can still have your guns but no citizen need military grade equipment for self defense or hunting. Not everyone should need a gun.. parents should be able to send children to school without fear and shouldn't need to pass through a security checkpoint to get to class.. making innocent people afraid is the by definition goal of a terrorist.

"Terrorism" comes from the French word terrorisme, and originally referred specifically to state terrorism as practiced by the French government during the Reign of terror. The French word terrorisme in turn derives from the Latin verb terreō meaning “I frighten”. The terror cimbricus was a panic and state of emergency in Rome in response to the approach of warriors of the Cimbri tribe in 105 BC.

- Wikipedia

Anonymous said...

Bob, I'm starting to think that many of your followers are just pissed off right wingers who troll you. Oh well, their perogotive I suppose.

Either way, thank you for your intelligent and clear view on things. The NRA has long since stopped being a sporting/safety group and has long been co-opted by racist, fear mongering, corporate lobbyists.

(Don't believe? Google wetback NRA)

So, thanks for your words here. They are a boon to our community and world.

Yoh said...

@ Thomas Winwood

Thank you for proving my point.
As I stated before, but you gun laws have be subject to a 40 year (more like 30) long propaganda campaign, and your hack supreme court has reinterpreted it to mean an 'individual right' to bear arms. As the DC vs Heller case shows.

Go back and read the history of 1970's in relation to gun laws, Warren .E Burger (a conservative justice) called this idea of an individual's right to bear arms a "fraud".

You might have been led to believe that the 2nd amendment does give you that right, but your wrong, it does not.

But even if it did, so fucking bastardly what? 16,000 dead each year is not worth it, mass shooting of children are not worth it.
So what if the law says you can all have guns to the hilt, it fucking WRONG! It's a bad law.

Anonymous said...

Because whatever laws your country have are soooo much better. /sarcasm

America is a melting pot of, like, a billion different cultures. It's not as homogenized as other countries who can get away with banning all firearms.

Yes, there should be a "within reason" clause to the 2nd amendment i.e. no military grade hardware, no matter how cool it looks. But trying to ban guns altogether? There exist no words in any language that would describe the unholy shitstorm that would ensue. We're talking riots, protests, hell maybe even small scale civil war.

Hypershell said...

In any debate, the irrational extremist always exists on BOTH sides (this is something I wish Anita Sarkeesian could figure out in the whole entertainment-vs-feminism discussion). No matter what side of gun control you're on, a comment such as LaPierre's is an obvious and supremely ignorant scare tactic meant to shift focus instead of taking seriously an honest (even if equally grounded in fear) question. If the private-ownership camp is right, and I believe they are, then they should be able to address the questions raised rather than dodge them, and LaPierre has done them a terrible disservice.

And yes, the NRA profits from gun sales. What's this, conflict of interest in a political issue! When did this start happening?!

The problem with making firearms illegal is that one intent on shooting a bunch of children tends to hold no regard for the law. Between black markets and improvised devices (something the middle east schooled us on), the problem does not simply go away by removing the legal sale and ownership. Further, the criminal or otherwise unscrupulous mind is most encouraged by the feeling of empowerment over one's victims, hence their desire to disarm others.

That last bit makes popularity an arguably more relevant point than legality. That 7-out-of-10 number from Canada is pretty telling. Even if we legally protect firearms, it does NOTHING so long as the general public is so damn squeamish about it. A great deal of the general public in this country views weapons with fear and ignorance, and sees them as nothing but tools of angry people. The term "deterrent" means nothing to them, and the idea of a situation that warrants the "LAST RESORT" of deadly force is considered a fantasy.

Anonymous said...

@Orin Bishop

Actually, decrying some weird 10 year old flash game made by a British teen is a lot closer to holding up a cheap foreign-made grindhouse flick from the 70s as an example of the problems with modern Hollywood.

Yoh said...

"Because whatever laws your country have are soooo much better."

Well as a matter of fact, yeah, we are. On this issue, we are kicking your arse.

Only 1.7% on all violent crimes in NZ are as a result of a gun, and 82% of those are suicides.
We haven't had a mass shooting in over 20 years, you on the other hand have had 6 this year alone.

And don't give me this bull like America is the land of opportunity and is a melting pot, like other 1st world countries aren't?
We get every conceivable culture down here, but were not killing each other.

Why don't you familiarize yourself with other countries first before running your mouth next time.

Specter Von Baren said...

@ Yoh: What weapons are used for your violent crimes? And how many do you have in relation to your population?

Aiddon said...

well, according to the New Zealand government website, the last time they checked the US had...nearly QUADRUPLE the per capita rate of violent crimes committed when compared to NZ. Ouch

Watson said...

A game is structured playing, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool.

iPad game

Trương Nhật Tân said...

I want to see if eventually this reaches a point where we pinpoint that it's not that guns kill people, or even that PEOPLE kill people. it's that "Pointer fingers" kill people. tai iwin

Jesse Freeland said...

Connecticut has come to collecting violent games from their citizens for $25 a piece. It's a way for the government to find a scapegoat instead of finding an actual solution. Slowing down mindless acts of violence will not be easy. And remember; the world wasn't a peaceful place before xbox and playstation.

Anonymous said...

Yoh, please stop spewing stats wrong by a couple of orders of magnitude before trying to dismiss what others are saying. 90 firearms per person? that's 4x the world's population, weighting more than all american combined. And sorry, but I don't believe a country with a population of 127 millions had x7 less murders than that single norway guy made in 1 day.

Bruce L Grubb said...

Yoh, you said "Second, you don't have a right to firearms, read your god damn constitution. It explicitly states that members of a 'well regulated militia' have the right to own and bear arms, not the citizens. "

BZZZZ WRONG; Here is what the 2nd amendment actually says:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed

Right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear Arms NOT "well regulated Militia" as you claimed.

Furthermore Militia is defined as an army or other fighting force that is composed of non-professional fighters; citizens of a nation or subjects of a state or government that can be called upon to enter a combat situation.

If you are going to spew nonsense at least make sure is is founded in reality then what every political nonsense you are pushing.

Smashmatt202 said...

Oh yeah, a device that can only go so far as to inspire people to do terrible things does more damage then things that are SPECIFICALLY DESIGN TO KILL PEOPLE! Oy...

Though I didn't know that the NRA are officially a corporate lobbying group, thanks for that.

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