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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Left-Wing Conservative: "Pixel-Whipping" Gun Control

The absurdity of the gun control discussion following the Newtown massacre continues.

The simple fact that some guns can 1) hold more bullets, 2) fire more bullets faster than others and, therefore, 3) are more dangerous than others, while serving no legitimate self- defense purpose, still cannot be acknowledged.

My Governor, Chris Christie, I am sorry to say, did not step up on this issue.

Full disclosure: I didn't vote for Christie, and only agree with him on a few positions (his view on drug addiction treatment over incarceration is, in my mind, humane and realistic). And I don't complain about his Tony Soprano bullying act for two reasons; First, regardless of my political views I have a soft spot for colorful politicians; and second, if I am honest, if I agreed with him enough to have voted for him I would probably cheer him on.

And like many NJ citizens, I respected how Christie stood up for NJ, and against his own party, when Congress punted on voting for the way-overdue Hurricane Sandy relief.

However, this tough talking, tell-it-like-it-is former US Attorney, while on MSNBC's "Morning Joe", when asked about supporting an assault weapons ban, suddenly went weak in the knees and started talking about what he saw as one of the real causes of gun violence.

Videogames.

He went on about how he and his wife Mary Pat don't allow them in the house, and how kids playing "hours and hours" of violent videogames is desensitizing them to violence, etc.

Shame on him, because as a former prosecutor, he knows better.

The "withdrawn anti-social dork obsessed by violent videogames "archetype is a play on the "withdrawn anti-social dork obsessed by Dungeons & Dragons "archetype of the 1980's, as was the "withdrawn anti-social dork obsessed by horror comics" of the 1950s.

By every measure, there is not an epidemic of violent crime in the US. The violent crime rate has declined consistently over the last twenty years (see links below). What has increased during that time is the 24 hour news cycle, and the reporting of every murder on TV and the Web. So we think its way worse. And we look for a cause. Like videogames. Or mentally ill people.

The gun control issue is not about a culture or epidemic of violence. Its about people intent on committing violence (which, alas, we will always have) having the tools to carry out that violence. And about our unwillingness to limit their tools so adolescent-minded consumers can have a high capacity weapon as an exciting toy.

Instead, we stagger about like the drunk who looks for his keys under the lamppost, rather than where he lost them, because the "light is better there".


Article citing US violent crime stats DECREASE over the past 5 years

Dept of Justice report on violent crime against youth, 1994-2010

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