Guns and games

Guns and games
0 comments, Monday, January 7th, 2013, by Cameron Simek, in Featured, Opinions
On December 21 of last year, the Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association stood up and gave a statement about the violence that had occurred only days before. We all know what happened. It’s a wound that we don’t need to open again for quite a while. The statement given by the NRA however, that’s a different story.

This isn’t about arming schools, or about how guns don’t need to be regulated because they don’t actually kill people. This is about another comment. This is about how the media is evil and is causing the violence that we have witnessed.

He blamed the news, comics, music, movies and, most importantly, video games, commonly refered to as murder simulators when a tragedy like this occurs, for this situation. Nothing else could have caused it. Violent media needs to be banned!

Games and Guns - Connor Allen-5webLast semester I made a promise to myself to not publish my opinions regarding video games and gaming in this paper. It’s not something most people want to read about, so I haven’t done it. But as an avid gamer, and someone who enjoys playing games with my brother as a way to bond, this comment disturbs me, and I have to say something.

I have been enjoying video games since I was a small child. It has adjusted my development somewhat, but not in a violent way. I’m not prone to violent outbursts against my friends and family. I don’t injure anyone around me or myself on purpose. I am not a violent individual.

Now I will admit there are times when games can cause me to get a little frustrated, but never that “nerd rage” you see popularized on YouTube. It’s just frustration at myself for not doing better.

I can manage to play violent games and watch violent movies for one simple reason. I have no severe mental issues. Yes, I am bipolar, but that has nothing to do with rage, and games actually help me when I am at my lowest point.

It was as if by an occult hand that the public was led to believe that games and other violent media caused these massacres. It’s kids and adults who have serious mental instabilities that cause these tragedies. They can’t get the help they need in our system today, and we completely ignore this simple truth in favor of a better talking point.

Games are just the latest scapegoat for people who are afraid to admit the truth. Someone picked up a weapon and ended lives with it. Besides, the Supreme Court already took on this issue when talking about a simple tax on violent games. That was deemed unconstitutional. An outright ban would never exist.

The natural assumption clearly must be that something he watched or heard caused this change in an otherwise health young man. This has to be the case. Guns shouldn’t be blamed at all, never.

Yes, they should, and violent media, parents, ourselves and even our own government. No one should try to shift the blame on to another party, we all bear the responsibility for what happened. It was a perfect storm, and though that young man needed help, he couldn’t get it. The violence in the media probably made it worse, and the guns made what he did easier.

Here’s a solution: affordable mental health care. Insted of having more guns in our schools, let’s have more mental health specialists to evaluate the kids and help them with their issues. Let’s help those kids deal with thier issues in a positive way instead of ignoring them, and putting off the help they need because it’s just too expensive.

It’s just as easy as putting an armed guard in every school, and possibly less dangerous.

I’ll leave you with words printed in one of my favorite online webcomics, Penny Arcade, because they said it better than I ever could.

“It is a very odd sort of patriot that would destroy the First Amendment to protect the Second.”

Cameron Simek is the Opinions editor for the UVU Review at Utah Valley University. He can be reached at camsimek@gmail.com, and on twitter @Skabomb. www.uvureview.com

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