Print 38 comment(s) - last by Ammohunt.. on Sep 23 at 11:45 AM

  (Source: On Violence)
Would the real exploitative journalists please shut up?

The year was 1927 and in a sleepy town in Michigan horror was unleashed.  After a bitter defeat a former school board treasurer -- once thought to be a blue blooded American -- plotted "murderous revenge" bombing a schoolhouse and killing 38 children.  He then detonated a truck bomb, killing himself and at least six other adults.  At least 58 other people were injured in what was the deadliest attack on a U.S. school in history.

Since thorough records have been kept, mankind has a long and trafic history of breeding an occasional psychopath.  These individual walk amongst us and often show little to no signs until something triggers them to embark on a murderous rampage.  The latest such incident is the tragic shooting that occured at the Washington Navy Yard this week, claiming 13 lives, including the shooter's and wounding at least fourteen others.

I. Members of the Media Dredge up Deceptive Diatribe About Video Game Violence

Nobody can know what the families who lost love ones in the shooter's disgusting, cowardly attack are going through now.  That's why it saddens me to see members of the media yet again engaging in the same tired, wrong-headed rhetoric; implying either subtly or not-so-subtly that the shooter's love of video games somehow contributed to his murderous rampage.

Aaron Alexis
Aaron Alexis playing video games. [Image Source: The Telegraph]

This angle was perhaps first picked up by Barbara Starr, Ed Payne, Catherine E. Shoichet, and Pamela Brown of Time Warner Inc. (TWX) who wrote a story on the shooting that was picked up by News Corp.'s (NWS) Fox sites, CNN, and other online outlets.  In that piece they write:

But Ritrovato said his friend never showed signs of aggressiveness or violence, though he played a lot of shooting video games online.

"It's incredible that this is all happening, because he was a very good-natured guy," Ritrovato said. "It seemed like he wanted to get more out of life."

If this first report was subtle about its indictment of online gaming, others quickly became less so, sinking to such lows that even Jack Thompson would be proud.

II. The FUD Pile Rises

Brandon Formby, Tristan Hallman, and Sarah Mervosh of The Dallas Morning News, an A.H. Belo Corp. (AHC) publication parrot this tidbit in slightly more sensational terms, writing:

One of 34-year-old Aaron Alexis’ neighbors told Fort Worth police that he terrified her. Another said that he liked Alexis and that his only flaw was that he often immersed himself in violent video games for hours at a time.

If the shooter liked action movies, would these reporters have described that Mr. Alexis "only flaw" was watching Arnold and Bruce Willis shoot up "bad guys"?  I doubt it; as usual video games holding a special place in the heart of some members of the media as an enternal scapegoat for drugs, sex, and violence.

DC Shooting
A timeline of the DC shooting [Image Source: The NY Post]

The Telegraph, however, managed to set an even lower bar, publishing a story by Fort Worth resident Nick Allen whro writes "Aaron Alexis: Washington navy yard gunman 'obsessed with violent video games'".  The story states:

The Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis played violent video games including Call of Duty for up to 16 hours at a time and friends believe it could have pushed him towards becoming a mass murderer.  Aaron Alexis played violent video games including Call of Duty and Resident Evil for up to 16 hours at a time. 
[Alexis's] addiction to violent video games and guns was at odds with his devout commitment to Buddhism, which saw Alexis spending half the day every Sunday meditating at the Wat Busayadhammvanaram temple in Fort Worth, Texas over a period of several years. He also spent a month in Thailand in April, The Daily Telegraph can disclose
The darker side to Alexis's character saw him playing violent "zombie" video games in his room, sometimes from 12.30pm until 4.30am.

[Nutpisit] Suthamtewakul [(purportedly Alexis's "best friend")] said: "He could be in the game all day and all night. I think games might be what pushed him that way. He always had this fear people would steal his stuff so that's why he would carry his gun all the time. He would carry it when he was helping out in the restaurant which scared my customers."

Alright, that's enough, this is making my stomach turn.

Call of Duty
Some have suggested that playing video games such as Call of Duty may have led Mr. Alexis to kill -- I say "rubbish". [Image Source: Activision]

At this point some of you may be sitting at home panicked, recalling your child loves to play Battlefield or Call of Duty or Halo.  Take a deep breath -- your child is not a psychopath.  This is another sad instance of heartless exploitation for profit by some members of the media in the wake of another senseless tragedy.

III. Video Games are Far From the Only Violence in the Media

Let's face it mankind, since the dawn of time has fought wars and killed each other.  There have always been murderers that shocked their towns big and small.  These things upset mankind, yet on some level viewing them in a ficitionalized context is a cathartic release.

Norse poets fanticized about murderous half-humans in the epic tale Beowulf writing:

Of the Victory-Scyldings, need little dismay him: / Oaths he exacteth, not any he spares / Of the folk of the Danemen, but fighteth with pleasure, / Killeth and feasteth, no contest expecteth.

Modern media is less subtle.  In Die Hard Bruce Willis's character John McClane famously remarks, "Yippee ki-yay motherfucker" before blowing up a plane full of bad guys with a lighter.

Eminem raps in his song "Role Model":

Now follow me and do exactly what you see
Don't you want to grow up to be just like me?
I slap women and eat 'shrooms then O.D.
Now don't you want to grow up to be just like me?

Me and Marcus Allen went over to see Nicole
When we heard a knock at the door, must have been Ron Gold
Jumped behind the door, put the orgy on hold
Killed them both and smeared blood in a white Bronco

But when video games depict murder or violence -- even against villainous sorts and their henchman, suddendly people think this form of entertainment has some precious and special role in turning law abiding citizens into murderous madmen.

Guess what -- there is no proof that it does.

There has been no conclusive scientific consensus from the psychological research community that playing violent video games make gamers more violent -- or even more desensitized to violence.  B.D. Barthelow in 2006 claimed evidence that video game violence was desentisizing individuals to real world violence in a journal paper.  But H.J. Bowen, et al. found no link between violent video games and desentization in a 2011 paper.

IV. My Grandfather Was Obsessed With Shooting Games, and Was a Law-Abiding Veteran

I'll add a personal note to this appeal to reason.  My grandfather served his country in World War II and the Korean War.  Like Mr. Alexis he eventually retired from service and became a veteran, but worked in civilian service for his remaining working years.

He could chain smoke and down a fifth with the best of them, although he later quit the latter indulgence after being told by his doctors after his first and only heart attack that he need to either quit smoking or drinking or he would die.

But like Mr. Alexis my grandfather loved video games.  Yes, surprisingly, my first exposure to violent video games came from my veteran grandfather.

He was one of the first people I knew with a computer and he loved DOS and early Windows video games.  As a child my parents -- pacifists -- wouldn't let me play violent video games, but when I went to gramps's house I would watch wide eyed with wonder as he gunned down Nazis in Wolfenstein and demons in Doom.

My grandfather played Doom, but it never caused him to kill people. [Image Source: ID]

If you wrote a sensational piece on my grandfather in his later years it might be entitled something like "Chain smoking veteran was "obsessed" with violent video games".  And it would be true.

But for all his love of killing in games, never once did my grandfather -- a proud gun owner -- kill another U.S. citizen in cold blood.  Video games were simply an entertainment, and at worst they reminded him of his military adventures "back in the war."  My grandfather had his flaws, surely, but he was a respectable family man, staying faithful to my late grandmother and raising three boys and two girls.

V. Puritanism in the Press: The Specter of Tipper Gore Reappears

Video games don't make a killer.

A much more plausible correlation in my mind is simply the fact that Mr. Alexis was a veteran with combat experience who had been trained to kill; and claimed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after 9/11.  Whether or not his claims were valid, studies have linked PTSD in veterans to acts of violence.  A 1997 study on Vietnam War vets asserts:

[R]esults suggest that combat veterans with PTSD exhibit greater interpersonal violence than combat veterans without PTSD, and that there are multiple factors in this population which determine violent behavior.

Unfortunately when veterans with PTSD do erupt in outbursts of violence, they have the optimal training to end their own lives -- and the lives others -- with lethal precision.

Puritanical efforts to ban violence in entertainment such as Tipper Gore's famous effort to block Dead Kennedys musician Jello Biafra's Constitutional right to free speech:

...are powerless to stop violence, while they rob us of their freedoms.  For that reason I think such arguments are despicable and diametrically opposed to the values of our nation.

Censorship sucks. [Image Source: Nation States]

As the Bath County, Michigan incident from 1927 illustrates, sometimes there is no clear answer.  When that killing rampage occurred their were no video games.  And the man who did it was an electrical engineer with no conflict-related PTSD or military training.  The reality is that there are a certain scant handful of individuals in society who might be set off on a deadly rampage by any number of factors that might upset a normal individual, but not trigger such an appalling act.

VI. Stop the Exploitation of the Victims of Violence

Ultimately I'm glad that Mr. Alexis was shot dead, not merely because it prevented more tragic loss of life, but also because it didn't agonize survivors with false narratives.  

For example, in the Norway shootings of 2012 in which a white supremacist terrorist killed 69 people, mostly teens, the shooter survived and went on to spin a wild tale of how he "trained" for the shooting by playing "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2", a wildly popular title published by Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI).  While this is clearly factual, regardless of what Mr. Anders Behring Breivik (the psychopathic Norwegian behind the killings) claimed video games did not convince him to kill people, nor did they give him the proper training to kill people.

Anders Breivik
Anders Breivik, a murderous psychopath and self-proclaimed anti-Islamic Christian terrorist. claimed that he had "trained" for his murders by gaming. [Image Source: CNN]
When so-called "lone wolf" shooters die one can always hope we are spared these false narratives -- their radical views on religion (or lack thereof), their views on entertainment (Manson thought the Beatles told him to kill), or foul comments -- all of which do nothing but further confuse, mislead, and sadden those affected by the tragedy.
Bath Shooting
The Bath County bomber did not play games, but he was every bit as violent as Mr. Alexis.
[Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]

I was hopeful that the victims' families in the DC shooting would be spared such false narratives, but unfortunately some less scrupulous members of the media had other plans.  I hope that the people propogating these narratives -- particularly Nick Allen -- come to realize and regret how exploitative and unfounded the tired controversies they're trying to reignite are.

Video games don't kill people, people kill people.  At the end of the day I believe in the Constitution as one of the greatest documents ever created by man.  And for that reason I say to journalists seizing on the "violent videogames" connection: I respect their right to free speech, just as I respect their right to bear arms.  But they would be wise realize that if they abuse either right -- as Mr. Alexis did -- they alone will be responsible for the pain and deception they have wrought. 

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Just Don't Understand
By Reclaimer77 on 9/18/2013 5:33:15 PM , Rating: 5
Two horrible mass shootings have recently taken place on military bases. Where one would assume a high-percentage of well armed people were able to defend themselves.

Except that's not the case. Because for whatever reason, the policy for military bases is to have large areas where people are not allowed to have weaponry on their persons. Not even side arms! And gee, I wonder what areas these mass-shootings take place in? Could it be that even though these shooters appear insane, they know exactly where people are least likely to offer armed resistance to them? Schools, military bases, movie theaters etc etc...

I'm just shocked at the apparent lack of readiness of our armed forces. When someone can walk into a military base, and slaughter people, SOMETHING is seriously wrong! A goddamn military base of all things!! The military!!!!

The ones making these policies that deprive people of their Constitutional right to defend their persons with firearms are who we need to start blaming. Not games, not guns, not television. BUT that would require us to actually open our minds and have a dialogue that challenges some peoples pre conceived notions about this. So naturally the media can't do that!

RE: Just Don't Understand
By Schrag4 on 9/18/2013 6:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
I agree 100%. For the younger crowd that might be afraid of guns used for self defense and the defense of others, you are the victims of a relatively recent (1995) strategy employed by the left:

RE: Just Don't Understand
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 9/18/2013 6:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
You can blame Bush I for disarming people while on base:

Methinks military personnel on base should be able to carry since their right to do so is inherent, inalienable, and shall not be infringed.

RE: Just Don't Understand
By JasonMick on 9/18/2013 8:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
You can blame Bush I for disarming people while on base:

Methinks military personnel on base should be able to carry since their right to do so is inherent, inalienable, and shall not be infringed.

The TL;DR Version

Correct. The current gun control on bases was instituted by President George Herbert Walker Bush in Feb. 1992, and only strengthened on ARMY bases (not NAVY ones) by Bill Clinton in 1993.

................................................. ...........................................

The Slightly More Sourced Version....

The original order to disarm personnel on bases (other than military cops) came in Feb. 1992 under President George H. W. Bush Deputy Defense Secretary Donald J. Atwood.
Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5210.56

That policy created so called "gun free zones" on military bases kind of the most hilariously out of touch idea ever. After all, if our military can't defend themselves and use their guns responsibly what does that say about the state of our nation???

The policy specifically states...
The authorization to carry firearms shall be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or DoD assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried... [however] DoD personnel regularly engaged in law enforcement or security duties shall be armed.
Want to blame a Democrat?

Okay, so Pres. William Clinton (aka "Bill") passed into law Army Regulation 190-14:

Which looks to implement the Bush policy, strengthening its enforcement and reiterating its plan for disarming on-base personnel.

Pres. Barack Hussein Obama's Deputy Defense Sect. William J. Lynn renewed the original Bush act -- DoD order 5210.56 in 2011:

However, notice the key word -- ARMY -- while this bill certainly helped to strengthen Bush's proposal, it had little to no effect on other branches of the U.S. Military, including the Navy, which was targeted in this tragic attack.

The situation is further muddled by the so-called "Standing Rules for the Use of Force", which notes that there are multiple conflicting standards in terms of defense military installations, and that firearms policy may even differ on an installation to installation basis (which makes sense in some cases... but not so much in others).

................................................. ...........................................

The Full "History" Edition -- Or "How This All Goes Back to 'Nam"

And digging into 5210.56 -- the original version -- it is noted that it cites two statutes -- one in 1969 (under Pres. "Tricky Dick" Nixon (R)) and one in 1986 (under Pres. Ronald Reagan). Each of these measures institute new, increasing restrictive limits on who could carry firearms on base and how they could be used.

In other words Republicans have been intimately involved in pushing this gun control, although both parties have played a role.

So why did this all start? Arguably, you can trace the roots of gun control on military bases back to the Vietnam War, when the military was fighting a bogged down conflict which killed thousands of young men a year.

Draft took age and college status into account, so it disproportionately drafted poor people -- black, white, or whatever. These people were essentially ripped from their families whom they often feared wouldn't supported. They faced the prospect of coming back in a body bag. If you didn't serve you were sent to prison.

Some chose to serve honorably. But a minority cracked, either killing themselves or engaging in fragging -- killing their fellow troops, or more typically their officer:

For that reason the early policies under Nixon and Reagan more heavily restricted guns among privates, while allowing officers more leeway to carry (as it was less likely for an officer to frag his fellow officer).

During the original Bush's presidency there was some pressure to either roll this back or ban gun use by everyone -- including officers. Privates felt it was unfair they were denied the same rights as their CO. Arguably a rollback would likely have been wiser, but the Bush administration responded in the direction of further gun regulation.

It is now looking increasingly problematic in this era in which servicepeople are willing recruited (not drafted) and hence aren't as disgruntled as they were during the Vietnam-era draft.

RE: Just Don't Understand
By Bostlabs on 9/19/2013 12:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
When I was in the Marine Corps, Ronald Reagan was the POTUS. We were not allowed to carry weapons while on base. Unless you had a training mission all weapons were secured within the Armory.

Ammo was only released during live fire training. Personal weapons were also secured in the Armory unless you were checking them out to do some shooting at one of the ranges during your free time.

In fact, the only time I was issued live ammo with my M-16 was when I was on guard duty at the Armory. In fact that was a fun duty. An officer ignored my challenge and I dropped the bolt on my weapon, thus a round in the chamber. THAT got his attention real quick. :) And the cool thing was, I didn't get in trouble for doing that.

RE: Just Don't Understand
By Paj on 9/19/2013 7:56:18 AM , Rating: 2
And yet, not one person has claimed that easy access to guns is perhaps, somehow tangentially related to gun crime.

RE: Just Don't Understand
By BifurcatedBoat on 9/19/2013 8:03:24 PM , Rating: 2
There will always be relatively easy access to something that can be used to kill a person.

Roughly 7,000 people die in the US every day. There are a number of ways you can die. In relation to that, these gun rampages by mentally ill people - though tragic for the victims - represent a very small percentage of death's overall toll.

So if disarming everyone could potentially reduce the death toll in these incidents, is it worth it in exchange for giving up the final check on government power - something that potentially affects all 300 million+ citizens?

RE: Just Don't Understand
By Schrag4 on 9/20/2013 12:18:37 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect you and those like you probably won't believe it, but more lives are saved in the US by guns each year than are taken by criminals with guns. When you look at "gun death" stats in the US, keep in mind that jusitifiable homicides (mostly by police) and suicides are included. What you are left with are one person unjustifiably killing another, and roughly 3/4 of those are one gang member killing another gang member. There are good reasons that most in the US aren't too concerned about those "gun deaths" - I'll let you figure it out for yourself. What you're left with is maybe a couple of thousand genuinely tragic deaths among a population of 300 million. The number of assaults that are estimated to be cut short or prevented altogether by the lawful use or mere exhibition of a firearm is estimated at about 2 million each year in the US.

RE: Just Don't Understand
By marvdmartian on 9/19/2013 9:16:48 AM , Rating: 2
The truth of the matter, that sensationalism seeking journalists and politicians fail to realize (or mention) is that some people are just WIRED WRONG.

This guy was hearing voices inside his head....which means he was either seriously Looney Tunes, or the CIA/NSA has figured out how to transmit to people, not just listen in on them.

I agree
By Ammohunt on 9/18/2013 5:16:26 PM , Rating: 3
Simple knee jerk emotional response. Inanimate objects are easier to blame and take action against than intangibles like mental health. What sane person turns the thought of mass murder into action via whatever influences(video games,porn,rock music) or methods(Guns,Dynamite,poison gas, sharp sticks)?

RE: I agree
By Samus on 9/18/2013 5:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
I've played Battlefield for years, and if I told you about some of the characters I played with, you'd agree with my statement that videogames potentially prevent violence and mass-shootings because they are a safe outlet for anger, PTSD and undiagnosed mental disorders.

Most of these mass shootings are by people with little weapons training or military background (Colorado theater shooting, Columbine, etc) and those that are by military/ex-military personnel can't justifiably be blammed on videogames when they have likely killed people in wartime conflicts. The latter cases are likely PTSD-related.

Why not blame our military's inadequate response to the need of soldiers' suffering and not just use video games and violent media as a scapegoat. Other countries don't have these problems en mass like we do because their social services work better at identifying and treating those who are at risk of committing these acts.

RE: I agree
By ClownPuncher on 9/18/2013 6:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
Plus, the media turns them into superstars. Other countries, like Norway, acted in a much less reactionary way.

RE: I agree
By superstition on 9/19/2013 9:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
"Catharsis Increases Rather Than Decreases Anger And Aggression, According To A New Study"

"The ignorant and the furious: video and catharsis"

People want to believe that if millions of people play violent video games and they don’t all become killers, then those games must be harmless. Unfortunately, that’s not true. We haven’t “proven” video games directly cause violence because it can’t be proven. There is no way to ethically run experiments that see if some threshold of playing a violent game like Call of Duty may push a person into violence.

But that doesn’t mean we are left without evidence. We know that video game violence is certainly correlated with violence – just like smoking is correlated with lung cancer. However, this does not mean that the research does not show causal effects; in fact it does, over and over again. We recently conducted a comprehensive review of 136 articles reporting 381 effects involving over 130,000 participants from around the world.

These studies show that violent video games increase aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiological arousal (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure), and aggressive behavior. Violent games also decrease helping behavior and feelings of empathy for others. The effects occurred for males and females of all ages, regardless of what country they lived in. So the question then becomes why people and journalists repeatedly shrug off this compelling body of work. Psychological theories offer six reasons why.

Fallacious Reasoning
Cognitive Dissonance Reduction
Psychological Reactance Theory
Catharsis Theory
Third Person Effect
Denial From the Entertainment Industry
People Don't Understand Psychological Processes as Much as Biological Processes

These processes combine to create an atmosphere in which people come to conclude that violent media are not harmful, even though hundreds of studies conducted over several decades have shown that violent media are in fact harmful, and the overwhelming majority of social scientists working in the area now accept that media violence poses a danger to society. Most of us don’t like to admit that the things we enjoy doing might also be bad for us.

RE: I agree
By Ammohunt on 9/23/2013 11:45:41 AM , Rating: 2
So they are saying that those predisposed to be aggressive and violent will by playing video games become aggressive and violent? I feel out culture in total devalues human life you can't lump it all onto one stimuli.

RE: I agree
By rudolphna on 9/18/2013 6:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
Jason- I bet you were watching CNN earlier today and rolled your eyes, as funnily enough your reaction is pretty much identical to mine. It's really getting ridiculous. Why focus on the GAMES, instead of you know- that the guy is mentally ill?

Your balls are to blame
By YearOfTheDingo on 9/18/2013 7:05:44 PM , Rating: 5
Close to 90% of all murders are committed by men. If we consider mass-shooting events only, the percentage is even greater. The only conclusion one reasonably come to is that your balls are to blame for these tragic episodes. As a society we have ask ourselves a tough question: Is it time to cut down on the number of balls guys have? Do we really need two balls? Considering how families are already having fewer children, one ball would seem perfectly adequate.

RE: Your balls are to blame
By rountad on 9/19/2013 12:03:02 PM , Rating: 3
You callously choose to ignore the tool of rape that so many men bring everywhere with them.

We must do something about this penis epidemic!

RE: Your balls are to blame
By superstition on 9/19/2013 9:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
The Gates Foundation is "combating HIV" in Africa by cutting off foreskins.

Since the penis is, by far, the best conduit in the human body for HIV, the logical thing to do, according to that strategy, is to give all male infants sex reassignment surgery (imitation vaginas).

Same idiots said an AR-15 was used
By overlandpark4me on 9/18/2013 9:57:04 PM , Rating: 3
and it wasn't. Never let a "good" tragedy" go to waste.

You want to play that game Mr. and Mrs Media Ho? All of the recent tragedy's like Ft.Hood, Newtown, Aurora, and the D.C,. shootings were committed by self proclaimed Obama supporters. The Aurora shooters resume? Radical Left-Wing & Registered Democrat, Obama Supporter, Occupy Black Bloc Member. Fair? About as fair as the media providing cover for their boy and using this to further their Anti-American, anti 2nd Amendment diatribe.

RE: Same idiots said an AR-15 was used
By Breakfast Susej on 9/19/2013 9:51:59 AM , Rating: 2
There was one that actually called it an "AR-15 shotgun". I think it's evident that at this point the media has commonly decided that all shootings will be reported as being done by an AR-15 as a rule.

It's like someone saw the report "Hmm says he used a shotgun, can we call that an AR-15 shotgun? sure why not!"

After sandy hook I had people telling me with terrified seriousness that you could walk into walmart in the United States and buy a fully automatic AK-47 no questions asked. No amount of reasonable correction would dissuade them from this belief.

By M'n'M on 9/19/2013 2:54:56 PM , Rating: 2
There was one that actually called it an "AR-15 shotgun"

That was CNN. And yes the MSM seem to have articles pre-written for these tragedies and they all include the term assault weapon because that's sensational horse to ride now. Even after the retraction re: an AR-15, I heard the terms assault shotgun and a "law enforcement type" shotgun on the news. If the old demon won't do, invent a new one.

I've told some ignorant people I know that no "assault" weapon, no "high" capacity magazine, no full or semi-auto anything is needed to do these dramatic shootings. That anyone w/a 12 gauge pump action shotgun could do the same. Trying to declaw the lion (banning certain firearms) to solve the problem is a sure sign that the person advocating this is ignorant or deceptive. The gun isn't the problem. Same thing as with cars, it's the loose nut behind the wheel that's the problem.

Has anyone asked "Joe" if Obama can now come and get his shotguns ?

Breivik was an atheist
By troysavary on 9/18/2013 7:03:01 PM , Rating: 2
Funny how Mick stuck the Christian label on Breivik, like most of the media did. I read his manifesto. He stated quite clearly he was an atheist. It is made even more ironic by the fact it was in an article where Mick was decrying the media trying to associate something none-related to violence.

RE: Breivik was an atheist
By JasonMick on 9/18/2013 8:35:08 PM , Rating: 4
Funny how Mick stuck the Christian label on Breivik, like most of the media did. I read his manifesto. He stated quite clearly he was an atheist. It is made even more ironic by the fact it was in an article where Mick was decrying the media trying to associate something none-related to violence.
Actually we're both part right! (I love when that happens!)

If you've indeed read his manifesto you'd know he states:
If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and G-d then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and G-d. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.
and then...
As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with G-d or Jesus. Being a Christian can mean many things.
You don’t need to have a personal relationship with G-d or Jesus to fight for our Christian cultural heritage. It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian-atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter)).
Okay, so he's an atheist?


On his blog he writes:
I have not yet felt the need to ask G-d for strength, yet… But I’m pretty sure I will pray to G-d as I’m rushing through my city, guns blazing, with 100 armed system protectors pursuing me with the intention to stop and/or kill. I know there is a 80%+ chance I am going to die during the operation as I have no intention to surrender to them until I have completed all three primary objectives AND the bonus mission. When I initiate (providing I haven’t been apprehended before then), there is a 70% chance that I will complete the first objective, 40% for the second , 20% for the third and less than 5% chance that I will be able to complete the bonus mission. It is likely that I will pray to G-d for strength at one point during that operation, as I think most people in that situation would.
And he writes...
I went from moderately to agnostic to moderately religious
t is therefore essential and it is strongly recommended that all Justiciar Knights (even our Christian agnostic and Christian atheist brothers and sisters) attend Church before the operation to seek absolution and to request that God infuses our our soul and our armour of steel with the armour of spiritual protection and confidence.
I am pursuing religion for this very reason and everyone else should as well, providing it will give you a mental boost. There is no shame in praying minutes before your death. I highly recommend that you, prior to the operation, visit a Church and perform the Eucharist (Holy Communion/The Lord’s Supper ). As we know, this ritual represents the final meal that Jesus Christ shared with his disciples before his arrest and eventual crucifixion.
And in a June 11 entry, not that long before the shootings he writes....
I prayed for the first time in a very long time today. I explained to G-d that unless he wanted the Marxist-Islamic alliance and the certain Islamic takeover of Europe to completely annihilate European Christendom within the next hundred years he must ensure that the warriors fighting for the preservation of European Christendom prevail
Puzzling he refers to himself as Protestant at times, but then goes on to state...
Catholicism is far “richer” than anything Protestantism can offer, since only Rome can lay claim to apostolic succession and living Tradition as an infallible guide to interpreting Holy Writ.

Only Rome is the true church
I think it's misleading to say he did not think himself a "Christian" be it a "Christian-atheist" (a common religious idea... Judaism has a similar movement called Jewish humanism). But it appears he did cultivate a relationship "with G-d" or so he thought... around the time of his mass murder plot.

To be fair David Johnstone analysis (which I draw from) is far more complete. It's clear that Mr. Breivik did consider himself a Christian in some regard. But it's equally clear that he was more than a little f---ed in the head.


Great article - I just tackled this myself
By nnero on 9/19/2013 2:33:11 PM , Rating: 2
Jason, great background on this ridiculous red herring that re-emerges every few years.

I just wrote an article up on this myself and decided to actually correlate the most popular violent video games release dates with the sales to actual violent crime rates. The data makes it clear that there's no positive correlation between the two (that is, more violent games does not equal more violent crime) so the argument that there could be causation is laughable.

RE: Great article - I just tackled this myself
By cmart on 9/20/2013 9:24:47 AM , Rating: 2
I noticed at a recent "bike night" that a lot of Harley riders wear black t-shirts. I conclude that black t-shirts are responsible for people riding Harleys.

By Bostlabs on 9/20/2013 1:52:38 PM , Rating: 2
Really? Crap, looks like I'm going to have to get rid of my non-black shirts then. ;)

By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 9/18/2013 6:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed. Blaming the deranged behavior of the mentally unbalanced on video games is bullcrap. As is blaming it on music, TV, or guns.

No video game, tv, music or gun control, how about some friggin psycho control?

By FNA on 9/19/2013 8:13:50 AM , Rating: 2
Jason becomes a real journalist when writing about poliical topics... (and anything not apple,)

great job!.

please learn how to write
By mkrohn on 9/19/2013 11:30:24 AM , Rating: 2
This is where I quit reading:
Since thorough records have been kept, mankind has a long and trafic history of breeding an occasional psychopath. These individual walk amongst us and often show little to know signs until something triggers them to embark on a murderous rampage.

I can't even get through the second paragraph before the typical dailytech lack of proofreading makes me sick. If you want to post biased trash please at least show some level of education. I come here for tech news. Between this trash and that ad in the news slot from last week I'm not sure I feel like coming here anymore.

The root to this violent video games causes monsters is the fact that from the age of 6 and up these horrible parents are letting their kids play games that are rated M for not just the reasonable hour or two span but as a babysitter from the second they get home till they go to bed.

Honestly I don't blame video games for anything. The actual culprit is parents. We need to teach children moderation in EVERYTHING. Water in moderation is good for you but even too much water will kill you. These 400lb parents that give mountain dew to their kids in a sippy cup are the same ones letting these kids play the games nonstop which LEADS to these problems. This is the same line of thinking that says marijuana is a gateway drug and is evil.

ELF Weapon ?
By Hector2 on 9/19/2013 12:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
So having an "ELF weapon" had nothing to do with Elves in Dungeons & Dragons and Alexis picking off victims in a shooting galley from the 4th floor ?

Just curious.

By darkpuppet on 9/19/2013 1:51:59 PM , Rating: 2
Two kids walking home after buying GTA V saved an old man from a burning house. And I'm still waiting for the "Videogames save lives" headline.

That being said, this guy had a history of mental illness -- and nobody stepped up and said this guy is an imminent threat. He needed help so long ago, and yet, because that would cost money, or be too socialist, it just goes ignored until the damage is irreparable.

So if you're not going to get decent (mental) healthcare, how about a little more gun control? No? um.. ok.. apparently guns don't kill people -- but videogames do? c'mon 'Merica, get your heads out of your asses. Guns DO kill people -- especially when wielded by other people (and sometimes dogs, etc). Maybe you can't blame the tool, but you can't deny the outcome.

It's coming to a time where people are going to have to just accept that old beliefs, whether written on paper 2, 200, or 2000 years ago are incorrect.

Until healthcare, or gun legislation are fixed, nothing will change... guess that applies to equal rights, widespread surveillance, and that whole 1% economy thing... oh, where to start...

By kamiller422 on 9/22/2013 10:44:30 AM , Rating: 2
You cannot blame video games entirely, but one cannot ignore the possibility the violent video games are a contributing factor. It can exacerbate an existing problem or aid in conditioning a vulnerable mind into violent emotions, which may or may not result in violent actions.

This isn't opinion. This is a fact as discoveries in the personalities of most, not all, mass killers show a strong influence by violent pop culture. (This was really evident starting with the writings of the Columbine killers.) If killers can be influenced by violent strands of religion or patriotism (extreme jingoism), why is not logical someone could not be influenced by violent video games or movies?

By p05esto on 9/19/13, Rating: -1
RE: Wrong
By inperfectdarkness on 9/19/2013 3:35:08 AM , Rating: 5
This is the most naive, dangerous comment on this topic. I'd have downrated it myself, but I needed to set some facts straight.

1. Mental illness is drawn to certain types of behaviors. For example, there is a well-documented correlation between illicit drug-use and mental illness...on the magnitude of appx. 70%.

2. Correlation does not equal causation. In the case of #1, drug use is essentially self-medicating behavior, NOT the root-cause of mental illness.

3. No matter how much you play COD, nothing comes close to live combat. No one ever got PTSD from playing COD. By the same token, games and other media (apart from, perhaps gore-porn) simply cannot desensitize a person to violence in real life; except, perhaps, for those who have a mental deficiency in the first place.

4. If what you propose--regarding 'you become what you consume'--then myself and a large host of DT users would probably be engaged in wanton shooting sprees on a regular basis. Please re-read #2 above. For an individual with perversion (sexual, cannibalistic, etc), the base desires exist regardless of outlets available. Simply because outlets that somewhat cater to those perversions exist...does not mean that those same outlets CAUSE the perversion. Occams razor would suggest quite the opposite.

In your case, I'm going to apply Hanlon's razor regarding your comments.

RE: Wrong
By PaFromFL on 9/19/2013 8:37:00 AM , Rating: 2
Sane people can separate games from reality. It is true that movies, news, and other media have desensitized us to violence somewhat. However, it is still necessary for the U.S. to censor videos of flagged-draped coffins coming back from the Middle East (not to mention images of innocent women and children that our military has maimed and killed) to damp down anti-war protests. Sane people are wired to believe that killing is very wrong.

Fifty years ago, we confined mentally unstable citizens to mental institutions. To save money, we now let them roam our streets. Many of the recent shooters were clearly unstable and would have been locked up under the old system. If guns were not available, they would have found another way, such as running trucks into crowds, dumping gasoline into buildings after blocking the exits, converting fireworks into bombs, etc.

RE: Wrong
By Dr of crap on 9/19/2013 8:57:33 AM , Rating: 1
YOu sir, Mr p05esto, are a moron.
And only add to the pussifying of the US. This ONLY happens to the insane.
Hey why don't you get elected? We need more like you in charge! ( that was sarcasm by the way).

The crazies like you need to go away, far away. Take this guy out PAINFULLY. This lets be kind crap has to stop. Punish the eveil ones and maybe that'll stop this shooting spree we have now.

RE: Wrong
By Breakfast Susej on 9/19/2013 10:44:13 AM , Rating: 1
I eat a lot of chicken, I mean a lot. And the only tv shows I watch are breaking bad and sons of anarchy. Contrary to your theory, I haven't become a meth dealing biker with feathers at all.

I also have played violent video games since I was 10 years old and the thought of being in a physical confrontation terrifies me.

RE: Wrong
By Bostlabs on 9/19/2013 1:16:42 PM , Rating: 1

I was trained, as a U.S. Marine, to fight, protect, defend and kill. In fact I was taught to kill several different ways.

I own several weapons and carry on occasion. I've never had even the remote urge to use any of my weapons to shoot and kill anyone (or use any of my training for that purpose).

However, I do not have a metal illness. Reason guides me every day. Those that hear voices in their head, directing them to do horrible things, no longer have the ability to reason. Those people are ill and need our help. We ignore these people and they get worse and worse until the voices speak louder than anything else. This is how these tragedies occur. Not by movies or video games. I play many video games, many of them violent. I watch many movies, many of the of the action genre that have violent themes. Still no urge to kill anyone.

Sick people need help, we should be helping them before the tragedy occurs.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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