Since the latest mass shooting occurrence at Newtown, Connecticut. I’ve been following the news related to this and the debate on gun control in U.S quite closely. Then today when I wake to watch the latest Philip DeFranco episode there was also a section on this topic that gave me the urge to write a post and reflect on this matter. I think this is going to be one long post.
I’ll start things off with the most cliche argument on topic of violence. “Video games induce violence” said the guy who never play video game. I’m definitely disagree with that and I find that by now this is a stupid reasoning to use to keep weapon legal. But oh well, NRA still couldn’t find a better comeback than this. As much as, I like those FPS and graphically violent games like GTA, I don’t think they could be solely blamed for being the cause of violence. They definitely give players the imagination. So does movies, news, book, TV show… anything can give us imagination. And as everything else, it’s a business and business thrive because there’re demand. So we’re talking about a high demand for violent FPS games here. And it’s only because there’s so much demand for the highly graphical FPS games that the game companies continue to make more of them and hire people specifically to make them more realistic, more violent. Just look at GTA, I hate that game and I can never understand how can people love this stupid game but let’s face it, people do love it. And hence the release of the many more version of GTA and the likes. And is it the game’s fault that people love it? It sounds like I’m a game advocate? I am but I honestly don’t think that it takes a genius or a pro-game person to see this logic. Why? because a lot of old fashion RPG games I love went to extinction due to the lack of demand in the market.
I think the tendency for violence is primitive instinct or psychological mindset or whatever you’d like to call it. But basically, a person needs to be nurtured well and away from it. We’re all born animal. Even worse, animal with intelligence. Once our primitive instinct takes over, we can be very dangerous. Regarding that, I think society, government, and family is way more responsible for this than video games. And we never even forget the fact that like everything else, video games is made by a bunch of people for the purpose of profit and they don’t care about your children or whoever your love ones is. The make you buy, they’ll make more. Same for any products. Event weapons. And if you don’t, they’ll find a way to convince you or if possible force you to buy. Hence, it all depends on the parties who have the responsibility, authority, capacity, maturity and interest in protecting the individual to do something about it. When they’re not doing their job so well and turn themselves to blame everything else, I find that disgusting.
“Gun doesn’t kill. The person does.” another overly used sentences on this topic. Of course it doesn’t, we all know that. Neither is everything else. “Gun doesn’t. The person does. So how it is the game and not the gamer?” (or something like that I can’t remember the exact phrasing but the meaning remains) one of my favorite 9gag memes on this issue. Again, I think it doesn’t take a genius to figure that gun is just a tool and the tool doesn’t kill. Well, maybe yes if you accidentally shoot yourself then again it’s still you who did the killing. I definitely agree that it’s always the person’s fault they murder someone. But the tool is what amplifies the magnitude of that fault. Let’s say for some reason, I wanna kill some bastard who really pissed me off. If the most deadly weapon I can find at my disposal is a chopper or golf club, then I would have to cut him many time and also get close to him to do the damage which can also result in some struggle hence there a chance that he may not die from the incidence. Or maybe to my misfortune, the guy turns out to be some kung fu or karate master. He could’ve disarm and probably beat the crap out of me. But if instead I could get my hand on some semi-automatic 50 bullet magazine rifle, how do you think a kung fu master would handle that? So of course, gun doesn’t take lives but it give tremendous ability to take many lives in a short time and that is extremely dangerous in the wrong hands.
Some geniuses would say oh then chainsaw, gas tank, cleaver, and all the other extremely dangerous tool beside gun would also give you that capability. Is it? As conveniently as gun? Maybe. Agreed those tools are extremely dangerous too and need to be handled with care but again those are useful tools and we need them for our daily lives. What about gun? useful tool for daily lives? Hardly… Or is it? Gun is very useful for hunting and protection of our family and stuffs from bad guys and criminals. Says the genius. You live in one of the most developed and civilized country in the world and you need to do hunting and protection of family and stuff. Seems legit. Okay maybe you really really do need them for hunting and protection, you can’t live without hunting and feeling safe because you can shoot people back if they were to shoot you. But why on earth would you need semi-automatic military rifle for that?
Then they also say the gun is not the problem, we should not focus on it let’s focus on beefing up security and mental health monitoring. So how do we do that again? Put military guards in all public institutions and crowded places like cinema, shopping malls and stuff? Oh then how to do we do that mental health monitoring thing again. Do mental check on every citizen on regular basis? So that will stop the shooting while still making guns widely available? Oh I just couldn’t help with the sarcasm. I don’t have any statistic but speaking from an experience of the person who has suffered mental instability from school bullies, relationship problem and dysfunctional family, I definitely don’t think any mental health measure could stop me doing anything dangerous if I were to have a rifle in my hand in that moment of mental outburst. The only thing that stopped me was the inaccessibility to deadly weapons. Only after I live through the agony of that for some time that I was fortunate enough to move to new environment building new life knowing new people who care and love me give me courage and hope that if I keep my heads up and things will work out for the better, which fortunately for me, it did. If there’s anything I know from having mental instability is that we never reveal it and show it to anyone and yet hoping people would see and understand. As impossible and crazy as it sounds, it’s the truth. I would act all normal and fun around people while burning deep down and hoping someone would understand and help me. But guess what? nobody would know. And usually, it’s these type of mental instability that has the potential to lead to the most dangerous outcome. To all my honest opinion, I don’t thing anybody body can stop that from happening around the world beside the closest ones to the individual which is his/her good friends and family. As for higher level entities such as society and government, I would have to say the best they can do is protect the innocent bystander and minimize damage cause whenever such outburst happens. And for all common sense, I think stopping access to deadly arm weapon would really minimize that.
Also, I don’t see why you need to beef up security, and mental health monitoring but don’t stop selling gun and make it illegal. Why not do all the 3? I’ve seen it with my country. The government made gun illegal and confiscate all arm weapon from home and the occurrence of shooting and gang gun fight reduced tremendously. And mark my word “reduce”, because some people get so carried away that they end up just talking about stopping stuff. There’s really a major difference. Honestly, I don’t think you can really ever stop it, there will always be crazy people out there doing crazy things. Even in one of the safest countries in the world like Singapore is no exception. I think the answer is pretty obvious no matter what reason is raised to keep gun in business. Profit. Money. Oh.. the ugly truth.
All in all, I think whatever I have said is no revelation nor an absolutely righteous idea. However, I do feel that deep down inside everyone knows all these and it’s just that they have make an argument to serve their interest. And that’s why we see smart people making stupid statements.