From a Fan

December 22, 2012

gendertrender assault rifle

comment posted in response to this article.

23 Responses to “From a Fan”

  1. Guls Says:

    Which is the right pronoun for someone who pulls an assault rifle on a bunch of defenceless kids to ‘solve their issues’? And what of the gender of the voice in their head telling them to do it – WBWs tend to hurt themselves in preference to others, don’t they? Pass on murder and skip straight to the suicide bit… Can’t think of any high-school massacres committed by women off the top of my head…

    Hoist by your own petard, there, Harry.

    Mind you, even when it’s a ‘real’ guy doing the shooting, it still turns out it’s womens’ fault Huh? Bonkers conservatives…

    • Becky Green Says:

      “WBWs tend to hurt themselves in preference to others, don’t they?”

      You’re right about that. Both men and women will at times feel anger and rage, of course. However, females usually direct it inwards towards themselves and males express it outwardly towards others. Women implode, men explode.

  2. cherryblossomlife Says:

    OH MY GOD!

  3. Marie-France Lesage Says:

    Well isn’t troll-face charming. Meh.

    The things you put with for us GM. Sigh.

    Can we report him to the Idget Patrol? Will they come and cart him away in a little padded wagon? If only.

  4. KittyBarber Says:

    Golly gee. Another threat of violence. What a shock.

  5. fwancis Says:

    I just don’t understand why those darn “radscum” keep accusing us of being violent people. “Assault rifle” is the usual form of that turn of phrase, is it not?

  6. EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

    I’m talking about violence in this post, so if you are triggered by violent acts, please be aware.

    I’ve heard at least three different blame the victim spins on this story so far.

    1. Lanza’s mother’s passion for guns caused this.
    2. The principal and school psychologist charging the shooter without having weapons of their own to defend the kids caused this.
    3. The lack of males to defend the school school caused this.

    In all of these spins, the fault lies at the feet of the women and children that died. The government is right now spinning a line of ‘force gun control NOW!!’

    No one is really championing the examination of what we do as a society about mental illness and the worship of violence. Adam Lanza was autistic. And autistic people become functional adults in society. They don’t stay 5-years-old and controllable. Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech murderer, was ‘selectively mute’ and had ‘anxiety disorders’. The two Columbine murderers were ‘normal quiet kids that were bullied.’ From their violence-filled writings left behind, I kinda doubt the ‘normal’ part of that statement.

    There have been a few Facebook memes started about mental illness, but pretty much nothing about the culture of violence in this country.

    The worship of violence which encompasses thousands of TV and movie hours of violent content which ranges from mass murder and genocide to after-the-fact crime investigation glorifies the ‘Bad Boy’ angle. We even call it “Bad Boy” negating responsibility due to subjective age and dropping behaviors into a category somewhere between a parking infraction and an overdue library book.

    And let’s talk about the games for a minute. Violent video games have a huge market in the disaffected youth sector. Every single one of the men listed above were video game junkies. The Columbine pair even wrote game levels for violent games. Many of the players are young males just like these above. The U.S. military used to use games like these with certain high profile candidates to get them used to violent events and prime them for response. It’s really hard for a raw recruit to pull the trigger on that rifle in a life-or-death situation. That’s one of the purposes of Basic Training in the military –to get you in a mental space to pull the trigger. Games like Call of Duty are very realistic. And there is the infamous Grand Theft Auto where points were given for killing prostitutes.

    To talk about young adult male gun violence, we need to talk about the video games that they consume that break down the psychological barriers to killing others. I’ve seen parents letting 6-year-old boys play Grand Theft Auto. And when I question the wisdom of letting them steep in that much violence, I’m told that it’s ‘just a game’. Like South Park is ‘just a cartoon’ because it is animated. There are some things in media that are always considered by the general public to be all ages simply because of the format –video games and animated features are two examples.

    The rating system on video games went in with a lot of protest. But I think certain games should be limited to over-21 audiences only. Things like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. Personally, I can’t see the real need as a society for them at all. In a perfect world, I would eliminate them altogether. Why does our culture need to soak in that much violence? Why?

    If we are banning the guns that caused the violence, we should also remove every game that pulls a gun in the course of the game play. It’s just that simple, folks. Stop the training.

    Oh, well, they’ll just use hammers and knives and rocks to commit violence. All of those methods require close contact with the victim. They allow a possibility of overpowering an aggressor with numbers. Dawn Hochsprung and her school psychologist, Mary Sherlach, might have had a chance against a knife. They didn’t even get close to Lanza before they were cut down.

    I love target shooting. I’ve taken out assault rifles and grenade launchers and machine guns to the range. I owned guns until my first child was born. And then I got rid of them. Because I didn’t want a gun in the house with my young child where accidents could happen even with the best of intentions and precautions. Do I miss target shooting? Yes. Yes I do. Do I have mixed feelings about banning guns? Yes I do. But they are easy to get and perhaps we need to start enforcing certain gun laws. In the Columbine case, the guns were purchased by an 18-year-old who bought them from a gun shop that swears that all purchasers were over 21 but the shop didn’t keep records. The guns were then given by the 18-year-old to the 17-year-old killers. That sort of nonsense is covered by existing laws and we need to enforce them. When there are more restrictions on buying Sudafed from the drugstore than buying a gun at a gun shop, you need to start questioning the logic.

    Violence may well happen. But I bet if you do a timeline, we have an acceleration of events in the last 20 years –since video games became popular. Let’s stop training the violent behavior instead of just wringing our hands and blaming guns or women or children for the violence.

    If we take all the violence out of video games, the boys will have nothing to play! I have an answer for that. Give them a shiny new Easy Bake Oven. I hear it even comes in ‘gender neutral’ colors these days, whatever that really means.

    • EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

      I have to note, that the training to ignore violence in our society is ingrained at all levels. Every time I described the murderers in the shootings, I started to call them ‘shooters’. Even in the article, I called the incidents ‘shootings’ instead of massacres or murders. I had to catch myself and correct the term for them. Because they are murderers. And to relegate them as ‘just shooters’ numbs the level of violence of the crimes they committed. Like there weren’t really human beings on the other side of that gun. Those weren’t ‘shooters’, they were murderers. Those weren’t ‘shootings’, they were massacres and murders.

      It seems that if you kill more than two, then you get elevated to a higher plane where maybe society is at fault and not you.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Re the “shooter” thing: that is interesting. Some the old WWII studies that showed low percentages of soldiers actually firing their weapon in combat were later re-assessed by TYPE of weapon. It turned out that those armed with automatic or semi-automatic weapons had extremely high rates of fire- much higher than warranted. They fired the god damn things constantly at every thing that moved. Those armed with single-fire weapons fired less because their caution was not overridden by overwhelming lethality.

        I don’t know what this has to do with your comment directly, but it’s what came to mind. The psychology of guns, or militarism.

        These are gun specific attacks of overwhelming lethality, as easy as moving one’s finger a few millimeters.

      • EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

        It doesn’t surprise me that the soldiers with automatic weapons had a higher fire rate. Those weapons are seriously addicting. You feel a bit like the Hand of God with one.

        I could make the obvious comparison of guns as the ultimate phallic symbols. Having possession of one does make you tend to just overcome anything in front of you. You nailed it with the statement about their caution not being overridden by lethality.

    • GallusMag Says:

      Great comment, lots to think about.

      I’m going to strongly disagree with the video game thing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard this critique (of video games as causing violence) from anyone who has actually played them. If people are genuinely concerned, I suggest they play GTA or COD before they make their assessment. Not just for an hour or two, but from beginning to end, so they can experience the arc of gameplay. Yes they are steeped in misogyny and glorified violence. But the “video games cause violence” thing reminds me of the “Heavy Metal music causes violence” thing. If your theory was correct, violent males could be reprogrammed by replacing the bullets with “marbles” and the zombies with “bubbles to be popped” in video games.

      I do think those who are concerned should actually play the games from beginning to end. If someone has never done so I feel they are ill-informed to make an educated assessment.

      • EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

        And you, GallusMag, are a thinking person who is more aware of the nuances of violence in our culture than most. Yet if you can’t see the obvious damage that spending hours in immersion games trying to annihilate the enemy brings, then how can the general public see it?

        Yet it is there. And it’s finally getting attention and being studied.

        The military has been commissioning video games for years. In the 1980s, I was being trained by one of their newest pieces. They’ve gotten a lot more sophisticated. The latest Black Ops 2 game is probably going to get a few Seal Team members sent to jail for their reveal of operational secrets.

        The difference between a game and death-centered music is that the game activates several brain areas at once and provides a lot more reinforcement. We know that fast-paced ‘shooter’ video games cause physiological effects of arousal –elevated pulse, increase of adrenalin, narrowing of focus, reduction in cognitive skills, –all the things that happen in a real life crisis situation. You don’t get that kind of response from listening to music. Unless you are also slam-dancing. But slam-dancing doesn’t break down psychological barriers to pulling triggers. Shooter video games do. That’s why the military started pouring money into the creation of them. If the games really didn’t have any effect, why would the U.S. military be funding them so heavily?: (20 seconds of googling yielded the links below)

        The games don’t cause violence. But the games train violence. They break down psychological barriers to violent acts.

        The military doesn’t bother to spend money on death-centered music because that doesn’t cause an effect. Video games do. There are entire military bureaus devoted to creation of elaborate video games as training scenarios. And after they’ve been used for a while, they leak out into the public sphere. I saw a variant of the Black Ops game 20 years ago in a military setting.

        They aren’t just entertainment any more than pornography is just fantasy.

        I see dozens of American Psychological Association (APA) studies on violence and video games. There are 461 hits on Academic Search Premier on the search terms “video game violence”. I obviously don’t hold much stock in most psychological studies because I think that most of the studies that get published are not rigorous enough in their selection criteria or their experiment design. But it is being studied. And has been a point of great interest for a while.

        I used to play every video game that crossed my path. I loved all of them. But I can’t play certain types of things anymore.

        Could we replace guns with marbles and zombies with bubbles? It would reinforce the ability to react to a stressor, but the critical “react to a human form” would be missing. When you pull a weapon on a human form and get the player used to firing, you “train down” the psychological barrier to harming another.

        War is violent. Games that imitate war are violent. We should rethink sending all our kids to war at young ages.

      • Dawn Says:

        I don’t think the link from video games to violence can be easily drawn. The argument can be made for desensitization to violence, but a direct link is questionable. Japan has comparable rates of violent game playing time and some very violent anime and manga. Yet that society does not experience acts of mass murder as we do.

      • Adrian Says:

        @Dawn – perhaps the rates aren’t there, but Japan does have spree killings. There was a guy who killed 8 kids with a knife in an elementary school in Osaka in 2001 (since executed as he waived his appeals), and more recently a guy who killed 7 in Akihabara in 2008 by driving a truck into a crowd of people in the shopping street (blocked to cars because it was Sunday) and then stabbing the people he hit and others helping. 10 were also injured there. (Interestingly enough, in the commentary on that incident on 2ch, some people said “ah, if only someone nearby had a gun” but was instantly met with “yeah if it was the US and people had guns the victims count would be 5x as large, only!!”)

        There have also been various mass poisonings, of course the most famous Sarin poisoning of the subway in 1995.

        I can’t comment on the video games thing as I don’t play them.

        All that said though I do think the specific sort of gun fantasy I hear from certain gun “enthusiasts” near me (a subset of the gun owners I know) about how they almost WISH for a home invasion so they’d have an excuse to “blow some bad guys away” seems kinda American to me. But I might be biased. 🙂

        The recent case had reference to “preppers” and that also sparked some conversation around me about disaster preparedness, I’m always surprised at how many people in the US don’t heed various evacuation notices, and how the whole image of disaster preparedness seems so extremely individual (or family) based, as opposed to city based. It’s just a different mindset I guess, but when I bring that up indeed I usually am told “well Americans just aren’t so conformist, they will never just go like sheep that way” or whatever.

        Completely aside from all of this though I have to wonder about how fighting wars abroad pretty much constantly and the the glorification of the military plays into all of this too. After this incident I’m hearing tons of people (well, white suburbanites for the most part) saying they’ll be happy with armed guards in the schools, which also amazes me.

      • dawn Says:

        @Adrian – I was addressing the direct link between video games and spree killing. In the US there have been 60+ in the last 30 years. If violent media (games, tv, movies, etc) is a direct link and Japanese players log as many hours as Americans do wouldn’t there about the same number of mass murders. I just think the issue is more complicated.

        I’m a Gen X product so I came of age playing games (and still do) even violent ones.

        I wouldn’t call myself an ‘enthusiast’, but I was raised in a gun culture. I learned how to shoot and clean my weapon from a very young age. I can remember visiting my great grandparents at the family farm and all manner of shotguns, rifles, pistols, bows, etc out in plain sight. Of course my parents and their parents locked their weapons up, but we always knew they were there. A couple of years ago my cousin shot a man who broke into her home and she is still affected by it. As a young child I was hit by buck spray in the back. I will remember that feeling on my death bed. Anyone who fantasizes about home invasion and wishes for violence on them and their family has not experienced gun violence. Your right this is a truly American sentiment. I’ve traveled outside the US extensively and have yet to meet anyone with the ‘make my day’ mindset.

        The preppers and militia folks are interesting to say the least. I’ll leave it at that. I will say the large number of them are suburbanites with a great amount of disposable income to prepare for . I think the one take’s care of their own plays into disaster prep. The ‘I am responsible for me and mine’ mentality is way of life. We are just now inching closer to ‘universal’ healthcare. People would rather subsidized Big Oil and Defense than provide early childhood school or feed the poor. Speaking of the poor. You need money and somewhere to go to evacuate. While I was doing volunteer work with Katrina survivors the overwhelming response to ‘why didn’t you leave’ always lead back to a lack of funds. While you do have those people who ‘come hell or high water I’m staying’ a large number of people can’t leave simply because they are poor. Good luck getting the cities to provide funding.

        I went to school in an urban district with metal detectors and armed officers so that is not foreign to me (grade 6 on). I think the idea of having them in elementary schools (here k-5) is what is shocking. That and the fact they would be in the suburbs. The expectation they are need in urban areas is not challenged. There seems to be a disconnect with reality that violence can penetrate Stepford areas. Full disclourse: I live in the suburbs.

        As for the wars every older man in my immediately family has served. All have seen combat and those who returned were never really the same. Fortunately the younger ones didn’t get drilled with the same ‘honor, duty, etc.’ their fathers did. Not to mention the military was seen for many years as a way to escape poverty. It seems those ideas have faded and you don’t see as much enthusiasm. At least from the young people talk to.

  7. Mortified Says:

    Hmm. What would I do if someone was pointing an assault rifle at me? I suppose I’d be cowardly and do or say whatever he (yep, usually an assault rifle is wielded by a male, go figure) is telling me to do. If he tells me he’s a woman, “Yes, ma’am,” I’d probably say.

    But what I won’t do, and what we here won’t do, is believe his fantasy. Black isn’t white. Up isn’t down. Men are not women.

    Again, best holiday wishes to all as per my other submitted comment this morning.

    • GallusMag Says:

      I’d say “Oh honey I knoooow! Only a real girl (RG™) holds an assault rifle with pinkie akimbo the way you are, doll!”

    • Adrian Says:

      Heck yes this. I’ll do anything someone wants (if it’s not directly harming anyone else – then there’s bigger dilemmas), I will with a straight face play any role you want, complete with smiles, and (faked) enthusiasm. Heck yes.

      100% time I am acting in your crazy effed up play.

      So I would HOPE that if (when? ideally) your crimes come to trial and I am examined as a witness, that my “enthusiasm” isn’t used as some excuse to why I supposedly have no damage or complaints.

      Because yeah. Up isn’t down.

  8. joy Says:

    Yo, so I have PTSD (a “mental illness”) and I would never shoot a bunch of women and children because of it. One of my best friends also has PTSD and is selectively mute, and she would never do anything like that either. Of course, we’re also female, but nonetheless.

    Maybe the issue isn’t “mental illness” but “male socialization” and the attendant “male violence,” along with “male hatred of women and children.”

  9. Bev Jo Says:

    Another threat and more glaring proof that men can never be women.The mass murdering really is about men, and yes, testoserone poisoning. I’m guessing it doesn’t take much for boys and men to be violent. Girls who play the same video games don’t go out and kill. Girls and women with guns don’t mass murder. And yes, the guns, and particularly automatic assault weapons, make male desire to “nail” females just that much easier.

  10. Becky Green Says:

    “I’m guessing it doesn’t take much for boys and men to be violent.”

    Indeed, not much at all. The males of most species fight with regularity for mating or territorial reasons. So, society should take it as a given that most human males would have that tendency toward violence as well. Males should be taught how to channel that energy into something constructive rather than destructive.

    However, I seriously question if the majority of people, especially those in positions of power, really give a fuck about tempering male violence. Sometimes I think too many are held spellbound by destructive acts, so long as they’re not the victims. It’s like a sick spectator sport that mesmerizes the public. Perhaps I’m wrong about that though. I actually want to be wrong, because I hate thinking our species is truly that dark.

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