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Posts Tagged ‘ Guns ’

News in Brief – Storms Hit Hard As Gun Law Repealed

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So NIB is back after prolonged Christmas hols and what’s been happening around the country?

We’re all underwater as storms continue to wreak havoc like the last guest at your New Year’s Eve party, who wasn’t invited anyway and then turned up with friends in tow and ate the entire prawn ring, but anyway. According to those in the know, jobs are looking up, crime stats are down and soon North and South might be getting along. Continue reading

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News in Brief-Dublin Man Shoots Himself As Cancer Patient Gets Trapped In Bus Luggage Compartment

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Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte has insisted there aren’t still ’cavemen’ in the country that don’t watch TV. Rather he reckons we’re all glued to Celeb Big Brother and RTE’s latest flop, The Hit. The only problem seems a lot of us aren’t fussed on paying our licence fee, in fact we may even go so far as to say we don’t own telly’s. Enda Kenny certainly doesn’t need one anyway with his none row seats at Tyrone vs Mayo.

You may remember a couple of NIBS ago we touched on the subject of metal detectors and their apparent heinous criminality. Well this week they’re back in the news after an unwitting man up North found the biggest arms haul in almost two decades. A local councillor described the find as “amateurish” with the weapons buried in only a shallow hole. Continue reading

Gunman Kills Six In Latest American Shooting Frenzy

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Miami police are attempting to establish a motive for a shooting rampage in which six people were killed by a gunman in America’s latest gun tragedy.

The police said they were investigating reports that 42 year old Pedro Alberto Vargas was in the process of being evicted and had prior disputes with the managers of his building when he set his apartment on fire before shooting several neighbours and taking others hostage. Continue reading

News in Brief- McGuinness & Healy Rae Slip Up As C Word Banned From The Dàil

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So last week we were feeling optimistic, this week we find out burglary, extortion and hijacking offences are up 34 per cent. But murder is down! Hurrah! But let’s not dwell . . .

In an online report ’controversial’ politician Michael Healy-Rae has apparently called for rural dwellers to be allowed to own guns to protest themselves. No that wasn’t a typo by News in Brief. But presumably a rather large one online. Else the austerity protests are about to take a nasty turn. Continue reading

Campaign For Piers Morgan To Be Deported From The US

pmPiers Morgan is used to making enemies, I’m sure… but I bet he never thought he’d have thousands of people campaigning to have him kicked out of a country.

Morgan, who hosts a show on CNN, made some rather stand out comments regarding America’s gun control laws, following the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook in Connecticut. He has claimed that the laws need to be changed and tightened significantly, and that citizens shouldn’t be allowed access to assault rifles. He interviewed the Executive Director of ‘Gun Owners of America’, Larry Pratt, and at one point during the interview, said to him “You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?” He added Pratt was “Espousing nonsense” when he argued that the best way to combat this kind of crime was to have more guns.

After this, a petition was quickly started up to have Morgan removed from America, where he currently resides with his family. There are over one hundred thousand signatures so far – greatly smashing through the required 25,000 needed to force the White House to acknowledge and review the petition. The petition claims that Morgan is “attacking the Second Amendment”.

Most recently, a video sprung up on various social media platforms of a rather agitated Alex Jones on the CNN show. Morgan brought Jones in as he was one of the more prominant people behind the petition. In this interview, Jones engages in an extremely heated debate, during which he refuses to answer Morgan’s question about the difference in gun related deaths in the United Kingdom in comparison to the States. He responds with several nonsensical statements such as “chimpanzees dancing”, and the debate quickly descends into a wild rant. Jones states, “Hitler took the guns! Stalin took the guns! Mao took the guns! Fidel Castro took the guns! Hugo Chavez took the guns!”, before shouting “1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms!” and added that “we will not relinquish them … the republic will rise again if you try to take our guns!”

The video has been the subject of heated discussion on both sides. There was some support for Jones, while a lot of viewers also commented that Jones was unhinged, and possibly the reason America should not be allowed to have guns at all. Most recently, Jones came to media attention for claiming that the fatal gang rape of a 23 year old student in India could have been prevented, if she had a gun to defend herself.

You can view the video below…

Gun Crime & Video Games – Why It Isn’t The Issue

klebharLet me begin by saying that this article may seem in slightly bad taste given the proximity to the tragedy of Newtown, Connecticut but I should note that I had planned to write it for some time and that in my own opinion, it is a subject that has never needed to be discussed with more urgency.

So, do video games encourage violence in teens and young adults?

Thirteen years ago, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold strolled into Columbine High School on Tuesday April 20th armed with automatic weapons. When they were done 12 people had lost their lives, while nearly double that had sustained life long injuries, and the two perpetrators themselves then took their lives. Until this year it was the worst incident of its kind with the loss of life so great and the victims ages so young. Everyone immediately looked for some sort of rationale, why and how did these teens somehow deduce that this action was necessary? Whilst bullying arose as a motive of sorts very early on in proceedings, mainly due to remarks survivors heard the two make towards their victims, the biggest red flag that appeared to many was that of the teens obsession with video games. Both were particularly fond of Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, two games of a genre known as the First Person Shooter (FPS) where the aim is to take control of a protagonist and play from the viewpoint of their eyes, always with a gun in main focus on the screen. It is a commonly held belief that these games “teach” players how to use a gun and it is from here that the desensitisation to gun crime and death begins. Now I’m not one to profess some level of qualification in the field of psychology nor am I set to outright defend these games. The simple fact is that through my own slight obsession with the medium I can clearly see the addictive and unhealthy quality to them. I personally have 10 days cumulatively of Call Of Duty Black Ops clocked up on my Xbox since it released in November 2010. Thankfully for myself I cane to realise I was spending an insane amount of time playing the game, and have since been very restrained in my usage, but I got to see first hand how someone like myself could develop this addiction, even though I knew well how ridiculous it was. Yet my time spent playing the game was only done so because I am an avid gamer with huge respect for the medium. Never once did it cause me to develop a slight interest in real warfare, weapons, anarchists or anything of the sort. Ten days people, if that can’t do it then what can. As much as I agree that there is an unhealthy nature to these games, I cannot conform to the notion that these games actually encourage a violent or aggressive nature. Philosophers debate endlessly about inherent evil versus implied evil, nature versus nurture. In the case of the Columbine tragedy, both perpetrators had a pre installed living situation wherein they suffered bullying and prejudice, leading to a socially outcast way of life.

One official report suggests that Harris was a psychopath and that Klebold was a depressive. Their journals have been sought after for possible motivations and both teens make multiple references to their pain and suffering at the hands of “jocks” and so forth. They were clearly tortured souls and though this could obviously never excuse their actions, maybe it could go some way to explain them. Whilst video games may have been of little help to the two in their state of mind, one cannot simply say that their addiction directly lead to their actions. Quite simply, these games are not the realistic experience they claim to be, they present an extremely inaccurate view of a real hostile experience and most crucially, they are intended for a specific age bracket. This is a particular bone of contention for me due to my experience in retail. Countless times o have been asked by customers, in relation to an over 18s title, “how bad is it?” or I frequently am asked for the “most appropriate” adult aimed title. These games are produced by adults, for adults. No child should ever be next door near them. If parents allow it to happen they are only enabling.

Harris and Klebold, as well as Adam Lanza who carried out the Sandy Hook massacre, were of course all of the required legal age to purchase and play these games, but it would probably be an educated assumption to guess that they were all exposed to them at earlier ages. Coupled with each of their own medical conditions, from depression to autism to psychotic tenancies, then it can be said that if course these video games could lead to violent and hostile behaviour. But anything in this world that is used incorrectly or monitored and regulated inappropriately has the ability to have an adverse effect. This may all seem like the angered ranting of an angry nerd and to a degree yes it is. On a personal level, it irritates me that amidst the sadness and tragedy when incidents like this occur, it always has to be dragged out into the light that there is a link between the act and video games in some way. We blame the music they listen to, we blame the entertainment they seek, we can even find ourselves blaming the dietary habits of some, all quite simply so some can deflect focus from themselves. The bigger issue is the lack of parenting, the lack of attention to notice when ones child is acting off form. Marilyn Manson famously said in Bowling for Columbine when asked what he would have said to Harris and Klebold, that he would have said nothing, he would have listened. Maybe the focus should be shifted more towards this method of thinking.

I don’t wish to paint the people that carry out these acts as lonesome suffering victims, nor do I wish to entirely vindicate the video games industry, but as we can see already on both sides of the gun control debate, there is too little of a desire to resolve this issue correctly in the USA, too much focus shifted on to irrelevant details. The source is the ignorance of those in need and the lack of awareness of just how lethal the readily available nature of firearms in the country is. Obama now stands at a great impasse wherein he has a better opportunity than any who came before him to actually solve this, with nothing to lose and no election to concern him he could potentially get to the source and at least aid in some way the ridiculous situation the country has found itself in, which has led to tragedies such as these and will surely lead to more, lest something be done and done fast.

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