Posts Tagged ‘ NRA ’

A Year in Brief: Part Two


Part two of NIB’s yearly round-up because 2013 was just too good! (Read part one here).

Dublin’s new bridge, crossing the Liffey at Marlborough Street and connecting Luas lines on each side of the river, was on the lookout for a name. A list of 85 possibilities was suggested by the public which was then shortlisted by Dublin City Council to 17. Some suggestions in a comments thread on The Times website included: Bosco Bridge; Daniel Day Luas Bridge (nice); Da Plain People O’Ireland Bridge; Jedward Bridge; and NIB favourite, the Feckin’ Bridge. Continue reading

New Road Bill To Bring About Significant Changes

gdaThe Road Traffic Bill 2013 has been published by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar. If it’s passed into law, drug impairment tests will be brought in, along with an increase in penalty points, and new ‘N’ plates for novice drivers. These plates would be required for the first two years of a new licence, and also apply to motorcyclists. Novice and learner drivers would also be subject to a lower number of penalty points for disqualification; six points – which is half the level for fully licenced drivers – would mean a two year ban. Continue reading

News in Brief-Irish Vegan Joins Elite As Ryanair Draw Ire Of McFadden

The proposed headquarters for Anglo Irish Bank, sold to the Central Bank in 2012, standing in Dublin’s North Quay has been vandalised. Despite having CCTV and security arrangements in place the shell of a building was daubed with anti-semitic slurs. The aptly named, At Risk Security monitor the land directly behind the site. There now considering a name change to We’ve Got a Great Big Dog So Feck Off Security.

Leinster House have been learning the rules of soccer after a visit from Irish team manager Giovanni Trapattoni to the Oireachtas Republic of Ireland Supporters’ Club. The newly formed club currently boasts 63 TD’s and senators who were all keen to learn from the Italian manager. Club secretary Senator John Gilroy said: “We had a chat about where the game is,” – usually on a pitch – “and what we can do as Oireachtas members to encourage the game.” Over-priced kits and generic memorabilia are traditional. Ah no, good luck to the lads in ROISC sure what else have they got to do? Continue reading

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.