Monday, December 17, 2012

They used to blame gun violence on Superman. Now they blame it on video games. No, no, no! It’s the guns and bullets, stupid.

I should have known this was going to happen. In a sudden rush to affix blame, or in the case of the gun pervert lobby to shift blame for the Sandy Hook Massacre of children, trigger fingers are suddenly pointing at video games. That’s what caused all those mass murders. Video games. Read about it here. And also here. And etcetera.

Blind hardened criminals

Listen, I’m an old fogey, but I can remember back to the 1940s, as a six year old who loved his comic books and read them to shreds, that certain “knowledgeable” sources in the grown up world thought they were going to nearly blind us and then turn us into hardened criminals.  You can’t make this stuff up.

For example, there was Dr. Fredric Wertham, M.D., who was operating in a milieu when book reviewers could sincerely write:
"Badly drawn, badly written, and badly printed - a strain on the young eyes and young nervous systems - the effects of these pulp-paper nightmares is that of a violent stimulant. Their crude blacks and reds spoils a child's natural sense of colour; their hypodermic injection of sex and murder make the child impatient with better, though quieter, stories. Unless we want a coming generation even more ferocious than the present one, parents and teachers throughout America must band together to break the `comic' magazine." 
"The number of `good' comics is not worth discussing, but the great number that masquerade as `good' certainly deserve close scrutiny."
Hey, we’re talking about Superman and Batman here, those superheroic supporters of truth, justice and the American way. Which of course is code for “communism.” Once again, that's what people believed. I’m not kidding. For example?
Commie comics

A few weeks after Wertham’s panic-inducing report, A Detroit police commissioner named  ­– get this – Harry S. Toy – made a personal study of comic books. And he declared that comic books were “loaded with communist teachings, sex and racial discrimination.” 
Hey, Toy,  I learned to read all by myself, before I finished kindergarten, thanks to comic books. As did many of my contemporaries. And we did it without going blind, violent, ferocious, racist or communist.
That didn’t stop the blamers,who were bruising for a fist fight with Superman. There were urban legends about kids suicidally jumping from 20th story windows with bath towels tied to their shoulders as capes, believing they could fly because they saw Supermamn do it in comic books. And one about kids doing it with umbrellas and producing the same result. Panic! Panic!!
But every time people get mowed down with guns, somebody looks for a scapegoat, which might be anyone or anything from inept headshrinkers to hormone-arousing pornography, to adrenalin-pumping video games. Any day now some self-styled “expert” with a half-baked degree from some second-, third- or fifth-string university is going to be declaring direct links between video games and mass murder. Assuming it hasn't happened already.
Satan's incubator

And it’s all baloney. Video games, especially the violent ones, can certainly be vilified as a colossal waste of valuable time for kids who ought to be spending their spare hours  learning to read, or studying physics and history. Or performing public service. But Satan’s incubator of mass murder is not the video game industry.
Moreover, when people in Congress pick up this argument, you can be pretty certain they’re Congressional gun whores, trying to deflect the blame, at the behest of, or in fear of, the gun pervert lobby. Because even if video games were a direct cause of every gun-murdered child and adult in America, their influence could be stopped by exerting a firm grip on the sellers of guns and ammo.
No guns plus no bullets equals no gun murders. No matter if the potential shooter is a mental case or a model student, a video gamer or a choir boy.
Just say no. No to bullets. No to guns. No more mass murders. 


Eck! said...

Crank, some of the worst mass murder were perpetrated without guns.

Triangle Shirtwaist factor.

The many burned churches in the south during the 50 and 60s.

Shall I go on or will people recognize that violence can be a can of gas or whatever.


The New York Crank said...

Hey, Eck, learn the difference between cold blooded murder and accidental homicide.

The owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist company were scuzzballs and slimebags, but they didn't deliberately set their own factory on fire. They surely didn't want an increase in their fire insurance rates. They wereprobably greedily going for maximum profits, which no breaks for the girls -- so they locked the doors from the outside.

When someone, probably one of the workers, tossed aside a butt, poof!

It is true, as you say, that violence can be a can of gas "or whatever", but in the case of the gas can, odds are that most of the kids would have escaped via one or more of the school exits. In the case of whatever, it's hard to put a whatever in a whatchamacallit, so get off my effin' case about that.

I don't begrudge anybody who is so insecure that he or she feels the need ti own a small hand gun or a bolt action rifle, and to go to a firing range with it and go bang bang like the big boys in the army. Or even to blow a stag's brains out in front of its doe and its fawns, if that's the kind of sadism that gets you off.

But when you get into semi-automatic and automatic high powered weapons with 30 or 100-round clips,the only two purposes that can have is to provide firepower for an infantry squad or to kill a room full, or a theater full, or a school full, or a college campus ful, or a mall full of innocent people, including little kids. And that makes you a lot lower than a greedy factory-owning scuzzball. That makes you unfit to live among humanity, or anywhere except in a small, damp cell with barred doors and no window, for the rest of your worthless life.

Yours with formidable crankiness,
The New York Crank

Ten Bears said...

Don't dignify its existence with response, Crank.

Yes, "it" - it is less than sufficiently evolved, less than human. It.