Monday, April 8, 2013

Games, Guns, and the NRA: A Story of Incest by Alison Ross (Polemic)


I may be progressive but I am not dumb. Sometimes those two labels are intertwined. Progressives, like paleolithic conservatives, can be Kool Aid-swilling sub-morons. Take, for example, their love of a famous war-monger named Obama. Now that's just dumb...calling yourself progressive and an Obama-lover simultaneously. Ain't nuttin' progressive about Obama, in the end, save for a few token policies he limply tosses our way as gestures of appeasement.

So yeah. I also don't dogmatically toe the progressive line when it comes to the link between video game violence and real-life violence (and yet many progressives protest this point, inexplicably). There is not only irrefutable proof that it's a valid link, but it's just plain illogical as FUCK to think that the two are not in any way connected.

That's like saying the NRA is good for this country. Um, yeah, if you think that routine school massacres as a result of unregulated gun sales thanks to lax laws owing to the NRA's disproportionate influence on spineless politicos are a good thing. And if you do think that, well then you might as well keep on swilling the Kool Aid, because there is no hope for you, and you are a vast waste of space.

(Vitriol-flavored Kool Aid, anyone?)

But I don't need to do extensive scientific research to intuit that kids who regularly play violent video games will undergo a transformation in their brain, wiring them toward vicious behavior. I don't need to read anecdotes of kids whose aggressive activity increased after indulging in a round of "Grand Theft Auto." I already freaking know this, because a) The logical portion of my brain actually functions and b) As a human, it’s my duty to to be a vigilant observer of human nature.

Never mind that I have taught teenagers for 10 years and have seen firsthand how violent video games impact the conduct and academic performance of kids. The fact is, it's just plain ol' garden-variety common sense that if you allow a developing human to habitually play with fire, then that developing human will likely become a pyromaniac in his or her adult years.

Naturally not all children become murderers from playing violent video games, so the fire analogy does not fully work. But violent video games can adversely impact the less stable kids (as well as adults), and they also desensitize the otherwise stable ones, creating a culture of terrifying tolerance and passivity toward violence. And the difference between tolerating a culture of violence and actually participating in it is negligible, in the end.

What's truly harrowing, though, is the creepy symbiotic relationship between the violent video game industry, the gun industry and the NRA. Gun sales have increased along with the ascending popularity of violent video games. The industries feed into each other's success in an incestuous fashion. Kids (and adults) become addicted to violent games, and then they want the weapons featured in the games. So they go out and buy similar weapons - and as a result of owning the weapons, they will more likely support the aims of the NRA.
Or the reverse happens: Gun owners become intrigued by violent video games because they feature “awesome” weaponry and allow them yet another conduit for their repressed aggression. In either scenario, the gaming and gun industries profit, hence giving more clout to the NRA.
I have deliberately refused to provide any statistics in this here petite polemic, because the evidence is already there, in abundance. If you cannot discern the evidence, you are morally blind.
The fact is that the toxic triumvirate of the video game industry, the gun industry, and the NRA terrorize our culture. But they only terrorize because we have enabled them to. We are the agents of our own destruction.

 





--

1 comment:

George Held said...

How about sending this one to the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION?