It’s time for a change

There was another mass killing this weekend. I found out about it on my way home from a pistol match, and as I thought about the events that transpired, I realized that we can’t just keep going on like this. Something has to be done, and we have to be willing to sacrifice some of our Constitutional rights to protect people. It’s time for a change. It’s time to accept responsibility. It’s time to put reasonable limits on the 1st Amendment and restrain the mass media that enables these killers to achieve the fame and notoriety they so desire.

The Founding Fathers couldn’t have possibly imagined a world where 24-hour news networks streamed coverage of these mass killers non-stop; they couldn’t have predicted that talking heads on cable news would repeat the names of vile murderers over and over again. They never would have imagined something like the internet, where future killers could research and see how much glorious, sweet attention previous murderers had gotten.

So America, I say it is time for a change. It’s time to restrict those dangerous freedoms that are placing innocent lives in jeopardy. The first and most important action should be for Congress to limit news coverage of mass killings to no more than 1 per day, per network. You don’t need more media coverage than that, right? After that, a joint effort with google would force anyone who googles mass killers and their names to pass an online background check before they’re allowed to see their search results.

I know it’s a small step, and some people will be inconvenienced. But if it only saves one life, it must be worth it.

53 thoughts on “It’s time for a change”

  1. So you want to quiet the media from reporting these multiple killings? Almost daily this is happening and i can name two reasons: video games, that are so realistic, it’s amazingly scary. Secondly, gun show private sellers, who charge more for a used gun than you could buy a new one for. Who do think are buying those? Felons maybe? Free speech is the principle right of us all, although, all the details might take days to come out, most people want to get all the gourry details. Everything in moderation is my motto.

      1. LOL. Some people are vewy, vewy sewious.

        I’m sure these Hollywood millionaires are ready to get on board…

      2. HLN news, has a continuous half hour news loop, with the same stories, all day long. personally it sucks. The other so called news channels, feed us some worthless, who cares stories. These channels are owned by big money corps, who don’t want you to hear anything news worthy. PBS is getting closer but falls short too. What to do? Don’t know. And violent video games desensitizes the young and restless.

        1. Rick. This post is satire. I even tagged it as satire so simpletons wouldn’t think I was serious. That clearly didn’t work.

    1. I’m not really sure your point about video games is relevant: there have been numerous studies and there’s no direct correlation between violent video games and an increase real-world violence.

      Indeed, even as the number of violent video games has increased (just as the number of privately-owned guns has increased), violent crime has dropped significantly. Mass shootings remain rare and essentially unchanged in frequency or number of victims per incident over the last 30 years or so. Some have hypothesized that those who previously would turn to violence in real life instead turn to video games, where they can work out their aggression in a way that doesn’t affect others. That’s not my particular field of research, though.

      The saying “If guns people, mine are defective.” can be adapted to video games too. I myself am an avid gamer, gun owner, and former soldier. Even after playing games (including numerous ones involving violence) for decades, I have no particular urges to commit violent acts (though I do swear at my computer if it misbehaves).

      In regards to private sales at gun shows, research has shown that gun shows are some of the least-likely places for criminals to acquire guns: there are tons of cops there, controlled entrances and exits, and lots of cameras — not a smart place for someone to engage in illegal activity. Indeed, very few of the “mass shooters” over the last few decades have purchased their guns in private sales (whether at gun shows or not), so I don’t really see how that’s connected.

      In short: the two reasons you name as contributing to mass shootings have, in fact, almost no relation to such crimes. “Common sense” would say they were related, but research shows otherwise.

      1. Edit: I meant to say “If guns kill people, mine are defective.” D’oh.

        I’m sure I’ve made other errors, but wanted to clarify this particular one.

      2. Look at the age group that most of these mass killings are from; teens and twenties. This latest guy, and others from the past were big time violent gamers. check it.

    2. Hmm. I play Call of Duty. Have for years. I play while my carry pistol is laying on the ottoman in front of me.

      I have never shot my TV. I haven’t shot my roommate. I haven’t gone on a spree shooting in my town (or any other town). I do participate in practical shooting competitions. I do carry a gun everyday.

      So video games and horror movies aren’t the answer. Playing violent video games at 9 yrs old without supervision or moderation…you may have some traction there, but otherwise no.

      We know right from wrong….some people CHOOSE not to do right. Judge them for those choices, not the innocent things that you think they have in common with large percentages of law abiding citizens.

        1. That is the big difference. The vast majority of these mass killers also have easily identifiable mental health problems. You can certainly make the argument that someone who is mentally disturbed shouldn’t play violent video games. That does NOT mean that violent video games cause mass shootings. These people probably shouldn’t want action movies or read violent novels either.

    3. After playing a couple hours of Goldeneye all I want to do is murder russian people in real life. Direct Translation.

    4. been to dozens of gun shows – have you? I’ve never seen a private seller selling a used gun for more than a new one unless it’s collectable – and those are not the choice of cheap criminals.

    5. Dang it ! ! !

      Then from what you’re saying, I was ripped off when I bought my pistol at a gun show. I thought I was getting a good price, it was about $100 less than what I had been researching during the 4 months prior to my purchase. And, they forced me to do a background check, or so they said while I sat there for approximately 30 minutes filling out several forms and also while they were making copies of my valid state driver’s license.

      I’m so gullible. They probably stole my identity right then & there. I gave them all kinds of information about myself. And I should probably also be in some kind of therapy since I am completely blank about my tenure down at the local state institution of higher correctness.

      Speaking of video games, I believe that every gamer should have a background check before buying games that are either violent, contain guns or anything that could be used as a weapon, or even games that could even be construed as “MEAN” by cute little fluffy bunnies. Because all people, irregardlessnessly of make or model, are easily influenced and made to do things because they see them on TV or in video games.

      No wait, maybe . . . and just maybe . . . there’s a whole lot of sarcasm going on in this post as well as my comments here. I think that maybe what Caleb is saying when when he uses the word “Satire” right before the title of the article, is that trying to restrict people’s rights for the good of the public is like restricting the news agency’s rights to report on certain news topic. I would also argue that Caleb is also pointing out that placing blame on the wrong thing to justify restricting people’s rights is also . . . hmmm, what word to use here . . . maybe wrong?

      I don’t know, just a thought.

    6. Umm, can’t you just see the “Irony” in this persons response? They just don’t get it do they? It’s not ok to mess with the 2nd. Amendment any more than it is to mess with the 1st amendment….wow. T

  2. Caleb, I think I understand your comments but I fear you have fallen into the trap so many others have.

    The issue is not more control but one of teaching morals and personal responsibility to those younger. Admittedly, this may be a “closing the barn door after the horse is out” issue but given the track record of those in our present and past Congress’, I’d be a little cautious about suggesting a limit imposed by law.

    Rather, maybe it’s time to put the responsibility where it really resides, with families that are no longer functional, with schools that are no longer allowed to discipline responsibly, with clergy that have abdicated their role, and with news media that repeat over and over facts that aren’t verified. Some of the media seems to think that just making up facts is acceptable reporting.

    The real culprit here is a culture of “me first” and the rest of you are just my servants. Paul Harvey did an excellent presentation of what it would be like if Satan were in control. Well, he hit it on the head about 30 years earlier.

    I don’t know what your views are on morality or religion but let me say this. Liberalism is the cause of most if not all of this. Recorded history shows that there has been this ongoing battle between progressives (liberals, humanists, etc.) and conservatives. During Lincoln’s time, there is documented evidence that the progressives (liberals) were trying to undermine the Republic. This has gone on since the start of the USA.

    As a father who has lost a son in the line of duty my heart goes out to the families of those that were killed. Once again, those who were defenseless perished as they were unable to defend themselves from a person that was truly sick. The police, who supposedly are to protect the innocent, failed in this even when presented with the evidence that this was in process.

    I agree with not giving them their 15 minutes of fame. If the news media would just not glorify this, it would certainly help. Again, personal and corporate responsibility need to be addressed but legislation isn’t the answer, morals and proper teaching are.

  3. This reminds me throw alll the DAK gunsIin a volcano yet? Hows rugers purchase of kel tec goin?

  4. Caleb, I’m worried that your measures won’t go far enough. We need to focus our efforts on the DEALERS of sensational news: the anchorpersons. Unless we require all dealers to undergo background checks and register their newsships, these kinds of public releases will continue. Also, we need to close the internet loophole– the one that allows unregistered news dealers to deliver any number of unregistered news stories. Those stories could make it to the eyes of children through their mobile devices and IN THEIR SCHOOL!

    Close the internet loophole. It’s common sense legislation.

  5. Amazing how many don’t understand satire. That aside,

    This killing was different than the usual grabber talking point for 2 reasons.

    1: half the murder victims were killed with a weapon other than a gun.

    2. None of California’s gun control laws, identical to what they’re attempting to push nationwide, did a thing to stop it.

    This one is a loss for anti-constitution activists, no matter how they attempt to spin it.

  6. Love it. I got it right away. I’m not a genius but it was obviously satire. Caleb, you are too cool for school. Keep it up bro.

  7. Thanks for the laugh, Caleb! You’re one of the few people I know of who can take something this horrible, and not only make a great point, but bring a chuckle through the tears to boot.

  8. The other point worth making to some of the commenters is that in California, all gun sales (even at a gun show) go through a background check and a 10 day waiting period. So apart from being a red herring in that this murderer didn’t get his guns at a gun show, the fact remains that CA already has almost all of the “common sense” gun control measures the anti-gunners push for, and is still not immune from these sorts of crimes. Evil people will always find a way to be evil.

  9. This post is a fine example of Poe’s Law.

    “Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.”

    Unfortunately, the lowest common denominator of “blatant display of humor” is an unknown quantity.

  10. Caleb,

    Well done.

    To those who think that violent video games don’t exacerbate this issue, and which quote studies done across the entire population of gamers, you are not paying attention.

    Virtually every single mass shooting was committed by someone avidly addicted to first person shooters. Just like alcohol affects only SOME people and makes them alcoholics, while the vast majority of people can enjoy an alchoholic beverage without the risk of addiction, violent shooting games affect a small percentage of the population in a way that is not otherwise predictable. However, it is obvious to those in that individuals inner circle, just like the effects of alcohol addiction are visible to those in the alcoholics inner circle.

    The problems associated with violent video games are well known among health care psychiatric workers.

    The problem is how do you limit them to people who are not affected and want to play?

    Its the same conundrum that we have with alcohol.

    Good luck solving it!

  11. Even if you believe that video games affect some people like alcohol, that doesn’t mean that the gov’t should step in and make daily purchasing limits where you can buy one beer per day. Violent video games may affect people with mental issues differently, but that means that parents and psychologists need to step in, not the gov’t. Also, if the kid watched a violent movie, should the movie be blamed? Perhaps we should just start accepting that games like Call of Duty sell better than best selling movies, and that they can be found in nearly any home in the US that has video games. Call of Duty has sold 140,000,000 copies of the game, and as of 2 years ago (the number is higher now) had more than 40 million active monthly players. Meaning, like 1 in 8 people people in the US play every month. That’s like approximately 1 in 2 males age 15-25 play call of duty every month. That’s probably more people of that age group than eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at least once a month. If all of the killers were found to eat PB&J sandwiches within a week of their murder spree, should we look into limiting which kids can and cannot handle PB&J sandwiches? I’m trying to be absurd, because it is equally absurd to blame video games, especially ones that are common in most households. If 40,000,000 people play one specific violent video game every month, then why don’t we see more mass murders every month? If you’re telling me that it only affects like one in 10,000,000 people adversely, then frankly, that’s anomalous.

    1. Mental health centers around here have been shutting down for years, just dumping them on the street; no funding. Now they are filling our homeless shelters and jails. I’m 63 years old. Play war as a little kid. Had plastic guns and helmets. If my mom called me to come home and i didn’t, dad would get the belt and not stop till he got tired. In seventh grade I got the trophy for the most whacks. Got drafted into the army in 70. Boot camp was rude awakening. Out of all of this I learned two thing: no crime goes unpunished and respect for others. I’ve hunted my whole life, have quite a collection of weapons. Never spent one day behind bars. Maybe the answer is spare the rod, spoil the child or treat the mentally ill.

  12. So interesting, how many mass shootings happened BEFORE there were first-person shooters. A hell of a lot of them, too:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers_(Americas)

    Now, arguably, the first semi-realistic ‘violent’ first-person shooter would be Wolfenstein 3D, or Doom.
    Wolf 3D was released in 1992, Doom in 1993. The connection between mass shootings and video games was first opined in the wake of Columbine because the two murderers there, like virtually all young men in the 90’s with access to a PC, enjoyed playing Doom. The graphics are incredibly primitive by current standards and are anything but vivid, lifelike, or realistic. It’s cartoon-like, and these days most young gamers that were getting born around that time would laugh at how bad the grapics are. Having been playing video games like Wolf 3D & Doom since they were available with virtually no cessation since then, I’d opine that the first semi-realistic video game was Half-Life, which launched in 1998 and took advantage of the rapidly advancing PC hardware of the day. But I digress.

    For the sake of argument let’s say that everything after 1992 was caused by violent video games like Wolf 3D and Doom. So let’s see if there were any mass shootings before 1992:
    Kileen Tx, 1991, 23 dead 20 wounded
    San Diego, 1984, 21 dead 19 wounded
    Camden NJ 1949 13 dead 3 wounded
    Winfield KS, 1903, 9 dead 25 wounded

    Etc etc – the list goes on, and a lot of the bigger body counts long predate first-person shooters or even computers.
    Interestingly enough, though, 69 of the 106 listed on that page predate Wolfenstein 3D.

    But we can revisit it as a school massacre. Since it’s somewhat in that context for this argument:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers:_School_massacres

    Of the 89 entries on that list, 29 of them solidly predate first person shooters. Nearly a full third of them, including Bath, MI, with 44 dead.
    A lot of them are also in areas like China, which do not enjoy the free-market economy and open availability of a lot of games or other media, so it’s very likely that a significant chunk of the Chinese murderers hadn’t ever played a violent video game.

    But of all those lists, all those situations, there’s exactly two common factors.
    -Vicious, evil asshole(s) with a weapon of some kind.
    -Defenseless victims.

    Video games, guns, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status, medication, pre-existing psychological conditions, motivation for murders, location, etc are all over the board otherwise. There’s a noted rise in the frequency of school shootings starting in the late 70’s – right around when live media coverage of extraordinary crimes started becoming commonplace.
    It’s also worth noticing that as you read the biographies of those shooters, being socially ostracized and desiring revenge & infamy are VERY common, but not universal. There’s a similarly strong correlation between these mass shooters, particularly the younger ones, and being prescribed/taking medication of some kind for depression or other mental illnesses such as Bipolar disorder. Correlation, yes, but not provable causation. Damned compelling, though.

    So by any reasonable metric, it is precisely as Caleb says it is, and making instant rockstar villains out of these murderers and touting everything they said is giving them EXACTLY what they’d hoped to achieve by carrying out those murders in the first place.
    It’s a shame that Caleb’s gotta call it satire, even though it’s dangerously close to being a valid hypothesis that’s could make a real difference.

  13. People have been killing people long before there were guns and they will continue to do so if every gun on the planet was destroyed tomorrow….it seems to be our nature.

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