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US politician defends games in gun crime debate

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 03:09 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Californian Democrat and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said scientific evidence suggests violent media is not at the root of the US’s disproportionate rate of gun crime.

“The evidence says that, in Japan, for example, they have the most violent games and the lowest death – mortality – from guns,” Pelosi said during FOX News Sunday, as reported the Huffington Post.

“I don’t know what the explanation is for that except they may have good gun laws.”

Pelosi was referring to recent statistics demonstrating that the largest video game markets often correlate with very low gun crime rates, with the US proving a major exception – and also laying claim to the loosest gun control laws.

The Democrats have called for further scientific research into the relationship between popular culture and gun violence. Fox’s Chris Wallace suggested the Democrats don’t need to spend federal money on research, commenting that “we know” something nebulous about violent video games, and that Pelosi should simply go to her “friends in Hollywood” and “shame them into action”.

In the wake of violent gun crimes such as the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre of late last year, media and politicians have historically pointed the finger at comics, games and movies; this year, the US seems likely to enact new gun control legislation instead. Opinion is divided; use our “violence in games” tag for more coverage of this issue.

Thanks, The PA Report.

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7 Comments

  1. Zohar

    Before anyone reads this and thinks they have an ally in the defense of Video Games, think again! Pelosi has a very clear anti-gun agenda and doesn’t want the conversation to focus on anything else. Conversely, other politicians have a pro-gun agenda and want to point fingers at violence in media.

    It’s the same ol’ shiz, different day folks :/

    I also think the author of this article represented Chris Wallaces’ comments a little bit out of context, so for the sake of completeness here’s the whole transcript of their conversation about gun violence and video games:

    WALLACE: Gun control will be a big part of the president’s agenda in the State of the Union address Tuesday night. But I want to ask you about another part of the effort to stop these horrible, repeated acts of mass violence. As part of your plan, you call for more scientific research on the connection between popular culture and violence.

    We don’t need another study, respectfully. I mean, we know that these video games, where people have their heads splattered, these movies, these TV shows, why don’t you go to your friends in Hollywood and challenge them, shame them, and say, “Knock it off”?

    PELOSI: Well, I do think, whatever we do, because when you talk about evidence-based, we have that throughout our proposal. In other words, we don’t want to just anecdotally writing bills. We want to have the evidence to say –

    WALLACE: Well, I’m not sure you want to write bills anyway. But don’t you — I mean, what would — you have a lot of friends in Hollywood. Why don’t you go to them and publicly say I think challenge you to stop the video games?

    PELOSI: I do think — see, I understand what you’re saying. I’m a mother, I’m a grandmother. But, they tell — not they, not Hollywood, but the evidence says that, in Japan, for example, they have the most violent games and the rest, and the lowest — death, mortality from guns. I don’t know what the explanation is for that except they may have good gun laws.

    But I think you took one piece of it. We are talking about — we are talking about stop — no further sales of assault weapons. What is the justification for an assault weapon? You know, no further sales of those.

    No further sales of the increased capacity, 30 rounds in a gun. We are talking about background checks which is very popular, even among gun owners, and, hunters. We avow the First Amendment, we stand with that, and say that people have a right to have a gun to protect themselves in their homes and their jobs, whatever. And that they — and their workplace — and that they, for recreation and hunting and the rest.

    But we are in the questioning their right to do that –

    WALLACE: I guess the question is — I think a lot of people say, here it is, liberals like Nancy Pelosi want to go after gun owners. But, when it comes to mental health laws, when it comes to their liberal friends in Hollywood, they don’t want to make them ante up.

    PELOSI: Well, mental health laws, I have to tell you, when I was speaker and we couldn’t get a hearing on this before that we passed the mental health parity act and, in the Affordable Care Act we took it to the next step and in another year you — we’ll have many more services available, because of mental health parity.

    We certainly have to do more. And, I salute the — applaud all of those who are saying we have to do more in mental health. But we have to do it, I think, we have to do it all and that is why we said — we included in there we have to look at what these games are.

    I don’t think we should do anything anecdotally. We have a saying here — the plural of anecdote is not data. And so, we want to know what is the evidence, what would really make a difference here. And I think it has to be comprehensive. END TRANSCRIPT

    Wallace mentions Hollywood because Pelosi is a democrat in California and Hollywood/celebrity money overwhelmingly supports Democrats. In other words, he’s challenging her to confront one of her biggest supporters about the role they play in society as regards to violence, desensitization, etc…

    Not that I believe that type of stuff actually creates violent killers, etc blah blah.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. TMRNetShark

    It is very cut and dry… violent video games should not be played by kids. Period.

    Now whether or not certain types of guns should be banned is moot too. The VAST majority of gun violence is done with pistols because of their relatively small size and ease of use. Assault rifles are the LEAST used for murder. So pistols >>>> assault rifles. But then once again, if you go by pure statistics… cars >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> guns when it comes to “killing” people. We can’t ban cars to lower the death toll, can we?

    Now as a video gamer, I may be as biased as a gun owner is about gun related deaths. The simple matter is, video games may or may not have a tie to violent behavior. I do not see it whatsoever, and there are at least 100 million people who play video games with at least 20 million of those people playing games with “M”-rating (obviously guesstamations, but verrrry conservative ones). 20 million to say 10 people who have committed violent acts is WELL within the margin of saying causation =/= correlation. Those 10 people may have all played violent video games, but can we really say that violent video games pushed these people over the edge?

    Now, hypothetically… let’s say that the link was established and video games were banned from the USA. As a video gamer, I know that I play video games to destress (just like the millions of other gamers out there, even you smartphone gamers). If 10 similar people to those shooters than grew up through school without video games… getting picked on like every single one of those shooters… would there be a difference? Would those shooters still not snap because they weren’t accepted by their peers?

    My personal belief (no one gives a shit about my opinion, but whatever) is that video games have actually prevented and delayed these shootings from happening more. Kids get bullied all the time, but video games help them forget the hardship of what is the United States public education system and the shit fucks they call students. I think school shootings would increase because now these picked on kids have no where to turn to forget their shitty days of being picked on by “popular kids.”

    Video games are not the (main) problem. Violent video games should not by played by kids, but that should be a standard already (which it’s not thanks to stupid parents). The problem is with our society and the public education system and with the little shit kids that push emotionally troubled kids over the edge. I understand kids can be assholes when their parents aren’t around, but we need to fix that.

    TL;DR So in summary… fix society. Also make it harder to GET a gun… but banning certain types of guns is useless.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Ballisticon

    “Wallace mentions Hollywood because Pelosi is a democrat in California and Hollywood/celebrity money overwhelmingly supports Democrats. In other words, he’s challenging her to confront one of her biggest supporters about the role they play in society as regards to violence, desensitization, etc…”

    and as you saw from the interview she values the almighty dollar above all else. Pelosi is a hypocrite, not only a run of the mill lib hypocrite (kill babies but no death penalty for child killers) but one that wants stricter gun laws that would not prevent any acts of violence she is so horrified at while at the same time ignoring any real reforms that might make a difference but open up her crony money supply to scrutiny. Violent games and movies have to have an impact on young minds. If anything, they might be the tipping point for unstable individuals. But no, can’t study that. Can’t implement screening in school for children deemed…odd. Ohh no, can’t have that. Let’s ban 30 round mags and make gun shows do background checks.

    Meanwhile, in Chicago there is a Newtown massacre EVERY MONTH. No one cares about black kids getting shot. Only when white babies get blasted by an insane person. Don’t look over there at hundreds being killed every year due to broken families, no fathers present, poverty. Certainly don’t want to look at those issues because the economy is going GREAT. Hey, in Chicago I bet if they implemented an assault weapons ban and banned high capacity mags the violence in that shit hole city would drop like a rock…right? Wrong. They already have banned assault weapons, high capacity mags, and have no gun ranges or stores in the city. And the SC just told them to allow hand guns so they have also been mia forever. So, lots of ‘gun control’…and you still have more death in one city than all troops in Afghanistan in 2012. Politicians disgust me.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. G1GAHURTZ

    American and Japanese culture are like chalk and cheese.

    Comparing them in this context is completely futile.

    It’s like saying that there are 100 sparks a day a the car factory, and no problems, so we can have 100 sparks a day at the gas factory, and we’ll be fine.

    Anyhow, I also agree that there is an agenda to completely disarm Americans going on right now.

    Although I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a bad thing…

    #4 2 years ago
  5. osric90

    Anything inside a troubled mind can be harmful for them. Media, social influences, family life, etc. The right thing to do is keeping an eye on the kids and young ones and ask how are they feeling. And know how they are feeling. I was playing Resident Evil (among many others) when I was 8 (and still) and today I’m (modesty apart) the most productive, harmless, lovable and sweet person you will ever know. Ask my people. LOL. No kidding. I was given freedom of choice (religion and all that) and many liberties… and well, model citizen, my friends, thanks not only to my context but myself. Modesty apart. Bye.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Christopher Jack

    @3, Killing children & abortions are completely different. Of course abortions need to be controlled better, only in special circumstances should they be allowed. Too many accidents among youths are the primary cause of abortions so perhaps further education for youths could help prevent what should be an unnecessary surgery.

    Then again the primary rivals of abortions also don’t want youths to have the knowledge on how to have sex safely so I’m at a lost. They expect hormone controlled teens to fight the urge out of some false traditionalist ideology? Well good luck with that. I still think rape victims or those incapable of birthing a healthy child for medical or genetic reasons should reserve the right to abort.

    No sane person wants abortions, however pregnancy cannot always be prevented & in some cases you’re simply better off not bringing the child into the world. Or in medical cases you’re incapable of birthing a child otherwise it may come out stillborn, with severe mental/physical disorders &/or may even kill the mother.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. loveaya

    I recommand that we make Ms.Nancy Pelosi as a GTA5 dlc character!

    #7 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Destiny’s toughest challenge gets even nastier if you throw Creepers into the mix. The ultimate Destiny challenge – for now – is the Crota’s End raid. Taking place in an alternate dimension accessed through the Hellmouth on the Moon, the Raid takes Guardians through a pit of darkness to the resting place of Crota himself. […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3D trailer introduces the Heir to the Monado

    Xenoblade Chronicles 3D protagonist Shulk is the Heir to the Monado, his distinctive red sword. Let this trailer fill you in on what that means. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D releases for New 3DS on April 2 in Europe and April 10 in North America. As well as all the content of the Wii original, it has […]

  • The Elder Scrolls: Total War mod covers Morrowind, Oblivion and more

    The Elder Scrolls: Total War is a terrific mod allowing you get get intimately involved with the history of Bethesda’s detailed fantasy universe. The first release of The Elder Scrolls: Total War dropped on the weekend, giving players their first chance to try out LoRdNazgu1‘s creation. This version runs from 3E 427 to 4E 45, […]

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 out now on Steam

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is out now. Yes, we’re surprised too. You can grab Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 on Steam for $8. Developer Scott Cawthon really doesn’t mess about; the game was only announced in early January. Here’s the blurb: Thirty years after Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza closed it’s doors, the events that took […]

  • EVE Online heister makes off with $13,000 worth of goods

    EVE Online is a hotbed of villainy, espionage and backstabbing, but one intrepid corporate thief has made waves even in this setting. The thing about EVE Online is that it’s a true sandbox: the game’s rules are very loose, and allow players to make careers out of theft, piracy, assassination and espionage in addition to […]

  • Marth Amiibo getting a stock refresh in North America

    Nintendo of America has announced a fresh supply of the difficult to find Marth Amiibo. The Marth Amiibo will be back in stock in the US in late April, the platform holder said on Twitter today. Planning to pick up Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. and don’t have a Marth amiibo? More are headed to stores in […]

  • Skyrim beta update upgrades creation kit file size

    Skyrim has been granted a new beta update – more than three years after launch! – to improve the experience for modders and those who use them. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim released in November 2011. I think that’s worth noting before we discuss the beta update that dropped today, even as Bethesda is working […]

  • Paradox’s next epic RPG is, uh, Knights of Pen & Paper 2

    Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is very serious business so please enjoy this very serious trailer. “Return to the dicey world of Knights of Pen & Paper for a new turn-based adventure, where players get to take on the role of players, and also of the game’s encounter-designing, rules-laywering GM in a fully customizable […]

  • Amplitude looks amazing in new gameplay trailer, has a team multiplayer mode

    Amplitude may have been delayed but we still get something this March: a fine new gameplay trailer. Amplitude is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 sometime in northern summer. It’s a reprisal of Harmonix’s classic rhythm action game, a forerunner to its later efforts with Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and was crowdfunded. Update: Turns […]

  • DayZ creator’s “crazy”, “esoteric” next game developed with Improbable

    DayZ creator Dean “Rocket” Hall has dropped the first vague details of his new game project. “I do not want to make safe games. I do not want to make games the way we have been making them. What if the most experienced video game staff in the world collaborated on the most esoteric and […]

  • Battlefield Hardline will support AMD’s Mantle

    AMD has confirmed what most Battlefield fans thought. Battlefield Hardline will indeed support Mantle. Battlefield Hardline will support Mantle, AMD has confirmed. Some players weren’t sure whether the retail version of the game will support AMD’s API, due to its absence from the recent PC beta. AMD did not say whether the feature will be […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 GDC 2015 sizzle reel shows what the tech can do

    Unreal Engine 4 is a pretty versatile bit of tech, as this new sizzle reel shows. As one of the more ubiquitous engines, Unreal will be on show at GDC this week. Developer Epic produced the following sizzle reel to quickly demonstrate what it can do – cutting edge graphics (there are very few games […]

  • Survarium’s latest patch removes limit on battle ammo, rebalances experience gain

    The latest Survarium patch has readjusted the value of experience and reputation points gained and removed the limit to the maximum amount of ammo you can use in combat. Survarium developer Vostok Games has released patch 0.27a to the public, having recently finished testing it. The patch is a major one and covers changes to […]

  • The Hunt Begins in new Bloodborne TV spot

    Bloodborne is so close you can almost smell its coppery tang on the wind – and also you can watch commercials for it. Bloodborne arrives on PS4 at the end of this month (March 24 North America, March 25 Europe, March 27 UK) so excitement is starting to build. Sony isn’t helping keep us calm […]

  • World of Warcraft: you’ll soon be able to buy game time with gold

    Blizzard will soon allow World of Warcraft players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard has announced a new system that will launch soon for World of Warcraft. The system is called WoW Token. Using this system, players will be able to buy game time using in-game gold. Here’s how it […]

  • 3D Realms’ Bombshell returns with the first gameplay trailer

    Remember 3D Realms’ Bombshell? The isometric ARPG that was announced last year? Well, it’s back, and we get to see gameplay footage. The game stars Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, a bomb technician turned mercenary with a mechanical arm. She will embark on a quest to rescue the president and save Earth, all while shooting aliens. The […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 is now free for everyone to use

    Epic Games has made Unreal Engine 4 available for anyone to download and use, for free. Unreal Engine 4 is now free. Anyone can download it and start using it, the developer announced today in a blog post. The download features the the full set of tools used by Epic, and includes 100% of the […]

  • Call of Duty European Championship winner announced

    The winner of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship has been announced. This past weekend, 28 teams representing UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, the rest of Europe and Middle East attended the final of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship. UK team Epsilon eSports was crowned […]

  • GOG brings back Insomnia sale with discounts up to 90% off

    GOG.com is bringing back its Insomnia sale event with even more games. GOG’s Insomnia sale is back with double the amount of games. This year, there will be two sets of games available at once. The sets are seasoned classics and fresh new titles. Each set will feature games with discounts up to 90% off, […]

  • 2K is shutting down NBA 2K14 online servers, won’t affect career save files

    2K will be shutting down the servers for NBA 2K14 this month. The publisher revealed yesterday that online servers for NBA 2K14 will be turned offline on March 31. “You will no longer be able to play ranked games/online association,” reads the announcement. NBA 2K14 relied on online servers to store save files for MyCareer […]

  • One Dead or Alive tournament organiser is proposing ban of “over-sexualised” costumes

    A Dead or Alive tournament organiser has suggested a soft ban on some of the game’s “over-sexualised” costumes, and not everyone is happy. Tournament organiser “The HuBBs” took to the FreeStepDodge forums to suggest a list of rules that other offline tournaments can follow. The list goes over stages, characters, moves, which is certainly in […]

  • Destiny: all the news from Bungie’s open house Q&A

    Bungie hosted an open house Q&A session with the community last week and lots of exciting news have come out of it. Arekkz Gaming has gathered all the information that came out of Bungie’s open house Q&A in one handy video. The list is massive, going over Exotic weapon balance, upcoming events, PVE, Crucible rewards, […]

  • Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen to honour Nimoy with in-game memorials

    Developers behind space exploration games Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen will honour the memory of Leonard Nimoy through in-game memorials. The develops of both games have confirmed separately that in-game memorials will be established to honour the memory of the late Star Trek actor, Leonard Nimoy, famous for playing Spock. Elite: Dangerous executive producer Michael […]

  • Deal: get a PlayStation 4 + three exclusives for $399

    Amazon’s latest PlayStation 4 deal is not one to miss. With purchase of a PlayStation 4 console from Amazon in the US, the online retailer will throw in digital codes for Infamous Second Son, Killzone Shadow Fall and The Last of Us: Remastered, all for the same MSRP of $399. The Last of Us Remastered […]

  • Destiny: this is how one player predicted House of Wolves details and Xur’s inventory

    The method one Redditor possibly used to leak some details from Destiny’s House of Wolves was the same one he used to predict the inventory of Xur: Agent of the Nine. Last week, Reddit user Megamanexe4 leaked a few pieces of House of Wolves expansion content. The leaks included strikes, new Crucible mode, and a […]

  • Mortal Kombat X is coming to iOS… as a card-battler

    Mortal Kombat X will be releasing on mobile devices in some form, just not the one you except. Mortal Kombat X is coming to Android and iOS devices as an extension of the main game. It will launch in April alongside the console versions. The mobile game will be part card collecting and part fighting […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain announcement coming this Wednesday

    Kojima Productions will unveil something about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain this Wednesday. Metal Gear Solid fans should standby for a Phantom Pain-related announcement on Wednesday, March 4. According to developer Kojima Productions’ Twitter, there’s going to be an announcement at 2pm GMT on Wednesday. The developer posted the following image. The image […]

  • Reader survey: time to let us get to know you better!

    We’d really appreciate it if you could fill in this survey about the websites you read and the games you buy. It massively helps! You can fill out the survey right here and obviously all the information you supply is confidential. It helps us build a better picture of the people who read our site […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium: here’s everything you get for $50

    Battlefield Hardline’s Premium membership will give players access to 4 new features, early access to expansion packs and more. EA detailed the offer today – it costs $50 in total (£40 in the UK) and gives players a whole bundle of new gear and content. Check it all out in handy list form below: Masks […]

  • Hayter’s gonna hate: the voice of Solid Snake wouldn’t answer my Metal Gear question

    Voice actor and Hollywood writer David Hayter discusses the differences between movies and games. And politely declines my leading question. “It might be fun to do a crazy, over-the-top film version of Saint’s Row.” Yeah, that headline is a bit cheap but you’re reading the work of a man who once asked the maker of […]

  • Xbox One bundle gets £100 price cut in UK

    Microsoft has knocked up to £100 off Xbox One bundles in the UK. The Xbox One with Kinect Assassin’s Creed bundle is now £100 cheaper and comes with a free £20 voucher to be spent on the official Microsoft online store. Over on the Xbox online store there’s a £70 price cut on the white […]

  • Pokemon Shuffle downloaded 1m times, free stuff given out to celebrate

    Free-to-play 3DS title Pokemon Shuffle has been downloaded over 1 million times. As a reward for playing the match-3 puzzle game Nintendo has gifted players a Complexity -1 item for free. The item reduces the difficulty of a level, according to Eurogamer. By all accounts Pokemon Shuffle is a cynical game with poorly implemented microtransactions. […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power sure is pretty

    FrozenByte Games has revealed Trine 3, due for release in 2015 And what better way to reveal a new side-scrolling adventure than with a very pretty trailer full of gameplay? The latest in a series that has already sold 7 million copies is earmarked for PC and “other” formats. Trine 2 released on PS3, PS3, […]

  • Dying Light takes UK number one

    A month since it was released on digital platforms, Dying Light’s physical release has topped the UK charts. Techland and Warner’s zombie survival game has proven to be one of the big hits of the year so far. It was released on digital formats a month ago but has only just been released on good-old […]

  • GTA 5: that’s some seriously accurate grenade throwing

    Think you can take down a jet plane with a grenade throw? This guy can. In fact, he can do it twice. This is in a variation on the player-created deathmatch “Stunters Versus Snipers” which seem to be all the rage in GTA Online at the moment. One team has a sniper rifle (and grenades) […]