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Pelosi On Gun Violence Debate: It's Not Right To Focus On Games

I hope she likes cookies because PSXE wants to give her one. Chocolate chip okay?

After a barrage of politicians attacking violent video games for being catalysts for real-world violence in the wake of the Newtown shooting tragedy, a voice of reason has arrived.

House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says those who single out violent games in this debate are being unfair. In speaking to Fox News Sunday, Pelosi said a "comprehensive effort" is required to reduce gun violence in the country. She was asked- "You have a lot of friends in Hollywood. Why don't you go to them and publicly say, 'I challenge you to stop the video games?'" And she replied:

"I understand what you're saying. I'm a mother, I'm a grandmother. The evidence says, in Japan for example, they have the most violent games and the lowest mortality from guns. I don't know what the explanation is for that, except that they might have good gun laws."

She further criticized the interviewer (Chris Wallace) for focusing on only "one piece" of a bigger issue, and she wishes to see a ban on sales of assault weapons and increased capacity magazines. She also remains an advocate for background checks, while agreeing with the stance that a citizen has a right to own a weapon. Pelosi added:

"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 will really make a difference here? And I think it has to be comprehensive."

That just sounds way to practical and logical to come from a politician. Then again, the way the questions were posed in that interview makes it clear that mainstream media as a whole wishes to continue to attack video games. That's more than a little frustrating in and of itself.

Tags: nancy pelosi, violent games, violent video games, violent video game debate

2/11/2013 11:16:31 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (42 posts)

Highlander
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 11:42:45 AM
Reply

OMG common sense, from a politician!? The world must surely be ending. ;)

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Huey
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 11:46:09 AM

Ditto

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telly
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 1:08:26 PM

Scary it took this long for someone to state the obvious, but Pelosi gets big props from me for having the guts to do it. It's not exactly a big secret violent video games don't result in real life gun violence ALL OVER THE WORLD.

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telly
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 1:08:27 PM

Scary it took this long for someone to state the obvious, but Pelosi gets big props from me for having the guts to do it. It's not exactly a big secret violent video games don't result in real life gun violence ALL OVER THE WORLD.

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Underdog15
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 2:50:55 PM

Not unless Donovan says so!

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matt99
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 11:45:12 AM
Reply

Well this is a breath of fresh air, finally someone who understands that to deal with a complex issue you need a complex solution. Not a scapegoat to blame things on so you don't actually have to change anything.

And as you say Ben, the media's stance is very frustrating, and it always comes from people who don't play video games and don't know a thing about them.

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Highlander
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 1:15:18 PM

The media has been taking this stance on games since Rock and Role, TV, Movies, color TV, the wireless (aka radio), FM radio, photography, porn, and paper based RPGs all either fell out of fashion or were no longer the easy scapegoat for people's stupid, insane, or aberrant behaviors. Games are an easy target because the public perception - or at least the media version of the public perception is that games are for kids, and so all those M rated games that *we* know are not made for kids, are seen by the ignorant masses as threat to kids.

The thing is, the average or median age of gamers is now in the 30's not the 20s, and not the teens or younger. Games are in general NOT for kids and really haven't been since the current 30-somthings were pre-teens. That's a good 2 decades now. If the message that games are not for kids any more can't penetrate the dense skulls in the media in the course of 20+ years, I don't know if it ever will.

Of course when you start looking at the media, especially TV news, you see a media that loves to sensationalize, a media that caters for the lowest common denominator and a media that panders to generations of people aged 60 and above. Most of that generation are so conservative (small c) that they shrivel up at the thought of loud music that wasn't popular in the 50's, there's no way that the majority of them will ever 'get' the message about games.

Look at Fox (Faux) news. They almost exclusively cater to what might be called the generation of rich, old white guys. The coverage is quite Conservative/conservative, reactionary, ill-considered, poorly researched, message heavy and awash in politically motivated commentary/opinion masquerading as news fact. You can be certain that their reporting about this issue will be right out there with the most reactionary version possible, and people lap it up. Every doctor's office I ever go to is full of old white people (even here in Memphis) sitting there looking all ticked at the universe and watching Fox.

That's NOT to say that Fox are the only offender BTW, almost all the news media - ABC, CBS, CNN, BBC, NBC, etc... to the same thing. Fox is just the easiest one to scapegoat (get the irony?). News channels cater to their demographics. Younger people consume more news from online sources, TV news is consumed more by older people, that's just the way it is. And as long as the televised media continue in the role of thought leader/shaper - which they do - this will continue to be the way of things. It's the same in politics, International news, economics, social issues, entertainment, technology, etc...

People need to start accepting that video games are not for kids alone. They need to start seeing the rating system in the same light as with movies. No one says that an K rated movie is for kids. No one says that all movies are for kids, and no one says that all movies should be heavily censored/regulated because of some nut job who watched an R rated movie goes postal.

Video games are not dangerous in and of themselves. I could envisage a circumstance where you could in specific instances show evidence of a game influencing a person's behavior. But, that would be the exception. I could easily show just as compelling evidence about TV and the movies. Think of all those kids playing cops and robbers, cowboys and indians, space marines and aliens(well, how do the kids know this source, could it be parents let them see the R-rated movie that the concept comes from?), power rangers, etc... That was all happening long before video games. People would re-enact their favorite scenes from a movie, or book, a play or even radio or TV show - they still do.

You know, in Elizabethan times the theater was a hot-bed of social and political commentary. The establishment felt threatened by it and theater was looked down upon as some weird thing that people should not go to. Of course they did, and Shakespeare and others skewered the ruling classes of the time with their work - and also created some of the greatest cultural artifacts of our civilization. I'm not saying games are necessarily in that same league, but the theater is another example of something that the establishment has sought to scapegoat in an attempt to distract people from the real problems in the world.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Underdog15
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 4:18:00 PM

Worse. Theater was sin. Actors were not allowed Christian burials

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Bevel
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 11:55:51 AM
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Mainstream media as a whole is a joke right now, especially in the States. Nancy Pelosi seems to have a good head on her shoulders and it's refreshing to hear from someone in politics like her.

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Xombito
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 1:23:17 PM
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She's probably a gamer. All politicians have their secret vices. ;)

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DjEezzy
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 1:25:00 PM
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haha... can't believe the craziest witch of them all said this. Good on her for speaking up. I still don't like her though. LOL

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clockwyzebkny
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 1:31:42 PM
Reply

Sadly there aren't many voices of reason from politicians or from non gamer adults. As you noted Ben, the interviewer kept trying to coerce Ms. Pelosi into attack video games as well.
Research sjows that there is NOTHING about violent video games that makes a person snap and go out and kill someone. Violent video games may produce some type of aggression as well as road rage. These types of reactions are also attributed to deeper impulsive reaction or other social disorders. Common sense will also tell you that a violent person may like to play violent games. But it cannot go the other way around. A normal person will not transform to a sociopath killing machine after playing violent games, even if that person has some anger problems.
I have been diagnosed with several personality and social disorders but I would never go gung ho and kill random people because I'm not that far gone. My moral and ethics code is intact. Any and all of my deep rooted aggression and depression is caused by events that happened in my youth that were unresolved Like as a 4 year old and seeing my father drop dead in front of me. As a person who somewhat understands anger and aggression, I can tell you that video games cannot make an individual, sane or insane, fly off the handle. That person has the capability and are apathetic on their own. And if untreated, they will do some horrendous act whether they play violent games or not.

Sorry foer being long winded

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Underdog15
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 2:04:55 PM
Reply

Lol. Love how Fox tried to guide the interview.

But yes. She is obviously correct.

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Underdog15
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 2:13:13 PM

And yeah, Japan has the second most strict gun laws in the world. Lines representing gun law strictness matches both lines for gun deaths and overall homicides. Crazy!

But yeah... It's complex. Definitely shouldn't blame video games. Makes no sense.

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Karosso
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 2:15:35 PM

Yep, Bullshit Mountain News is a very tricky place to keep your footing :)
Glad at least one of the bigger name in politics see the truth about the issue, that it is more complex than just blaming video games.

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Excelsior1
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 2:12:52 PM
Reply

That's basically the point Underdog and I tried to make in another gun related thread here at PSXE. Last year handguns killed 52 people in Japan, 48 in Canada, and 8 in Great Britian. Last year 10,728 people died from handguns alone in the United States. I really can't speak about Japan's media intelligently, but Great Britian has the same violent media and videogame influences we have here. Canada too, yet they don't have the systemic problems we have with gun violence. Why? Because they simply do not have the sheer number of weapons we have on the streets. Legal or otherwise.

There were almost 600 accidental deaths from handguns here in the U.S. last year. Meaning we had more deaths from handgun related accidents than the the rest of the free world combined had handgun related deaths of any kind last year. Ouch. It's just embarrassing. I'm not advocating a ban but better regulations and laws seems like the most logical place to start.

All I know is it's definitely not games or we would see way more deaths in other countries that have the same types of games and media we do.

We have a systemic problem here in the United States that other countries just don't have. The statistics for gun related violence here in the U.S. tell a pretty sad story. There are third world countries with political unrest that rate better than we do. That point isn't even up for debate. It's just a fact.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 2/11/2013 2:15:03 PM

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Underdog15
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 9:20:39 PM

Enough of your facts, Excelsior!

lol no, but seriously, people who disagree in the face of such blatant objectivity are stubbornly locked into a frame of mind no encyclopedia nor scientific method could ever penetrate.

Most people here seem to agree, fortunately. That's yet another testament to the PSXE community.

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homura
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 @ 6:59:48 PM

When the time your statistics shows that in those 10,728 death by handguns didn't caused by drug related crimes, gangs and pure nut jobs, then we will agree with you. The fact is that you overlooked the main problem. Solve the problem of drug syndicate, gangs who influenced kids, those illegal gun dealers who sells guns to just anyone and etc. There are also many deaths caused by automobiles. Do we blame the amount of vehicles in the streets? NO, we blame the irresponsible drivers and sometimes accidents happens. And in the hands of a wacko, cars can kill, they do. There are also collectors of cars, why not guns? There are people who are passionate about guns, and they follow the laws to attain it. They collect WWII machine guns even WWII tanks, they fire it at the firing range. So if you blame just the amount of guns based on statistics that didn't even shows the whole picture, you're the close minded ones.

Last edited by homura on 2/12/2013 7:02:04 PM

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Knightzane
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 2:15:59 PM
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Someone get that lady some coffee and some video games.

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Underdog15
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 2:49:54 PM

I suggest buying her journey. I hear they basically went bankrupt making it. ;)

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wackazoa
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 4:13:51 PM
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Why does it have to be HER who said this..... damn it now I have to actually think about who I support in Congress and not just play partisan lines.

Last edited by wackazoa on 2/11/2013 4:14:03 PM

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PSN French
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 5:47:23 PM

You should never vote partisan lines... vote the person not the affiliation. Too many sheep in this country.

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 4:23:33 PM
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Way to go Pelosi, smart person about this subject matter. I agree we don't need automatic weapons to protect ourselves, pistols is far enough. SoCal Represent!

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 2/11/2013 4:24:06 PM

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Jawknee
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 4:52:43 PM

Automatic weapons have been banned since the 1930's. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself before pontificating about a subject you obviously know nothing about.

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daus26
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 4:30:19 PM
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I'm speechless, honestly lol. I mean, her IQ must be tenfolds over the previous politicians.

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fatelementality
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 5:45:10 PM
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Everyone wanna know a very simple reason that gaming ISN'T the problem? If it was, mass shootings would be an epidemic.

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tes37
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 5:48:41 PM
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The world is hard to understand sometimes. The biggest retard in the government, said one of the most intelligent things about video games since this mess started.

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PSN French
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 5:50:04 PM
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This woman panders, they are creating dissention in order to pass unjust laws without notice. Like the new National Defense Spending Bill which gives them power to imprison American citizens on American soil for no reason, indefinitely... Time to wake up... fight Novus Ordo Seclorum.

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PSN French
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 5:55:59 PM

Let's take a look at the Constitutional Amendments that are now being ignored on a DAILY basis...
1st
2nd
4th
5th
6th
10th

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Simcoe
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 7:28:42 PM

Don't forget the 18th one too! ;-)

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Underdog15
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 7:41:06 PM

Haha

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Underdog15
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 7:49:00 PM

The irony here is so thick it could clog a Dyson!

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PSN French
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 @ 2:25:25 AM

Screw the 18th Amendment!!

Last edited by PSN French on 2/12/2013 2:26:11 AM

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PSN French
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 7:34:22 AM

Why did we vote down my "Screw the 18th Amendment?" It was the prohibition amendment and was repealed by the 21st amendment. I'm surrounded by morons.

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Teddie9
Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 10:08:53 PM
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Finally a shred of good news on this matter.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 @ 2:16:26 AM
Reply

Something I picked up,

"Here are three unequivocal truths:

-- Mentally unstable people who play video games that don't have access to guns can't shoot people.

-- Mentally unstable people who play video games and have access to guns sometimes shoot people.

-- Mentally unstable individuals who don't play video games also sometimes shoot people."

Last edited by LegendaryWolfeh on 2/12/2013 2:16:40 AM

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dumbnut
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 1:23:02 AM
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She said that we shouldn't focus JUST on video games...it doesn't mean that they won't include video games with everything else to be used as a tool for more gun control. REMEMBER, this lady is the same person that, right before Obamacare was voted on, said 'we've got to PASS the bill, so we can READ what is in it.' Are you freaking kidding me??? You guys can be gullible and believe this deceiving witch if you want. I won't trust her for a minute.

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PSN French
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 7:36:32 AM

Thank you!!

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Jawknee
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 4:50:59 PM

The anti-gunners on this site will grasp at anything if it helps distract from and protect their precious hobby. This dumb harpy also said in this same interview 'we avow the 1st amendment, we believe it protects your right to own a gun' and that the US government doesn't have a spending problem.

Fools the lot of you who fall for this garbage. This woman and her ilk seek to strip the rights of law abiding Americans because of the evil actions of the few and many of you fall for it hook, line and sinker because she pretends games aren't apart of the problem. This woman is one of the dumbest people in government and is a perfect example of the kind of people who should not be making laws that the rest of us have to abide by while exempting themselves. If they can erode the 2nd Amendment they will come after the 1st(games, speech and thought) and the 4th.

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Id00urmomma
Friday, February 15, 2013 @ 1:03:50 PM
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Japan adds lithium to the water so the people there are docile and unable to be very violent. but really, video games are just as much to blame as a gun is, meaning neither should be the issue, it should be about why the guy that shoots children was sooo messed up to be able to do that, not what video game or having a gun around, he could have just of easily made a bomb and killed with it too...

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Id00urmomma
Friday, February 15, 2013 @ 1:07:10 PM
Reply

And outlawing guns only prevents law-abiding people from getting them... Guns are illegal in every other country and criminals still get guns in every other country... Crime is less in states with more guns. Cities with gun bans in the US have the highest crime rates...

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Id00urmomma
Friday, February 15, 2013 @ 1:14:31 PM
Reply

lol and also how would we defend against a zombie apocalypse without guns?

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