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Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:32 AM

NRA statement on CT Shooting about video games and mental health had multiple levels of deceit.

The NRA wants to protect gun-makers first and foremost but its also aligned with the Republican party that wants to protect corporations. It's clear the NRA wanted to divert the blame from guns to other problems so it blamed mental
health and video games. Normally, that might create a problem with its conservative base that would not want a stronger government background check problem and limits on media violence that is displayed to children.

Therefore, the NRA did something that is extraordinarily devious. It misstated the problems of video game violence and mental illness so that Democrats would be appalled at these ideas and support conservatives who don't like government programs and limits on video games. For mental illness, the NRA accomplished this by grossly overstating the problem. That is, it first argued that we need a national database for everyone with a mental illness when it is well known that mental illness is associated with less violence. Psychosis is also rarely associated with violence except when the delusions are violent. Therefore, all you have to do is screen for violent psychosis. For example, Canada screens new gun applicants by asking former spouses, family members and coworkers about signs that are consistent with psychosis. In Japan, all new gun applicants must undergo a psychiatric examination.

The NRA may not want to reduce gun sales to the mentally ill but it also wants what other conservatives want and conservatives don't want government background screening programs especially if they are effective and demonstrate that government works.

Conservatives also don't want expensive treatment for the mentally ill. President Reagan got rid of the national system for the treatment of the mentally ill after President Carter built it up. Therefore, the NRA made an outrageous claim that all mentally ill people should be placed in a database which convinced many Democrats that mental health screening is a bad idea when actually in a very limited form (screening for violent psychoses) its a good idea. In fact, 80% of all mass murderers are believe to have a violent psychosis of some sort.

The NRA used the same approach with video game violence. They mentioned a bunch of games that are outdated, which must have pleased video game companies who could have been hit by losses if they mentioned popular violent games. The NRA also failed to mention that the NRA has its own video games. No reason to hurt your own profit margins. Next, the NRA misstated the science by suggesting that scientists want to completely remove video games from the market when in fact the recommendation is to keep video games away from children and others that believe the violence is realistic. Research has found that realistic violence in the media including videos games causes violence. That is, a large number of scientific organizations have concluded there is a causal relationship between media violence and homicides for people who believe the violence is realistic. However, the NRA and media stories frequently claim that all of these scientific organizations are in disagreement when this is not the case. For example, PBS recently claimed that science has found no link between video game violence and actual violence and they are not alone. These reports state the exact opposite of the truth and that's how the NRA also described the science of video games. They argued more research was needed and that research would probably take video games away from people.

In sum, the NRA by overstating the case of mental illness screening and video game restrictions made sure that these two possibilities wouldn't be given serious consideration by many Democrats. It's an amazingly effective and incredibility devious trick.

However, what most Democrats don't know yet but will soon learn is what VP Biden thinks about all of this when he gives his report to the President. VP Biden is on the record for believing that media violence, background checks and assault weapons bans can all help to reduce violence and a 2012 National Advisory Board on Violence Against Women mentioned all of these components including Biden's contributions over the years. My guess is that all of these things will be pushed as part of a comprehensive bill to address the problem of violence in America unless the Whitehouse decides the NRA's trick worked too well.

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Reply NRA statement on CT Shooting about video games and mental health had multiple levels of deceit. (Original post)
toddmiller Dec 2012 OP
AndSheGoesDown Dec 2012 #1

Response to toddmiller (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:06 AM

1. How shameful

It's simply depressing that people involved in these topics (like politicians and the NRA people) know less than a college student who takes a simple theory of communications class. No, violence in fiction doesn't cause more violence. There's been enough studies to prove this over the last few decades. Also people don't simply buy into propaganda just because it's there, and people don't turn against war just by showing war on TV, like they thought was the case in Vietnam (and which made them change the way they approach *cough* censor *cough* media). All of this is from a very outdated and unscientific point of view supported only by misunderstanding and ignorance and debunked in the 20th century.

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