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Biden set to draft proposals for guns



Published: Sat, January 12, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Video-game industry defends its practices on final day of talks

Associated Press

WASHINGTON

The video-game industry, blamed by some for fostering a culture of violence, defended its practices Friday at a White House meeting exploring how to prevent horrific shootings like the recent Connecticut elementary school massacre.

Vice President Joe Biden, wrapping up three days of wide-ranging talks on gun violence prevention, said the meeting was an effort to understand whether the U.S. was undergoing a “coarsening of our culture.”

“I come to this meeting with no judgment. You all know the judgments other people have made,” Biden said at the opening of a two-hour discussion. “We’re looking for help.”

Biden is expected to suggest ways to address violence in video games, movies and on television when he sends President Barack Obama a package of recommendations for curbing gun violence Tuesday.

The proposals are expected to include calls for universal background checks and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

The gaming industry says that violent crime, particularly among the young, has fallen since the early 1990s while video games have increased in popularity.

There are conflicting studies on the impact of video games and other screen violence. Some conclude that video games can desensitize people to real-world violence or temporarily quiet part of the brain that governs impulse control. Other studies have concluded there is no lasting effect.

Cheryl Olson, a participant in Biden’s meeting and a researcher of the effect of violent video games, said there was concern among industry representatives that they would be made into a scapegoat in the wake of the Connecticut shooting.

“The vice president made clear that he did not want to do that,” Olson said.

Obama appointed Biden to lead a gun violence task force after last month’s shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that left 20 children and six educators dead.

Gun-safety activists were coalescing around expanded background checks as a key goal for the vice president’s task force. Some advocates said it may be more politically realistic — and even more effective as policy — than reinstating a ban on assault weapons.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said some 40 percent of gun sales happen with no background checks, such as at gun shows and by private sellers over the Internet or through classified ads.

“Our top policy priority is closing the massive hole in the background check system,” the group said.

While not backing off support for an assault weapons ban, some advocates said there could be broader political support for increasing background checks, in part because that could actually increase business for retailers and licensed gun dealers who have access to the federal background check system.

“The truth is that an assault-weapons ban is a very important part of the solution — and it is also much tougher to pass,” said Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Restrictions on high-capacity ammunition magazines are also seen by some as an easier lift politically than banning assault weapons.

The National Rifle Association adamantly opposes universal background checks, as well as bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines — all measures that would require congressional approval. The NRA and other pro-gun groups contend that a culture that glamorizes violence bears more responsibility for mass shootings than access to a wide range of weapons and ammunition.

In a 2009 report, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared, “The evidence is now clear and convincing: Media violence is one of the causal factors of real-life violence and aggression.”


Comments

1AtownAugie(697 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

I wonder if Mr Biden will plagiarize his work once again -- àla his infamous "humble roots" speech he plagiarized from British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. Perhaps this time he will steal from another UK country, Australia, and suggest buy-backs, etc.

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276Ytown(1232 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

Did you know that more deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders COMBINED?

Cigarette smoking causes about 1 of every 5 deaths in the United States each year.
Exposure to secondhand smoke causes nearly 50,000 deaths each year among adults in the US

How many deaths are caused by guns annually in the US?

30,896 total, according to the CDC in 2006. Of which:
642 accidental
16,883 suicide
12,791 homicide
220 undetermined
360 by legal intervention

43,664 were killed in motor vehicle accidents,
37,286 died from poisoning,
20,823 died from unintention falls.

In 2005 CDC reported
652,091 people died from heart disease,
559,312 from cancer
143,579 from stroke.

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3papa1(646 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

at the very least, an extensive background check should be administered especially for high capacity weapons. when some nut can buy thousands of rounds of ammo on line isn't that kind of a red flag? wake up people!!!

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4VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

Many people involved in target shooting require thousands of rounds to compete. Buying in bulk is the norm. Every year there are "shoots" across the country with the biggest being held in Camp Perry near Port Clinton, Ohio each July and August, where thousands of participants compete with the best of the best. Each participant fires hundreds of rounds during the competition and thousands of rounds are fired practicing for these events. This is why many need to buy thousands of rounds.

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5VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

TV and video games consume ten times more attention from our children than adults do. As a former combat veteran, I am shocked at what our children are learning from TV and video games. They are given the same type of training as combat soldiers and are taught how to kill without any consideration for human life. They laugh and cheer when someone is "killed" and are rewarded for it. How can anyone think of this as a game? Our children are being subjected to TV violence beginning at 18 months and this continues throughout their formative years. Then, when they grow up we want to blame a gun, which is only a tool used to perform the act they have been trained for.

The video gaming industry is in denial when they suggest they are not targeting children with their marketing tactics. Why is it we see these video games advertised just before Christmas? And the Navy Seals selling their skills to the video gaming industry is just plain idiotic. When we came home from our battles, we kept it to ourselves and tried to forget them. Now everyone wants to cash in on violence, murder and killing, so they place our children at risk for the money. Sick, idiotic stupidity and greed. Come on folks, we can do better.

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6hotwings(41 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

Japan has more graphically violent video games than the US and only had 11 gun related deaths in 2008.

It is not video games, it is guns and lack of sane gun laws.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/w...

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.c...

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7excel(280 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

After we are are disarmed we will become a kinder and more gentler nation.

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