In the last month since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, there's been so much hypocrisy coming from both sides outside of the standard Blame Game mentality.
Let's start at the top with President Donald Trump and his false blame of fake "violent" video games. President Trump has no credibility at all when he talks about fake "violent" video games when he contiunes to maintain friendly ties with Vince McMahon and WWE, which, as I've stated numerous times in the past, was also falsely blamed for "causing" violent behavior in teenagers & children. Those ties that bind Trump & McMahon include Trump's enshrinement in the WWE Hall of Fame, making Vince's wife Linda McMahon part of his Cabinet as the head of the Small Business Administration, as well as making a cameo appearance in the violent family-friendly movie "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York". Also, because WWE does help produce a video game every year with 2K Games, it creates the appearance that Trump is indirectly blaming WWE for the Parkland school shooting.
Trump's summit with the video game industry on March 8th looked like a total joke from my perspective. For starters, look at who was invited. Besides the people running the ESRB & ESA(and the White House actually misgendered ESRB head Patricia Vance, referring to her as "Mister"), also getting invites were....
-three Republicans in Congress including Florida US Sen. Marco Rubio(who Trump called "Little Marco" during the Presidential campaign)
-a representative from the Parents Television Council(as I've also mentioned numerous times in the past, the group had to pay WWE $3.5 million to settle a defamation lawsuit over the aforementioned false blame of WWE over the Lionel Tate case)
-Media Research Center head Brent Bozell(who founded the PTC in the mid-90s and ran the group concurrently with the MRC for about ten or so years)
-retired Army Lt. Colonel David Grossman(what, Jack Thompson, the guy who stole Grossman's shtick, was somehow unavailable? I've also stated in the past how Grossman is a proven liar and has been irrevelant in the discussion over fake "violent" video games since the early 2000s)
And what did this closed door meeting actually accomplish? Absolutely nothing, just like Obama & Biden's summit with the video game industry after Sandy Hook. In fact, I've noticed that there was little to no mainstream news media coverage of this summit. Not to mention that there's a post on Twitter by a gamer that stated that Sen. Rubio has defended the video game industry and doesn't blame the industry for Parkland, so it seems to me that "Little Marco" has actually shown more testicular fortitude than President Trump has in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting.
Let's also talk about President Trump's double standard on guns. After the shooting, Trump surprised people including his own base by pushing for restrictions on gun ownership, speciifcally bans on "bump stocks"(devices that modify a gun to fire automatically) and raising the minimum age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21(which is already the minimum age to buy a pistol) while also calling for improving and expanding background checks.
President Trump has also talked about allowing teachers to be armed if they've been trained previously in handling firearms. While I agree with the principle of the idea that if somebody had the opportunity to shoot back, there might not have been as many casualities(and this has been a talking point since Columbine), I think arming the teachers themselves should be a last resort. In his book "Do I Stand Alone?: Going to the Mat Against Political Pawns & Media Jackals", former Minnesota governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura had a great, maybe better, idea where the custodians/janitors could be that well-trained guy that could shoot back.
After a closed door meeting with the National Rifle Association(which is still NOT & NEVER was a "terrorist organization" no matter how many times the far left, Z-List Hollywood celebutards, or even the survivors of mass shootings call them that), it seems like President Trump has backtracked on raising the age requirement, as well as on another statement he made about allowing law enforcement to take guns away from people deemed a "safety risk" before the courts get a chance to make that determination(which would violate the US Constitution's guarantee of due process under the law).
However, I think this has actually hurt President Trump more than it has helped him. If this was a four-dimensional chess move to undercut the Democrats, it didn't work. All it's done was alienate his own base outside of the evangelicals. The part of his base that unequivacally support the Second Amendment who have felt like they've been under attack since Parkland especially felt alienated by Trump's actions. At least one person called into Scoot's WWL radio show and said he will not vote for President Trump's re-election in 2020 over the comments about taking guns away from people before the courts determine that person is truly a safety risk. And as I've mentioned in the last blog, Trump's comments on fake "violent" video games may have alienated Generation Z and the other younger voters who didn't vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 because of her own anti-video game behavior.
Maybe the weirdest part in all this is that the video game journalists that turned on the industry itself and the gaming community during Gamergate are now defending the industry and fake "violent" video games. Even Anita Sarkessian herself has apparently done a 180 and is now defending fake "violent" video games because of President Trump blaming the industry for the Parkland shooting.
I wonder if this is genuine or it's because they all have Trump Derangement Syndrome? The enemy(video games) of their enemy(President Trump) is now their friend again all of a sudden?
I don't know, but something tells me if Hillary Clinton had won the Presidency in 2016 and she said the exact same things President Trump has said about fake "violent" video games in aftermath of Parkland, I think Anita and them would have still sided with Hillary over the industry.
Ultimately, I still think us gamers have nothing to worry about. As I've said before, the Supreme Court gave the video game industry a neverending invincibility star. However, I think some YouTubers like Mundane Matt have tended to miss the most important parts of the US Supreme Court's ruling in the Brown v. EMA case. Specifically, the parts of the ruling that say that video games are also protected under the Fourteenth Amendment and that fake "violent" content in entertainment is exempt from obscenity laws.
And here's one last point to show President Trump's hypocrisy on fake "violent" video games. On CBS' 60 Minutes the weekend after he won the Presidential election, President-elect Trump was asked by CBS reporter Lesley Stahl about the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage and his response was that the decision was "settled law". If the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage is "settled law" in President Trump's eyes and if the Supreme Court's decisions in Heller v. District of Columbia & McDonald v. Chicago are also "settled law" in the eyes of conservatives and supporters of the Second Amendment, then the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. EMA should also be "settled law" in their eyes like it is to us gamers.
Then again, that may be wishful thinking since conservatives don't think the Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade or Engel v. Vitale is "settled law".
Now, let's move on the survivors of the Parkland school shooting as well as the high school students who have sided with them since the shooting.
After the shooting, the survivors and their allies started going after the NRA in earnest, including getting several companies to stop offering discounted rates to NRA members. The mayor of Dallas, Texas has said that the NRA should not hold its annual convention there this year, although I haven't heard anything else related to that.
However, all it's really done is galvanize the organization and their membership. Especially after NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch received death threats from members of the audience during the allegedly scripted CNN town hall meeting with the survivors of the Parkland shooting. Also, several people who let their NRA membership lapse paid the $40 to rejoin the group for at least a year.
As I said in my last blog, this "With Us or Against Us" mentality that's been voiced by certain survivors of the Parkland shooting doesn't really help their cause and just makes people lose whatever amount of empathy they may have had for them. It just shows the world that they ultimately don't want to find common ground with their opponents. But the survivors should recognize that by putting themselves out there and with the tabloid trash corporate legacy news media turning them into celebrities just as much as the news media has turned the mass shooters themselves into celebrities in the past, they've become public figures open to criticism. There's now no difference between them & the (mostly Republican) politicians they complain about.
While the NRA claims to have 5 million people in their membership, the actual number of NRA members cannot be accurately determined by the amount of money the organization makes because while an annual membership is $40, someone could pay $1,500 to be a lifetime member of the NRA. Two lifetime memberships equal 75 annual memberships. And the NRA also gets private donations just like any other political group or charity, receiving $20 million from one person in 2016.
Also, history has shown that the NRA has had significant increases in their membership rolls following a mass shooting. In 2007, the NRA saw its membership revenue triple after the Virginia Tech shooting, and their membership rose 63% in 2013 after Sandy Hook.
Although, gun sales have actually fallen since President Trump took office because unlike when Barack Obama was President, there's no real or perceived threat of firearms being banned.
In a statement about the companies pulling their sponsorships from the NRA, the organization said, “The law-abiding members of the NRA had nothing at all to do with the failure of that school’s security preparedness, the failure of America’s mental health system, the failure of the National Instant Check System or the cruel failure of both federal and local law enforcement.”
While I agree with the NRA here, especially about the failures of the FBI, the Broward County Sheriff's Office, and even the school itself, they ultimately brought this onto themselves by falsely blaming fake "violent" entertainment after Sandy Hook. Remember what I said about alienating the younger generations? The NRA now knows what it feels like to be falsely blamed for something they never had any responsibility for to begin with. Maybe Wayne LaPierre should be offering engraved apologies to the video game industry and Hollywood for the false blame he and other NRA members have put upon them since Sandy Hook.
If it is not fair to blame guns for mass shootings, then it is equally not fair to blame fake "violent" entertainment like video games, movies, TV, & music.
On March 14th, one month after the Parkland shooting, high school students across the United States staged a walkout of their classrooms for 17 minutes to protest gun violence and honor the victims of the shooting. And this past Saturday(March 24th), some of those students went to Washington, DC to participate in a march organized by those survivors of the Parkland shooting for the same purpose.
The gun rights advocates outright criticized the protesting students for walking out of class, but as Scoot pointed out on his show that afternoon, if the students had walked out of class to protest against abortion and Planned Parenthood, the same people criticizing the students for walking out of the classrooms would be cheering them on instead.
However, the so-called "March For Our Lives"(or "March For Our Deaths" as it really should have been called) looked no different than the so-called "Women's March" the day after President Trump's inauguration. Yet another far left feel-good festival to justify their own hatred for the other side.
Scoot seems to think that there are similarities between the students' protests against the political establishment over gun control & safety at school since the Parkland shooting and the students' protests against the political establishment over civil rights & the Vietnam War in 1960s & 70s. There might be, but I see one major difference between then & now. The protesters were more peaceful in the past. Back then, there was more violent pushback by the establishment against the protesters(for example, Kent State). Now, it seems like the protesters advocate for violence against the establishment or against people that dare to disagree with their beliefs.
As I've said in the past, people should be able to speak out without fear of being falsely and myopicly labeled or even physically assaulted just because someone didn't like what that person said. Being free to speak openly about any topic at any time without the fear of being persecuted or even prosecuted for their honest opinion allows society to stay civilized and functional. If that fear of persecution is allowed to exist, then people can only express their opposition with anger and hatred, which eventually could lead to violence.
Since Columbine, both sides, whether they're advocates for gun control or gun rights, have used the tragic mass shootings like Sandy Hook & Parkland to advance their agendas. However, just as it is not fair to judge all gun rights advocates whether they're a member of the NRA or not by the more fanatical members of the group, it is equally not fair to judge all gun control advocates by the more fanatical members of that group.
But I think both sides are missing the point. Gun control advocates need to quit acting like human beings somehow don't need to protect themselves or their families & friends anymore. The failures of the FBI and the Broward County Sheriff's Office that could have prevented the Parkland shooting proves that point. And the "dream" of a "gun-free world" will be just that, a dream. Gun rights advocates need to quit acting like they have to sacrifice the First Amendment rights of an entire industry and the group of people who actually enjoy the products of said industry to justify keeping their Second Amendment rights unmolested. The US Supreme Court put the kibosh on that in June 2011. But above all else, both sides need to QUIT PLAYING THE FUCKING BLAME GAME!!
That means no more falsely blaming fake "violent" video games. No more falsely blaming guns. No more falsely blaming the National Rifle Association. No more falsely blaming the video game industry. No more falsely blaming Hollywood. And no more falsely blaming everything other than the person who pulled the trigger for a mass shooting just because it makes you feel good about yourself because you somehow feel guilt for something you never had control over.